What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.
What happened in October? I can’t remember exactly, so I’ll just wrap up stuff up to this moment, November 11. I ended September having regained my confidence after a trying August, but I messed up my phone in the process when I dropped it on concrete and cracked the screen. But good news: I was able to get it fixed after spending a whole week without it, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (in retrospect), and lucky timing because stuff got super busy right after.
October was crazy and I barely had enough time to read, but I managed to complete two books. I squeezed them in between the many things I had to do as I prepped for a huge meeting, a work trip, and starting a part-time job at a bookstore. Of course, that last bit is the only awesome thing in the previous sentence. I was so excited when I got the bookstore position. I told everyone I knew. None of them were surprised, but they were all happy for me because FINALLY, I got my dream job. 😀
So far, the dream job isn’t the dream I thought it would be. This is the busy season and the store is focused on helping people as quickly and efficiently as possible, so there are no long meandering conversations with customers about great books and no one walking up to me to ask what’s a great fantasy book I’d recommend thus kicking off an hours-long conversation about how awesome Robin Hobb is. I’ve yet to tell any customers about her. 😦 But despite that, I am enjoying myself at the bookstore. I’m discovering loads of new books (as I walk around the store helping customers and reshelving books) and the benefits are wonderfully awesome! 😀 I can’t wait to start using them. (I would have used them already if I wasn’t so busy.)
October was also a scary month and not because of Halloween, which, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to celebrate as I spent the time preparing for a huge work meeting and the travel that goes with it. October was scary because that’s when my wisdom teeth began to give me hell. I guess it’s the stress of the past couple months that got to my teeth. Well, so I tell myself. After a dental appointment, I decided to get them all out. Now I’m in pain as I write this and am very miserable and hungry. The tenderness of my gums make me realize how much work my tongue does. I had no idea it was that involved in swallowing. I’m aware of it every time I swallow my saliva, which is often and which is another thing I wasn’t aware of — how quickly saliva gathers in the mouth and how often I need to swallow it. I didn’t realize my mouth did so much work, and don’t even get me started on talking and laughing, which has been super difficult not to do since my family talks and laughs a lot. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I lived with a bunch of comedians. But other than the annoying twinge of pain, I’m fine. I’m just glad I haven’t felt the need to yawn yet since doing the procedure.
Anyway, I don’t have much to discuss reading-wise. I just read the two books, as I mentioned earlier, and didn’t even read many articles and such; so I’ll just include links to pieces that really stood out to me. I did watch a good bit of shows though, so that part will be long, and I’m hooked again on playing Sims Freeplay, which I hardly ever talk about on here. It’s the only video game thing I play and I enjoy it! 🙂 Well, here’s what else happened since the end of September:
Home and Away by Candice Montgomery — I’d forgotten that I completed this in October. Early October seems so far away. It’s about a girl who plays on her high-school football team and who has everything going for her until one day after a game when she catches her mom hiding a mysterious box. Her world is upended when she learns what’s inside. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. It’s not the sort of story I usually go for, but I was riveted and wanted to know who sent the box. I couldn’t stop reading until I knew.
Emily at Embuhlee Reads and I completed Dragon Haven, the second novel in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles. We are so hooked on these novels and can’t get enough. They keep getting better the more we read, and I like how certain characters are developing. I can’t wait to see what will become of these dragons and their keepers.
Other things consumed in October:
I placed a star (★) next to the ones that stuck with me.
Social issues & current affairs
— An insightful piece that talks about society today focusing more on the moral correctness of artwork rather than its quality. The article considers various forms of popular art, including the TV show Insecure, Dana Schutz’s Emmet Till painting, and Beyonce’s songs. It also compares today’s culture wars to those of the past (in the 1980s).
“Art might not have the privilege of being art for art’s sake anymore. It has to be art for justice’s sake. Suddenly, but for very different reasons, the kinds of people who used to be subject to censorship are now the purveyors of a not-dissimilar silencing. Something generational has shifted, even among the cool kids and artsy-fartsies. Members of the old anti-censorship brigades now feel they have to censor themselves.”
★ The Most Influential Fantasy Books of Each Decade (thoughtsonfantasy.com)
— Nicola at Thoughts on Fantasy has started a series of posts where she features several books that are considered the most influential fantasy books of certain decades. I love the series and am so grateful she’s doing it. So far, she’s done:
— A review of R.F. Kuang’s Poppy War and what it adds to boarding-school fantasy novels. The writer says that Kuang’s novel deviates from the norm by removing the institution and analyzing the effect of doing so.
— An interview with George R.R. Martin that mentions his progress with The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in A Song of Ice & Fire, and the many other projects he’s juggling
From Ideation to Revision: Margaret George’s Writing Advice (signature-reads.com)
— Historical fiction author Margaret George (The Memoirs of Cleopatra and The Autobiography of Henry VIII among others) offers writing advice, such as:
“You should write something on your project every day just to sustain it in your mind, to keep it alive.”
— A bit about how Nnedi Okorafor (Binti and Akata Witch among others) became an author
Guest Post: 5 Things That Medieval Bestiary Writers Almost Got Right, by Jeannette Ng (thefantasyinn.wordpress.com)
★ Honest Dating Profiles of Punctuation Marks (newyorker.com)
— A humorous piece that posts dating profiles for punctuation marks
In search of a low-drama, long-term partner who will be a good parent; I come from two dysfunctional independent clauses who would stick me in the middle of everything. My last partner dumped me for a period.”
Intro to Female-Authored Speculative Fiction (thefantasyinn.wordpress.com)
— The Fantasy Inn made an infographic featuring speculative fiction written by female authors.
13 Alternative Spooky Reads (milliebotreads.com)
16 Science Fiction and Fantasy Tales of Pirates and Buccaneers (unboundworlds.com)
I’m so hooked on Sims Freeplay right now! 😀
Beyond EXCITED for: Deal of the Week: New Morgenstern Lands at Doubleday (publishersweekly.com)
— Author of The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern’s sophomore novel, The Starless Sea, is slated to be published in November 2019. (Can’t wait!!)
Looking forward to this: Christopher Paolini Releasing a New Book in the World of Eragon (bookriot.com)
— Paolini’s new book, The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, is slated for December 31 and is an expansion of the world and characters readers were introduced to in the Inheritance Cycle series, which began with Eragon.
Wish I was in London because: The Gal-Dem Bookshop: An Exclusive Celebration of People of Colour (theguardian.com)
— “gal-dem is an online and print magazine written by women of colour and non-binary people of colour for all to explore.” The magazine is hosting a pop-up bookshop in London in honor of Michelle Obama’s upcoming memoir, Becoming.
This seems promising: Lifetime Adapting Pride and Prejudice with Contemporary Spin Set in Atlanta (ew.com)
— Lifetime is adapting Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. The show will be set in Atlanta and have an all Black cast.
A Legend Has Passed: Ntozake Shange, Who Wrote ‘For Colored Girls,’ Is Dead at 70 (nytimes.com)
Quick Quote Corner
See more quotes from children’s books here: 6 Charming Quotes from Classic Children’s Literature (chroniclebooks.com)
Other awesome ‘ish
A Very Harry Potter Christmas (perpetualpageturner.com)
— If you’d like some Harry-Potter-themed ornaments and other goodies for Christmas, check out this post.
Inktober 2018: A Bookish Roundup (bookriot.com)
— Inktober illustrations that are inspired by books and reading. Inktober is an art event held in October when artists create ink drawing every day, or almost daily.
Killed Book Covers: 18 Designs that Didn’t Make the Cut (bookriot.com)
— Rejected cover designs for popular books
Artist Camilla d’Errico on Mermaids, Imagination, and Pop Manga (unboundworlds.com)
— I bought d’Errico’s pop manga coloring book (featured above) couple years ago and have yet to color anything inside it. The illustrations are so beautiful; I don’t want to mess them up with my shoddy coloring. Camilla d’Errico is a painter and manga artist. The link above is an interview where she talks about her new coloring book that’s focused on mermaids and other sea creatures.
— You can also check out her Etsy shop here.
Worth a listen
★ For All Nerds Show (Fanbros Show)
This is my favorite podcast at the moment. I’ve been searching forever for a podcast like this and am SO glad I found it! The podcast focuses on comic books and nerdy culture and the hosts are Black (YEAHIEE 😀 😀 )!!! I’ve been so hooked on this. I pop it on as soon as I get to work. I HIGHLY recommend it. The hosts are so hilarious.
All podcast episodes are available here on Soundcloud
Snark Squad Pod
I follow vlogger Marines of the booktube channel My Name is Marines. She also manages the Snark Squad website, which has a podcast where Marines and her friends share thoughts and reviews of popular books and other media. I’m currently hooked on their podcast since they’ve reviewed most of what I’m currently into at the moment.
Shows I’m hooked on
There are plenty of movies in the cinema that I’d love to see, but I haven’t had the time to go the movies. But in the meantime, I’ve seen these:
The Dragon Prince
A Netflix original animated children’s show. I mentioned it in my September wrap-up. I wasn’t crazy about it at first and didn’t plan to revisit it, but I decided to give it another chance after listening to a Snark Squad Pod episode on it. I’m still not crazy about it, but I am curious to see how things will pan out. It’s about a group of friends trying to protect a dragon egg and return it to its parent. In this world, humans are at war and separated from magical folk like elves and dragons.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
I enjoyed this; didn’t expect to and definitely didn’t expect tears to fall out my eyes at the end. I was so shocked that I was crying I thought something was seriously wrong with me. My fav character is Groot. Loved him in this! Lol!
I rewatched it. It’s still awesome. 😀 That’s why I’m mentioning it here again!
The Witch: A New England Folktale
I remembered when this came out and how much buzz it got so my expectations were a bit high for it. It wasn’t what I expected, but I thought it was okay; just not as great and amazing as everyone said it is. That part in the beginning with the witch and the baby blew my damn mind. I couldn’t believe that what I thought I saw happen was what happened. I was like WHAAAATTTT??!!!
I’ve been rewatching this TV show. I decided to do so back when there was still hope for more Iron Fist and Luke Cage episodes, but now that’s all cancelled and might move to Disney’s streaming service, which is supposedly coming soon or something. I’ll just have to make do with what I’ve got and watch all that’s on Netflix. I missed Daredevil. I’d forgotten how much I love the fight scenes in it.
I mentioned the show once in a I Heart Characters post and that was enough to make me crave rewatching the show. I missed my favorite characters — Blair and Chuck — and the wardrobe, which was my favorite thing about the show. Revisiting it wasn’t so bad, but it made me realize how much technology, i.e. smartphones, have evolved over the past 11 years. Man, smartphones were kinda crappy back in 2007!
I finally watched it and I must say, the book is way better and much scarier and gives the characters more depth. The movie frustrated me and I don’t even think I bothered to watch it all to the end because I can’t remember the end. I thought I’d be scared out my mind since I watched this while staying at a hotel, but I was only a twinge anxious.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand
It’s gory and violent, but it’s one of my favorite shows and it’s back on Netflix!!! So of course, I’m rewatching it too.
This Is Us
Another favorite and the new season is back on. I’ve been watching it and loving it and am so hooked on it. But I’ve also been missing out on episodes because of my second job. I’ll catch up eventually.
Christmas Under Wraps
I’ve also been watching a bunch of these Hallmark holiday, feel-good, cheesy romance movies. I enjoy them, especially when I’m stuck in bed in pain (like this weekend).
Well, that was my October. How have you all been?
I’m gearing up for the holidays, which will be quite busy for me since I’ll be working in a store on the major shopping days. I’m also trying to limit my time online because this is the time of year when I succumb to deals and coupons and such. I love shopping for fall clothes and all the discounts I see on sweaters and boots and scarves and coats are tempting me to buy them all. But I shall resist!… Maybe tomorrow. 😉