Sunday, October 1, 2017

September is Dead. Long Live October!

The Monthly Wrap up

Hi!  I don't normally do monthly wrap ups, being more inclined in the past towards a weekly format.  BUT...well...This year has been a weird one for the blog.  I have no desire not to blog but staying on any kind of predictable schedule seems equivalent to performing brain surgery on an earthworm...nigh on impossible.  I've lost my rhythm and that's probably okay.  Jenny @ Reading the End has noticed a trend of blogger burnout of late and she attributes it to U.S. President-related trauma.  If you follow the link you'll see she has a nice simple idea for a Sunday post and link up called Something on Sundays which she describes as "write about something that kept you on your feet during the week."  I plan to participate at least sometimes.  

Anyhoo, I also decided to mix it up a little and do monthly rather than weekly wrap ups. RADICAL, I know.  

Outside In The Garden

September is a bountiful month outside.  Many species of wildlife are migrating.  In Iowa, we had an especially huge hatch of migrating Painted Ladies that were moving south at the same time as the Monarch Butterflies. It was a butterfly-palooza. The Sawtooth Sunflower has also had an amazing bloom this year so they all had good nectar availability.

This is like 8 feet tall!

The latter part of thes season in the garden has been a little disappointing as it often is, to be frank.  I didn't plant enough green beans so never had more than like 5 beans at a time, lol.  Most went to Ella. 🐰 My lima beans have been productive but all the pods are at many different stages so like the green beans I've gotten a small handful at a time.  I find it frustrating to know what to do with these small quantities.  I'm not sure I'd ever be happy though - I'd probably be overwhelmed if I had too many come in at once:). 

Escaping Reality


I read 8 books in September. 
4 Middle-grade Fantasy
2 Mysteries
1 YA Historical 
1 Romance


The highlight of my reading month has to be the last three books of The Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud.  I started book 3, The Hollow Boy on September 20th and finished the final book in the series, book 5 The Empty Grave, on September 24th.  The Hollow Boy took this series to another obsessive, amazing level, a pedestal from which it did not fall, right through the amazing conclusion to the series.  I am a little bummed that I will no longer get to share Lockwood and Co.'s ghost-fighting adventures so I was THRILLED to learn that the series was optioned this month for a TV series by a pretty successful production company.  I really hope it gets made  - it would be A-MAZING!

Honorable mention goes to the really excellent The Likeness by Tana French, the second in her Dublin Murder Squad series.  I don't know why it took me so long to read this after I loved In The Woods and it was, of course, fantastic.  If you like character driven, emotionally complex mysteries, Tana French is your author.  

Second honorable mention goes to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee for being delightful and to The Fatal Flame by Lyndsay Faye, the final book in her Timothy Wilde trilogy for being a wonderful if bittersweet conclusion to a great historical mystery series.

Obviously, it was a good reading month! Only 2 of the eight books got less than 4 stars. 

A Quote - 
 “There's a Spanish proverb," he said, "that's always fascinated me. "Take what you want and pay for it, says God.'" "I don't believe in God," Daniel said, "but that principle seems, to me, to have a divinity of its own; a kind of blazing purity. What could be simpler, or more crucial? You can have anything you want, as long as you accept that there is a price and that you will have to pay it.”  -The Likeness by Tana French
 YTD Books Read: 74 (15 books behind schedule for my Goodreads challenge - yikes!)

Added to the TBR...

I added 9 books to my To-Be-Read list in September with two that I am most excited about which are:

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

I believe both of these were brought to my attention by Danya at Fine Print - go check out her reviews and thanks Danya!


My TV slump continues.  The only show I really watched was The Doctor Blake Mysteries, a historical mystery series set in Australia in the 1950s, featuring, you guessed it, a Doctor.  There are three seasons available on Netflix and I watched all of them.  The show is pretty good but nothing super special.

I did just (like JUST, in the last couple hours) discover a show on Netflix called Very British Problems that has me laughing like a hyena.  I suspect I do have more than my fair share of Brit in me. My favorite thing so far was in fact making fun of Americans:


It's pretty much been all audiobooks all the time so no new podcasts or favorite music to report.

October Forecast

October is one of if not my one and only favorite month of the year.  The weather is usually divine in Iowa and my work is in a lull before all hell breaks loose.  What 5 things am I really looking forward to this October?

1) Kombucha!  A co-worker of mine shared a scoby with me so I am going to embark on experimenting with this fizzy, fermented tea drink.  

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
2) Dickinson, North Dakota!  I will be traveling to Dickinson, ND for a work-related meeting and part of me is kind of nervous about it.  The only real way to get there reasonably is a 10 hour drive and the meeting will be a little out of my comfort zone - most if not the entire attendance will be hunting bro-dudes which generally regard my middle-aged, unmarried, non-hunting, butterfly loving self with suspicion and awkwardness and to be fair, vice versa.  BUT, it's good to stretch myself and I've never been to ND.  Dickinson is a hunting hub and a lot of the hotels allow dogs for free so I am bringing my pups with.  There's a huge National Park just to the west of town which I'm hoping to have time to check out. It won't be winter...yet. It will be an adventure.

3) Something Rotten!  The 2017-2018 Theater season starts with Something Rotten, a spoof  musical comedy ala Spamalot.  

4) Planting Garlic!  The gardening season is winding down here in Iowa but for the garlic it is just the beginning.

5) Dewey's Read-a-thon!  This fun 24-hour readathon is on the 21st and I'm going to try and participate. Any excuse to just read all day long!

SO. How was your September?  Anything in particular you are looking forward to in October?

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