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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Top 12 List: October 2014 / Month in Review

Posted by Irish in Contest, Month in Review, Top 12 List7 Comments


Hello Internet!

By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.


The Contenders – 5 Star Reads



I had no 5 stars reads in October but I did read a lot of good books the top two of which were All Broke Down by Cora Carmack and The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. Both books I wasn’t sure when I started them if I would like them and then I ended up really enjoying them. This makes it hard for me to choose between them but choose I must. So for my favorite book in October 2014 I choose…..

Burning Sky

The Burning Sky is filled with some rich imagery and a well plotted fantasy novel that takes place in a fictional world and in 1883 England. This is a book that I immediately had to jump into the sequel, The Perilous Sea, the moment I finished it and I am now dying to get my hands on the third book. If you like a good fantasy then you need to give this one a shot.

What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)


Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:

(most books read during this month will be reviewed next month)


4 Star Reads

All Broke Down (Rusk University, Book 2) by Cora Carmack
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
The Burning Sky (Elemental Trilogy, Book 1) by Sherry Thomas
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
The Perilous Sea (ELemental Trilogy, Book 2) by Sherry Thomas

3 Star Reads

Rowdy (Marked Men, Book 5) by Jay Crownover (3.5 Stars)
The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddingfield by John Bemelmans Marciano
Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto, Book 3) by Laruen Layne
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Unstrung (Unwind, Book 1.5) by Neal Shusterman
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, Book 1) by Sarina Bowen
The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, Book 2) by Sarina Bowen


2 Star Reads


1 Star Reads


DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen


Book reviews:

Miscellaneous Posts:


Places “Traveled” to this month:

See my “travel” index for a complete list of all the places I’ve been through books. (This is list currently out of date, my apologies for that! So check out my Month in Review posts in the interim)

Domain: Little Grind-on-woe via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
Domain: Delamer via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea
England: London via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Kent via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Slough via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Windsor via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
United States: Colorado: Denver via Rowdy
United States: Connecticut: Etna via Blonde Date, The Year We Fell Down and The Understatement of the Year
United States: Illinois: Farmburg via The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
United States: Massachusetts: Boston via Through to You
United States: Massachusetts: Southboro via Through to You
United States: New Hampshire: Sterling via The Year We Fell Down
United States: New York: Brooklyn via Just One Night and Love the One You’re With
United States: New York: New York via The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield
United States: New York: New York via Just One Night and Love the One You’re With
United States: Ohio: Cleveland via Horrorstor
United States: Texas: Unnamed via All Broke Down
United States: Unnamed via Bruiser
United States: Unnamed via Unstrung


Personal Highlights of October 2014:

Going to see Bastille in concert…such a fun show

Grizfolk #boston #concert #music

Participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon…looking forward to April’s event

I am forever and always #tramtrollope. Tea is grand and all but coffee is my dearest love. #readathon #challenge #coffee #mydunks #horrorstor #gradyhendrix #quirkbooks #amreading #amdrinking

Bringing back lunch time movies at work…we started with The Princess Bride and plan on watching something new every Tuesday/Wednesday until it warms up and we can eat outside again.

Today at lunch...this happened #movie #princessbride #lunch

But by far…the best part of my October was going to Paris! You can see all of my pictures by checking out my Instagram and looking up the hashtag #gailandthefrench trip and below find a picture  (or two) from each day of my trip.

Day 1 – Sacre Cour  and Le Père Lachaise. Cemetary – Sacre Cour is this beautiful cathedral and the views of Paris are amazing. Pere Lachaise is a place that you can easily get lost in. The graves are just so close together and so different from one another that there is this elegant beauty in this place filled with death. European cemeteries make the ones in the US look so sterile in comparison.

Sacre Cour #gailandthefrenchtrip #sacrecour #paris #france AnnaARC visits Victor Noir @naturallysteph #annaandthefrenchtrip #paris #lepèrelachaise #cemetery #france #iseedeadpeople #gailandthefrenchtrip

I brought my ARC of Anna and the French Kiss with me and we did a tour of the places mentioned in the book…and some places that weren’t specifically mentioned but that Anna probably would have gone to during her year in Paris. AnnaARC’s adventures have the instagram hashtag of #Annaandthefrenchtrip. This is AnnaARC with the Victor Noir grave at Le Père Lachaise cemetery.

Day 2 – The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay

Kings and Queens once walked these grounds #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #stairs #louvre

A non-traditional shot of the Louvre…this former palace is so big and filled with so much amazing art. Its impossible to see everything and so we just looked at the highlight reel and spent a lot of time in the Egyptian wing.

David! Look at the clock!! #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #museeorsay

The sculptures at the Musee d’Orsay are stunning and I just loved the use of space in this former train station. Not to mention these clocks!

Day 3

Intermission waiting area #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #operahouse #phantomoftheopera

Palais Garnier – The Paris Opera house….words can’t describe the opulence of this building. We had a wonderful tour guide and I just loved wandering around this building.

Light fixtures and stained glass...two other loves of mine #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #notredamn

Notre Dame is just as pretty inside as you would imagine…and no picture can do those stained glass windows justice!

Found Point Zero!! Just walked by it several times & around building first #headdesk #paris #france #gailandthefrenchtrip

Point Zero Paris! I love finding markers like this whenever I travel. This one was a pain to find even if it was right out in the open. We walked all around Notre Dame before circling back to the front and then wandering around until we just stumbled on it. You’d think there would have been more markers…or perhaps we were just over tired…but all that matters is that we did find it and we made a wish.

Le Tour Eiffel all lit up #eiffeltower #gailandthefrenchtrip

The Eiffel Tower at night….this is so much larger than I ever imagined it to be and is a marvel to behold.

Day 3

Arc de Triomphe #gailandthefrenchtrip #arcdetriomphe

The Arc de Triumph – and just a mere 265 + another 70 sprial stairs to get to the top a tiring journey but one that is worthwhile for the views. Just wish the day had been a little clearer.

Tour Eiffel from the Arc de Triomphe #gailandthefrenchtrip #eiffeltower #arcdetriomphe

In France…I also found my name (or at least a version of it) on a coke bottle!

As close as I'm prob gonna see of my name on a coke bottle #gailandthefrenchtrip

Day 4

Hall of Mirrors - this was a little underwhelming #versailles #gailandthefrenchtrip

The first part of the day was spent at Versailles….the above photo is in the Hall of Mirrors. I liked Versailles but Hampton Court in England still holds the number one slot in my heart for favorite palaces. Though Versailles beats all of the palaces I’ve seen with the sheer size of its gardens. Would have loved to been able to fully explore them but it was a little chilly and my feet would have hated me if I’d tried.

Fountain zoomed in #versailles #gailandthefrenchtrip

A fountain at Versailles

Day 5

Glad to know I'm really here...because I wasn't sure #gailandthefrenchtrip #locks #locksoflove

While walking along the Pont Neuf Bridge I found a lock with my name on it.

This clock so pretty & gorgeous on the street - near the Conciergerie @tapestry100 #gailandthefrenchtrip #clock #Conciergerie

This beautiful clock was on the outside of the Conciergerie – built in the 1200s by Saint Louis and where Marie Antoinette spent some time before her beheading.

Words can't describe how amazing the upper level of Sainte-Chapelle is. It's a totally blurt "wow" out loud as you come up steps and see it #gailandthefrenchtrip #saintechapelle #lookingup #nofilter

If you are ever in Paris, make time to go see Sainte Chapelle. There are no words to describe just out amazing the stained glass windows are. I believe I gasped “wow” aloud when we walked up the stairs to the upper chapel and then we just stared in awe at all the brightly lit stained glass windows. Saint Louis new how to make beautiful buildings that lasted for centuries.

Tour Eiffel at night - love the sky in this one #nofilter #gailandthefrenchtrip #eiffeltower

I took many photos of the Eiffel Tower but this is one of my favorites.

Day 6

Main Street #gailandthefrenchtrip #DisneyParis

Our last day was spent at Disneyland Paris – which is similar to Disney here but its in Paris so it makes it better. It was a fun day even if employees at the park lied to me and I couldn’t see the stained glass windows in the Castle.

What were some of your October highlights?


2014 Reading Goal Progress
(click the link to see how I’m doing with my challenges)

Monthly Contest

***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***

Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book if in a series) and a $10 amazon gift card. This contest is open internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships your country) but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars. The sequel, The Perilous Journey, may be substituted in place of The Burning Sky.

The winner of last months contest is: Vivian

Congratulations, you should expect an email from me shortly if not then please feel free to email me as sometimes my mail acts a wee bit wonky.


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7 Responses to “Top 12 List: October 2014 / Month in Review”

  1. Vivien

    Thank you so much! It looks like you had a blast. Europe is just absolutely stunning and worth all the effort! I cannot wait to go back for a visit. I read Blood of my Blood by Barry Lyga and it was my favorite of the trilogy!

  2. celeste

    Thanks for the chance! My favorite book of this month was Eleanor and Park 🙂

  3. _Sandra_

    My favorite October read was Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.
    Thanks for a giveaway! 🙂