Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads Group created by booktubers Kayla Rayne and Trina of Between Chapters. Each month the group provides recommendations on a topic. October is Monster Mash, so let’s talk about my favorite monsters!
Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series
Alright, we’ll get this out of the way: Bec McMaster. You knew this was coming because I pretty much mention her in every post. 🙂 I love the world she has created for her London Steampunk series, which features a Victorian society in which the upper class men willingly infect themselves with vampirism and rule society until they turn into horrifying monstrous bloodsuckers. They have committed a genocide against the werewolves, and keep the lower classes well-ground down. Except for all of our heroes and heroines who don’t quite fit into the bounds of society and push back against the rigid ruling class. Gritty, romantic, and exciting!
Best read after dark with your bae nearby.
Carriger’s world focuses more on the werewolves in her vampire/werewolf steampunked London. She also has mummies, werewolves, and vampires, women who don’t fit in with society, lots of tea, LGBT characters a-plenty, and silliness out the eyeballs.
Best read on a cool, sunny day in October/November, just like the tone of the books, chilling fingers but bright.
A good match for Carriger’s books with silly tone and spooky creatures of the night. Abigail Rook takes up employment with kooky detective R.F. Jackaby, who can see all the folkloric creatures who are hiding in plain sight around us. Abigail can see the regular, obvious clues, and together they solve mysteries from their home base, which is owned by a ghost and has a magical pond room and a duck name Douglas who refuses to turn back into a human.
Best read snuggled up near a window to catch the perfect autumnal early evening light.
A yearly race of flesh-eating water horses, a plucky heroine whose family is on the line, and a brooding hero who is very likable. Very atmospheric and set in October/November-time. The audiobook is highly recommended!
Best read on a drizzly, grey day at the end of October. Total overcast is best.
X-men in the Roaring Twenties, with lots of era-appropriate slang, a big cast of characters, mysteries galore, and an effing scary ghost story. We’re only halfway through the series (waiting on Book 3!), but the first two babes are so big and so rich, there’s plenty to keep you busy (and shivering with goosebumps) until the next the book. The audiobook here is AMAZING as well. My love to Theta and Memphis and Sam Lloyd. And Unc. And drunk Evie.
Best read in full bright daylight (if you are a wimp like me), or after dark with the curtains closed and lights on, because the creepy parts are seriously creepy.
This series gets a lot of hype and is so hard to summarize. It’s about 4 (ish) main characters in a small town in Virginia. A couple are local teens, some are the sons of wealthy families and are attending the local private boys school. We’ve got ghosts, ley lines, romance, friendship, adventure-seeking around homework and jobs, hit men, magical families. And beautiful prose. Even if you aren’t so sure (I am NOT a fan of books set in private schools), try them out.
Best read on a bright grey day in March. Be prepared to stop reading after dark in the later books.
My favorite “realistic” witch story because I love how it encapsulates the witchy history, like women on brooms meeting on moonlit nights to make big circle-rituals. I like to how quiet and everyday magic this is, with lots of traditionally witchy-ness. I need to re-read soon.
Best read on a November day, bright but with cloud cover. Bring yummy snacks because in my memory they spend a lot of time prepping food.
You don’t need me to introduce this series. A School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Enough said. Read it if you haven’t, because chances are good that you’ll enjoy yourself.
Because I’m old and read most of the Harry Potter books as the were released at the end of July, Harry Potter books are summer books to me. Best read in the oppressive August heat, desperate for magic, escape, and a cooler climate.
Picture Books and Early Chapter Books:
I’ve been reading these with my kids and I totally love this cuddly monster aesthetic. I can’t wait until we get to the Bailey School Kids, because I outgrew them partway through the series publication, so it will be fun to read them all with some age-appropriate readers. Recommendations for these kind of books will be gladly accepted!
Best read with friendly faces and the urge for a gentle spooking.