October 2020 Wrap-Up and Best of the Bunch

November 2, 2020 Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 21

My Goings-On in October:

  • Biting my nails over politics. Please, please, please let this election turn out to be a good thing and let us get back to some kind of normal!
  • Quarantining. We spent the last two weeks indoors because my daughter was exposed to COVID through her high school swim team. She tested negative, and it was no big deal, really. Let’s face it, we haven’t been going out much lately anyway.
  • Basement writing retreat. I spent five days mostly holed up in the basement so that I could get some serious writing done. This was mostly a success, though insomnia made me cut it short (I had planned on a full week).
  • I’m reading again! Thank goodness for being a Round 1 Cybils Awards judge because it’s forced me to start reading again, and I’ve got my reading mojo back!
  • We put up double doors for our office and did lots of rearranging and reorganizing. As always, we have lots of projects going on! We’re working on reorganizing the basement right now so we can have a better space for the woodworking we need to do for the trim around the new double doors.
  • Dog training. Up until we had to quarantine, we’ve still been enjoying the training classes we’ve been taking two of our three dogs to. (Our old dog is a lost cause. LOL!)
  • Digit! I’ve been sharing pics and updates about our littlest family fluff in my Sunday Posts every week so you can see him grow up: 5/31, 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28,7/5, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30, 9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/5, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1.  But here’s my monthly “before and after” pic, so you can see the first day he came home versus this week (yep, the ears are definitely staying up):

  • What I’ve watched:
    • My daughter, my mom and I (and sometimes my son) are watching Supernatural. This is one of those shows that everyone has talked about for years, and I don’t know why I never started watching. The first eight episodes of the first season were pretty formulaic (did they really have to save a young, pretty girl in EVERY episode?), but once we got past that, we were hooked. We’re now nearly finished with season 2!
    • We also watched Enola Hughes and really enjoyed it!

Features & Discussions:

October 2020 Discussion Challenge Link-Up & Giveaway
It’s Time to Nominate Your Favorite Books for the Cybils Awards!
Fun with Spam #14
Off On a Basement Writing “Retreat”
October 2020 Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up & Giveaway

My 2020 Reading Progress:

My reading for the Cybils Awards (I’m a round one judge) has really kick-started my reading!! I read 21 books in October—WAY more than I’ve read in recent months. I’ve now read a total of 102 books so far this year, and I’m 2 books ahead of my Goodreads goal. I’ve still got a lot more Cybils readings to do, so I guess that goal will be far behind me by the time the year is up!

October 2020 Reviews

Most of these were for the Cybils awards (except two at the very beginning of the month).

  • Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe | Review
  • Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally | Review
  • Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron| Review
  • Hello, Arnie!: An Arnie the Doughnut Story by Laurie Keller | Review
  • A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat | Review
  • Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega | Review
  • Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie | Review
  • Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur T. Bradley | Review
  • Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse | Review
  • Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake | Review
  • The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott | Review
  • The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown | Review

October Best of the Bunch:

(Best of the Bunch is hosted over at Cocoon of Books. We link up our favorite reads of the month!)

I’m only doing a MG Best of the Bunch this month, since almost all of my reading was for the Cybils. A Wish in the Dark is easily my favorite Cybils read so far!


2020 Goals Progress:

Progress: 14/21-30 Discussions (Chatty Kathy)

I didn’t post any discussions this month. Oops!

My Successful Sneak Attack Using Fiction
Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag
Tales of a Social-Media (and Tech) Failure: What’s the Deal with the WordPress Block Editor?
What Draws Me to a Book Cover?
Black Lives Matter
My Teenagers Are Reading Again and My Heart Has Never Been So Happy!!
I’ve Been Impersonated on Instagram!!
Google Searches Are Weird (AKA: You Found Me HOW?)
All Those Deleted Drafts
Book-Related Anxiety. It’s a Thing (and I Have It).
The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner
The Cybils Awards Finalists! Which Books Do You Hope Will Win?
My 2020 Goals & Challenges
2019 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight


My Bookish Goals for 2020:

My Writing Goals

  • Finish first draft of my Selfish Giant retelling. My writing retreat helped me get much closer to this goal. I’m almost there!
  • Attend one writing conference and at least one online class. Done
  • Read writing craft books and resources. Nope. But at least I’m reading SOMETHING again. (And to be fair, even though I haven’t been reading writing craft books, I have been reading “resources.”)
  • Edit A Memory of Magic. I’ve put this off for now. It’s not even on my radar.

My Reading/Reviewing Goals

  • Review (requested) review books within two weeks of publication. I’m just about caught up on this now!
  • Review two backlist review books per month. Cybils books are all I’m reading right now, so this hasn’t happened.
    • Here’s the spreadsheet I created specifically for my backlist ARCs and review copies. (This was adapted from one of the tabs on Val @ Reader Voracious’s 2020 spreadsheet). Hopefully seeing this list here monthly will help keep me on track!


Wrap-Up Round-Up!

Don’t forget to link your October wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up. And enter the giveaway!

21 Responses to “October 2020 Wrap-Up and Best of the Bunch”

  1. Sam@wlabb

    I am not sure what season I fell behind on with Supernatural, but I did love that show. The cover for A Wish in the Dark is stunning (the story sounds great too).

  2. Gretchen

    Sounds like you had a very productive month! Glad you got your reading mojo back. I always feel so lost when I get in a slump. It’s amazing how quickly puppies grow. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dianthaa @ Dianthaa Dabbles

    Omg puppy is getting so big! Love his ears standing up like that.
    Glad to see you liked Maya and the Rising Dark, I just started it this weekend, haven’t had a chance to read a lot but so far it’s been fun!

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    I second your please, please, please for election results!!! We need something positive right about now.

    I’ve watched a lot of random episodes of Supernatural, but I want to start from the beginning. Well, I guess I did over the summer, but I’m not too far in yet! Glad you’re loving it.

    -Lauren

  5. Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits

    I picked up A Wish in the Dark, and I’m really excited to read it! Glad to hear you loved it. I’m also glad to hear your daughter tested negative! I know what you mean, though. We could do an official quarantine, and almost nothing about the way we live our life right now would change.

    Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday ~ Non-Bookish Hobbies
  6. Jessica

    Aww your dog is so cute and he’s gotten so big. I like how organized you are with a spreadsheet to keep track of what to read. I should know do that.

  7. Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)

    Adorable dog, and they bring us such joy in a time of scary things. Glad your daughter got a negative test. It seems to be the way we live now, quarantine, testing, get the ok, back to life. It has happened too many times in my family. So stressful.

  8. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Nicole that is so funny because we were all quarantined because someone in Sammy’s class (for the entire 4 days that they went to in-person classes) had COVID. Good times, good times. At least we were done before Halloween so the kids could do socially distanced trick or treating! Glad you are all okay too! I feel you about the panic over the election- and we’re still in it, my goodness. Also glad that you got some reading and writing done!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Politics, Voting, and Books: What’s Our Responsibility?
  9. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Aww, Digit has gotten so big! I’m also stressing over politics. I’ve barely slept since the polls closed. Reading hasn’t been happening either. I’m glad your daughter doesn’t have COVID. Happy November!

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