October Wrap-up!

Happy November, lovelies! 🧡

I hope you all had a fantastic October, as well as a fun and spooky Halloween! I had a cozy Halloween this year, as we stayed in to watch scary movies and make goodie bags for trick-or-treaters. It was a splendid way to close off the month.

Now, on to books! This was a wonderful month for reading — I loved nearly everything I read. I always go for the scary (and cozy) reads when October comes around and they did not disappoint this year.

I also spent a good chunk of the month watching movies fit for the season, so I’ll be including my favorites in this wrap-up!

Let’s get into it!

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu (edited by Carmen Maria Machado)

A sapphic vampire novel that was published years before Dracula? And edited by Carmen Maria Machado? Say no more. This was such an amazing read. The legendary story of Carmilla never disappoints, with equal parts frightening, sensual, and tragic. Additionally, Machado’s powerful introduction paired with her footnotes made this an even better reading experience. I love that she goes into the history of le Fanu’s classic and focuses on bringing the sapphic elements of the story to the forefront. If you’re a fan of gothic literature and vampires, Carmilla is a must.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I finally read Frankenstein, beginning to end! *happy dance* What an extraordinary piece of work. This turned out to be an entertaining and surprisingly effortless read. This has much to do with Mary Shelley’s writing, which is incredible and had me enthralled at every point in the story. Despite how iconic and well-known the story of Frankenstein is, I was still kept on the edge of my seat. Particularly, during the middle and last act. I especially like how Shelley makes the reader feel for both Victor and the creature. Overall, I thought this was perfect, and still can’t get over how much I loved it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tomie by Junji Ito

My first Junji Ito manga! For years now, I’ve seen the stunning art from Tomie almost everywhere. So, I’ve always felt compelled to read it. All in all, I thought this was good. There were some stories that I found intriguing and some that didn’t really stand out. It got a bit too repetitive at one point and I was forcing myself to push through. I’d still recommend this to horror and manga lovers, as the art is to die for and the story is interesting. I’ll definitely be picking up more Junji Ito in the future!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

In The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, we meet Mika Moon, a witch that has been hired to instruct three very young witches that cannot control their powers. There was absolutely nothing I didn’t love about this book. I wish I could experience it all over again for the first time. You can read my full review for this one here!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 1 by Kamome Shirahama

The Witch Hat Atelier manga series follows Coco, a little girl who dreams of being a witch. I thought this manga was so adorable and a delightful read! Plus, the art absolutely floored me. haven’t continued on with the series, as I got distracted by other books, but can’t wait to be back with the witches soon! This is a great series if you’re looking for something witchy and wholesome.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Merricat and her sister Constance live in isolation with their uncle Julian, following a mysterious family tragedy. I thought We Have Always Lived in the Castle was perfectly intriguing and disturbing, with a great unreliable narrator. The characters in this book feel alive and authentic. The narration is spectacular — I really felt I was in Merricat’s head the whole time. And, the story unravels so masterfully! It is a showcase of brilliant writing. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this book. I’m so glad I finally picked it up and can’t wait to read more of Jackson’s work.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

The Fall of the House of Usher is one of Poe’s most well-known short stories. It’s a perfect spooky story, with all the suspense and gothic elements you could ever ask for. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Poe so it was nice to revisit this story. I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed by Poe’s work. Though, it did leave me wanting more. I read this one in anticipation of the next entry on the list and had a great time doing so.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

A retelling of Poe’s short story, What Moves the Dead was an outstanding read from start to finish. I loved this book so much! It hooked me right from the beginning and I devoured it in one night. I found the author’s writing style to be engaging and immersive. But mostly, the protagonist, Alex Easton, was the star of the show for me. Their narration was flawless, whether they were recounting moments of fright or adding a little comedy relief for the reader. And, the mystery at the center of the book was fascinating! This book had me spooked at all the right moments and totally captivated. I honestly can’t praise it enough.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have I had my fill of spooky books? Probably not. 🫣

October was a wonderful month for finding new favorite reads. I have to say The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches and What Moves the Dead were definitely my favorites.

Finally, here are my favorite spooky movies I watched this month!

Hocus Pocus 2
Werewolf by Night
You're Next
Trick 'r Treat

What were your favorite reads this month? Or, maybe a movie you watched and loved?

Thank you so much for reading! I wish you all the best in November and a lovely day! 🫶