Oct 292023

I read these during the 9th month of the year 2023.

  1. You’ve Lost A Lot of Blood – Eric Larocca

Short read, very graphic, a novella within a novella that, according to the Goodreads reviews, makes not a lick of sense to many others and not just me so I feel less dumb.

I didn’t hate it, but it also didn’t really do much for me. Read at your own risk.

2. Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin

Can you believe I have never read this?? Of course, I’ve seen the movie adaptation, but I wanted to give the book a whirl and see if it holds up. IT DOES. I mean, obviously not in the sense that a husband could essentially rape his wife back then and the wife will just shrug it off like, “Well, he IS the man of the house and this is what I signed up for, that reminds me, I need to check the answering service for messages and then finish clipping my coupons.” So, you know, you’re very aware of what decade this takes place. But as far as the horror-aspect, shooooooo. I was hooked. In this aspect, Rosemary’s Baby totally holds up and is just as suspenseful and effective in 2023. In fact, this was way better than probably 90% of the new horror I’ve been clawing my way through.

Now I need to revisit the movie. It’s been YEARS. Maybe since I was in high school??

3. Seven Years of Darkness – You-Jeong Jeong

YES. YES YES YES YES. Monica-Explaining-Female-Erogenous-Zones level of YES. FIVE STARS – chilling, atmospheric, suspenseful, terrifying, SO SAD. Just thinking about this has me filling up with body-shaking emotions. Highly recommend it. Memorable characters, unique plot, Korea please turn this into a movie. (NOT YOU, HOLLYWOOD. BACK OFF.)

4. The Borrowers – Rebecca Makkai

Another 5-star from Rebecca Makkai. After four 5-star books from her (IMO ANYWAY), I felt inspired to sign up for her newsletter like this is 2002. She is a queen at story-telling and the way she works with words makes me positively giddy. I appreciate her writing so much. And I love that this book is about a librarian!!! I LOVE LIBRARIES.

5. 6. and 7. The Summer I Turned Pretty series: Jenny Han

I devoured all three of these books. I LOVED the first one, REALLY LIKED the second one, and LIKED the third one which kind of went off the rails a little bit. Neither #2 nor #3 was able to fully capture the magic and vibe of the first in the series because that one was set fully at the beach in the summer with the full cast / families.

I started to watch the TV series and even though there are A LOT of differences between season one and book one, I still genuinely liked the show. I couldn’t get through season two though. Sorry.

Jenny Han is just so great though. I would love to see her try her hand at an adult novel sometime too!

8. The Invention of Sound – Chuck Palahniuk

I went through a Chuck P. kick when I was in my late 20s and back then I probably would have considered him to be one of my inspirations for the flash fiction I used to write. It’s been A LONG time since I read anything of his, and I grabbed this off a shelf at the library feeling real inspired to get back into it.

I HATED this book SO MUCH. I found the writing itself to be so tiresome and cringe, and the plot was like….what. I was bored, confused, annoyed, disgusted. These are not things that are conducive to a good reading experience. So now I’m wondering – was it just THIS book, or have I “outgrown” him?

The only thing I got out of this was learning that psychopaths lack whatever it is in our brains that make yawns “contagious” which is how I THEN learned that neither Henry nor Chooch are affected in the slightest at the sight of someone yawning.


I can sit here with my cat and we will yawn back and forth all day, I swear to god. I read the word “yawn,” and off I go. In this case, I just yawned until my eyes watered simply from typing the y-word.

But yeah, fuck this book hard into a garbage disposal though.

9. Bright Young Women – Jessica Knoll 

DUDE 5 STARS but possibly this is partially due to the audiobook because Sutton Foster is one of the two narrators. Still this is a super engaging and entertaining dual-timeline take on the Ted Bundy murders. If you like true crime, I highly recommend this. I appreciate that he is NEVER NAMED, not once, throughout the book but if you know even the most basic facts about him, you would be able to put two and two together. Instead, it focuses on several of the victims, and the people around them whose lives were affected for, well, ever.

10. The Shadow Cabinet – Juno Dawson

Another 5 star read! Four for the month of September? Is it true?? This is the second book in the Her Royal Majesty’s Cabinet series and while I tend to shy away from book series because, commitment, I am well, COMMITTED to this one. The characters, the action, the magic, the twists, the witty banter. I’m here for it. The sequel was JUST as wonderful as the first one and I cannot for the third installment. I have hopes that perhaps it will expand from just a “trilogy” though? Please, Juno Dawson?


And that’s what I read in September. Take it or leave it.

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