The Book Report October 2020

Posted October 31, 2020 by Shari in The Book Report / 6 Comments



Welcome to The Book Report where we run down everything that happened in the month and update you on challenges, giveaways, reviews, and more!

Shari’s Update

The end of one of my favorite months. I am not big on dressing up for Halloween, but I generally love decorating and carving pumpkins. My husband became addicted to the McDonald’s Pumpkin Spice Latte (once a week) and all of a sudden they disappeared. We got a Dunkin’ in town and a week later it is still hopping! Can’t say we had a great experience as they forgot part of our order, our drinks were cold, and we got someone else’s sandwiches which were wrong as well (asked for croissants according to the ticket and they made them wraps). Giving them some time to settle in before we try it again.

The oldest kid is finally out of quarantine. The day before her birthday! Now she is panicking over nursing requirements before she starts nursing school next semester. $800 software, specific pants, polo shirt, shoes, scrubs, lab coat, etc. Then CPR class, 3 TB tests (one expired while she was in quarantine), a physical, drug test, flu shot, worrying about if classes will be online vs in person, etc. The other two kids are doing well, which is a relief.

I am also going through my mom’s house with my brother. She isn’t doing well from the standpoint of being violent, anxiety-ridden, and trying to escape. We need to sell the house to help pay for care unless we can get her anxiety down. She is currently in a behavioral hospital where they are trying to regulate her medications. Quality of life is also important because having her life constantly in anxiety isn’t a good way to live.

Last week I started having pain around one of my big toe joints in the evening. In the middle of the night, I couldn’t stand anything touching it, not even a sheet or blanket. The next two days I could barely walk and my foot became swollen and very red. Icing it, elevating it, and not walking was the best I could do since I couldn’t get an appointment within a week. It started feeling a little better, so fingers crossed it isn’t something bad.

Reading and reviewing have been my biggest projects this month. I just love reading this time of year! I also started playing around with a site called PlanifyPro. It allows you to format planner pages the way you use them. You then download a PDF and print it. Well, I have an extra step since you can only make one or two-page layouts. So I make all the pages, download the PDFs and then merge them together with a PDF app so I can print them double-sided in the order I want. Yeah, I can’t do things easily. After the Erin Condren fiasco, I have been looking for a replacement planner for 2021. Thinking I will just make one to fit my needs exactly.

October – My Reading Breakdown:

  • Read – 18 books (Alpha’s Promise the last one counted)
  • Kindle Unlimited – 10
  • Purchased – 7
  • Free – 1
  • Reviews Written – 10

Best of…

  • Favorite Book Read: Talon by Carian Cole – This just hit all the right notes with me.
  • Most Impactful Book Read: Asher by Carian Cole – Commitment against all the odds. Bring Kleenex!
  • Most Comedic Book Read: Bang Theory by Lili Valente – When hit on the head by a potted plant, she gets an ah-ha moment on love!
  • New Author to Love: Carian Cole – I read all the book she has published and they run the gambit of gut-wrenching to truly magical (but more gut-wrenching). There is only one book I didn’t care for, but it was written with brutal reality. The heroine is a better person than I after all that I read in that story.
  • Books I won’t be writing reviews of: Marrying my Billionaire Hookup – the story just didn’t grab me and I don’t feel like writing a review will help anyone. Motorcycle Daddy/Hero Daddy – acquired taste in this kind of kink, but it gets old fast with all the gooey talk. No Tomorrow – this was an exhausting book to read. While realistic, I am not sure I can mentally go through it for writing a review that does it justice.


  • The Series That Never Ends: 14/7 – Dark Protectors– Done 
  • The Series That Never Ends 6/6 – Ashes & Embers – Done
  • The Series That Never ends 9/9 – Masters of the Castle – Done
  • Bad Boys of Romance: 34/25 – Done
  • Literary Pickers: 58/45 – Done
  • Books ‘N Tunes: 35/30 – Done
  • Review Writing: 68/100
  • Reading Challenge:  181/150 – Done

Sophia Rose’s Update

Howdy, All!

Hope you had a great Halloween if you celebrate.

Our October has gone by quickly but was eventful.

We took a camping trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for a week of R & R.  It was much needed and I now advocate fall camping for everyone.  We stayed near the town of St. Ignace in a campground situated not far from the Lake Michigan shoreline and in the woods full of leafy fall color.  We did little day trips to local area sites: 

Whitefish Point on Lake Superior for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Light House where we were sobered by the wrecks- especially the Edmund Fitzgerald-, but also pleased to see that safety on the sea has been innovated as a result. 

Picnic and hike at Tahquamenon Falls State Park where I learned the upper falls is the tallest in Michigan (love learning tidbits like this about my adoptive home state).

Ferry out to Mackinac Island for the Victorian-era town, Ft. Mackinac, and Grand Hotel (just as lovely as all the pictures and the Somewhere in Time movie- had tea in the Grand Hotel Tea Room, but no famous fudge).

And, spent a day in Mackinaw City visiting Colonial Ft. Michilimackinac, the lighthouse, and Straits Shipwreck Museum (couldn’t miss a chance for fresh catch fish at a local eatery). 

Got back and dove back into everyday life including a bout with Poison Ivy and seasonal allergies causing sinus infection. Haha!  Leaf raking, my alternative form of autumn exercise has been in earnest.  Sadly, had to say a goodbye to an old family friend who passed in the latter days of October.  This is maudlin, but I think I want to pass in October when the colors are full and the leaves starting to come down.

In book news, I participated in #FraterfestRAT hosted by Kimberly @Caffeinated Reviews.  My goal was to read six books meeting the spooky theme and I hit that with eight books.  I also had fun participating in her Facebook Scavenger Hunt and the Instagram Challenge.  Thanks for putting together such a wonderful event, Kimberly!

For the first time, I participated in a #Dewey24HourReadathon hosted by Kate @Kate’s Book Nook and Gabby @Gabs About Books on Oct 24-25th.  I’ve always wanted to do this readathon that happens a few times a year.  I liked that it started at 8am for me and that audiobooks count.  I didn’t change my Saturday-Sunday schedule in the slightest to participate as a result.  I broke it up by listening to one book, Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, though I also had two others, Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, I switched in during the day.  During the readathon, I did two of the reading sprints and fun discussions, the BINGO, and two of the games.  Definitely doing this one again even though I didn’t finish any of my books.

Boo-Cause Reading’s Spookathon blog event for October was fun to participate in.  I chose to do half the topics so I had one post a week.  I hope you got the chance to drop in on witches, ghosts, cemeteries, and murders this past month.  Thanks to Michelle and Berls for hosting!

Also, for the first time, I did a Tell Me Something Tuesday post on Oct 27th.  I’ve wanted to do more blog discussions, but never seem to come up with them on a steady basis.  I love reading other bloggers’ TMST posts so when a new group of blogger gals (Jen @That’s What I’m Talking About, Linda @Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Berls @Because Reading, and more) took over the weekly post, I signed up.  Look forward to catching a couple TMST posts each month from us.

Coming Up for November, I’m participating in #HoHoHoRAT hosted by Kimberly @Caffeinated Reviews, Nov 19th – Nov 30th.  I’ve saved up a stack of winter and winter holiday-themed books for the event.  There is still time if you want to jump in as a reader or host a game/activity on your blog as an Elf.


October Reading Totals:  22 books

Reading Breakdown:  6 NetGalley (97%), 9 author/publisher requests, 7 TBR, 1 library, 10 audio, 6 new to me authors, 3 new series

Reading Challenge Updates:

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and Books Are My Heart’s Library Love: 13/23 books

Austenesque Lovers 39/50 books

My Reader’s Blocks’ Mt. TBR:  63/100 books

Because Readings’ Fall Reading Assignment:  7/16 books

Delighted Reader’s Series that Never Ends:  9/12 books

Delighted Reader’s Literary Pickers: 98/100 books

Under the Covers and Peace Love Books’ Romanceopoly:  77/78 books

Delighted Reader’s Books N Tunes:  41/50 books

Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings and Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell’s Romance BINGO:  25/25 COMPLETE

Passages to the Past’s Historical Fiction:  105/100 books COMPLETE

Because Reading’s COYER Quarantine:  73 books

Unconventional Bookworm’s New Release:  134/200 books

Caffeinated Review’s Audio:  91/100 books

How did Spooky Month go for you?  Do Tell!

This Month’s Reviews

Did you miss a review? No fear! Here’s what we wrote about.

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Delighted Reader was founded in 2011 after Shari decided she wanted to review the books she loves so much. Constantly on the run, she still finds time to read in pick up lines, in the middle of the night, and sometimes hiding to get a chapter read before she is found. Check out her reviews at

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Carole Rae
1 year ago

You gals are doing a great job on your challenges!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Woohoo! We’re slaying them, Carole. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
1 year ago

Whew. It sounds like you both had quite the month. Shari – I am glad that your daughter is out of quarantine. I hope that nursing school happens without a hitch. I know that it has to be hard to be dealing with such difficult things with your mom. Sophia Rose – A fall trip sounds perfect! I love that you were able to participate in so many bookish events during the month. Have a great November!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Thanks, Carole! It was a busy month and I was so glad to get to go on a trip. 🙂

1 year ago

Hey Shari, I sure hope your foot is feeling much better. There’s nothing worse than having to walk from point A to B in pain like that. This time of year is fun to read for sure, but I also get caught up in Christmas movies way more than I should. Kudos on finding the printing for your planner. I don’t trust myself doing that and would surely create a disaster(lol), so I just keep buying planners or getting them as gifts to feed my addiction. Sophia: Yay to you and the fun of camping! The last time I camped… Read more »

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  RO P

LOL, Camping sure is demanding in ways that as a kid I never realized, but it was a blast to get away. Yes, I enjoy visiting everyone’s TMST posts, too. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Ro!