September in Review // It’s Finally Spooky Season!

(Last Updated On: October 3, 2019)

Spooky Season is officially upon us and you now what that means: it’s finally October, which means my love affair with Halloween can now be blared from the rooftops without fear of judgement!

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Actual footage of me running to storage

I think a big part of my reading slump is I’m currently a little burned out on science fiction & fantasy. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Despite still not having conquered ARC Mountain (update further down in this post), I think I am going to abandon my TBR and cleanse my palate with some horror and mystery/thriller reads this month.


I read a total of 3,344 pages across 9 books in September. Definitely an improvement over last month, but the slump came back in the tail-end of the month… all but one of these books I read in the first half of the month.

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Why can’t my reading mood be consistent?

It is amazing how much your health, or lack thereof, can affect your ability and desire to read. I am still on medical leave from work but despite having a lot of time, I am just not in the mood most days. I have a lot of guilt associated with that, but I’m trying to tell the Mean Girl Who Lives Inside My Head to stuff it.

โœจย As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!

My Favorite Reads of September

A House of Rage and Sorrow coverA House of Rage and Sorrowย was one of my most highly anticipated sequels of the year. If you’ve been around for the last year, chances are you’ve heard me scream aboutย A Spark White Fire countless times. So to say my expectations were high for this one would be an understatement.

I had no reason to be worried: A House of Rage and Sorrow somehow managed to surpass the first book! Middle book syndrome who?!

This book was perfect, it made me cry, and I need the final book of the trilogy immediately.

๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review

Rules for Vanishing coverRules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall absolutely blew me away!

Told in a mixed-media format of interviews, written testimony, and video transcriptions, Rules for Vanishing is the YA found-footage horror story I didn’t know that I needed until I read it.

The tension builds as the narrative continues and Marshall is not shy about describing some truly gruesome things that may be nightmare fuel for some people. This is a perfect read for October TBRs!

๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review

All September Reads

ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *

  • Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff –ย  I’m finally reading the Nevernight trilogy, and am loving it so far! | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full review
  • Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff – EXCUSE ME at that ending! I’m really glad I waited until I had Darkdawn in my hands before reading this because I would have been so mad lol | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full review
  • Escaping From Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco – I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous entry in the quartet and I am sad about it. I’ll read Capturing the Devil at some point, but I’m kind of meh about this series now. | ๐Ÿ“– Review to come
  • * The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees – Spooky Season is upon us my friends, and this is a beautifully written fantasy debut that is sure to get you in the mood! Wees weaved fairy tales, dreams, and nightmares into a lyrical tale that flows on the page and takes on a life of its own. | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * to drink coffee with a ghost by amanda lovelace – I needed this one in my life and am thankful I read it. | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * The Babysitter’s Coven (The Babysitter’s Coven #1) by Kate WilliamsThis book was not a pleasurable experience and might actually be the first time I had to say I don’t recommend anyone read it. I think this book caused my slump. (also I just realized I didn’t even record this on my Reads spreadsheet oops) | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool – I really enjoyed reading this one, even though I was fighting the slump. I met the author on Saturday and she is so sweet!ย  | ๐Ÿ“– ARC review to come

(Still) Currently Reading

These are the books that I started in September but am still reading. Hooray for slumps.

  • * Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chboosky (audiobook) — 9% as of 9/20/19
  • * Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff — 20% as of 9/15/19

September Statistics

Total Books Read: 9 | Total Pages Read: 3,344

Total Books Read in 2019: 68
Goodreads Reading Goal:ย 52 ๐ŸŽ‰

ARC Mountain Update

I recently put myself on an ARC Ban (as of July 12, 2019), and back in July I wrote a post about the ban to hold me accountable, and I’m reporting on the mountain each month.

Current ARC Total: 32 (-6 but added 2 new ARCs that I requested months ago!)
Finished in September:
6 (House of Rage and Sorrow, The Waking Forest, to drink coffee with a ghost, Rules for Vanishing, There Will Come a Darkness)
Reviews to Write: 1 (There Will Come a Darkness)

Awesome Community Posts

Here are some fantastic September posts you need to check out!

Personal & Blog Update

Earlier this year when I began struggling with my health, I decreased my posting frequency to four posts a week from five. I like having a schedule because it holds me accountable, but right now it’s causing a lot of added stress for something that is supposed to be fun for me because I’m also dealing with a lot of other stuff. As much as it pains me to say, I’m moving to posting three days per week: Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. My monthly Patreon discussions, as well as my Novel 19 Class interviews, will be bonus content on top of the 12 monthly posts.

I hope you understand and don’t forget about me! But it is my hope that decreasing my “responsibility” for creating content will allow me to be more active in the community again because I miss blog hopping so much!

Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! I hope that you had a fantastic September, let me know how your month went in the comments below!

spacer_wLetโ€™sย go on another adventureย together!


  1. Catarina @ Pages & Plots

    October 3, 2019 at 4:32 AM

    Honestly, not feeling guilty over reducing the number of blog posts you create is something that I’m also going through. But, for our own sanity, we have to do it. And don’t worry, we won’t forget you! Do what’s best for your health and all will go well ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:39 AM

      Yes, we must do it and we can overcome this intense pressure we put ourselves under! No one is asking this of us, so why do we do this to ourselves?! Thanks so much!

  2. Kayla @ Books and Blends

    October 3, 2019 at 6:05 AM

    I’m so intrigued by Rules for Vanishing!

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:41 AM

      I enjoyed it SO MUCH, Kayla! Not sure how you fare with spooky books, but some people say it’s kind of scary lol

  3. Meeghan

    October 3, 2019 at 6:22 AM

    Kal you never need to feel guilty for backing off the blog for a bit!! You should always feel like looking after yourself is the number one goal!! Sending virtual hugs and blanket fort vibes your way ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:42 AM

      Thank you so much for your support, Meeghan! The funny thing is, I said 3 posts a week and then did my content calendar for the month and uh… yea. LOL

  4. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    October 3, 2019 at 6:34 AM

    I’m sorry you’re still struggling with health issues, but hopefully October will allow you to really start enjoying reading again. It’s nice to switch genres, it makes everything feel fresh๐Ÿ˜ Have a lovely month!

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:43 AM

      Thank you so much, Tammy. Switching genres has definitely helped a bit, but I am still in a bit of a reading funk. Been watching horror movies in the meantime, lol. Happy October!

  5. Jordyn

    October 3, 2019 at 7:31 AM

    Yesss to all the thrillers in October! I hope that helps you get out of your slump…. but then again, 9 books in a month is amazing in itself so I think you should definitely be cutting yourself some slack ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, isn’t Imaginary Friend like 700 pages long?! No shame in that taking longer than usual to complete!!

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:46 AM

      Me too! I have to go through my owned TBR to find books to read, but I think I will be reading The Haunting of Hill House soon. and it is SO WEIRD that I read 9 books!? Literally though, I read 8 of them in the first like 2 weeks of the month so it felt like I did no reading. YES! Imaginary is freaking huge and I didn’t realize it because it’s the audiobook. Which I am enjoying, I just have focus issues. I hope you have a wonderful October, Jordyn!

  6. Jess

    October 3, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Slumps are okay and happen to all of us. I only got to 6 books which is a third of what I read in my prime. Personal lives have to take priority over the blog!! Iโ€™m proud of you for pushing through!

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:47 AM

      Thank you so much, Jess! 6 books is still good and you are doing great. I just wish I had a more consistent reading habit these days rather than reading ALL THE THINGS for 2 weeks and then one book for the rest of the month lol

  7. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    October 3, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    Switching up genres usually works for me when I get into a slump! A lot of Fantasy and Sci-Fi can be similar to each other so it’s nice to have that “palette cleanser” as you said. I hope you get out of the slump that way ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:48 AM

      Switching genres is truly a lifesaver for me! I love SFF, but sometimes you need a break from immersive and rich worlds. Change of pace is good and all that; my reading this year has been so heavily leaning SFF. I hope you have a great month, Molly!

  8. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea

    October 4, 2019 at 3:44 AM

    Gosh, you wrap-ups always comfort be because of how organized they are and how many spreadsheets they feature. The amount of books I’ve been reading in a month have slowly been declining, so I feel you on the reading part! I hope the slump dies down though! Also, I hope you health improves very soon! There’s not much I can do, but I’m sending you all the best wishes. โค

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 8:53 AM

      Oh gosh, thank you so much for the compliment! I was actually really concerned with my wrap-up formatting for some reason, so this is a well-timed compliment! I am sorry your reading has also been on the decline, I hope you break free of slumps and have some amazing reading soon! xoxo

  9. DB's Guide to the Galaxy

    October 5, 2019 at 12:26 AM

    9 books is great, Kal!! I now have Rules for Vanishing AND The Waking Forest as library loans ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„ so thank you for writing amazing reviews that made me recommend them to my library ๐Ÿ˜Š definitely take that time and decrease your posting limit! You can always push it up later.

    1. Kal

      October 5, 2019 at 9:00 AM

      I know, I know! But it feels so WEIRD to read 8 books in the first 2 weeks of the month and then barely finish 1 book in the latter half! You have good taste on those library loans, if I do say so myself. I really hope you enjoy both of them — Rules for Vanishing is faster-paced; Waking Forest is lyrical and deeply atmospheric. Happy reading!

  10. R A I N

    October 5, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    Okay SO THAT GIF HAD CRACKING LIKE AN IDIOT! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ hahahha hahahha..๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    I am so sorry you havenโ€™t been feeling well lately? I hope you are feeling a bit better now and itโ€™s a good decision to decrease the frequency and focus on getting better instead of burning yourself out completely because thatโ€™ll be TOO BAD BECAUSE WE WILL MISS YOUR POSTS THEN! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ So dont do that! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜˜

    And despite being in imperfect health, you managed to read all these books, huh!? QUITE A FEAT, I must say! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

    And I LOOVEEE THOSE GRAPHSSS!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

    This was an amazing wrap up, Kal! I look forward to more of your posts AND I WISH YOU A MOST AMAZING, HEALTHY, AND STRESS-FREE OCTOBER!! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

    1. Kal

      October 6, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      Thank you for your comment! Sadly, I’ve been ill for so long (on medical leave for work for just over 6 months) that it’s mostly normal to me now but it is still hard. I definitely am glad people are so supportive of the decrease in posts though, because the stress has lessened quite a bit already! I may still “miss” posting days, but I’ll try not to beat myself up over it.

      Yay for graph love! They are from my 2019 Book Blogger Spreadsheet Template if you want to use them yourself. I’m working on 2020’s template as I have the energy for it. Happy reading this October!

      1. R A I N

        October 6, 2019 at 7:52 PM

        Yeah…just focus on getting better! Weโ€™ll still be here! โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

        Ohhhhh!! I will DEFINITELY check that template out! I havenโ€™t yet made a single graph but I have been meaning to try them. THANK YOUU FOR THISS! ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธโค๏ธ

  11. Lois @ My Midnight Musing

    October 5, 2019 at 12:16 PM

    Your health and happiness come first, and you’ve got to make the right choice for you. I can definitely relate to the guilt of cutting down the frequency of posts, but you’ve got to put yourself first.
    I love your format for your wrap up posts and the gifs you used had me howling. Embrace Halloween and all it’s quirks haha. Sending you all the positive vibes in the world and happy October.

    1. Kal

      October 6, 2019 at 11:41 AM

      Thank you so much for your validation, Lois! It really means a lot to me. I hope you have a fantastic October!

  12. lauren

    October 5, 2019 at 2:38 PM

    i really love these posts as i feel like its a nice catch up with you.
    thank you for sharing one of my posts, im so glad i got that guest post option, its such an important topic for all us.

    good luck with 3 posts a week! outside of blogtober i have 0 ideaof what my schedule is, im struggling a lot at finding the right balance

    1. Kal

      October 6, 2019 at 11:47 AM

      Awww thank you so much Lauren, I love catching up with youuuuuuuuuu
      And that guest post was SO GOOD!?!?! It is really important.

      The funny thing is that I announced 3x a week and then worked on my content schedule for October and… lolol I have 4 posts a week because of bonus interviews and stuff already planned. I feel you though on finding the right balance, I hope you can figure it out!

  13. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    October 5, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Wait you were posting MORE than 3 times a week? Wow, that’s a lot! I don’t think decreasing to 3 a week is bad at all! Especially if you do so much bonus content! I tried to post 3 times a week briefly and it was just too much for me, so now I post only twice a week and things seem to go pretty well. I highly doubt people will forget about you if you only post 3 times a week. XD It’s better than 3 times a year! XD Your health should come first, so good for you for making that more of a priority! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Kal

      October 6, 2019 at 11:48 AM

      LOL yea! I was posting 4 times a week and actually my schedule was 5x a week until April or May of this year, haha. 3 feels very doable for me but we’ll see if I can maintain it. Thanks so much for your comment and support, Heather, and I hope you have a wonderful October!

  14. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    October 6, 2019 at 7:52 AM

    You still managed to read a lot this September, Kal, I think this is amazing! <3 I really hope that, as time goes on, you'll feel less guilt about posting less often, I get that so, so much but you need to put yourself and your health first, and always. No matter what, we will always be there for you and reading your fabulous posts everytime they are here, no matter how often they happen ๐Ÿ™‚
    I'm sending you lots of love and all the best for October <3

    1. Kal

      October 6, 2019 at 11:52 AM

      I did, it was my best reading month I’ve had in months! It just feels so weird to read most of the books in the first 2 weeks of the month; it kind of causes a disconnect when I write my wrap ups haha.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I really needed to hear them! I am really hoping to be able to be more present consistently in the community with the decrease in my own content. I miss it so much! I hope you have a wonderful October as well, love!

  15. Lindsi

    October 7, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    I have an ARC of Rules for Vanishing, but I was saving it for this month. It felt like an October read, you know? Yes, you know! You even said so! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m happy to see you enjoyed it.
    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ๐Ÿ’ฌ

    1. Kal

      October 22, 2019 at 6:03 PM

      Definitely, I think Rules for Vanishing is a perfect October read! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  16. Clo @ Cuppa Clo

    October 9, 2019 at 8:49 AM

    Aaaaah Kal I could never forget about you! I also read 9 books last month, which is the most I’ve read in a month so far this year xD You’re doing great, I know you probably don’t believe that but you are and the slump will eventually go <3 I hope you have a spooktecular October love and do whatever makes you feel happy whether thats gaming/reading or something else <3

    1. Kal

      October 22, 2019 at 6:34 PM

      9 books is amazing and I am so proud of you! And thank you, I am doing my best. My slump is worse this month… lalala this sucks.

  17. Christine

    October 9, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    I am still amazed how you post three times a week–I can NEVER manage that, and I know how much time posting takes. I love your posts whenever they come out. Over the year, I think I also learned that it doesn’t matter too much how consistent you are or how much you produce as long as you are cool. Like yeah, it’s bad to completely disappear altogether, and one post a week is nice, but it’s not the be-all, end-all. I love your content so I just wait for it when you are ready.

    I feel you on the reading slump too. This past week (and still), I had pancreatitis. which was an allergic reaction to meds. I couldn’t focus on anything. Reading is still pretty hard for me. We just have to ease back in when we are ready. We will kick the reading slump, eventually.

    1. Kal

      October 22, 2019 at 6:56 PM

      Yea, I don’t know how I do it either — I legit have like 2 days a month where I am extra productive and write most of my content. And then I forget I don’t feel like that every day anymore, and don’t stick to my schedule. I agree though, for ME as a follower, I care more about the person than the frequency. Thanks so much for your kind comment and I hope we both can read soon!

  18. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    October 10, 2019 at 9:21 PM

    I’ll never judge you – be spooky all year round if you want to. <3 Also I won't forget you and I completely understand decreasing your posting frequency. Your health is important and I support you with your decision. Creating posts take so much time and energy, and like Christine said, I'm amazed that you post three times a week because I can barely survive one post, haha.

    Reading slumps seem to have hit everyone lately – I'm sort of struggling, but getting back into reading and then I get bitten by the slump bug again and it's just awful all around. I guess we'll all sit in misery together until we grow our numbers big enough to storm a rebellion and smash the slump victoriously.

    1. Kal

      October 23, 2019 at 10:26 AM

      THANK YOU, I will be spooky 365 days a year! I honestly don’t know why I keep saying my schedule is 3x a week and then post 4-5 times a week instead of… you know, not.

      We should have a war against the Slump. Personify the Slump as an evil monster we must slay.

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