November TBR & Monthly Goals

November 2, 2018

This month, I’m trying something new inspired by my friend Jasmine: I’m creating a few monthly goals to go along with my TBR! These won’t just be reading-specific, but might be related to my blog or my personal life. I’ll add them at the end of the post!

The themes this month are…

  1. Remember November — Kathy’s challenge of the month, in which she’s challenged people to focus on finishing up goals we’ve set this year! I’ll be using this challenge to focus on books I put on previous/ongoing TBRs this year.
  2. Read and Chill-a-Thon — a SUPER low-key month-long readathon with the following challenges:
    1. read a book featuring your favorite trope
    2. read a book someone has recommended to you
    3. read a new-to-you author
    4. read the group book OR buddy read a book with someone
  3. I’m stealing the Unhaul Challenge idea from Shanah with Twitter/GR recs! I let my friends suggest titles from my “owned-TBR” shelf on GR, and I picked TWO that, if I don’t read by the end of November 30th, I have to UNHAUL!


A GR group I’m active in is hosting 3 challenges I participate in monthly:

  1. “Pick it for Me”—in which a random partner chooses books off of your TBR to meet monthly challenges
  2. “Oh, the Horror!”—the group is group reading 1 book per month from a “50 most popular horror titles of all time” list
I’m trying something new: instead of clicking the titles for Goodreads links, you can view a Goodreads shelf of my entire month’s TBR here!

Now, on to my TBR!


? = ARC
? = POC rep
? = LGBTQ+ rep
? = Remember November
? = Read and Chill-a-thon

(keep in mind that I haven’t read these yet, so I may miss the rep on some titles—if you see anything I missed, please let me know!)


  • Kingdom of Ash — Sarah J. Maas ???
    • ? = fall TBR
    • ? = favorite trope challenge:
      • I am obsessed with the trope of all the minor/side characters coming together to rally behind the hero(ine) in the end in a big war, which I know will happen in KoA. Is this a recognized trope? If not, I’m making it one!
  • Empire of Sand — Tasha Suri ??
  • Night Shift — Robin Triggs ??
    • ? = new-to-you author challenge
  • Dear Heartbreak — Heather Demetrios ?
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost — James Islington ??
    • ? = buddy read challenge
    • buddy read with my spouse!
  • Kingdom of Needle and Bone — Mira Grant ?
  • The Mansion — Ezekiel Boone ?


  • The Kiss Quotient — Helen Hoang ???
    • … oops. I kind of binge read this all in one sitting last night ?
    • ? = recommended to me challenge
    • ? = this was on my September TBR
    • buddy read with Owl!
  • The Scorpio Races — Maggie Stiefvater ?
    • ? = 2018 TBR
    • buddy read with Sarah & Whitley!
  • Vengeful — V. E. Schwab ??
    • ? = fall TBR
  • Small Spaces — Katherine Arden ?
    • ? = fall TBR
  • Kin — Kealan Patrick Burke ?
    • ? = fall TBR
  • Children of the Dark — Jonathan Janz ?
    • ? = fall TBR
  • Asylum — Madeleine Roux
    • buddy read with Kaleena!

UNHAUL Challenge TBR…

* not pictured in TBR picture *

I got tons of suggestions from my Twitter and GR friends, and the two books I chose that I MUST read in November, else I have to unhaul them, are…

  • The Language of Thorns — Leigh Bardugo
  • Check, Please! Vol. 1 — Ngozi Ukazu


* not pictured in TBR picture *

These are books I might read for the optional challenges. These aren’t on the main TBR shelf, but are here instead.

  • My “Pick it for Me” partner (Sionna) chose these options for me, so I’m going to try to read at least 2-3 of these:
    • a book with aviation: The Simple Wild, Naked in Death, or Juliet Takes a Breath
    • a book with non-living characters: Written in Red, Dark Lover, or The Lies of Locke Lamora
    • a book with a veteran/soldier: The Grey Bastards, Howl’s Moving Castle, or The Passion of Dolssa
    • a book related to shopping/stores: Girl Mans Up, Jackaby, Truth or Beard, or Neanderthal Seeks Human
  • The “Oh, the Horror!” challenge book for November is:
    • Let the Right One In — John Ajvide Lindqvist
      • Scratch this one, I just learned the book has an explicit portrayal of child rape and that isn’t anything I want to read. 🙁

Leftover from October…

  • Shatter Me — Tahereh Mafi — currently at 60%
    • Really enjoying this so far!
  • Evenfall — Gaja J. Kos — currently at 23%
    • Sadly, I think I’m about to DNF this one
  • The Girl from the Well — Rin Chupeco — currently at 20%
    • One of many buddy reads I failed in October, but I’m enjoying this very much—major The Ring vibes!
  • The Faithful — Matt Hayward — currently at 9%
    • This is a horror eARC that I’m just kind of meandering through here and there; it’s good so far but I haven’t fully “committed” to it yet.
  • Girls of Paper and Fire — Natasha Ngan — currently at 13%
    • Why did I not pick this up MONTHS ago?!

For my monthly goals…

  1. I want to stop obsessing over review copies so much. Since getting into the indie horror scene, and opening my review policy up to self-published and indie authors, I’ve become swamped with ARCs, and while that’s an amazing feeling, I have to stop beating myself up over not reviewing them within 1-2 weeks of receiving them—especially when I know I’ve already warned these authors that it might be a couple of months before I can post a review!
  2. I want to take at least one night a week and devote it to gaming. I miss gaming tremendously but I never do it anymore because I can’t justify taking away valuable reading time. I want to start prioritizing it again!
  3. I want to get my blog schedule under control again and stop writing blog posts at the last minute every single night before bed. It’s stressful and doesn’t allow me any unwinding time to relax before I go to sleep.

What books on your November TBR are you most excited to read? Which of my monthly goals do you think is the most valuable?


More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. Wow that’s a lot of planning! I’m sure you can follow through all of them this month. Good luck!

      1. Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who just could not put it down! It was soooo precious. I loved Stella and Michael so much and I’m really excited that it’s being made into a movie now! :O
        Thank you, Jolien, you too! Happy reading ♥♥

    1. I’ve been wanting to get back into gaming as well! Especially now that baseball season is over (which takes up a couple hours of my night 5ish days a week), I’ll have the time to do it. If you wanna give me a heads up on which nights you may be doing it, maybe I can try to do it the same ones to self-motivate haha.

      1. Yeah, dude, you are like the biggest baseball fan I know!! I used to love going to Braves games with my dad, but I kind of got out of the fandom because I didn’t want to root for anyone but the Braves, and I got really sick and tired of watching them trade off my faves EVERY. FUCKING. SEASON. I’m FOREVER salty about Kimbrel, 19-year-old me would’ve had his babies in a hot second and he’s not even attractive to me (wow this comment just got super TMI and I’m so sorry lmao). Um buuuuuut ANYWAYS I’d be so down for a gaming pact lmao! ♥

        1. LMAOO I love it, Kimbrel is a machine and I’m SO sorry you lost him but I’m so glad we got him (and uh, same about not being attracted to him but also lowkey being in love with him? It’s fine). Honestly I wouldn’t be so into it if my sister hadn’t been a superfan first, I’m so glad we found something to bond over though.
          And YES, cool, it’s definitely one of those things where I’ve been WANTING to do it more, but also feel guilty not devoting my free time to reading (and then I scroll through the internet endlessly and feel guilty anyway lol). I need to remember not to feel guilty if I’m doing something I enjoy. ANYWAY, let me know when you’re going to start! I might try something tomorrow night but my plans are still up in the air. I can’t remember, do you have steam/are we friends?

          1. Ahahaha I’m so salty over it but I am very happy for you because the man is a demigod or some shit, I swear. Does he still come out to Welcome to the Jungle? I used to love when he came out at games I went to because as soon as the song started, the crowd would LOSE THEIR SHIT and it was so fun. Just screaming everywhere.
            Wooooooord to all of this lmao!! *scrolling twitter for hours* wow I really want to game but I should read that ARC instead! *continues scrolling* Why are we like this?! Lmao. I am on steam, but I don’t think we’re friends! I’m the worst at remembering to ask people for their steam names but mine is howlingghosts if you want to add each other! I was low key thinking about doing a little Stardew Valley tonight.

            1. He comes out to Stranglehold by Ted Nugent now! It still gets everyone RILED UP because they start by blacking out all the screens in the park and then putting flames up on all of them as the song starts. Literally as soon as the screens go black I start screaming because I KNOW it’s time, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it tbh.
              I have nooo idea why we’re like this, procrastination is just so good haha. I’ve heard that with executive dysfunction (which is my jam, holla), so much of it lies in the decision making which makes SO much sense because if I can’t decide what to do, I’m going to sit on twitter until I do decide (which is never tbh). So I think planning out my time would help with that haha. I’m supposed to go out for drinks with someone tonight, but will add you/see if you’re playing when I get home if it’s not super late! 🙂 I just got into Stardew Valley recently so that and The Wolf Among Us are the games I’m trying to focus on.

            1. ahahaha that’s so awesome. I love him, I swear.
              Executive dysfunction… Not sure what that is, but just the name of it sounds highly relatable so I’m about to look it up lmao. I’ve never played The Wolf Among Us but I keep saying I’m going to!

            1. Ooooh, wait, I DO know what executive dysfunction is! It didn’t ring a bell at first. It happens after a trauma typically, right? I don’t think I have that, but my ADHD manifests in EXTREMELY similar ways.

            1. It’s related to a lot of different stuff! It’s very common with PTSD, but also most neurodivergent stuff. So I mostly get mine from my depression/anxiety!

            1. No problem! It’s one of those terms my friends use a lot and I forget it’s not very mainstream 🙂

    1. I have to read 40 books by the end of the year to fulfill my Goodreads challenge. For some reason, I’ve been slow to finish this year. So, I have three books that I’m just about done reading, and then I’ll have to knock out the rest really quickly. A book every other day or so until the end of the year.

    1. Asylum and Kingdom of Ash are on my TBR also! But I’m so swamped with books (review, purchased, etc), it’s insane. I need to mimic your goal of not being obsessed with review copies, because that’s all I’ve done for a very long time. And it means sacrificing the books I buy and desperately want to read. And I’m tired of it. I miss reading for fun – don’t get me wrong, I don’t accept a review copy unless I’m dying to read it! But it still pushes back the books I buy for ME and want to read for “fun” (versus for review). It’s hard to explain this without sounding ungrateful for the review copies, and I hope you understand what I mean… 🙁

      1. I feel you 100,000% on all of this. I miss reading for fun, too! I’m reading almost no review copies right now and it is such a nice feeling! I’m so grateful to get ARCs but I have to focus on the other things I want to read, too. Don’t worry, you don’t sound ungrateful AT ALL, I totally feel you! I hope we can both find a better balance in the coming months. I’ve actually considering setting myself a limit to how many review copies I’m allowed to accept/request per month starting in 2019, but the only issue with that, is that some months, I only pick up a few, and other months, I get a ton that I’m SUPER hyped for, so I’m not sure. :/ Or maybe I’ll make a rule that 50% of my monthly reading every month HAS to be a non-review copy!

    1. Sounds like you have such a fun reading month up ahead! I’m planning on reading the Scorpio Races this month as well, so I can’t wait to see your thoughts on it! Fingers crossed we both love it (it IS by Stiefvater, so I don’t think there’s even a remote chance I’ll dislike it, but you never know. Hahaha). <3

      1. Ooooh, yay for Scorpio Races! Haha like you said, I doubt we’ll dislike it since it’s Stiefvater! I always hear it’s one of her best works so I’m really excited. ♥ Happy reading, love!

    1. I hope you liked The Kiss Quotient! Aaaand I’ll be reading Empire of Sand too 😀 …if I can get through the books that I failed to read in September and October * facepalm *

      1. I absolutely adored The Kiss Quotient! I literally couldn’t put it down and was up until 4am last night finishing it lmao. 😀 So good! Good luck with your TBR, and I hope we both love Empire of Sand!

        1. Yaaaay! I can’t wait for The Bride Test to come out now hehehe. And thank you! Good luck with yours too, and I hope we both love Empire of Sand as well! <3

    1. I’m looking forward to you reading Asylum! Madeline’s chapter in the Star Wars book I read was my favourite by far and I was really surprised afterwards when I found out she was a horror writer. I’m really intrigued about the rest of her work but don’t know anyone else whose read it yet.
      Also YES GAMING. We should do some gaming together!

      1. I’m about halfway through Asylum right now and it’s been pretty fun! It’s nothing groundbreaking so far but it’s enjoyable and a VERY fast read – I read the first 1/3 last night in probably half an hour?
        Yessss gaming! I don’t do much multiplayer because I don’t have many multiplayer games, but I did recently get Overwatch (after years of Terry begging me lol) if you’re on that. I know you play SDV, and I’m about to start a new game there and once I get it up and running, I want to try out the multiplayer function (I think that’s officially out now? I can’t recall for sure).

    1. My new goal is to make my monthly TBRs as organized as yours!! Amazing list of books! I’m posting my TBR in a few hours!

    1. Oooh, lowkey readathon! I’m focusing on Mythoton mostly (and Remember November, but I only have like 3 books left for the yearly challenges), but that sounds like it could be fun 😀 I’m not even sure what my favourite trope is. Probably found families, or fake dating.
      I actually did a monthly challenge TBR on Goodreads as well, but then I changed it so many times that I got bored of editing it on GR and just deleted it. Oops?
      That’s a lot of books you’re planning to read there! Best of luck with them 😀
      Wow, I feel you on gaming taking away reading time. I want to play the entire Assassin’s Creed series, but between studying, working and reading I just never get there.

      1. Whoa, you only have 3 BOOKS left for Remember November?! You are a freaking pro, way to go haha! And yesss, I love found family tropes. I honestly couldn’t narrow my fave down to just one so I just picked one at random haha!
        Lol, too funny! I make a new shelf each month, but I have a rule that once my TBR has been posted, I don’t edit the shelf unless I add something to it – no removals! That way, at the end of the month, I can look at the shelf and be ashamed of all the ones I didn’t read. :’) Oops.

        1. Hah, yeah. My goals were to complete the Lesbian Book Bingo and the Around the Year challenge, but then I finished LBB in October… So there’s only 3 books left for ATY.
          That’s a very cruel but understandable rule 😀

    1. Hah good that you picked some quik reads for your unhaul challenge. The chance of having to unhaul unread is less that way. 😉

    1. Check, Please is ADORABLE, I vouch for it hahah. I am reading Dear Heartbreak this month too, and I also really want to get to Girls of Paper and Fire! The Passion of Dolssa is good, but very slow, if that helps your decision making! Hope you enjoy your books this month!

      1. I swore I was gonna save Check Please for later this month, but just between you and me, it’s sitting right here on my desk and I’m totally about to crack it open because it looks so freaking cute haha! And thank you so much for the tip – I don’t think I’m in the mood for anything super slow this month, so with that in mind, I probably won’t pick Dolssa just yet! Happy reading, love!

    1. ooh the unhaul challenge is such a good idea!! also i’m looking forward to your thoughts on Dear Heartbreak because i thought it was…strange. (and The Scorpio Races but just because i want to read it!!)
      & i’m just so impressed at your dedication to blogging and reading. wishing you a fun, hopefully more relaxed november!!

      1. Thank you! I’m super excited for Dear Heartbreak, it’s one of my most anticipated of the year so my hopes are HIGH and you’ll probably hear me wailing from however far away you are if it disappoints me D:
        Thank you! ♥♥ Happy reading, love!

    1. Ahh, I love the formatting of this post? Everything is so pretty ? I read Small Places last month and I adored it to pieces. It was so fun and spooky, I hope you love it! Asylum was enjoyable too. It wasn’t great, but it was an easy read and the photos were all really cool.

      1. Thank you, Lauren! You’re so sweet and that means so much because your blog is GORGEOUS ?? I started Small Spaces today and love it already, it’s so fun and atmospheric! It’s my first time reading anything by this author and I see why everyone talks about how descriptive her writing is now! And yes, agreed on Asylum, I actually ended up finishing it yesterday afternoon and it wasn’t anything to write home about but it was definitely a fun and quick read! I dug the pictures a lot. Have you continued the series, or do you think you will? I have book 2 so I’ll read it, at least, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a top priority for me right now.

        1. Ahhh, thank you so much ?? Yeah, I haven’t read anything by her either because her other series isn’t really my thing but I definitely see why people love her writing now! I have no idea when, but I am for sure planning on continuing with the series! I read one of the novellas and really enjoyed it. I think I might have to reread the first book again though because it’s been quite a while ?

    1. Love this! Good luck with all your goals, my friend. I also love that you’re trying to dedicate a night each week to something else you love–gaming! I tend to get into zones whether it’s all reading or all audiobooks or just binge-watching a show. The last few weeks, I took a break from reading every single day to binge-watch season 2 of Riverdale. Because football season is here, I try to spend some time not stressing so much about reading and more time on just en joying football games.

      1. Thank you so much, Jasmine—and thanks for the inspiration to set these goals! I love that you’ve been taking time to focus on television and football. I think it’s so necessary that we intentionally take time away from reading (*gasp* I know, lol) and focus on just vegging out and self-care for a little while every now and then! ♥

        1. You are so welcome, friend! While reading is definitely relaxing…meeting reading goals and review deadlines can be stressful too! I also hope you find plenty of peace this month among all your reading.

    1. Good luck with all of your goals! I definitely sympathize with them and I hope you’re able to game more (there are just too many good games out there *not* to be gaming!) and are able to relax a little bit more and not put so much pressure on yourself (she says, as she’s also looking in the mirror). Also, THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA IS SO GOOD. I hope you read it, because I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

      1. Thank you so much! Haha I agree, there are sooo many good games out there that I need to be playing. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve recently started subbing to the monthly Humble Bundle plan and they send out so much good stuff!

    1. > KoA: TISSUES. TISSUES. TISSUES. [I keep saying this; I don’t care.] I was in the car reading while I ended up crying like a freaking baby without tissues near and a boyfriend who thought it absolutely hilarious I was crying over a book. [Yes, I hit him.] You’ll. Need. Tissues.
      > I might steal your idea for monthly Goodreads-TBR’s. I quite like.. the thought? I don’t know yet. Have to figure out some other *ahhum* Goodreads-stuff first – aka that group thing. :’)

      1. I read the first 150ish pages of KoA last night and cried twice already because I’m just SO STRESSED for my babies. ??
        I’m actually reading GoPaF right now! I’m hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow. It’s been really good so far ?

        1. Do I even want to know how many times you’ve cried so far? Two days later? Like.. Where are you at in the story right now?!
          I neeeed to know whether you loved it as much as I diiiiid.

    1. Your blog goals resonate with me so much because that is where I am trying to get back into, especially with gaming! I used to make more frequent time for gaming and I miss it a lot, which results in huge reading slumps where I just game for days on end. I played Dragon Age Origins again a bit this weekend AND read our buddy read and it was way better.
      Happy reading, sweets!

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