October tbr check in

Hello, friends, and happy middle of October! For today’s post I’m going to be doing a check in on how I’m doing with my tbr for the month. So, without further ado, let’s see how I’m doing!

🔘 = not read; ❌= DNF; ✅ = read

Book of the Month

  • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue 🔘 I haven’t read this yet but it is on my TBR for Dewey’s Readathon, which takes place this Saturday!
  • A Deadly Education ❌ I gave this one a try despite the controversy but it was not worth it. I can’t speak on the representation of the MC, but I did notice other things that were problematic in regards to witchcraft and use of practices from closed traditions, so I’m not surprised this book has other issues. And honestly, I was not a fan of the clear Harry/Draco vibes so this was a DNF for me.
  • Bringing Down the Duke 🔘 not read yet
  • Practical Magic 🔘
  • Mexican Gothic 🔘

October Releases

  • Beyond the Ruby Veil ❌ I tried this one but found the MC insufferable and her whole character kind of trite. The book seemed like it was trying too hard to be cool and dark and came off as comical instead.
  • Plain Bad Heroines ❌ I might try this at another time but I found the writing style very challenging.
  • The Once and Future Witches 🔘
  • This is All Your Fault ❌ this is my second attempt to read this author but I’m thinking her writing style is not for me. It’s very odd and feels stilted when I try to read it and something about it feels off to me. This particular book is also too similar in plot to another book I read recently, THE SUMMER OF EVERYTHING, which was much better.

From Previous Months

  • The Scapegracers 🔘
  • Surrender Your Sons 🔘
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn ✅ Melissa Bashardoust became an autobuy author for me with this book. The sapphics are so lucky to have her.
  • Legendborn 🔘
  • You Should See Me In A Crown 🔘
  • Cemetery Boys 🔘

romance recs for tech witches

I’ve been meaning to make this list forever since discovering I have a bit of a thing for romances set in the tech world, and an interest in tech witchcraft. I love reading about the weird work politics of tech companies and app creation and have managed to read and add a few to my TBR that are really great! So, today I’ll be telling you about how you can be a tech witch and add technology into your witchcraft practice, and feature 4 romances set in the tech industry.

**This post includes affiliate links for Bookshop.

what is a tech witch?

A tech witch is a more recent path of witchcraft that focuses on the use of computers and other technology to enhance their practice.

how to add technology to your craft

  • Keep a digital grimoire. A lot of people use their phone or computer to store their grimoire or book of shadows because it’s both convenient and discreet. I’ve seen many witches use their Tumblr as a way to hold onto spells and information. Personally, I’ve been trying to make my grimoire more organized with Notion.
  • Cast emoji spells. This can be done on any social media app just by typing out emojis that correspond with your intent or what you want to manifest. I first discovered emoji spells via witchblr (witchy Tumblr), where you can use likes to charge your emoji spell and reblogs to cast it. You can also send someone a little good fortune (or bad, I suppose) by doing this in a text.
  • Use apps for your practice. There are many witchy apps you can add to your phone, like astrology apps or moon phase trackers and widgets. There are also a ton of plant apps out there, and even some that identify crystals.
  • Use Pinterest for a digital altar. One of the great things about tech witchraft other than being discreet is that you can keep your cats from destroying it. I personally can’t keep a physical altar because I have destructive furbabies and a small living space, but I could keep a digital altar with images from pinterest or creating moodboards on Canva.
  • Add notifications for astrological/witchy happenings. If you’re like me and always forget when the sabbats, esbats, solstices, and equinoxes are, this may be a good option for you to keep track.

Book Recommendations

the right swipe

This book was one of the first romances I read, and it completely blew my expectations out of the water. I was expecting something light and fluffy about a one night stand turning into something more over a dating app rivalry, and got so much more. Rhiannon and Samson are equally interesting narrators, and I cared about their stories so very much. I thought the way the author handled Rhiannon’s previous harassment at her former company was so sensitive but empowering at the same time, and I felt really seen by the way Alisha Rai wrote that part of the book. This book definitely had MANY fun parts to it too, and Rhi and Samson’s chemistry just sang through the pages of the book.

the boyfriend project

I bought THE BOYFRIEND PROJECT as my May Book of the Month selection, and let me tell you, this book is an interesting ride. The pitch is pretty straightforward: Samiah swears off men in favor of pursuing her personal goals in creating an app after catching her boyfriend cheating on her with two other women. This book also surprised me, but in a very different way from THE RIGHT SWIPE. The author added a trope that I was completely not expecting and I found that I was super into it? I also have to say I love Samiah’s character and found her really inspiring but relatable to read about and enjoyed her journey.

how to hack a heartbreak

I haven’t finished HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK yet but what I’ve read so far is pure entertainment and super fun. I can’t get enough of books about ladies in tech taking things into their own hands and developing a whole app in the course of a book. The writing in this book is really fun and spunky, as is the voice of our main character Mel, who obviously has the best name.

love at first like

I was really excited when I realized the author of this book, Hannah Orenstein, wrote one of my most recent reads, HEAD OVER HEELS, because I liked the writing in that book quite a lot. This book is about a woman who co-owns a jewelry shop and posts a picture on her Instagram of her wearing an engagement ring to 100k+ followers after learning that her ex is engaged. So, she has to find a fake bf fast, and of course all the fake dating shenanigans that I can’t get enough of ensue.


There are, of course, many more books outside of romance that are tech-related, so if you’re interested in more of my recs, check out this list on my Bookshop affiliate page!

#5OnMyTBR: Pastel Covers

Hello, readers! Today will be my first time participating in the #5OnMyTBR meme, which is hosted by the lovely E. of Local Bee Hunters Nook! It happens every Monday with the goal of sharing 5 books on your TBR, and you can either use the prompts, create your own prompt, or just share 5 books from your TBR. Graphic created by E.

Today, I’m choosing one of the past prompts, Pastel Covers on my TBR! I’ve actually noticed a lot of upcoming books on my TBR have pastel covers, plus my whole aesthetic is pastel, so it seemed appropriate.

Here are my picks:

as far as you’ll take me – phil stamper

As you may know if you’ve followed me for a while, I LOVED Phil Stamper’s debut novel, THE GRAVITY OF US, and have been super pumped about his upcoming 2021 release, AS FAR AS YOU’LL TAKE ME. This book follows Marty, a gay teen who moves to London to pursue music and escape his conservative family.

the love curse of melody mcintyre – robin talley

I have enjoyed a previous book by Robin Talley and keep meaning to read more of her work because IT’S ALL SAPPHIC!!!! This book is about Mel (woo, name twin!!) who loves theater and being stage manager, but seems to be cursed to ruin her love life and to ruin the show when she falls in love. Of course, a cute girl ruins her plans of not falling in love during the production of Les Mis, so she has to try to not fall in love and wreck the show.

a pho love story – loan le

This book sounds so cute?! It’s a romcom about two teens who work at rival pho restaurants, so I’m expecting competition shenanigans and food descriptions galore for this one!

one last stop – casey mcquiston

This book was pitched as a queer Kate & Leopold, which I have not seen since I was a child and therefore do not remember. However, I am going to probably read everything Casey writes after RED, WHITE, AND ROYAL BLUE, and really, what could go wrong with a queer time travel-y romance??

she’s too pretty to burn – wendy heard

All I needed to know about this book was that it was sapphic and a thriller and I was sold. This book features two artists, a fire, and two murders, so obviously it’s going to be super intense and I am HERE FOR IT.

october tbr

book of the month

These are books from both past and current BOTM boxes that I need to read:

  • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue – V. E. Schwab
  • A Deadly Education – Naomi Novick
  • Bringing Down the Duke – Evie Dunmore
  • Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman
  • Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

october releases

  • Beyond the Ruby Veil – Mara Fitzgerald (Oct. 13)
  • Plain Bad Heroines – Emily M. Danforth (Oct. 20)
  • The Once and Future Witches – Alix E. Harrow (Oct. 13)
  • This is All Your Fault – Amina Mae Safi (Oct. 13)

from previous months

  • The Scapegracers – Hannah Abigail Clarke
  • Surrender Your Sons – Adam Sass
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust
  • Legendborn – Tracy Deonn
  • You Should See Me in a Crown – Leah Johsnon
  • Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas

books to read with autumn colors

I wasn’t sure if it would be super extra to make a post basically sharing covers with the colors of my favorite season, but I have ultimately decided this is my blog, and I love fall, and you all deserve to feast your eyes on some autumnal-colored covers, because fall is a beautiful season.

Behold, some awesome fall-colored books:

This book is criminally underhyped. I loved Jane Sinner’s sarcastic, darkly funny voice and the reality TV element (she moves out of her parents’ house by agreeing to participate in a reality TV show hosted by her local community college). I truly wish more people in the book community knew about this book.

I love WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI so much. Dimple is such a strong character and I love her journey throughout the is book.

I haven’t read this one yet but I keep meaning to since I really liked Emma Mills’ second book, THIS ADVENTURE ENDS.

I am an embarrassment to the trans/nonbinary community because I haven’t finished this book yet. However, it ticks all the Mel-book boxes being magical and diverse, so it’ll happen.

I know I just wrote about this book but I am not going to be shutting up about it any time soon. CHARMING AS A VERB is, in fact, utterly charming and worth a read (or 5).

I’m kind of curious about this book even though I haven’t read Young’s other books. I love books about pirate-y ocean-y things and adventures, so this one should be right up my alley.

I adored the first book in this series, THE RIGHT SWIPE, and totally intend to read the second book, GIRL GONE VIRAL, and this book when it comes out, at which point I will buy the whole trilogy.

I loved Sarah Henning’s debut, SEA WITCH, which I have a mini-collection of, so I was pumped to hear she was coming out with another fantasy. Even though I have yet to read it, it’s definitely high on my TBR.

Oh, Felix, how I love thee. Reading this book was so empowering to me, because it deals a lot with finding your gender identity and discovering yourself even after you “come out,” which just really speaks to me because I am still very much dealing with that in my own life. A+ book.

The way sapphic book twitter talks about this book, omg. It was already on my list at the beginning of the year, but the sapphics of book twt have definitely moved it up the tbr.

I have tried to read WILDER GIRLS three times, but unfortunately that book was not for me. I want to like Rory Power’s writing so badly, so hopefully I will like it more in Creepy Corn Book, aka BURN OUR BODIES DOWN.

Have you read any of these?

september tbr

I just went on Goodreads and…I have a problem. The pandemic has completely messed with my usually expert knowledge of when books are being released, and, as a result, I have way too many 2020 books I was supposed to read from previous months, and more from upcoming months that I need to get to. Fortunately, Fall/Winter tends to be pretty quiet in publishing following the month of September, so maybe that will give me a chance to catch up on all these reads.

My hope for September is to only read September releases and catch up on my TBR a little bit and read at least 5 books from this list. I am already reading CHARMING AS A VERB, so hopefully this will be an achievable goal.

SEPTEMBER 1

  • Fable – Adrienne Young
  • Cemetery Boys – Aidan Thomas
  • Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi (not shown)

SEPTEMBER 8

  • These Vengeful Hearts – Katherine Laurin
  • The Summer of Everything – Julian Winters
  • Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe (current read!)

SEPTEMBER 15

  • Horrid – Katrina Leno
  • Who I Was With Her – Nita Tyndall
  • Surrender Your Sons – Adam Sass

are any of these on your september tbr? which one should i read first?

books i’m breaking up with

You know that feeling when you feel like you’re really going to like a book, but when you actually try to read it, you can’t get yourself into it, no matter how many times you try to read the book or what mood you’re in when you read it? This list is inspired by the books that bring that feeling on for me. There are quite a few books I’ve been feeling this way about as of late, and I have decided this post will serve as my official break up with them. Books, I hereby release myself from the guilt of not being able to read you.

Onwards to the books:

ninth house – leigh bardugo

Sadly, NINTH HOUSE, one of my most anticipated books last year, is one of the main inspirations for this post. I have tried to read it at least 3 times, and every time I just can’t seem to get into it. I also had some stuff spoiled for me that makes me think I know a few of the main plot points, and also finally found a list of the trigger warnings because I was worried about some of mine being present, and there are a lot that I think would just upset me to read about. I know the book is supposed to be very dark, but I don’t want to have to traumatize myself to read it, so I am releasing myself from the pressure to read this book.

the raven cycle – maggie stiefvater

I made myself read THE RAVEN BOYS last year because it’s so popular and ended up liking it. I own hardcovers of the whole series that I’ve traded for in the past, but honestly, I don’t really feel a need to continue it. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out what happens in the end with Gansey and Blue and I already know about the Ronan/Adam ship. I just don’t think I’m going to feel the same suspense a reader who didn’t know those things would and I think that would just take away too much from my reading experience. So, I am not going to continue.

restore me – tahereh mafi

I bought this the second it came out and…still haven’t read it. I reread the SHATTER ME series when the new series came out, and honestly, I kind of wish I hadn’t because it dashed my original very high opinion of the series. I definitely liked it more as a teen than as an adult, and I think if I read RESTORE ME and the new series, my opinion of the original might change even more. I’d rather leave the SHATTER ME series as it is already in my mind and not corrupt it with another series I might not appreciate at my age now.

anna k – jenny lee

I just saw this is actually #1 in a series and that made me want to read it even less. I got this on a whim from Book of the Month even though I had an eARC and I definitely have regrets. I tried reading this one but the style is so dense and everyone seems horrible and it just does not seem like a book for me.

books i’ve requested from edelweiss lately

If you follow me on Twitter, you may be aware of the Edelweiss panic I had that led me to delete my old Edelweiss account and start a new one. Honestly, I’m kind of glad I did, because now I’m not autoapproved for everything and have to request everything the normal way, which will maybe encourage me not to go downloading eARCs all willy nilly? However, I did request some I had on my old account, because I want to actually review them when I read them, as well as some new things I hadn’t been aware were on Edelweiss before.

So today, I’ll be sharing some of the books I’ve requested on Edelweiss lately.

Plain Bad Heroines – emily m. danforth

I am embarrassed to admit I’ve never read Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth’s first novel, but honestly I’m just not that interested?? I am a shameful queer. However, this gothic, dark academia-esque new book from her sounds AWESOME. From what I have gathered thus far, this book has:

  • a book club for a scandalous memoir
  • a secret society
  • sapphics who are obsessed with each other
  • at least 5 mysterious deaths
  • a school with a dark past

How can all that be combined and not be utterly amazing? We stan.

kingdom of the wicked – kerri maniscalco

I will admit I was NOT a fan of Kerri Maniscalco’s first James Patterson Presents series, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, but I was for sure interested in requesting KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, which is about Italian witches, a legend about seven princes from Hell, murder, and the Devil. I started this one recently and am LOVING it. There is magic and food and wonderful family dynamics and it *might* even be my new favorite of 2020, but we’ll see how the rest of it goes.

when no one is watching – alyssa cole

When I discovered this thriller by romance writer Alyssa Cole, I was pumped because:

  • It is comped to GET OUT
  • It is a thriller but deals with topics like gentrification
  • It has a history hunt about a community
  • Possible conspiracy theories

So basically, it is a must read. I’m unclear about the release date on this because on Edelweiss it says it’s already out but on Amazon it says preorder? But anyway: I am PSYCHED to read this book.

the invention of sound – chuck palahniuk

I have loved two other of Palahniuk’s books, LULLABY and DIARY, and keep meaning to read more by him. This horror novel is about a father’s search for his missing daughter and the dark side of Hollywood. On the surface, the plot may sound kind of done and cliche, but since it is Chuck Palahniuk, I am expecting some deep weirdness and unique writing.

somewhere between bitter and sweet – laekan zea kemp

I have not seen this book anywhere on the book community’s radar, but it sounds like one that will need to be hyped up forever. SBBAS is about Pen, an aspiring pastry chef who wants to open her own place next to her family’s taco restaurant, but must choose between following her dreams and her parent’s traditional expectations of her. There is going to be food, family, and romance in this book and if book Twitter doesn’t get all over it, I am going to throw a riot.

witches steeped in gold – ciannon smart

Are we even surprised I had to request another witch book? And give me ALL the diverse witches, please! This book has 1) witches 2) RIVAL witches 3) pursuits of revenge and 4) a tenuous alliance. I am so here for this book and am utterly pumped to start reading it.

happily ever afters – elise bryant

WHY have I not heard anything about this book before?!?! HAPPILY EVER AFTERS is about Tessa, a secret romance writer who writes love stories so she can find herself in the pages of books. She’s accepted to a prestigious art school, and let me tell you how much I love books about teens who go to art school since that was me.

Basically, I have a lot of reading to do soon, especially for all those September eARCs I have now! Hopefully I’ll be able to get to a few of them this weekend for Dewey’s Readathon’s Reverseathon! Wish me luck.

7 atmospheric &/or melancholy reads that will enhance your FOLKLORE listening

Hello, and HAPPY TAYLOR SWIFT DAY!!!

I may as well forewarn you all now: you can probably expect a lot of Taylor Swift content coming up when everyone makes their own FOLKLORE book tags and readathons come up and other content. I am not sorry, because the past few years have made me a huge Taylor Swift stan and honestly, my life has improved a lot since becoming a TS stan.

ANYWAY. This post is here to help inspire your reading picks to accompany your FOLKLORE listening as you dive deep into the album and imagine yourself crying in the woods with the leaves crinkling under you wearing your ex girlfriend’s favorite cardigan. So, I present to you atmospheric and/or melancholy reads that have the mood of FOLKLORE. Enjoy!

the devouring gray – Christine Lynn Herman

While thinking about books that fit the mood of FOLKLORE, THE DEVOURING GRAY immediately came to mind. This book is a bisexual anthem about a town with a mysterious history, very creepy woods, a monster, and lots of angsty romance. TDG is full of moody bisexuals who would definitely listen to FOLKLORE while researching the town’s history and trying to find a way to defeat the Beast that’s gobbling people up and making the forest sick.

house of salt and sorrows – erin a. craig

HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS is a very eerie retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses where the “princesses” all live in an old manor by the sea and they seemed to be cursed because the sisters keep dying. This book made me coin in my mind the genre “ocean gothic”–i. e. eerie and dark ocean books with death and ghosts.

summer of salt – katrina leno

Okay, this book doesnt *exactly* fit the vibe of atmospheric and melancholy, but I think the characters in this book would definitely listen to FOLKLORE. SUMMER OF SALT is a sapphic book about a girl waiting to receive the magical powers that have been passed down to women in her family for generations. However, when something bad on the island happens involving a legendary bird, the summer visitors to the island turn to the magical family and look for someone there to blame.

sawkill girls – claire legrand

The slow, sleepy-but-eerie pace of this book reminds me of FOLKLORE a lot. Think “Exile.” Marion, Zoe, and Val all live on Sawkill Rock, where there is an urban legend of a monster in the woods, only Val knows it might not really just be an urban legend after all.

the last true poets of the sea – julia drake

I am so annoyed at myself for not having finished this one even though I really liked the part of it I read. This sad, sapphic book about shipwrecks and mental health struggles is perfect for FOLKLORE. “Cardigan” belongs on a playlist about Orion and Liv’s relationship. Sarcastic, moody Violet, our MC who is trying to find the right words to say to her brother who is in the hospital for a suicide attempt, would probably listen to “Betty” on the plane to Lyric, Maine, where she and Liv attempt to uncover the real story of how Violet’s family founded the town after a shipwreck.

the sky is everywhere – jandy nelson

I know this book is really old and has a love triangle, but it will always be one of my favorites. The lyrical writing just brims with raw emotion, and I promise it will destroy you. It’s about Lennie, who just lost her sister, and her relationships with two guys–one with her sister’s boyfriend, and one with a new boy in town.

extraordinary means – robyn schneider

Actually, a lot of Robyn Schneider’s books would go well with FOLKLORE, but this one stuck out to me because it definitely has a strong melancholy vibe because it’s set at a boarding school for sick teens. I don’t remember much about the plot to be honest, but I do remember I really liked it and even gifted it to the person I was dating at the time.

There were so many books I could’ve picked for a melancholy/atmospheric themed list, but these ended up being the ones that especially stood out to be relevant to read while listening to FOLKLORE! I hope I’ve managed to add some books to your TBR, and that you get to listen to FOLKLORE as many times as your heart desires this weekend!