Welcome to October’s Monthly Minutes at Midnight!

 Here’s the deal: I’ll share the books I’ve obtained, posts of interest from others, giveaways I have happening, and just general random shenanigans. You know I love a shenanigan.  Also, covers all link to Goodreads, because I am awesome. As always, I link up with the Wrap Up Round Up, too! 

The Books

For Review/From Publishers:

Hugest of thanks to the publishers for these lovelies! 


Huge thanks to the publishers for these lovelies! (Also look at me not being too bad this month!


Hi I am too tired to link. Sorry. 

There were a lot of book sales, okay? Also, I might have bought Thronebreakers twice by accident, so if anyone needs a copy, let me know! And Under the Whispering Door is a present for my mom, because of course it is heh. 


Hugest of thanks to the publishers for these lovelies! 

Shenanigans Since Last Time:

I read 14  books this month. Not terrible, considering I feel like I am drowning heh. Also, I got all my November review books in, so… a win, I’d say! 

A mostly good bunch, really! In fact, I don’t think there is a single one under 3.5 stars? Wow, has that ever happened before? Truly, I don’t think so! 

Giveaways: Click Here, or on Sidebar

Blogosphere Bulletin

Here are some of the loveliest/most entertaining/super helpful/just plain interesting posts I found this month!

Guys I am so sorry I failed at blog hopping this month, again but I did the best I could!

Fancy & New Since Last I Saw You!

I love looking at pretty covers! So here are some new ones that I have fallen in love with since our last update!

Pretty covers are pretty. Not a lot of new ones this month, but alas. 

Things we need to talk about at this juncture:

  • Whew boy, I think I failed worse this month than last month. Guys I am just so tired. I am trying, I really am. But wow, I am failing. It was my goal to respond to every post this month, and I didn’t make it. At all. I read each and every comment though, and I appreciate them more than you know- I see them in my email at work and it straight up gives me life. I appreciate all of you, even though I have been crap at showing it. 
  • I feel like October was very busy. It was like, non-stop! Work of course, and karate and homework, and gah, it seems to never end! And this month, Sammy turned eight (as did It Starts at Midnight– yes, I started a blog the day before a human was cut from my body, what of it?) and Halloween activities, and just… wow. I will include a picture of birthdays, and a little pre-Halloween fun for you guys!

    How the heck are the kids like, as tall as my aunt!?
  • Also, we went to New York! As soon as the vaccine was widely available, my dad was jonesing to go to the city, and bought tickets to see The Lion King on Broadway. They had taken Lena shopping for her birthday, but said it was still kind of a ghost town, comparatively. So, we headed out- it was so wild, in a good way, because they insisted on seeing not just your vaccine card, but your ID to make sure nothing shady was going on. And they looked at it, not just a passing glance. I felt so safe! And they did let kids under 12 in, but with a negative COVID test, which again, is awesome. Be like NYC, everywhere else! Here, have some pictures!
  • I finished Squid GameWho else watched this? I have many thoughts. Obviously I will do a shows post when I get a few more in, but wow, that was bizarro. Also, Fear the Walking Dead is back, but so far I am iffy. In other news, The Walking Dead Proper (heh) is actually really good again. I feel like they can never both be good at once 🤷
  • Looking ahead to November, I am so glad that Thanksgiving is coming up for a break from work, my birthday and my mom’s birthday because presents, and the kids are finally going to be able to get their vaccines!! I have already signed them up for a local clinic for next weekend, so fingers crossed! 

Have a great November, loves! Let me know how your month was! Looking forward to anything coming up?

Posted October 31, 2021 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps / 35 Comments

35 responses to “Monthly Minutes at Midnight: October 2021

  1. October looks like it was lots of fun for you! The costumes are adorable (did you make them?) I have not been to the city since October 2019. Maybe I am less enchanted by it as I live nearby and grew up there. It’s good you felt safe and weren’t shot. I finished When We Were Them the other day. I am calling foul on it as I was a sobbing mess the last 25% of the book. Curious about Picasso Face. The premise is interesting. Hope all goes well with the kiddos’ vaccinations.

    • Aw that is sweet that you think I can even sew a button (I cannot 😂) They were both Amazon finds- when I asked the kids what they wanted to be for Halloween, Sam said “a basketball hoop!” and Lena and I were both like “that isn’t a THING” but… it is, in fact, a thing 😂

      So I have similar feelings about Philly, actually! When people say they are going there I am like “but WHY?” bwhaha. I like NYC faaaar better. Like- Philly is more scary AND has less shit to do hah. But we all definitely have our biases! I was supposed to be writing the review for When We Were Them but then the pub date was changed- nearly EVERY book I have for review in November, there was a date change on! But yeah I sobbed a LOT too. Like a lot. And I knew the Very Sad Thing™ was coming, just because I knew, so I was crying even BEFORE, ugh. Damn book.

      Picasso was GREAT. Like- phenomenal. Idk how to even do a review justice, because it is this woman’s LIFE, but I have nothing but glowing compliments to dole out, so that is good!

      • Yeah, I saw THAT thing coming in When We Were Them, but I didn’t see the other thing. I almost feel like I subconsciously knocked off a half star for it. I am petty like that. Maybe you can’t sew, but perhaps you have talent with a glue gun. You can make costumes that way too.

        • I appreciate the abundance of credit you are giving me, but alas hahah. Yeah I was a little mad about the whole “needing to cry for hours” bit- but I did mostly like it! I need to review it ASAP because I am already forgetting some of it (like “wait why was everyone mad again?” 😂)

  2. Sounds like you’ve had a hectic month, Shannon! I wouldn’t have been able to even put up the posts that you managed if I had been in your shoes, so I think you did swimmingly! My month is getting more hectic NOW and I’m hoping I can keep up blogging like you are!

    And I watched SQUID GAME too! It was pretty cool and I can’t wait for more like this one!

    • Aw thank you, I appreciate that! I hope you are able to handle your busyness too- it is not fun! And right!? I felt like it was certainly like nothing I’d ever seen on TV before, which is exactly what I was looking for! Hope you are having a wonderful November so far!

  3. Oh, I can relate to being tired SO MUCH. And to never seeming to have time for all the things that need my attention. But you managed to reviewe so many books! I can only do a couple or three a month (unless they’re mini-review material).

    “it was so wild, in a good way, because they insisted on seeing not just your vaccine card, but your ID to make sure nothing shady was going on. And they looked at it, not just a passing glance.”
    That’s great! It looks like everyone stopped trying here, except you still have to wear a mask indoor, and the green pass (vaccination or swab proof) is required at work, but I don’t know how many employers actually check on it…

    “the kids are finally going to be able to get their vaccines!! I have already signed them up for a local clinic for next weekend, so fingers crossed!”
    I hope everything goes smoothly for them!

    So The Honeys has got a cover (a fun one!) and an extended blurb…After reading and loving Reverie (though I skipped his second book because I don’t like rom-coms), I can’t wait to see what LaSala has come up with here.

    • YES that is exactly how I feel- and like I am always forgetting SOMETHING in the mix, right? Ugh, I am only this swamped with reviews/review books because I do it to myself! It is something I am *trying* to work on, but utterly failing at. One of these days hahah.

      Yeah, sadly it is like that where I live too- and it is INFURIATING, which is why NYC was such a breath of fresh air (ironically bwhaha) Here, apparently now most workplaces will be required to have all employees vaccinated by January 4th, and I assume it will cause chaos? Like- half the people here are considerate folks who just want to keep everyone safe, and the other half are… I have no idea, utter fools? Mind-bogglingly selfish? I can’t even figure it out because like- even if you don;t care about other people (which they don’t obviously), wouldn’t you want to keep yourself safe!? It’s baffling!

      And thanks- I am so excited for their appointments! They are too, which goes to show how draining COVID has been for everyone!

      Oooh I am glad you loved Reverie! I did not finish it- but I did want to give him another chance, and I think this could be THE book! Hope you love it too!

  4. I wish I could get to the point where I can read my review books the month before, but that seems impossible. Congrats on reading 14 books and getting through your November books! And how fun to see The Lion King. Hope this coming month is a good one😁

    • So, I HAVE to read them the month before, otherwise… well, I fear what would happen if i didn’t have that cushion! In fact, I used to read them as I got them, but then, I started having books where I would read them 6 months pre-pub, then forget absolutely everything about them when it was time to review the thing! So now, I have my “month-ahead” plan, and it works… but BARELY 😂

      And thank you, I hope you have a great month too!

  5. I’m glad you were able to read a sizeable amount of books this month! I didn’t have the chance to read very many, but that’s because life got in the way and I recognize that. Hopefully I can spend more time reading in November! But also, the fact that every book was a 3.5 rating or higher has me in awe. Of the five books I read this month, two of them were 2 stars and zero were 5 stars. So It’s not like I had quality OR quantity this month!

    I love how all the Pretty and New covers blend together so nicely with their varying shades of pink! I genuinely love all 3! Plus, I think Primal Animals has such a cool cover too, and I hope that the story itself is as awesome as the exterior design!

    YOU WERE IN NYC AND YOU DIDN’T REACH OUT!?!?!?! SHANNON! I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS! Next time you’re in NYC, let me know so I can take you on a tour of the best book stores NYC has to offer! But also, I’m glad you had such a great time! Just judging by the pictures it looks like you and your family had an absolute blast!

    Thanks so much for mentioning my post! That discussion about bookstores took me longer than most posts tend to take me, so I’m happy it’s appreciated!

    • Oh YIKES, two 2-stars!? That is BAD. I can’t figure out if I am less picky than I used to be, or just better at choosing books I like? I think it’s the latter really, I used to force myself to read hyped books because everyone else was, and now I just do not, so I think that helps! I hope you at LEAST have some quality this month, you deserve it!

      Aw thanks! I LOVE when they work out in a color-scheme way, too! I agree about the cover for Primal Animals! Fingers crossed that we both love it!

      Awww I promise, I will! We had a pretty tight schedule anyway, but it would be GREAT to hang out- and to go on that bookstore tour! Can you believe I have never been to ANY bookstores in NYC? I sob!

      It is, I LOVE your posts! In fact, I still have it open in a tab because i am trash at commenting, but I am working on it bwhaha.

  6. Kel

    Tis the season to have books piled everywhere, right? (Library book sales are dangerous (even more so when it’s $5 bag day), but also the best ways to get cheap books for the niece/nephew, lol.) And that’s great you to see The Lion King! I haven’t seen that one, but have heard great things about it. Hope you get a chance to rest/relax a bit this month!

    • Dude, my book piles are starting to have like, baby piles of their own 😂 It is BAD. Especially since I never read any of them, why am I like this!? Library book sales are so fun, I miss them, I think there has only been one locally since COVID, ugh. It was really fun, and the kids had a good time too! And thank you- I hope you do, too. Work still being extra?

      • Kel

        Work is still pretty much the same? Sadly not headed out your way anytime soon, but I will be in Lancaster tomorrow. (Second time in a week actually, lol. I was out there over the weekend with my Bible study group for a day of food, nature (the bees kept coming for my face), and we saw the current Sight & Sound show (hats off to their set designers).) There are a couple libraries in my area resuming their annual book sales this year. I’m planning to hit one more this coming weekend. ($5 bag sales are my kryptonite.) Let me know if you’d like me to look for anything for your kiddos while I’m there, and hope the time change is treating you well!

        • Ew Lancaster isn’t exactly exciting either hahah. That trip sounds fun though, at least! My mom wanted to get my grandma to see one of the Sight & Sound shows, but she got too sick, sadly, and never was able to. I am glad you got to go! Aw thank you, that is very sweet of you! Also, I hate the time change! Hate, hate, utterly loathe hah. Hope you are hanging in there!

  7. Oy, you’re staying alive and sane- you are *not* failing. Literally everything else is bonus points.
    I’m sorry you’re drowning, though. It’s a lot. Look, parenting solo is a full-time job PER CHILD, managing mysterious health crud is a full time job, you also have a capitalist hellscape job, blogging/reviewing is a full-time job….you’ve got at least 5 full-time jobs where you’ve only got the energy level for 1, so like….cut yourself some slack, and let blogging/reviewing fall to the bottom of the priority pile. It’s fine- we know you care about us, and we know you put your heart into this, and we aren’t gonna leave or judge you for being human and needing grace (like the rest of us).

    Also, though- damnit, that's a lot of mighty fine sounding books up there. 😀

    • Bwhahah well, I mean, mostly sane 😂 And thank you- I honestly needed to hear that- sometimes it feels like if I don’t comment and reply and all that jazz, everyone will just like… forget I exist, you know? And it is my social outlet, kind of like my lifeline to the outside world, so I don’t want to lose it!

      And right? This is the problem! If the books just sounded like crap, I wouldn’t need to read them all! 😂

      • You’ll never lose it! Even if you can’t comment on every comment, you’re still posting insightful, hilarious, honest book reviews and other things, so you’re still having a presence (and we’re grateful for it). <3

        Also YES even the ones that *are* crap often at least sound good.
        BTW, not crap: Where the Lost Wander. Thanks for the rec! I really loved it and finished it in 2 days.

        • Aw BETH you are too sweet! I am trying so hard this month and FAILING (though it doesn’t help that I have to do a 3 hour unpaid online first aid training, which I am trying to fit in whenever I have a few minutes here and there!) so I appreciate your kind words so, so much ♥♥

          Oh YAY I am so glad! I loved it too- and cried quite a bit hahah.

  8. I’m sorry life is exhausting, but it looks like you had some fun experiences too! Yay Halloween and New York! We did a little Halloween get together yesterday too and ate so much that we basically all collapsed on the sofa. I’m also looking forward to Thanksgiving, because yay holiday (it’s not actually a German holiday obviously, but I’m taking it off to go away for a few days). Hope you get a nice break next month! Also, I’m continually amazed at how many books you read each month, despite being so busy. And don’t worry too much about replying to comments when life gets in the way. It happens! I try to reply to everything (though I obviously only post things twice a year haha, but I used to be better about it), and sometimes I am 100% convinced I answered every comment only to notice I missed some a few months later.

    • Aww thanks! And OH that sounds so fun! I am glad you had a nice time. And GOOD- you definitely deserve the break! Going anywhere exciting?

      OMG I did the same thing- I sometimes formulate answers in my head, then never *actually* comment, and then… I look back and WHOOPS, totally forgot. Remembering is HARD, right?

  9. Ahh you’ve read some great books this past month! I’m so curious to hear your thoughts on Laura Taylor Namey’s new book, I LOVE everything she writes. And The Forgotten Memories of Vera Glass, this one sounds so intriguing!!
    I’m so glad to hear you had a lovely time in New York. Take care of yourself, sending you lots of love! <3

    • Oh Marie, I LOVED IT! It made me cry more than I expected but it was really good! This was my first of hers, but it definitely won’t be my last! Vera Glass was a bit different than I anticipated, but still quite good!

      And thank you so much, I hope you are doing well too ♥♥

  10. Yay for NYC and Halloween fun. It sounds like you had an overall good October, though busy for sure! I’m so with you on just being tired though. I’m really lacking motivation for things, and I don’t know why. I’m just trying to flow with it for the most part.


  11. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you started your blog the day before you had your daughter! lol! That is crazy! I tried the first episode of Squid Games, and it was interesting. But the second one kind of bored me, I think it was the second, when they went back after the first game? And, whoa, the cover of Manhunt is hilarious! I had to go check that one out. Looks like some great books there. The Kindred is one I can’t wait to read! I have been slowing down with writing. This whole pandemic thing has put such a damper on my writing. I can’t do it at home, my dogs aren’t helpful, but now I can’t just go to the library like I could this summer because mask restrictions are back and I can’t sit and write when I’m not comfortable. I’m ready for 2021 to be over. Oh well, if I don’t write this month, maybe I can make myself do more blog hopping? Of course I’m behind on my reading at the moment too. lol Hope you have a good November!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  12. Oh you got Sisters. Fun! I loved Sisters of the Vast Black, as you know, so can’t wait to see what you think of the new one. And that cover for Primal animals is wild.

    Bad Girls looks suitably awesome.

    Glad you had a great October! Your pics are great- and happy blogoversary!!! Hope your November is off to a great start.

    Squid Game is such a trip obviously. Oh my gosh will S2 be crazy or what?

  13. Okay, can we discuss the cover for Manhunt? Is that supposed to look like what I think it looks like, and … oh, I don’t know. I think I’ll stop there.

    Yay for trips to NY! Glad you guys got to enjoy some time together doing something fun (and that NYC is handling COVID right). And I’m watching Squid Game, but I’m only a couple of episodes in, so I’ll have to wait to give you any coherent thoughts.

  14. Danielle Hammelef

    I’ve never traveled to New York City–it sounds like they have this COVID thing right and I’m so glad you got to visit. We visited Philly this summer and enjoyed the food, statues, and markets and I can only imagine how overwhelmed I’d be in NY. Great book haul and I love the costumes. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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