Now that the first day of November has finally arrived, it’s time for me to reflect on my participation in this year’s ‘31 Spooks of October’. First of all, I’d like to thank K, from K at the Movies, for allowing me to contribute to their event. I enjoyed reading their thoughts on various short stories and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s line-up. As I look at the collection of articles that I’ve published, I can honestly say that I’m proud of what I accomplished. While I didn’t complete everything I wanted to, I did create a variety of posts that are interesting and, hopefully, entertaining. These articles are:
What disappoints me is how I wasn’t able to complete my reading goal. But this experience has taught me a lesson. Before the month of October started, I thought that I would be able to read five books in one month. However, several blog related projects prevented this from happening. I did read more for this year’s Spookathon readathon by reading two books instead of just one! Also, this was my first year taking part in the Sbooktober readathon! After this experience, I think it would be better to focus on reading two books a month. As for the books I didn’t read? I’ll read them this November, especially since I have started Murder on Ice. If I were to participate in ‘31 Spooks of October’ again, I think publishing a post a week is a good idea. That way, I can contribute to the event and complete others projects that I want to publish.
Are you a fan of ‘31 Spooks of October’? Do you have any suggestions for future Halloween themed articles? Please tell me in the comment section!
Yesterday, I finished the second book I had planned to read during “31 Spooks of October”, Murder, She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders! This book took me longer to read than California Angel. The only reason for this is because of how busy I’ve been working on other blog related projects. Since October is almost over, I don’t think I’ll get around to reading the last two books on my TBR (to be read) list. However, I will try my best to read Murder on Ice before the month is over. But now that I’ve finished Murder, She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders, it’s time for me to talk about on it!
Murder, She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders was a much better book than California Angel! This story is a new tale that takes place within the world of the Murder, She Wrote show. This made me appreciate the book more, since it wasn’t just a novelization of a pre-existing episode. However, the narrative did remind me of the two-part episode Nan’s Ghost, due to the similarities between them. The descriptive imagery and character development were very well-done. I was able to visualize all the locations that were described, from London to Wick, Scotland. Throughout the book, there were comments made about each character to help the reader remember who was who. Since there were a lot of characters in this book, I appreciate the attempt to make each person distinctive from one another. The show adopted a third person perspective when it came to visually telling the story. The book, however, incorporates a first-person perspective from Jessica herself. This new approach was different from the show, but I found it to be interesting. Similar to the show, there were a few thought-provoking moments and statements in this novel. It made me contemplate what I was reading as well as stay invested in the book.
There were only two things that I didn’t like about Murder, She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders. The overall story was not as suspenseful as I expected it to be. Because I’ve seen several episodes of Murder, She Wrote prior to reading this book, I thought that it would have at least 50% of suspense. The other issue was how most of the story focused on Jessica and her friends going on vacation. A very small percentage was about Jessica solving a mystery abroad. This is different from the show, as there is a 50/50 presentation of the vacation adventure and the mystery itself.
Back in August, Fable Fox and K, from K at the Movies, asked for feedback on potential topics for this year’s ’31 Spooks of October’, an event created by K. Thinking that this would be something worth my time, I chose to answer Fable and K’s call for content ideas. After putting a lot of thought into what I would contribute to this event, I decided to talk about something that doesn’t always get discussed on 18 Cinema Lane: reading. While my blog primarily focuses on movies and movie related topics, I try to add books into the conversation whenever it’s appropriate to do so. Last year, I participated in the readathon called Spookathon. In case you’re not familiar with this concept, a readathon is an event that requires participants to read a certain amount of books within a pre-set period of time. For last year’s Spookathon, I only read one of the three books that I had attempted to read. Because I came very short of reaching this goal, I wanted to try again at finding readathon success. So, I thought that “31 Spooks of October’ would be a perfect time to do this. This month, there are two readathons that are taking place around the same time; Spookathon and Sbooktober. I will be stretching my participation throughout October, instead of reading exclusively within the weeks set aside for these events. Below is my TBR (to be read) list and which challenges each book meets!
California Angel by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
The first book I’m reading, which I’m already half-way through, is California Angel. For Sbooktober, which has a Harvest Festival theme, this book will fit the challenges for “a book you’ve been scared to read” and “a book that features transformations”. Out of all the books on this TBR list, California Angel has the greatest number of pages, with 359 to be exact. I’m also not enjoying the book, so far. But I’m hoping the second half is better than the first. Because the protagonist, Toy, is a teacher and because, according to the synopsis, she gets accused of committing a crime, she ends up transforming the lives of those around her. For Spookathon, this book will fulfill the requirements to “read a thriller” and “read a book with red on the cover”. California Angel is labeled as a “thriller”, especially on Goodreads. The copy that I own has a ruby ring on the cover, which means it contains the color red.
Murder, She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders
The second book I’m planning on reading is Murder,She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders. This novel will satisfy the challenges to “read something you wouldn’t normally read” and “read a book with a spooky setting” for Spookathon. I don’t usually read books that are based on pre-existing television shows. But, since I’ve been watching Murder, She Wrote lately, I think this is a story I might enjoy. According to the synopsis, this story features a haunted castle, which is, indeed, a spooky setting. This book will also meet Sbooktober’s requirements for “a book that features water”, “a book with a journey or quest”, and “a book with orange on the cover”. In this book, Jessica and her friends take a journey to the British Isles and Scotland. These locations are surrounded by the ocean and, as you can see in the photo, this book has an orange cover.
Murder on Ice by Alina Adams
The third book that I hope to read is Murder on Ice, which is the first book in the Figure Skating Mystery series. It will fit Sbooktober’s challenges for “a book with a flower on the cover”, “a book you think will have twists and turns”, and “a book from a unique perspective”. Because this is a murder mystery, I’m guessing there will be several twists and turns in this story. The protagonist, Rebecca “Bex” Levy, is a figure-skating researcher, which is a profession and perspective that isn’t featured on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. It also helps that Alina Adams, the author of this book, was also a figure-skating researcher. In the photo at the top of this article, you can see that there is more than one rose on the cover. This book will also fulfill only one challenge from Spookathon: “read a book with a spooky word in the title”. For Murder on Ice, the spooky word of choice is “murder” because murder mysteries are spooky.
Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards
The fourth book on my TBR list is Mandy. Julie’s book will only meet one challenge from Sbooktober: “read a book someone “picked” for you”. When I asked a family member to pick a book for this readathon, they suggested this one! I’ve owned this book for so long, but now I have an excuse to finally read it! It’s also the only book of these five that isn’t a mystery.
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
My final book is Closed for the Season. It will meet several requirements for Sbooktober: “a spooky book”, “a book with an animal in it”, and “devour a book in 24 hours”. Because this book is 182 pages, I think I can read it in a day or less. According to Goodreads, this book is featured on the shelf called “A boy and his dog”, so I’m hoping there’s a dog in this story. Since Closed for the Season takes place in an abandoned amusement park and it’s a murder mystery, it has the potential to be spooky.
Have fun at the movies!
If you want to learn more about these events, you can visit the Youtube channel, booksandlala, or type “#SPOOKATHON 2019 ANNOUNCEMENT” into Youtube’s search bar. You can also visit the Youtube channel, Paper Faerie, or you can type “SBOOKTOBER 2019 ANNOUNCEMENT!” into Youtube’s search bar. For the Sbooktober video, the portion about the readathon starts at 4:50 and ends at 6:31. If you want to read Fable and K’s post that I referenced in this article, here’s the link: