Heartbeat Monthly [40]: November & December 2023

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

November haul

My YALLfest haul was part of November’s haul, but it was posted separately in my YALLfest recap.


  • Empire of the Vampire dust jacket (The Librarian Box)
  • Kingdom of Shadow & Light by Karen Marie Moning (SIGNED)
  • Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros (Waterstones edition)
  • Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros (black sprayed edges edition)
  • Fourth Wing by Rebeca Yarros (holiday special edition)
  • Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare (German special edition)
  • To Kill a Shadow by Katherine Quinn (purple sprayed edges edition)
  • Stuffed dragon (bought at the Iron Flame launch for a souvenir!)


  • “I earned my dragon at Basgiath” tote bag
  • Fourth Wing bookmark
  • Dragon Rider sticker
  • Dragon tattoo sheet
  • Night Hunt print and signed bookplate

December haul

My YALLfest haul was part of November’s haul, but it was posted separately in my YALLfest recap.


  • Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (German special edition)
  • Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros (German special edition)
  From subs
  • The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker (Fairyloot YA, November)
  • Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare (Fairyloot Adult, November)
  • Starling House by Alix E. Harrow (Illumicrate, November)

November Wrap Up

Books I read

  • Death’s Obsession by Avina St. Graves – ★★★½
  • Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros – ★★★★★
  • Bittersweet in the Hollow by Kate Pearsall* – ★★★★
  • The Salvation Gambit by Emily Skrutskie* – ★★★
  • To Bleed a Crystal Bloom by Sarah A. Parker* – DNF
  • Pestilence by Laura Thalassa* – ★★★★
  • The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw* – ★★★
  • Before the Devil Knows You’re Here by Autumn Krause* – DNF

Pages read: 2,905
Average rating: 3.75
Favorite book read in October: Iron Flame
Least favorite book read in October: To Bleed a Crystal Bloom

Posts on the blog

December Wrap Up

Books I read

  • The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer* – ★★★½
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes* – ★★★
  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeanine Frost* – ★★★½
  • Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton* – ★★★★
  • Frost by C.N. Crawford* – ★★★½
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher* – ★★★
  • A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – ★★★½

Pages read: 2,553
Average rating: 3.4 (ouch)
Favorite book read in October: Good Morning, Midnight
Least favorite book read in October: The Naturals

Books I reviewed

Other posts

What I’ve been up to

The best thing that happened in November was I FINALLY GOT A VACATION!! Ugh, it was wonderful. I took a full two weeks off of work, and I desperately needed the break. I took two days driving down to Florida, and then I stayed for an entire week on the beach at the condo I always stay at in New Smyrna Beach. It was glorious!! It was nice to soak up some sun and some much needed solitude. I did a little reading on the beach, but not as much as I wanted to because it wasn’t warm enough most days.

While I was there, I attended a Fourth Wing midnight release party! I’ve never been to a midnight release party before, so I was pretty excited. I drove up to Port Orange to the Books a Million. I even got my nails done for the event in dragon theme and rocked a badass side braid!


Sadly, the ‘party’ was pretty disappointing. I got there a little early and there was almost no one there! There were literally 3 other people there. It was crazy. My coworker back home went to the launch in Beavercreek (where Rebecca was signing!!) and she said there were hundreds of people lined up hours in advance. I honestly expected there to be more people. My coworker said they had fun stuff too like games and prizes, and a lot of people brought their own stuff they made like bracelets and bookmarks to hand out.

Ya’ll, I feel so gypped! There was nothing at the event I went to except themed cocktails. It was SO. BORING. By the time the book dropped there were maybe 20 people in total, and we had all just been sitting around for the last 3 hours straight doing absolutely nothing. I read for a little bit, but I was having trouble focusing and I was also exhausted (I’m used to going to bed at 10 pm, lmao) so it was a struggle to stay awake.

But, it ended up being worth it! We got our swag bags with the cool ass tote, and, of course, our sprayed edge copies of both Iron Flame and the special edition Fourth Wing.

I was too tired to start it that night, but you bet the next day all I did was binge Iron Flame! It surprisingly took me a lot longer to get through than I expected – even reading almost all day, it took two full days to finish. I was really grateful that I was off of work for the release and was able to binge it!

After I left the beach, I drove up to South Carolina for YALLfest. You can see a full recap of that HERE! It was cold and rainy and miserable on Saturday, but still hella fun as always!

So, my husband and I separated at the end of October and he moved out and took all of his stuff when I got back from vacation. It sucks, but it wasn’t a happy marriage and I’m happier living by myself. Mostly I just mourn the loss of what I thought marriage would be and how I thought my life would turn out. But I’m doing just fine, so don’t feel sorry for me! (If anyone actually reads this blog anymore, lol)

I had a long weekend for Thanksgiving, and after Adam moved all of his stuff out I had a wild hair to remodel the spare bedroom that all of his stuff was in. I busted my ass to mud the walls (I have a prefab home, so I had to remove the strips on the walls and mud over the cracks to cover them, then texture the whole wall), paint, and get all of the carpet and padding ripped up from Thanksgiving on Thursday to Monday morning so I could have the room ready for the carpet installers on Monday! I definitely did way too much in too short of a time, next time I would spread it out a little more. I was ready to keel over by the time I finished. BUT, it was soooo worth it. I am thrilled with how it turned out!

I didn’t fully finish the room until mid December as far as decorating goes. I got a lot of stuff from Temu, but my favorite thing that I bought for the room is my Cordaroy’s bean bag chair! It’s sooo comfy and it turns into a bed if I need the room for a guest bedroom!

You can see the finished reading room tour on my TikTok!

The last exciting thing is that I got a fish that I’ve been after for well over a year – a Candy Koi betta! I have been wanting another one since my last one, Ouija, died. Petland sells them, but they either don’t get them in their shipment, or they only get a small number and they sell out super fast. One of the guys that works there was kind enough to call me when the new shipment came in – and let me tell you I RUSHED to that store, haha. It’s not far from my house thankfully. He hadn’t even taken them out of the box yet, so I got pick of the litter! I had a huge grin on my face when I walked out of that store. (Does that make me old to be excited about a fish?) I’m so happy with the one I got, he’s gorgeous. I named him Hex!

Current obsessions

Movies/TV: I finally watched The Last of Us and I LOVED it!! I already want to watch it again! I also re-watched the newest Star Wars trilogy, and I forgot how much I freaking LOVE Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, UGHH. I was a little over-obsessed for a couple of weeks there, lol. I watched Rise of Skywalker for only the second time – I saw it in 2019 when it was in theaters, and I remember not liking it very much. I loved it this time! I ended up watching it like 3 more times that week, haha. I still hate the way it ended, but everything else about it is great. Especially this part-

reylo gif

THAT SMILE, UGH. Be still, my heart. He’s so beautiful!

Food: I discovered Nerdy Nuts peanut butter (I blame my coworker for introducing me) and I am OBSESSED! It’s soo freaking delicious! It’s a great alternative for sugar-laden sweets when you’ve got a sweet tooth. (I mean, it’s not exactly healthy if you eat too much lol, which is hard not to do!!)

Other: My reading room! I just want to stay in there forever :’)


See anything you like? What did YOU get last month? Link me up!

Jessi (Geo)

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