Hi everybody! Happy November and welcome to my wrap up for October! I hope you all had a lovely October and an amazing Halloween.
My October was a bit mixed, as I felt some stress and even had a bit of a blogistential crisis (details below) so I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, but what I did read was pretty great so that’s good. I also watched a new kdrama so that made me happy. And I celebrated Halloween (and my birthday) yesterday with sushi and a TV night!
So without further ado, let’s dive into my October recap!
Things We Left Behind (Knockemout #3) by Lucy Score
I highly enjoyed this long-awaited installment in the Knockemout series as it was a blast to finally get Sloane and Lucian’s story. It was a great childhood friends to enemies to lovers story with lots of humor, emotions, steam and suspense.
Rating: 4 stars | Read full review
Foxglove (Belladonna #2) by Adalyn Grace
I LOVED Belladonna and highly enjoyed the sequel Foxglove. While I did love Belladonna a bit more, Foxglove was still a captivating, emotional and haunting sequel and I am beyond excited for book 3 (but I’ll need to wait till August next year, boo!)
Rating: 4 stars
Mile High (Windy City #1) by Liz Tomforde
While I was a bit hesitant at first (I almost DNF’ed because the main male character came off as a real douchebag in the first 4-5 chapters. But luckily he quickly came around and I ended up loving him so much) I ended up really enjoying this one. So much so that I dove into book 2 immediately afterwards!
Rating: 4 stars
The Right Move (Windy City #2) by Liz Tomforde
I LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH! We got forced proximity with roommates, fake dating, beautiful slow-burn, two absolutely amazing characters who each have their own personal journey and wonderful cameos by characters from book one.
Rating: 4,5 stars
The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
I grew up with Britney Spears and as such I’ve always been a fan and followed her career so I wanted to read her book. Of course I knew some of what happened to her, but reading this was just heartbreaking. What happened to her and how her family, the men in her life and the media treated her was plain horrible. Not rating this book though because I feel like it’s not something to ‘review’ – it’s her story and I’m glad she finally got to tell it on her own terms.
Top Ten Tuesday
Can’t Wait Wednesday
Lots of great new music this month, but here are some stand-outs:
Ed Sheeran – Amazing
I love Ed Sheeran’s entire new album, but Amazing is one of the standouts for me.
Mike Shinoda – Already Over
I’ve got such Linkin Park vibes from this song <3
(G)I-DLE – I Want That
Just one show this month!
Destined With You
It’s been too long since I was this obsessed with a kdrama! Destined With You is on Netflix and came highly recommended by several kdrama fans so I dove in and was addicted after just one episode.
It’s not a perfect show as I did have a few issues with it, but overall this was just so much FUN: it has opposites attract, past lives and fated destinies, curses, love spells gone wrong, lots of chemistry and longing looks, humor and suspense. I loved it!
While I had an okay October, I also had a bit of a blogistential crisis and want to be honest about it here because if anyone understands, it’ll be my fellow book bloggers right?
It all started in September when I started having some technical issues on my blog. I wasn’t able to make any new posts for a while and all I knew was that it had something to do with Jetpack blocks. After a few weeks of back and forth with Jetpack Support, this was solved luckily: it had to do with my language settings and as soon as I switched from English UK to English US, it worked again. Who would’ve known? I am thankful though for Jetpack Support as they were very helpful, but it were a few stressy weeks. And it didn’t stop there. I’m now having issues with my comments not working on WordPress Reader (it still works fine on the browser though) and I haven’t figured that out yet. Then I also had a massive increase in spam comments and I know these are all minor inconveniences, but this in addition to some other life- and work-related stress and my anxiety was skyrocketing to the point where I had a few (smallish) panic attacks whenever I thought about my blog and everything that could go wrong, everything I still needed to do to get it to a level I’m happy with and how much time I’d need to spend on it. And that’s just not what I want. My blog is something I love, but it’s also a hobby – something that should bring me joy, not stress.
But while I honestly did debate for a hot minute whether I should just stop blogging completely, that’s also not something I want. I love this blog and interacting with this lovely community.
So I want to keep blogging, but at a much simpler level. I’m still figuring out what that means for me exactly, but for now I made a few small changes mostly to do with my social media. I removed all my social media links from my blog. I deleted my Facebook Group. I’ll probably remove my Twitter (sorry, X) soon. I’m keeping my Instagram but it’ll be more personal, with some bookish stuff still in there because I’m still me, but nothing with the goal to grow and get more followers. I’ll stop my yearly blogoversary giveaways. And some other small things that probably only I will even really notice.
The thing is, I’ve been considering my blog as something that defined me and I was only successful if I’d get more followers and more ARCs, comparing myself to other bloggers and keeping up with these lofty goals that would make me a worthwhile blogger. I work in marketing so I think I took some of that mindset home with me and put it on this blog. Always growing, always aiming for that next goal and feeling like a failure if I didn’t reach it quickly enough. But that’s been stressing me out and it’s not what it’s should actually be about, right? So I’m going back to basics. Or as basic as I can. Just someone who loves talking about books online with other people who also love books.
I know technical issues will always come and go and this won’t change that, but I’m hoping that if I can change the way I think about my blog and the intensity of my blogging, I’ll be able to handle them better in the future and this can stay a place of bookish joy. Nothing more and nothing less.
Phew. That was a lot. Thanks for reading through it. Have you ever felt like this? What do you do to keep blogging fun and stress-free?
So besides that, here are some positive things to end this post with:
THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
- I’m seeing one of my favorite bands, Against The Current, in concert!
- NEW BOOKISH RELEASES: Iron Flame, Do Your Worst + A Demon’s Guide to Wooing a Witch
- Stray Kids comeback!