books I read in October 2018

dessert wine candle and a book

October was not my month. But I did read a lot, so… you win some, you lose some.

Books I read in October:

  1. Only Human (The Themis Files #3), by Sylvain Neuvel
    In the second book of this series, the 10-year-old Puerto Rican girl was voiced by what sounded like a Spanish-speaking, heavy-smoking 60 year old. In this book, the girl (spanning ages 10 to 19) was voiced by someone with an intermittent Boston accent. Apparently I was too distracted by this to know what else was going on in the book.
  2. The Word is Murder, by Anthony Horowitz
    This was so good, until the ending. I loved the blur between reality and fiction.
  3. Young Jane Young, by Gabrielle Zevin
    Reviewers seemed to like this. I didn’t.
  4.  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    I loved every bit of this.
  5. The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware
    I can’t think of anything that made this worth reading.
  6. The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
    The Rosie Project meets something by Christina Lauren. This was completely unrealistic and ridiculous, but also adorable.
  7. Men Explain Things to Me, by Rebecca Solnit
    A strong and thought-provoking start and finish, but the middle was full of weird digressions (many involving unknown paintings and Virginia Woolf) that I didn’t quite follow. I think we would do a better job of inspiring the masses if we didn’t write political discourse using such academic language that it isolates 98% of the population.
  8. The Big Disruption, by Jessica Powell
    That was a bunch of hours of my life that I will never get back.
  9. The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand
    This was actually not bad for a cheesy murder-mystery vacation read.

The DNF list:

  1. Yes Please!, by Amy Poehler
    Technically I sort of finished this because I read the introduction and the conclusion… but I skipped a lot of the middle. You’d think eventually I would learn that I don’t like books by/about celebrities. Especially ones that are in TV shows and movies that I have never actually seen.
  2. House for Mr. Biswas, by V. S. Naipaul
    This was just too literary for me right now.
  3. You, by Caroline Kepnes
    This was such an interesting concept, but (despite what everyone else seems to think) it wasn’t executed very well. I think it would have been better if even one single character was even slightly likeable.

YTD books read: 98
Goal: 100
Books to go: 2! Now that it’s fairly obvious that (barring being hit by a bus) I will finish, maybe I should re-read some really long books, like Game of Thrones…

I’ve been on the Whole Life Challenge again this month, but sometimes you just can’t get through the week without a molten lava chocolate cake, some whipped cream, and berries.

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake (gluten-free, almost sugar-free)


  • 6 oz dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (70% or darker)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, full fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup almond flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use coconut oil to generously grease 4 ramekins (optional to then dust with cocoa powder).
  2. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil in a small saucepan over super low heat. Stir in coconut milk.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, salt, and almond flour. Fold in the chocolate mixture until smooth (because there’s no gluten, you don’t need to worry about over-mixing!)
  4. Divide the batter among the ramekins, and put the ramekins in a deep-dish baking pan. Fill the baking pan with hot water so it reaches halfway up the ramekins.
  5. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until the edges look baked but the centre is still soft. Carefully(!) remove the ramekins from the water and let them sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  6. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes, and then invert onto serving plates. Serve immediately with whipped cream and berries (or your choice of toppings).

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