Or should I say goodbye fall?! I know it is probably a cliche but I really don’t know where the time went. October and November were super busy months for me. I felt like I blinked and then suddenly it’s the middle of December with the holidays right around the corner. 

In October I got the opportunity to attend a super cool library conference where I was trained to help train other library staff members about dealing with teens in the library. The whole point is to hopefully provide other library staff members with the skills they will need to create and maintain successful programs for their teen patrons. Which in turn should help them develop relationships with their teens that will keep them coming back into the library. I also attended the ReadUp book festival with a dear friend of mine! This is a book festival that focuses on middle grade and young adult novels. There are panels with authors where they talk about different aspects of the craft and, of course, book signings! 

Here was their author lineup for 2019:

  • Matt de la Pena
  • Nicola Yoon
  • Cassie Beasley
  • Chuck Brown
  • Joelle Charbonneau
  • Cinda Williams Chima
  • Donna Cooper
  • Susan Dennard
  • Kathleen Glasgow
  • Lori Goldstein
  • Jo Hackl
  • Jessica Khoury
  • Kim Liggett
  • Constance Lombardo
  • Kekla Magoon
  • Sarah Mlynowski 
  • Mark Oshiro
  • Megan Spooner
  • Allison Varres
  • Jason Walz
  • Carri Wang
  • Alicia D. Williams
  • Kate Williams

Here’s a link to their website if you want to find out more! https://www.readupgreenville.com/ 

Then boom! It was November which meant NaNoWriMo and YallFest. If you are not familiar with either, then don’t worry I’m going to explain! 

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month which is an event where participants try to write 50,000 words in just 30 days. To accomplish this goal you have to try and write 1,667 words every single day. Sounds easy right? HA! For the past three years I’ve attempted to complete NaNoWriMo and I’ve never managed to reach the goal. I always start off with the intention that I’m going to write every day and then magically by the end of the month I’ll basically have a novel waiting to be polished up. Such lofty dreams I have. The first week is usually my best week and then halfway through the second week I lose momentum. This year I did better than normal and managed to get like 15k words logged. 

YallFest is a young adult book festival that takes place in Charleston every year. I’ve attended it since 2016 and have always found it to be a lot of fun! This festival also has panels and book signings but there’s also free stuff from publishers and giveaways! The first year I went by myself and learned the hard way how difficult that can be. Ever since then I bring friends with me that are also big fans of young adult authors. I would post the author lineup for YallFest but they’ve gotten so big that it would be almost impossible. Instead I’ve included a link to their website: https://www.yallfest.org/

Because I was so busy with… well life – I didn’t get as much reading done in October and November. Nevertheless, here are my reviews for the ones I did manage to pick up.

Educated is a memoir written by Tara Westover. Anyone who has worked at a library in the past year has probably seen how massive the holds list was for this book. Everyone kept saying how good the book was but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it just because of its massive popularity. (ie. the massive holds list) However, my mom ended up buying a copy and lent it to me when she was done with it.

Reading what Westover went through growing up in Idaho was, how do I put this? Mind Boggling. The events that she describes almost seemed far fetched, as if she pulled them from some crazy version of a Lifetime movie. The medical events alone that her family went through and survived without modern medicine seemed like it was a miracle. Despite not getting a ‘proper’ education, Westover managed to make it all the way to Oxford. She has persevered through tremendous struggles and made it through to the other side. Truly an inspiring memoir.

Ah Chaol. You silly silly boy. I remember when Sarah J. Maas announced that her novella was turning into a full fledged novel and I thought how could she write a whole book about Chaol. Well boy was I wrong. In all honesty, this book is probably one of my favorites from the entire series. As a reader we get to see other parts of the world that had only been previously mentioned as well as gaining a whole slew of other characters that just add to the whole storyline in general. Plus there’s some pretty big bombshells that were dropped in this book, which I won’t repeat because #spoilers. But I will say this: I FREAKING KNEW IT!

I love love love the new Queer Eye series on Netflix! I laugh, I cry, and over all get a warm fuzzy feeling inside when I watch the Fab 5 make over someone’s life. But also guys, can you come help a girl out? Anyway, when I saw that Jonathan was going to release a memoir about his life I was intrigued. His personality is always so vibrant and he gives so much when he helps people on the show. First and foremost I will say that it was so humbling to listen to his life story and to know that he went through so many things in his life and still came out the other side. He shared so many private and personal things to the entire world and that takes a lot of bravery. I highly recommend this book!

November was coming at me full speed and y’all know what that meant. QUEEN OF NOTHING was about to be released! *insert crazy fan screaming here* I was SUPER excited when Holly Black announced that Queen of Nothing was going to be released earlier than expected. She truly is the freaking Queen of the Faerie. If you’ve read the Folk of the Air series then you know that there’s so much that goes on in the books. Foreshadowing, schemes, and betrayals. It’s a lot. Because of that I wanted to make sure I had Cardan and Jude’s story fresh in my mind before picking up the final book of the series.

And finally my top book for my autumn reads: Ninth House

This really shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to anyone. Everyone that knows me or has read this blog before knows that I’m a huge Leigh Bardugo fan! Ninth House is her first adult novel and it does not disappoint. This book is full of dark magic, ghosts (or greys), murder, mystery, and plot twists! The setting? Oh you know, Yale University. One of the most prestigious colleges in the country.  The book follows Alex Stern as she’s tapped by the Ninth House to help keep the Ancient Eight in check with their magic use. There’s a lot of terms in regards to the university, magical world, and the Ancient Eight. Luckily, Alex doesn’t know anything about them either so we learn all of it alongside her. I’ve never read a book quite like this one before that blends the real world and the magical one so seamlessly. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Alex.

Hopefully I will post a blog about my December reads in an appropriate amount of time. Until then!

Best,