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


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


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


Hooky: Volume Three by Miriam Bonastre Tur


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


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


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: 10/16 – 10/22

Another week, another weekly wrap-up!

Guys. Last week I read so much. So much bookage. I can’t remember the last time I read so many books during one week. Sure, most of them were graphic novels – but it still totally counts! And I had a 9 day reading streak on The StoryGraph. Oh, and I brought back Weekly Wrap-Ups last Monday, too!

I really don’t have too much to say in my little makeshift intro this time. So let’s get on with the post!

Tuesday 10/17: The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch Review

Last Tuesday, I reviewed a great October read – one that’s a new release to boot. It was The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub. Perfect for Jane Austen (as it’s a reimagining of Pride and Prejudice), as well as fans of historical fantasy and retellings. I gave it β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†.

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch Review

Wednesday 10/18: 1st Year Blogging Birthday / Can’t-Wait Wednesday

On Wednesday I ended up doing a rare double post, but it was a very special occasion. October 18th of 2022 is the day that I posted my first post on this blog, so it was my first blogging anniversary.

I also participated in Can’t-Wait Wednesday. Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and is where the books we’re all excited to read are spotlighted and discussed. The book I focused on was A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber.

One Year of Book Blogging

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: A Curse for True Love

Friday 10/20: Fall Book Recommendations 2023

A few days ago on Friday, I finally, finally posted my book recommendations for fall. There are so many spooky novels that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, as well as a ton of books that just have great autumn vibes that I love.

I didn’t even mean to post it on the year anniversary of my Fall Book Recommendations from 2022, but sometimes these weird coincidences just happen. (I had actually hoped to get it posted earlier.)

Autumn Book Recommendations 2023

Sunday 10/22: Hooky Review

Yesterday, I reviewed the absolute cutest graphic novel – and one that has some of the most fall of fall vibes to boot! I really, really enjoyed it. Hooky by Miriam Bonastre Tur is a treasure. I gave it a median rating β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ―.

Hooky Review

Books I Read Last Week

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub
Hooky: Volume One by Miriam Bonastre Tur
Hooky: Volume Two by Miriam Bonastre Tur
Hooky: Volume Three by Miriam Bonastre Tur
One Piece: Volumes 7 - 8 - 9 by Eiichiro Oda
One Piece: Volumes 10 - 11 - 12 by Eiichiro Oda
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

πŸŽπŸ’– Wrapping It All Up πŸŽπŸ’–

So I did the posts that I’d hoped to do this past week, which makes me really happy. I feel like I’m starting to get back into the groove of things. I also did a ton of stuff outside of the blog that I’d wanted to get done as well, which made me feel great too.

Still reading One Piece πŸ‘’πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈπŸŒŠπŸ—ΊοΈ, and I’m planning to for the foreseeable future. (It’s long AF, after all.) I finished the first arc – the East Blue arc – though. I’m planning on starting the next arc in November.

Regarding the books on my TBR that I’m gonna read next, well, A Curse for True Love πŸ¦ŠπŸƒπŸΉπŸ’˜ is coming out tomorrow, so that is definitely next next. After that, I’m planning on starting the Iron Druid Chronicles. πŸͺ„πŸ—‘️ Ever since it caught my eye a couple months ago (the series has bright and beautiful eye-catching colors!), it’s been on my radar. The books totally look right up my alley, and I’ve finally decided to start the series. I hope that I like it! πŸ€žπŸ€


Concerning non-book stuff that I did last week… there’s honestly not really anything. I just spent so much of it reading. I’ve been watching YouTube in some of my spare time not spent time reading or hanging with my spouse, and I mostly watched creepy videogames or continued with my Twilight Saga πŸ©ΈπŸ§›πŸΊπŸŒš deep dives/roasts/in-depth plot summaries. I just finished the Eclipse one and am planning on moving to The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, before Breaking Dawn. It’s been a little thing I’ve been doing throughout the month of October to celebrate Halloween. πŸŽƒπŸ•ΈοΈ I’ve been watching one Twilight book analysis a week.

Other than all that… Hmmm, I haven’t been doing a ton else aside from the usual life stuff. Oh! My spouse and I picked up Super Mario Bros. Wonder 🐘🌈 yesterday to play, and have been enjoying it! It’s a lot of trippy fun, and is has some unique ideas. Other than that though, not a lot went on. I mean my spouse and I hit a relationship milestone, but that’s super personal so I’m not gonna be talking about it.

Anyway, what books did you read last week? What did you think of them? Have we been reading any of the same stuff lately?

As always, thanks to everyone so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night! β˜€οΈπŸŒ™

See ya ~Mar

“The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch” by Melinda Taub | Book Review

I suppose if this were a proper book I’d begin it something like, β€œMiss Lydia Bennet, youngest of five daughters to a father hopelessly entailed, had few advantages in life, but not too few to squander.”

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

LENGTH: 400 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

RELEASE DATE: 3 October 2023


A sparkling, witchy reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, told from the perspective of the troublesome and – according to her – much-maligned youngest Bennet sister, Lydia.

In this exuberant retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet puts pen to paper to relate the real events and aftermath of the classic story. Some facts are well known: Mrs. Bennet suffers from her nerves; Mr. Bennet suffers from Mrs. Bennet, and all five daughters suffer from an estate that is entailed only to male heirs.

But Lydia also suffers from entirely different concerns: her best-loved sister Kitty is really a barn cat; Wickham is every bit as wicked as the world believes him to be, but what else would one expect from a demon? And if Mr. Darcy is uptight about etiquette, that’s nothing compared to his feelings about magic. Most of all, Lydia has yet to learn that for a witch, promises have power…

Full of enchantment, intrigue, and boundless magic, The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch, has all the irreverent wit, strength, and romance of Pride and Prejudice–while offering a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.

My Review

This was my first spell. I thought nothing of it at the time. All small children think they can control the world around them.

Before I start, I myself have a bit of a confession to make: I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice. In fact, I’m not much interested in Jane Austen at all. The only book of hers I’ve read was Sense and Sensibility, and I didn’t much care for it. So, I’ve not read much of her work, and I honestly have little interest in it due to that which I have not really being my kind of book.

So why did I decide to pick this one up and give it a shot? you might ask. The answer is simply: Magic and witches and retellings. I love all three very much, and especially retellings. Usually I go for classic fairytale ones, but I’m always up for a classic anything retelling.

So, I decided to try The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch out. I gave it a shot. And I really enjoyed it. Of course, it was written in such a way to mimic the writing and prose of the time, which is something that I’m normally unsure about, but I was determined to read it so I’d psyched myself out about it. And yeah, as I just mentioned, I liked it quite a bit.

But I’ll stop rambling on about this and get into the review proper. I’ve gone on long enough, after all.


I spent the evening on my mother’s lap, being squeezed and kissed and lamented over, while my sisters petted and caressed me and brought me sweets and bits of ribbon.

The next day, I threw myself in the creek again. Well, what did they expect? A good thing witches float.

Even though she irritated me quite a few times, I really enjoyed Lydia Bennet and her narration. Sure she was incredibly naive and made many irritatingly stupid decisions, but as this book is technically an epistolary novel (actually it definitely is, fight me) it had a present Lydia looking back at the past, particularly her past actions. A character looking back at herself, and calling out the same decisions and actions that I found to be stupid and naive and irritating, was incredibly refreshing, even if Lydia was being far too hard on herself about it all.

“As if you could,” she said scornfully. “I’m in this shape because I choose to be.” But I saw a flash of doubt pass over her face. We had never met another witch before.

My aunt laughed. “Isn’t that just like a cat. Everything has to be your own idea.”

I also really liked Kitty Bennet, and Taub’s interpretation of her as Lydia’s cat familiar. And maybe it was because she was a cat that I liked her so much – I am very fond of kitties after all. (Mine is on my lap, right at this moment as I write this review, haha.) I also enjoyed how she still had the attitude of a cat even in human form. The author understands cats well – they’re all a little bit arrogant, they like to imagine that everything is their own idea, and yet they can be incredibly loving and loyal. And incredibly weak to pets. Lydia and Kitty’s relationship as sisters was also very sweet, and I was always rooting for their sisterhood.

Her eyes widened. β€œMy God, I think you’re right. How did I not see it before? Someday you’ll have to teach me how you do that.”

“Do what? Observe things and think them through?”

“Yes, that thing.” She frowned. “Well. Let us go ahead with it then.”

Miss Maria Lambe was also a favorite character of mine. I really enjoyed her determination, as well as her incredibly kind heart that she nearly constantly hud behind a cold veneer. She was such a strong person, perhaps the strongest in the book, which is strange to see as that is usually the protagonist in several female led tales. Miss Lambe is also not originally from Pride and Prejudice, but from another of Austen’s works, one that was never completed. But Taub write her in in such a way that she fit perfectly into the story. I loved that she was added.

I really enjoyed her slow-burn friendship with Lydia. Despite the constant denials from both characters, they were most definitely friends, and their growing bond was one of the things that kept me reading during the book’s slowest parts. I wanted to know more about Maria’s secrets just as Lydia did. I wanted to see the moment Lydia and Miss Lambe accepted their friendship.

You walk on the earth every day, taking it for granted. You never think that one day it may shake beneath your feet.

Something is beginning. The thought came to me unbidden.

I really enjoyed all the witchiness and the magic. It felt a natural and organic part of the story, despite its inherent unnaturalness. Much of the story took place in autumn as well, and made it feel even more perfect to read for the season. Plus, I really just like books set in fall – it’s my favorite season.

The setting itself felt extremely authentic as well, which is something that I always enjoy in historical fiction, especially if done right like it is here. Sure, all the tangents about gossip and dresses got annoying every once in a while (I like stories to just go), but that just made the Authenticity Meter go up higher, as that was what some lives were like back then. I also just really liked the descriptions of the balls and outfits.

I really liked the romance here. Primarily Kitty and Denny’s. I don’t know how theirs went in the original P&P, or if it was even present at all, but they were so cuuuute together here. I was always rooting for them from the first second. And theirs was the only one I cried about (and multiple times at that) – it just hit me so hard for whatever reason.

“You do not believe me,” Wickham said. β€œThat is no matter. You will.” And he cupped my cheek in his hand, and kissed me.

Lydia and Wickham’s was sweet too, in it’s own way. Since I’ve never read P&P, I don’t know anything about what their original relationship was like, or how exactly Wickham was presented there. But I really liked how their relationship was built up here, and how Wickham was a literal demon. It just made their dynamic incredibly interesting.


The pettiness got old really fast. It was something that almost constantly irritated me whilst reading Lydia Bennet, Witch. Every time someone started to be petty, I wanted to scream.

It’s also the reason I didn’t like any of the antagonists and several of the other characters. They were always being petty and nasty about nearly everything! They were so annoying.

The pacing in this novel was also a nightmare for me. I don’t care what the consensus on The StoryGraph is – this book was slow as hell. One of the slowest of burns of slow-burns for me. There’s a reason that I don’t normally read slow-paced books; I don’t typically have the patience for them.

Final Thoughts

Love your best friends. Forgive your worst friends. Remember, always, not to judge people too hastily, for everyone is living out a story of their own, and you only get to read the pages you appear on.

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet Witch by Melinda Taub was a wonderful witchy retelling of a classic novel. It also paints Lydia, a character that many people don’t care for, in a different and more likable light. The novel also keeps up the vibes of 19th century England that make it feel very authentic. It may not have been on my fourth Most Anticipated Reads of 2023 list, but that’s only because I discovered it too late.

I think that Jane Austen fans will probably enjoy it, though I can’t really speak about it as I’m not an Austen fan personally. I also think that those who like retellings and historical fantasy will like it as well. This book is also perfect to read during the fall and October in particular, with a pumpkin spice candle burning in the background if you have one.

Have you read any of Jane Austen’s work? What did you think of it? Have you read Lydia Bennet, Witch? What do you think of it?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a beautiful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

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