The books I read in September, October, and November 2022
These posts are a labor of love. The Fall installment of this series is late, but I’m proud of myself for still putting it here. And! It means I stuck with something for a full year! =D I am resolved to write these posts as I read through this year. It’ll ease the labor of them and I can still maintain the level of detail I want to.
I read 12 books this season. Here are they all are in order from first to last:
- Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
- Prismatic: Havok Season 5 by Havok Authors
- Vox Machina: Kith & Kin by Critical Role and Marieke Nijkamp
- Redefining Anxiety by John Delony
- We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling
- On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Peterson
- Write Now, Here’s How by Linda M. Hasselstrom
- Postcards from South Dakota by Linda M. Hasselstrom
- Dakota Bones by Linda M. Hasselstrom
Of the 12:
- Completed: 9
- Partially Read: 3
- Didn’t Finish: 1 (not listed here)
Books by the Numbers:
- Owned: 11
- Library Books: 1
- Borrowed: 0
- Fiction: 8
- Non-fiction: 4
- My Shelves: 11
- Ant’s Shelf: 0
- Rereads: 3
Books by Readership and Genre:
- Fantasy: 6
- YA: 2*
- MG: 3*
- Thriller: 1
- Self-help: 1
- Poetry: 1
(*I included the third Harry Potter in the Young Adult (YA) count because Harry is 13 in this book and his age alone decides that. I included the first and second Harry Potters in Middle Grade (MG) because they could read this. I do believe anyone can love this series though :))
My Favorites of the Season: Oh man, this is hard. I loved Dolores and We Are Inevitable.
There could be spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned!
26/30 // Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
The dedication: “For my mother, Ruth Pillsbury King”
A favorite line: “…all of them hopin there’d be just enough of a break in the cloud-cover to let em get a look at what wasn’t gonna happen again in their lifetimes…not in Maine, anyhow. Hope’s a powerful force in human nature, you know–no one knows that better’n me” (221).
This book finished out my first ever Stephen King Summer book club, hosted by Laura Tremaine. I loved it! I think it would make a great first Stephen King book because it’s not scary and the writing is unique–written in Dolores’s dialect/accent, all one monologue, from her perspective only.
I did take Dolores on our South Dakota road trip, but I hardly read anything that trip. I read some poems and old South Dakota history snippets. I didn’t really dive into it until we got back and then I read most of it in a couple days. It was great! I didn’t make the movie watch-along because I was behind in the reading and didn’t want spoilers, but it’s still on my Watch List.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I thought it being all one monologue would be hard to put down (because I like to read to a chapter break before stopping lol), but it was easy to pick up and put down as needed. I loved Dolores herself, and Stephen King Summer book club as a whole 🙂
27/30 // Prismatic: Havok Season 5 anthology Edited-in-Chief Andrew Winch
Dedication: “To all the friends and family of our authors, with our sincerest thanks. Your encouragement keeps creative dreams alive. And for our Prismatic Patreon Firebrands Kaitlyn Emery and Joshua C. Shadd. You make the world a more colorful place!”
A favorite line: “An audience of bubbles greets me beneath the blue ceiling” (184) – “Seeking Calypso” by Kaitlyn Emery
- “Girl #24” by Krysta Tawlks
- “Green Limbo” by Lincoln Reed
- “Ember Keeper” by Katie S. Williams
- “Tiger Bright” by Beka Gremikova
- “A Slither of Green” by Leslie L. McKee
- “Seeking Calypso” by Kaitlyn Emery
- “Fatetress” by Julia Skinner
- “Prince of Bees” by Beka Gremikova
- “The Transformation” by Joshua A. Smith
This was my first Havok anthology and I loved it! It’s still on my writery to-do list to write at least one story for them. And month after month I keep saying I’m going to at least join their Reader Community. It’s only $4.99 for the year and their entire library of stories is available to paid subscribers and you’re not limited to the free story of the day.
At the time of this writing, they just celebrated the release of Season 7 Animal Kingdom. It’s available through Kindle Unlimited and in paperback through Amazon.
They’ve released Season 9’s theme of World Tour. I can only imagine the stories that will be inspired by these prompts!
28/30 // Vox Machina: Kith & Kin by Critical Role and Marieke Nijkamp
Dedication: “To siblings in all shapes and forms, whether by blood, by choice, or by shared stories. And to my sisters. With love.”
A favorite line: “And the dwarf’s musical voice was rough with sharp edges. Like broken glass, or broken hearts” (p. 255).
I purchased this book at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee. I didn’t bring a novel with us on our trip because I wanted to see the scenery and try make a dent in one of the other five books I was reading at the time. (I have an on-going list of non-fiction books that I start and stop and pick up every few days.) But by the time we crossed into Nebraska, I was craving a story. I read some of the stories from Prismatic, but I missed the story arc of a novel. So I was very excited to see Parnassus Books, which I’d heard about from various authors I follow on social media who are from this area in Tennessee, and buy this.
I love backstories and Vex and Vax have an interesting one, with Vex’s ability to hide what she really wants and desires behind her archery and haggling and keeping people at arms’ length and Vax’s open-wearing of his heart on his sleeve but never sacrifice his relationship with this sister. Campaign 1 is one of my all-time favorite stories and I enjoyed this up close look at the twins.
29/30 // Redefining Anxiety: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and How to Get Your Life Back by John Delony
Seemingly in place of an official dedication, there is a Bible verse inside behind the title page: “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” – Provers 12:25
A favorite line(s): “The hard, but freeing truth about life is that we can–and must–make choices. We need to do the hard work of deciding what we actually want and what trades we are willing to make to get there. We must undertand that life comes with priorites. And we must be willing to let go of the idea that we can have it all. Making peace with these decision will not be easy, but it will help silence the anxiety alarms” (28).
I picked this book out on our last day in Tennessee after our second stop at the Ramsey Solutions building Our friend highly recommended John, so I snatched it up on a whim figuring it best to start here and then look into John’s full-length book. I diagnosed myself with anxiety a few years ago now (basically through reading Christian authors’ nonfiction essays). At this point (mid-September) I’d been out of counseling for nine months, but I still feel anxious when I think about things (the future, the present, unknown things, etc.) and my default still tends to be negative.
It’s a great read. I had Anthony read it too, since he doesn’t experience anxiety the same way or on the same level (that’s not the best word) as I do. We both found it insightful. There were a lot of similarities between when John writes and what my counselor had me working on. And I was reminded that overcoming anxiety and building healthier habits and starting down that path of positive self-talk and behaviors requires a lot of hard, consistent work.
Recommended for anyone who wants a quick overview of anxiety to help out loved ones or for that human who is unsure where to start.
30/30 // We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman
Dedication: “For the Heathers, the Kathleesn, the Mitchells, the Beckys, and all the booksellers, who give us a great place.”
A favorite line: “There’s a part of me that does want to turn around. The doomsday worrywart that is always searching the sky for flaming asteroids…But I’m so tired of that part of me. I want to eat long odds for breakfast too” (156).
Woohoo! I reached my goal!
I picked this book up at a favorite local bookstore in Grass Valley. The week Ant and I got back from our Tennessee road trip, we returned with colds and had that first week of October off. We were feeling better mid-week and needed a change of scenery, so we took a drive to Grass Valley to stop at a favorite local game shop and book store.
I first learned of Gayle Forman through her duology if i stay and where she went (which are favorites of mine and I recommend to anyone who’s asking for book recs). I enjoy her writing style and the perspective she brings to the Contemporary YA world of novels. And this one is about a struggling local bookstore.
I loved how Aaron related the boosktore to dinosaurs going extinct. I loved that music and books and community were at the heart of this. This story goes grief well. (Gayle Forman writes grief well.) Family and love and friendship are also at the heart of this story. It was great! I loved it.
31/30 // Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Dedication: “For Jessica, who loves stories; for Anne, who loved them too; and for Di, who heard this one first.”
Favorite Line: “But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them” (179).
This box set edition was released in August of 2013 in honor of the series’ 15th anniversary. Ant gifted me this for my birthday in March 2020. Fall of 2019 I had decided to reread the Harry Potter series and so in April that same year I read this edition of Deathly Hollows.
This year, I’m excited to reread the series in all paperback form. (They’re easier to pack around with me and even fit in my lunch box.) I always want to reread the Harry Potter series in the fall of every year. I don’t know if it’s because that’s when a new year at Hogwarts starts or what, but right before NaNoWriMo started, I made the leap to start The Sorcer’s Stone.
I love this book. I always will. I love the opening chapter and that’s how we met the Dursleys. I love seeing the wizarding world through Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s eyes. I loved being able to hear some of the classic lines in the actors’ voices (“Bless my soul…[it’s] Harry Potter,” said by Tom the barkeep of The Leaky Cauldron. Or this one: “Troll–in the dungeons–thought you ought to know,” gasped by Professor Quirrell before he collapses on the floor of the Great Hall.)
Also, at the time I read this, it was less than a month from Robbie Coltrane’s passing. He’s the actor who played Hagrid in the movies. So every scene with Hagrid in it almost brought tears to my eyes. And a long time ago when it mattered to me what celebrities shared my birthday, Robbie Coltrane and I share a birthday.
Reading these books will always feel like coming home.
32/30 // Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Dedication: “For Seán P.F. Harris, getaway driver and foul-weather friend.”
Favorite Line: “Fred and George, however, found all this very funny. They went out of their way to march ahead of Harry down corridors, shouting, ‘Make way for the heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through…'” (210).
Coming back to Harry and his newly discovered world of Hogwarts. I love the groundwork this book lays for the rest of the series. We learn so much about Voldemort in this book that seems insignificant but it really matters in the long run. I love that Harry gets to spend the rest of his summer with the Weasley family, that he’s still learning so much about the wizarding world and magic. The way this book all comes together at the end–Hermione with the magnifying glass and the page of the book in her hand–it’s so good!
33/30 // Harry Potter and the Prisoner or Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Dedication: To Jill Prewett and Aine Kiely, the godmothers of swing.
Favorite Line: “HARRY, THIS IS NO TIME TO BE A GENTLEMEN!” Wood roared as Harry swerved to avoid a collision. “KNOCK HER OFF HER BROOM IF YOU HAVE TO” (261).
Prisoner of Azkaban has always been my favorite of the Harry Potter books. When I read this book initially, I couldn’t put my love for it into words, but eventually I came to realize that it was an appreciation for the master story-telling that books, Story, could be like this. (I’m sorry if you’ve never read them, but it’s been almost 19 years since this book was released.) The way J.K. Rowling set up the use of Hermione’s time-turner in the beginning of the story and then her and Harry were able to save two lives because of it–oh man *chef’s kiss*–it’s beautiful. It’s also when we begin to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione really start to shoulder ideas and burdens that 13-year-olds shouldn’t have to bear. It’s when the books start to mature and move from Children’s Books to Books Grownups Will Love and Appreciate.
I also own the illustrated version of this book and I really wanted to read it, but I’ll read it next time 🙂
34/30 // On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Peterson
I had to return to these to the library and didn’t think to get this yet *faceplam* so I’ll most likely end up checking it out again to get this haha
I’ve known about this series for a few years now. I believe Andrew Peterson read them live on Facebook during the summer of 2020. When I attended STORY this past September, Andrew Peterson and the DIRECTOR/PRODUCER of the new animated series based on these novels had a keynote slot. It was fascinating to learn about the journey they went on to be able to create this animated series. Also, if I’m remembering correctly, it is the first series to be animate in the state of Tennessee. Watching that trailer in the Schermerhorn hall piqued my interest. There’s an emphasis on family in the story itself and also being able to watch it as a family.
So, I put the on hold at the library…mid-October, hoping I could start them before NaNoWriMo. But it took a bit for them to be ready, so I started my Harry Potter re-read and then the first one was ready to pick up. I read it in the middle of NaNoWriMo, which I’m glad I did.
I really enjoyed the first book! I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade books, but this is a good one. I’m writing this as I’m a little more than halfway through the 4th book, and the writing gets stronger with each book. It’s a Fantasy Adventure with themes of family, love, hope, perseverance. My niece and nephew are almost 7 and just turned 3 respectively, and I think I could read these to them and my nephew could understand a good bit of it. (Actually, that sounds really fun. I may have to try that.)
I put the rest on hold at the library immediately!
??/30 // Write Here, Here’s How by Linda M. Hasselstrom
I found this book in Downtown Rapid City on our first full day in South Dakota at an adorable local bookstore called Mitzi’s Books. (I have a real life friend named Mitzi, so it I doubly adore it!) I tried looking for the local writers section and found it near the travel section upstairs. She is local to South Dakota, having moved to the state when she was nine years old. This is a book of essays written about writing from the inspiration of farming and the state of South Dakota itself
??/30 // Postcards from South Dakota by Chuck Cecil
Favorites snippets of South Dakota’s history:
- “Anthem in South Dakota” (#10)
- “Briggs and Stratton Putt-Putts” (#11)
- “Civil War Cannons” (#39)
- “Buffalo Nickel” (#47)
??/30 // Dakota Bones by Linda M. Hasselstrom
- “Turtle Dance”
- “Nude: 1976”
- “Haying: A Four-Part Definition”
- “Hospital Talk”
- “Dreaming of the Goddess”
It’s weird to reflect on this season when I’m sitting squarely in the middle of rainy, windy, stormy winter, but I’ll do my best.
This season always feels cozy to me and I always want to reread the Harry Potter series. The last time I started them again was fall or winter of 2019 (and then finished them in 2020). And during NaNoWriMo it helped to read something familiar. Though, I am glad I gave The Wingfeather Saga a chance finally. And since the middle of NaNoWrimo was full of congestion and rest, reading worked out.
I learned that for our next road trip, I need to bring a novel. Lesson learned =D
What I’m looking forward to reading in winter:
- Resuming The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. Ant has started listening to the Vox Machina Campaign of Critical Role and I was inspired by him and a friend to start Campaign 2 and Wildemount matches up with The Mighty Nein’s campaign setting. Plus, this is partially how I fill the D&D void.
- Maybe, finally some of the books I’ve picked from Little Free Libraries: The Vanishing Half, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Chicken Sisters.
- Of course the rest of The Harry Potter series 🙂
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- more Brandon Sanderson novels =D
Because of how I organize my seasons–December of 2022 goes with January/February 2023–there will be a bit of a spoiler for December reads in my next book post. On New Year’s Eve, Ant and I pulled all the books we read this year off our shelves (and yes, I did re-check out everything from the library =D) and took pictures with our 2022 book stacks =D It was Anthony’s idea and I love it. So there will be very relaxed 2022 Reading Wrap-up to look forward to. And then you guys also get to see what Ant read and get recs that way.
What books did you love this season? Do you find that you read more or less during the fall season?
Writing Process Notes:
9/10/22 // 4:23pm. Writing desk. AC blasting. Accidentally put this on the Summer Reads post since I’m finishing it up almost mid-September. And then realized I actually started it in September. Word count so far: 124
10/30/22 // 5:18pm-6:30pm. Writing desk with a blanket. While Ant watches Black Clover in English dub. Word count so far: 5,133
12/30/22 // ~8:40am-9:08am. Kfam’s dining room. Rain and Mina sleeping. Added the rest of the Fall Reads titles and started writing about The Wingfeather Saga and We Are Inevitable. Word count so far: . (Ugh, I think WP has updated again since I’ve been here last? I don’t know how to tell how many words this post is. So I’ll check later.)
// ~3:40pm-5:22pm. Writing desk. Looking for photos/taking/sending the photos of the books I read for this season. Added more blurbs. Listening to The Complete Ted Lasso playlist on Spotify.
// 5:52pm-6:23. Breaked for pizza dinner prep and now I’m back!
1/13/23 // 7:43am-8:12am. Writing Desk. Hobbit Hole morning quiet/Friday AM Dance Party! // Added the rest of the pictures, wrote about PoA, and added links for HP Wingefeather.
1/14/23 // 9:04am-10:04am. Writing desk. Hobbit Hole noises and rain (lots and lots of rain). Adding Currently Reading books, books stats/numbers, Conclusion.
1/15/23 // 2:08pm-. Writing Desk. Listening to last Friday’s Release Radar. Finishing it!!! Final Word Count: 3,520