Wrap Ups & Hauls

October 2017 Wrap-Up + Hiatus Update


Hello bookworms!

How the heck is everyone?!  When I last posted I was wrapping up my reading & blogging month of September in my September Wrap-Up.  I mentioned in my wrap-up that I was going to be scarce in the month of October, but I never anticipated I would be completely absent for the entire month of October, and a good chunk of November as well.  I apologize for my absence, but know that I miss the book blogging world so much…

What have I been up to?



Since I last posted ((which feels like forever ago)) things have been moving along with our new home renovations.  We are about 3 weeks out from moving in.  We’ve had some set backs from our original plan to move in by the first two weeks of November, but I guess that’s how life goes.  Things are really starting to move along, and the house is finally starting to look like a house, and not a war zone.  Paint is almost complete, my kitchen cabinets are in, and the flooring is being installed this week.  At this point, we are hoping to move the first weekend of December.  While our new home renovations have been going on, we were in the process of getting our current home ready to list on the market to sell.  After some paint, minor updating, and lots of de-cluttering, we were able to list our house at the end of October.  I am happy to report that after 5 days on the market (and many showings), we received a full asking price offer on our home!  We are under contract and are scheduled to close right after Christmas… it feels as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate how busy all of this would keep me.  At the end of the day, I am lucky to get 30 minutes of reading in before falling asleep.  My saving grace has definitely been listening to audiobooks while I’ve been working.   I wish I could say that I am back, but I have a feeling that I will be just as busy during & after the big move.  If I am being honest, it will probably be January before I am back to posting regularly & being active in the bookish community again.  It breaks my heart to admit that, but until things are more settled in my personal life, this blog has to take a back seat.


What I read this month

5-Star Rating System

Feelings in a few thoughts: FINALLY the moment I’ve been waiting for: the wedding ¤ Adored the new characters: Leslie, Cornelia, and Captain Jim ¤ wish we got more of the Green Gables crew ¤ a little disappointed that Anne no longer seems to write… ¤ heartwarming & cozy

» Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillio


5-Star Rating System

Feelings in a few thoughts: my first DiCamillo book ¤ really enjoy DiCamillo’s dry sense of humor – this book made me laugh often ¤ focus on friendship – loved the trio of friends in this one

» Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1) by David Kudler


5-Star Rating System
*2.5 Stars*
Feelings in a few thoughts: I would classify this one more MG than YA ¤ really appreciated the Japanese culture – felt it was well researched and well done ¤ Never felt connection to the characters or the plot ¤ I wasn’t really sure where the author was going at times – a few of the plot points were unclear to me

» Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo


5-Star Rating System*4.5 Stars*

Feelings in a few thoughts: I enjoyed this book better than Six of Crows – was invested from start to finish ¤ you really have to pay attention while reading this one because of the intricate plot ¤ felt that some of the characterization suffered because of the complex plot – certain characters were on the back burner in this book ¤ liked how everything panned out in the end ¤ so many emotions

» The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff


5-Star Rating System

Feelings in a few thoughts: found the parts about the circus & the trapeze fascinating ¤ really enjoyed the history – how the circus hid Jews as performer during WWII ¤ was not able to connect to Astrid or Noa – didn’t feel emotionally invested in their outcomes ¤ this type of book should evoke more of an emotional response from the reader, but failed to in my case

» All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater


5-Star Rating System

Feelings in a few thoughts: this book is NOT going to be for everyone ¤ happy to see a book with Latinx characters & culture – cannot speak for the representation but didn’t see anything blatantly obvious, but then again I am fairly inexperienced with Latin American culture ¤ really enjoyed that radio & music was such a huge part of this book ¤ plot felt odd at times & a little random – if you don’t like “weird” you won’t like this book ¤ lots of eccentric characters – which I liked, but you never really get to know any one character really well

» The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillio


5-Star Rating System

Feelings in a few thoughts: for a book titled “The Tale of Despereaux“, Despereaux wasn’t as big of a part of the book as you’d imagine ¤ I was anticipating action-packed MG, but there wasn’t much “action” ¤ narration style didn’t feel right ¤ really didn’t like how Miggery Sow was victimized throughout the book – a little dark for a children’s book  ¤ anticlimactic

» Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillio


5-Star Rating System

Feelings in a few thoughts: heartwarming & sweet ¤ who doesn’t love a book that evolves around a child & their pet? ¤ themes: friendship, coming of age, & fitting in ¤ I have a soft spot for a book with eccentric characters who all come together


Challenge UpdatesOctGRchallengeDivider2

Which books did you read in October?

Have you read any of the books I read this past month?  If so, what did you think?

Did you buy any books?  If so, which ones?

Comment below & let me know 🙂

19 thoughts on “October 2017 Wrap-Up + Hiatus Update”

  1. It’s so great to read about all the successes you’ve had in the last month, Amanda! Life seems to have become one amazing whirlwind of wonder and amazement. You’ve almost sold your home! You are almost ready to move into your new home! SO EXCITED!!! This is a big deal. You must be so proud! Will there be before/after photos eventually? I’m totally curious to learn about this reno.

    You did quite a bit of reading this month; well done! Did you listen to all the DiCamillo books? I found that Desperaux was also my least favorite of her works (though Flora and UIysses is my favorite!), but I think the illustrations played quite a bit into my enjoyment of that particular book.

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed Anne’s House of Dreams! It’s one of my favorites, for sure. I hope you keep reading with us. We’re almost there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jackie, my loyal reader! I so appreciate you sticking with me even though I’ve been so absent. You are among my most missed friends in the book blogging world. I am seeing a light at the end of this tunnel. I will post pictures pre & post move-in. We actually didn’t take before pictures… I know that sound crazy, but we really never want to reminisce about how bad our house was before. It was deplorable if I am being honest. We are just going to start with a new slate and pretend it was never as gross as it was when we purchased it lol

      I actually read the print form of the DiCamillo books as they are quick and easy reads. You have my curiosity piqued about Flora & Ulysses now! I’ve never even heard of that one. Is it fantasy or realistic fiction?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course! Don’t they say absence makes the heart grow fonder? I’ve missed you, too– but I’m super happy to hear all about the great things happening in your life. It’s wonderful to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I wonder how this experience will change the way you interact with books and your blog… because I’m sure it will on some level. Anyway, I check back as often as I can to see if you’re making updates. 😀

        Ach. The house must have been on the verge of nightmare material if you didn’t even want to take before photos. Yikes. Are you learning a ton of stuff as you help with the house flipping? Are the kids helping too?

        Flora & Ulysses is definitely fantasy. It’s about a young cynic and her super-hero squirrel. I love the hybrid approach DiCamillo uses to combine traditional chapters and a graphic novel element. The story is literally fantastic and has quite a bit of kid appeal from my perspective. Not that I have any kids yet… but…


    1. Thanks Laila! I think I gave a big sigh of relief once our current home was under contact. Trying to keep a house clean for showings with two kids and a dog was horrible! Not to mention leaving our home at random times throughout the day. We are so fortunate it only took 5 days to sell!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie Stiefvater if from my city, so I saw her at a panel discussion about a year ago, and she’s doing another reading at the local library this month. I haven’t read her work, though. I feel like a lot of my blog friend are taking a break. Hang in there, folks! Audio books, I highly recommend. Post once per week and avoiding tags and memes: I also recommend. I often wonder if I haven’t burned out in for years because I don’t do the smaller stuff that can still take a lot of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t Maggie so entertaining in person? I just love her. If I am being honest, I really don’t think you’d like her books… they don’t seem like your style. You seem like you enjoy books with more depth to them.

      It’s funny that you suggested posting once a week. I was actually thinking about just posting my weekly wrap-ups until I can get back on my feet – this way I can still feel like a small part of the blogosphere and stay in the habit of posting. I feel so bad about being so absent. I miss all my blogging friends 😦 There is a light at the end of this tunnel though! I am already thinking about my new home office where I will get lots of blogging done 🙂


    1. I promise there will be pre & post move in pictures! We really didn’t take any before pictures though… our house was pretty deplorable when we bought it, so we really don’t want to remember how bad it was lol I will definitely give a play by play of what all we did to the house though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Danielle! My nightmare is officially over. We are moved in! I cannot wait to get back to blogging and catch up with the book blogosphere. I’ll be heading over to your blog this week to see what I’ve missed 😉


  3. AH Amanda I feel your selling pain, our house sale is finally settled in 12 days ! AH so stressful but man I am excited for it to be over. I’m happy that you’re nearly into your new place we ended up renovating ours while living in it and talk about a war zone, man the mess was nuts.
    I hope everything goes smoothly from here and you have a wonderful christmas in your new place ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh! So happy to find someone who knows the struggle! I guess I shouldn’t complain though, as I did not have to live in our house while it was being renovated… but in our defense it was not livable when we purchased it lol I am happy to report that my nightmare is over and we are all moved in! I am so excited to be back and get back into the swing of things with blogging. I will be visiting your blog in the next day or so to play some catch up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas & a happy new years! I am happy to report that my nightmare is over and I am officially back in business! I cannot wait to catch up with everything. Expect a visit from me on your blog in the next day or so to see what I’ve missed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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