Spooky Season TBR 2022

Happy September! Autumn is my absolute favorite season and living in Minnesota I always feel like our fall is cut short by winter. So to extend the season I have decided that this year I will be celebrating fall and spooky season during September AND October. I love reading books that really fit the mood of the season so I have put together a rather large TBR for this year. I am a mood reader so this is mostly so that I have a large variety of books to choose from. I have gone through my entire library and selected books that I feel fit the vibe I’m looking for during spooky season and filled one of my book carts with those books so that when the time comes it will make it easier for me to choose a book rather than leaving them on the shelves intermixed with all of my other books.

And of course I had to decorate the cart as well! On the cart I have put 42 books from several different genres. There are vampires, witches, zombies, ghosts, serial killers, and more! I am SO excited to read as many of these in those two months that I can.

  • The Sandman vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman
  • The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning
  • 28 Days Later: The Aftermath
  • 30 Days of Night: Red Snow
  • Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager
  • Book of Night by Holly Black
  • Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
  • The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
  • The Dark Half by Stephen King
  • Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • Slewfoot by Brom
  • Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • The Companion by Katie Alender
  • Supermarket by Bobby Hall
  • White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
  • Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Elevation by Stephen King
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck
  • Folly by Laurie R. King
  • The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  • Blaze by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King)
  • Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
  • Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
  • The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  • King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
  • The Last Seance by Agatha Christie
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen
  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  • The Turn of the Screw & In the Cage by Henry James

I also plan to choose my audiobooks that I listen to during work to fit the mood as well. I’m not sure what those will be yet but I’m guessing there will be some Stephen King in the mix. In addition to those, I have a few ARCs that will be read and reviewed throughout spooky season:

  • The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
  • Daphne by Josh Malerman
  • The Prisoner by B.A. Paris
  • Little Eve by Catriona Ward
  • The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

I am super excited to get started with these reads to fully embrace fall and spooky season this year. I would even be fine with this all extending into November as well 🙂

How early do you start celebrating fall and spooky season? Do you plan to read spooky season themed books during fall?

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Published January 11th 2022 by Wednesday Books

357 Pages

Goodreads Summary: After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.

But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.

A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.

Review: **Content Warning: Animal Cruelty** When I first heard about this book, it sounded intriguing. I started reading it and at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to read the whole thing. There is some animal cruelty from one of the local gangsters that I was not very thrilled to be reading about. I abhor animal cruelty so I was almost ready to DNF the book. But then things started to take a turn for the better. The wolf, Iska, who was being abused was liberated by Sena and as the two of them went on their way to escape the evil gangster, their bond was what kept me reading. Once those two got away things really started getting intense with the world they lived in and the infamous race began. I found myself drawn in and actually enjoying the story and connecting with the characters. I really liked how Sena came out of her shell and started to trust the people that she was with and wouldn’t give up on Iska. Overall, I ended up liking this book more than I disliked it because of the animal cruelty. So just beware if you decide to read this book that there will be some animal cruelty.

3.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Bout of Books 34: Day 1 Update

Bout of Books 34 is off to a great start for me yesterday. I started off with the audiobook for Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long during the work day. It’s a high action fantasy novel taking place on a frozen tundra planet. I was able to listen to a little more than half of it. In the evening I started my advance copy of The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner. It’s a family drama with many POVs throughout the book. I’m not really sure how I feel about it yet but I was able to read 44% of it.

Day 1 Update:

Pages Read: 379

Total Pages Read: 379

Books Read From:

  • Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
  • The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Bellinger Sisters #2

Published March 1st 2022 by Avon Books

385 Pages

Goodreads Summary: King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

Review: Last year I read and reviews It Happened One Summer, the first book in a duology by Tessa Bailey about two sisters who must leave their posh lives in Los Angeles to prove themselves to be capable adults in a small fishing town in Washington state. I really enjoyed that first book introducing the two sisters, with the main focus on Piper, so I was really excited to get a chance to read and review book 2 in the series that focuses on Hannah. I could more easily connect with Hannah than Piper so I knew the second book would probably be even better for me than the first book. I was not disappointed.

The book opens with a text string between Hannah and Fox over the course of several months while she is back in L.A. and he is in Westport. I loved the connection between them and how music brought them even closer together. They seemed to easily understand one another even though they were both so different at the same time. Even before Hannah got back to Westport, the way they fought their growing attraction made it seem more and more that they were meant to be together. Their chemistry was absolutely undeniable throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the vulnerability that they both had. Neither had been in a serious relationship and were scared to take that step. Especially with Fox knowing how his father was and thinking that everybody basically expected him to follow suite. Even more than the romance between Hannah and Fox, I very much enjoyed Hannah’s character evolution. She started out working as a production assistant for this director and always thought of herself as an extra or sidekick character rather than the leading lady. Gradually Fox helped her to see that she can and should be the leading lady in her own life. She started to take those steps to put herself out there more and get what she wants. I enjoy romances but it makes it so much better when the female character takes charge of her own life and doesn’t just let things happen to her.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am sad that there will not be anymore of these characters in future books. But I will definitely be checking out more books from this author in the future.

4 Stars

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Published December 7th 2021 by Atria Books

354 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called “Pastoral,” this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

Review: The first thing that drew me to this book was the author, Shea Ernshaw. I read and loved The Wicked Deep a few years back when it was published so I knew that she was an author I wanted to keep my eye on. The second thing that drew me to this book was the cover. The cover image is so haunting and beautiful, I just had to know what this book was about. The third and final thing that drew me to this book was the synopsis. Missing author and a mysterious commune in the middle of the woods?! Yes please.

When the book began I figured that the story would be following from Travis’s point of view for the duration but it didn’t take long for me to be proven wrong. We are then introduced to three characters living within Pastoral, the secret community in the woods: Theo, Calla, and Bee. Theo and Calla are married and Bee is Calla’s sister. Together they live in a farmhouse near the edge of the commune. Each of them has secrets they are trying to keep from each other but those secrets don’t last for long.

I don’t want to say too much about the story because I think honestly one of the best parts was being unsure of what was going on and what was going to happen next. It was such a puzzle to try and fit all of the pieces together about what happened to Travis and Maggie. And when those pieces began to be revealed… I was shocked by each and every one of them. The last third of the book is so full of twists and turns. I literally just finished the book a few minutes ago and wanted to start this review while my head was still spinning. So many “Aha” moments! One of the other really cool things about this book is you get little excerpts from the Foxtail book that Maggie St. James was famous for. It was incredibly eerie with how well it fit the surroundings of Pastoral. Shea Ernshaw did a fantastic job writing this book. Her words had a way of drawing me into the story and I felt as though I was in Pastoral, seeing and experiencing everything that the characters were experiencing. Especially with Bee’s character. Bee is blind and so you get to experience all of her other senses being heightened, mainly her sense of hearing and smell. I definitely see myself thinking about this book for quite some time.

4.5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.