What I Read In October

Y'all! October was a very big month for me. I landed my very first listing as a real estate agent, decided to take on the brunt of social media marketing myself as an agent (lol, but thanks Canva!) AND I LEARNED HOW TO LET PEOPLE SKIP ME IN LINE FOR MY DIGITAL LIBRARY HOLDS. This is a big deal to me, as you know, I always end up with too many library holds and not enough time to read them all. So now let's check in on what I read in October! Head here if you missed what I read in September!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on one of the links and end up making a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 
a kindle with the page "The Groupie Daisy Jones" displayed sits next to a mug of beer at an airport bar.
The Girls of Atomic City: I rated this all the stars on goodreads, but I'm not sure I stand by that after having time to really digest it. I liked the personal stories about the real people and I learned a handful of new things too. It might be that I've been spending too much time in the WWII era. This tells the stories of a handful of the women who worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a secret city developed by the US Government to help with the Manhattan Project. I'd recommend it if you're into the actual history behind stuff, even though it kind of reads like a bit of fiction. 

City of Girls: I honestly can't remember how this one got on my library holds. When they're on hold for like 35 weeks I kind of forget why I wanted to read them. I also have a copy of Big Magic that someone gave me for Christmas and I just haven't picked up yet. I've heard great things about it or whatever, so maybe I will. ANYWAYS. I honestly almost didn't finish this one. I did not like the narrator one bit. She reminded me a little bit of Daisy from The Great Gatsby because she's just this poor little rich girl gallivanting around with no real consequences for her actions. The story is written as though she's telling it to this girl, Angela, who wants to know what she (Vivian, the narrator) to her father. It takes 400 pages for Vivian to get to her father. FOUR HUNDRED PAGES. The book is only 450 pages. I feel bad for Angela who had to go on this long ride with Vivian about her charmed life to finally get to the part she had asked for.

I don't recommend this one, but it might have just been me, hating Vivian. 

We Were the Lucky Ones: I think this might be my last WWII novel for a little bit. This one was SO good, I was even more shocked when I realized it was a true story. I think maybe everyone else knew that going in, but I have no idea until I read the epilogue or whatever. It's one of those stories that you almost don't believe until you realize it really did happen. That's what I clearly haven't gotten over. It's almost a feel good story, because even when everything is terrible horrible no good awful, there are good stories. It stuck with me, so I gotta take a break from the devastation.

Daisy Jones and The Six: This one has such a specific review from the SUYB linkup, either you love it or absolutely hate it. I was a little nervous to pick it up, but by adding it to my digital holds the library was just like "heeeey this book has been automatically downloaded to your kindle" I confess: I didn't love it. I didn't hate it? It was just fine. It was an easy airplane read and a nice break from all of the WWII drama I've been stuck in. It just felt very much like the movie Almost Famous and in the thank you portion, I learned it was loosely based on Fleetwood Mac recording Rumors. I don't know, I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, maybe more of a 3.5 but I always round up.

I think it's a good read, probably worth checking out if you've been thinking about it, just maybe manage your expectations? The ending kind of pushed me over the edge towards the 3.5 stars, but I don't wanna spoil it for anyone.

Currently reading: The Vine Witch : Every month, Amazon sends out an e-mail to Prime members where you can get "Amazon First Reads" and you get a free book, presumably because they want reviews or maybe they're trying to reward us? Who knows, but that's where I got this one. It's very different from most of what I've read this year, because I somehow took a fantasy break and over indulged on WWII.

That's it for October! As always, I'm linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books! What have you been reading lately? Anything I should add to my list OR anything that everyone says I should add that's just really not worth it?
Life According to Steph

Can I Bring Albus? Wade's Fine Eatery And Good Time Emporium

Welcome to another exciting installment of Can I Bring Albus? Where we go to fun places we'd like to try that are dog friendly and blog about it! Today we're talking about a restaurant that we're trying our hardest to become regulars at: Wade's Fine Eatery and Good Time Emporium. If that name doesn't make you wan to try this place, I'll have you convinced by the end of this post. 

This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links. If you would like to give us free food or drinks at your dog friendly establishment, we'd gladly accept that offer. 

We discovered Wade's after another afternoon of "I don't know, where do you want to go?" We were roped in by the catchy name and the fact that we could, in fact, bring Albus. Another winner, for those of you from the St. Louis area, Wade's has several dishes that feature Provel cheese. Provel cheese is the cheese used by Imo's Pizza and it's delicious. It's smokey and smooth and just trust me, it's delicious. 

Wade's has a huge dining area, both inside and on the patio. The bar has those cool garage doors that roll up so you can sit inside at the bar or outside at the bar. There are a bunch of patio tables under cover, then out in the open patio, are a bunch of picnic tables with umbrellas. It's also right off a walking path (I am not that familiar with Smyrna yet, so I don't know where that path goes) and a big green space next door.

They have a draft menu that features several local beers, as well as your normal domestics. Their cocktail menu is also fantastic. They have several "hand crafted cocktails" and I honestly haven't tried on I haven't liked. I've been on a French 75 kick lately, because who can say no to gin and champagne? Not me. 
They have pretzels on the menu, which is another easy way to lure me in, especially when everything on the menu has a clever name. The pretzels are called "Knot at This Juncture" and they come with this really tasty beer honey mustard and, you guessed it, Provel cheese. We've also had the Tuna Poke appetizer, which has cilantro on it. For my fellow "cilantro tastes like soap" people, I thought y'all would like a heads up, since this isn't a dish that usually features it.

They also have really, really good salads. On the menu it says "Is it healthy? Of course, it's a salad" The first time we went, I had a grilled cheese with tomato soup and a side of their Hail Nero salad, so yummy. I'm apparently a fan of kale, who woulda thought that? We've also had the Little Miss Sunshine, which was also delicious. Honestly, it sounds like I'm blowing smoke, but I haven't had anything that I haven't loved. 
The outdoor patio is a mix of picnic tables and your normal outdoor patio furniture, they have a handful of TVs out there so you can catch your favorite game. It's also super kid friendly, which isn't always ideal for me personally, because loosely supervised kids around my dog make me nervous, but they have games that you can grab to play with your kids, and that giant green space where there are always kids running around playing too!

I realize I've been going on and on about this place, but we freaking love Wade's, we're well on our way to becoming regulars, we were even recognized the last time we were there... Not that I'm bragging or anything.... Let me know if y'all wanna go, because I am always down. That's it for this installment of Can I Bring Albus? I'm worried that we're going to go straight to winter and it will be too cold to do any patio sitting. I'm not ready to do all of my eating and drinking inside yet. Do you have a place you just love to go? Somewhere that will always hit the spot?

What I Read In September

I feel like I should tell y'all that, when I write these book recaps, I write them as I finish a book, so that I don't forget anything. Which sometimes ends up with several paragraphs that are all over the place. I had a ton of my books on holds come off all at the same time, and joked with the librarian about it. She agreed that it was weird that we couldn't like, give the person behind us in line a turn first. If you missed what I read in August, you can find that here

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A book stack, with two library books and a kindle on top. From the bottom up, you have The Testaments, The Lost Girls of Paris, and on the Kindle, is the cover of Becoming

Beloved: HOLY COW YOU GUYS. I honestly put this on my TBR list shortly after Toni Morrison died and I learned more about her. I devoured this. Literally finished it in two days because I could not put it down. I don't know what I was expecting from this book, because I honestly didn't know anything about it going in other than all of the praise for Toni Morrison. Anyways, here's the goodreads description

"Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved."

It's dark and twisty and there's this middle part where we abandon all grammar and syntax rules, it's a wild ride. I recommend it, if you're into dark and twisty. 

The Lost Girls of Paris: This was very much in the same vein as The Alice Network, told with two different timelines, and I loved it. It was another one that once I got to the meat of the book, I couldn't put it down. I kept telling myself "okay, one more chapter and then you have to go to bed" but I ended up finishing it. Another story about strong women in WWII who were nearly forgotten because the men want to take all the credit. You know the drill. I really liked that there was a romantic interest for the main characters, but that wasn't the whole story. It wasn't something that was wrapped up in a pretty little bow at the end of the book where they live happily ever after in some enchanted forest.

If you liked The Alice Network and The Huntress and any of the other ones about female warriors and spies in WWII, I recommend this one too. It does take a little while to pick up, but once it does it's hard to put down! 

Becoming: I've mentioned before that I'm enthralled by the stories of strong women that tend to get overshadowed by their superstar husbands, so obviously this one was on my list to read. I really enjoyed this one, it almost felt like I was listening to Michelle Obama tell her story. I loved the little behind the scenes things that you're not going to get in an interview and I loved how honest she was about everything? It sounds weird, but I really enjoy when people who seem larger than life can be like "I sat there thinking, am I enough?" because that's something I feel all. the. time. It's nice to know that you can feel that and still have a huge impact on the world. I'm also fascinated by [most] of the First Ladies, it's such an interesting position. There are so many rules but at the same time there are no rules. I was too young to really remember people hating on Hillary for working while First Lady, but based on recent history, I'm really not that surprised to hear it. Another one that I very much enjoyed and I think everyone should read.

I did have a book I didn't finish in last month's round up, so I swear I don't love every book  I read. 

The Testaments: I was the very first person to borrow this from my library. I recently saw an instagram post that was in no way directed at me, but I took it personally anyways, it was about how the poster always makes a point to buy copies of books instead of getting them from the library to support the author. Now, I'm sure Margarte Atwood will survive without my royalty money, but I freaking love the library, so I felt defensive. Additionally, I can't afford my reading habit without the library.

ANYWAYS. This book is a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. From Goodreads: ""Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." --Margaret Atwood" (putting that quote in quotes made me feel very much like Michael Scott...)

I really enjoyed this. I haven't watched the third season of the TV show based off of The Handmaid's Tale yet, so I'm not sure if I should have "seen the overlaps coming" as the reviews on Goodreads state. Personally, I've stopped reading the reviews there until I've finished the book, one because people play very fast and loose with spoilers, which for a social network for book lovers blows me away, and two because they're often very harsh. Atwood said this is everything you've been asking about Gilead. I think that's what she delivers. I've read some bad post works (LOOKING AT YOU CURSED CHILD) I don't think that's what this is. I read it in TWO DAYS you guys. Hard, physical copy. All 415 pages. I devoured it. If you liked Handmaid's then I think you'll like this too. I don't think it's pandering, I think that most authors know what happens to their characters after the first book ends. I'm very defensive, I suppose, but I enjoyed it. I wanted to know how it ended. I worked out some of the ways the characters were tied together, but I think you were supposed to. Someone else read it and let me know if I'm being fanatical, the "top" reviews on Goodreads are making me doubt myself.

Currently reading: The Girls of Atomic City:

That's it for September! What did y'all read? As always, linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books! 
Life According to Steph