Monthly Wrap-Up: October Reading 2023

I don’t think I’ve ever posted a monthly wrap-up on the first of the month yet. Or maybe I’m wrong? I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter much. It’s time to begin the October Reading 2023 Wrap-Up!

I read so, so, so much during this past month. It’s my bookish peak of the year so far! I’m so happy with myself – I don’t think I’ve ever read 13 books all in the same month before! I guess this just shows that autumn really is my favorite reading season, huh?

But yeah, without further ado, let’s get on into my statistics from The StoryGraph from last month!

October 2023 Reading

😐 MOODS: Adventurous was the biggest slice of pie, as it always is. Lighthearted was surprising in being the second biggest piece though – it’s never been before. The other ones were: Funny, Emotional, Dark, and Mysterious.

πŸ‘’ PACE: I read all three different kinds of paced books: slow, medium and fast.

πŸ”’ PAGE NUMBER: Everything I read was between 240 and 600 pages. The majority of books I read were between 300 and 499 pages, however.

πŸ“– FICTION/NONFICTION: It was once again all fiction this month.

🎭 GENRES: Fantasy, as usual, was the biggest bar of the graph. Manga, Graphic NovelYA, and Middle Grade were the second longest bars after Fantasy. The other genres on the graph were Comics, Romance and Historical.

πŸ“„ FORMAT: This little StoryGraph pie chart is almost correct. All of the books except for one we’re all physical copies.

⭐ RATING: My median star rating for last month was 4.27. My ratings for October were all pretty varied, but they were generally higher than in September. Most of them were 4.0 and above.

πŸ“‰ PAGES READ DAILY: I read a ton throughout October. The time I read the least was between the 5th and the 8th, and my peak of reading was on the 20th.

The Books I Read in October

The Glass Scientists: Volume One by S.H. Cotugno

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… β€’ my review

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… β€’ my review

One Piece: Volumes 1 - 2 - 3 by Eiichiro Oda

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ¬

One Piece: Volumes 4 - 5 - 6 by Eiichiro Oda

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ―

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ― β€’ my review

Hooky: Volume One by Miriam Bonastre Tur

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ― β€’ my review

Hooky: Volume Two by Miriam Bonastre Tur

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ―

Hooky: Volume Three by Miriam Bonastre Tur

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ―

One Piece: Volumes 7 - 8 - 9 by Eiichiro Oda

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ―

One Piece: Volumes 10 - 11 - 12 by Eiichiro Oda

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ―β˜† β€’ my review

A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber

β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜† β€’ my review

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

β˜…β˜…βœ―β˜†β˜† β€’ my review

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So October ended up being waaayy better reading-wise – and blogging-wide – for me than September was. I’m really happy that I read so much, and with the books that I ended up reading. Here’s to keeping it up in November! πŸ€žπŸ€πŸ₯‚πŸ»

I’m actually really excited for the books I’m almost certainly going to read this month. For one thing, Murderbot book #7 is coming out, and it’s my most anticipated book of the year. I’m also looking forward to hate reading Lightlark AND Nightbane, the latter which is also releasing this month. And of course, I’m continuing with One Piece and I’m looking forward to the next arc.

As for anything else I’m planning on for November… Other than the beginning of the holiday season and Thanksgiving and stuff, I’m not really sure yet about anything else. I’ll probably be doing some Christmas shopping though.

Anyway, thank you all so much for checking out my October 2023 Reading stars and monthly wrap-up. I hope you have an awesome day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 10/9 – 10/15

Betcha didn’t expect to see this! It’s been awhile since the last one of these. I know I said a couple months ago that I needed a bit of a break from Weekly Wrap-Ups, and that there was a chance I might drop them for good. But I’ve decided not to, and on top of that I’ve decided to start posting them again.

The week of 10/9 through 10/15 was more productive for me than recent weeks. I’m hoping that this, plus the return of wrap-ups, is the start of something good for my little blog. Fingers crossed. πŸ€žπŸ€

But it’s been weeks (months!) since the last one of these, and I know you’ve missed Weekly Wrap-Ups, so without further ado, I’ll get on with the post.

Monday 10/9: Most Anticipated Reads of 2023 (Part #4)

Last Monday, I posted my final Anticipated Reads of 2023 post. On it were six books that I’m interested in, coming out October, November, or December.

My Most Anticipated Reads of 2023: Oct, Nov, & Dec

Wednesday 10/11: The Chalice of the Gods Review

On Wednesday, I posted my book review for the unexpected sixth installment of the Rick Riordon’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series – The Chalice of the Gods.

This book meant a lot as a longtime fan of this series. And it was just as good as I had hoped it would be. I gave it ##.

The Chalice of the Gods Review

Friday 10/13: Friday the 13th / First Line Friday

Last Friday was a special Friday. Not only was it Friday the 13th, but it was a Friday the 13th in October! So it was doubly cool, and very Halloween-ey. πŸŽƒπŸ‘»πŸˆβ€β¬›πŸ’€πŸ•ΈοΈπŸ¦‡

I also posted a First Line Friday for the first time in a couple of weeks. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday: 10/13

Sunday 10/15: October 2023 Birthstone Book Covers

Yesterday, I participated in one of my favorite monthly posts, Birthstone Book Covers. Birthstone Book Covers is a fun post created and hosted by Leslie @ Books are the New Black. October has two birthstones, opal and tourmaline, so it was pink and/or white covers.

Birthstone Book Covers: October 2023

Books I Read Last Week

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon
One Piece: Volumes 1 - 2 - 3 by Eiichiro Oda
One Piece: Volumes 4 - 5 - 6 by Eiichiro Oda
The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

πŸŽπŸ’ Wrapping It All Up πŸŽπŸ’

Now this part is a bit different. I’m not doing a “Goals for Next Week” type of thing anymore, because it rarely ever amounted to anything. I really only ever did what I’d vow to do maybe half the time, and it frequently felt like I was breaking promises, both to myself and to anybody who’d read these posts. So I’m just not gonna do it anymore.

Instead, I’m going to talk about other stuff I did last week outside of the blog. And maybe mention a couple of things I might like to do in the future. Maybe.

Speaking of past and future, as you probably saw above, I’ve recently (finally) started reading One Piece. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, even though I’ve honestly barely scratched the surface – and I know that it only gets better. I’m looking forward to several more months of catching up, and then a few more years reading new chapters until Oda decides to end his magnum opus.

I also recently finished The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub, so I’ll have decided on my final star rating any time now, and a book review out this week. So watch out for it!

Outside of book stuff, I attended the Taylor Swift Eras Tour movie in theaters. Confession: I’m a huuuuge Swiftie. I’ve loved her music since the beginning, way back in 2006, and I’ve loved all her “eras” of music in different ways. So it was really fun especially since I haven’t gone out much lately. Highly recommend if you’re a Swiftie with the means. My only caveat was that they cut out a few of the songs for (what I feel are) very stupid reasons. (There was no need to shorten it – three plus hours movies exist!!)

What books have you been reading lately? Do we have any crossover – that is, have we been reading some of the same ones? What music do you like? What have you been listening to lately?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have an excellent day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Book Review: “The Chalice of the Gods” by Rick Riordon

“I couldn’t trust anyone else! You’ve already turned down immortality once, Percy Jackson.”

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

SERIES: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #6)

LENGTH: 288 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Disney Publishing Group

RELEASE DATE: 26 September 2023

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The original heroes from The Lightning Thief are reunited for their biggest challenge yet: getting Percy to college when the gods are standing in his way.

After saving the world multiple times, Percy Jackson is hoping to have a normal senior year. Unfortunately, the gods aren’t quite done with him. Percy will have to fulfill three quests in order to get the necessary three letters of recommendation from Mount Olympus for college.

The first quest is to help Zeus’s cup-bearer retrieve his goblet before it falls into the wrong hands. Can Percy, Grover, and Annabeth find it in time?

Readers new to Percy Jackson and fans who have been awaiting this reunion for more than a decade will delight equally in this latest hilarious take on Greek mythology. 

My Review

“I am a guy of limited talents. If I can’t kill it with water, a sword, or sarcasm, I am basically defenseless.”

So. A long time ago, waaayy back in like 2007, I read a little book called The Lightning Thief. And it led me to discovering my favorite series of books in my middle school career.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians was a huge series for me and my friend group growing up, and basically until high school. Even though there were a couple of really not good film adaptations, it didn’t dampen the books whatsoever for us. The Last Olympian was the most hyped book of 2009 for like my entire grade at my school, and I still consider it to be one of the greatest finales ever written.

And sure, Rick Riordon continued the PJO saga in other ways after TLO, but I never could get into the Heroes of Olympus series, and The Trials of Apollo… exists. (It’s really not as bad as people say – it just has a very, very rocky… first couple of books. (I didn’t really mind them, though.))

So when The Chalice of the Gods was announced, I was filled with disbelief. I never dreamed that there’d be another Percy Jackson book. In the greater Riordon universe? Sure. But another book with the original trio of main characters from the series that started it all? Never in my dreams had I imagined this happening.

I’m going to continue with my usual likes and dislikes momentarily, but before I get into it, I just want to let everyone know one thing: I absolutely loved this new adventure. It was everything I’d hoped it’d be. It wrapped me in nostalgia exactly the way I hoped that it would. This novel was a Percy Jackson fan from the ’00s dream. (And it’s also just as welcoming to newer fans.)

Pros

  • The characters β–Ό

She let the thought drift away into the Land of Half-Formed Thoughts About Things That Could Kill Percy Jackson. I spent a lot of my time in that land.

Percy Jackson is back, and he’s just as sassy as ever. Sure, he’s slightly more mature than he used to be, but saving the world twice will do that to you. Riordon also seemed to be writing him in such a way that evoked as much nostalgia as possible. Or maybe that was just me coming back to the series after ten plus years. (It was probably me.)

Annabeth Chase is still awesome, and her and Percy’s chemistry is just as strong as it’s ever been. Annabeth was Percy’s best friend and a good character before she was his girlfriend, and that careful character work is still prevalent today. Their friendship is also still strong, even though they’re very serious about each other, which is something I’m glad about. So many series can’t or won’t keep this aspect of the relationship up after the couple gets together, and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

I imagined us sitting around a table together, sharing a good meal and laughing about all the crazy things we’d done in our lives.

And last but certainly not least, Grover Underwood is back! Everyone’s favorite satyr is back on an adventure with his two best friends. And he never felt like a third wheel. Ever. Not that I doubted he would for a moment, but he never was. Which was awesome. He’s just as kind and enchilada (and aluminum can) loving as he’s always been, and I’m so happy that he and Percy are still super close bros.

There weren’t really any of the major supporting cast that appeared, like Clarisse or Nico or Chiron. (Nor any of the major new characters introduced in Heroes of Olympus.) It was nice to see Percy’s mom and stepdad again, as well as some of the Olympians.

  • The story β–Ό

The plot was as fast-paced and as fun as it’s always been. There’s always something going on, but there’s also always time for character moments and development. Rick has perfected his plot-heavy-stuff and let-the-characters-breathe ratio.

  • The writing and voice β–Ό

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has one of the greatest first person POVs that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s so extremely well done. Especially considering how difficult it is to pull first person off effectively. (Third person is usually considered easier to do.)

But Percy has always had a unique voice that isn’t too cluttered up by random unnecessary thoughts (which is a problem several books have). And he’s a genuinely fun character’s head to be in, which is also something I can’t say for all first person POV novels that I’ve read.

After an uneventful weekend, Annabeth broke into my room at 4:30 A.M. Monday morning, which sounds a lot more exciting than it actually was.

  • Nearly everything else β–Ό

I don’t really know what else to say here. Just, pretty much everything about this book was amazing. I loved it so much, and it meant so much to me, as a longtime fan of this series.

Cons

  • Maybe some nitpicks? β–Ό

I didn’t have any huge problems with this one. Part of it might be my giant nostalgia goggles, but I’m pretty confident that this isn’t it. I think that this is just a genuinely good book that has a lot of what I like to see in books. Sure it might be geared younger, but I don’t consider that a bad thing.

Final Thoughts

You’d be amazed how many teachers, administrators, and other school staff are monsters in disguise. Or maybe you wouldn’t be amazed.

The Chalice of the Gods was peak nostalgia. It felt like a love letter to the entire series, and for fans new and old. It has the same charm and adventure as the original five books.

I feel like I can only recommend this to those who are already fans of the PJO novels. Since, you know, it’s the sixth installment. But it’s a hearty recommendation for them.

Have you read any of these books? Were you excited for The Chalice of the Gods? Are you a fan of Greek myths?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic day/night!

See ya ~Mar


My Links:


WWW Wednesday: 9/27

It’s been such a hot minute since I’ve done this post, and how I’ve missed it. (It’s been nearly a month!) I always love telling everyone what I’m reading, what I just read, and end what I’m considering reading next.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Cursed by Marissa Meyer

Cursed by Marissa Meyer

CURRENT STATUS: 50%

CURRENT FEELS: πŸ€” (meh, so-so, unsure)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer concludes her young adult retelling of Rumpelstiltskin in this sequel!

Serilda and Gild attempt to break the curses that tether their spirits to Adalheid’s haunted castle before the Endless Moon, when the Erlking means to capture one of the seven gods and make a wish to return his lover, Perchta, from the underworld. But as the story progresses, it becomes clear he doesn’t want just one god – he wants to capture all seven, and force them to bring down the veil that keeps the Dark Ones separate from the land of the mortals. Serilda and Gild must try to thwart his plans, all while solving the mystery of Gild’s forgotten name, freeing his younger sister who is trapped inside Gravenstone Castle, and trying to protect their unborn child.

Romance, adventure, and Serilda’s journey to finding her power as a woman, a mother, and a partner make this a retelling that Meyer fans – old and new – will treasure.


The Thing I Most Recently Finished Reading

Sandymancer by David Edison

Sandymancer by David Edison

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A wild girl with sand magic in her bones and a mad god who is trying to fix the world he broke come together in SANDYMANCER, a genre-warping mashup of weird fantasy and hard science fiction.

All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost.

Caralee has a secretβ€”she can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet. But when she does… she winds up summoning a monster: The former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend.

Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.

Sandymancer is what happens when Oz meets armageddon, with failed gods, lost magics, and murderous gigantic steel harpies. Caralee has always longed to see more of this broken worldβ€”but as she stumbles upon its secret roots, she may discover that their doomsday wasn’t quite what everyone thought.


The Thing I Might Read Next

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

(The first – and really unexpected – Percy Jackson book in thirteen years. Not a spin-off, or a new series that exists in the same universe, like Heroes of Olympus or Magnus Chase, but an actual book sux with the original trio that started it all! This series was huge for me growing up – of course I’m gonna read this book!)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The original heroes from The Lightning Thief are reunited for their biggest challenge yet: getting Percy to college when the gods are standing in his way.

After saving the world multiple times, Percy Jackson is hoping to have a normal senior year. Unfortunately, the gods aren’t quite done with him. Percy will have to fulfill three quests in order to get the necessary three letters of recommendation from Mount Olympus for college.

The first quest is to help Zeus’s cup-bearer retrieve his goblet before it falls into the wrong hands. Can Percy, Grover, and Annabeth find it in time?

Readers new to Percy Jackson and fans who have been awaiting this reunion for more than a decade will delight equally in this latest hilarious take on Greek mythology. 


What books are you guys currently reading? Have you read any of the ones on my list this week? What did you think of them, if you had? How do you feel about the book(s) you’re reading now?

Anyway, thank you to everyone for reading, and I hope that you have a fantastic day/night!

See ya ~Mar