October Reads

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I love talking about books over my social media accounts, so it seems logical to blog about them too! There's a little bit of everything in here to get me started. I have some recent reads, a birthday book haul, and what I plan on reading next! 


Recent Read & Audiobook

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - I listened to this on audiobook through the OverDrive app from my public library. I had only heard of the title of this book and had absolutely no idea what it was about. This happens to be a little bit horror and action/adventure, so it was perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit. It centers around a 10 year old girl named Melanie who loves learning and her teacher, Miss Justineau. I don't read a lot of horror, so I enjoyed this because it was something different. I know I'm being vague with my description, but I'm glad I went into it without knowing anything about the plot. This book is difficult to review without spoilers. The Girl With All the Gifts was made into a movie and released September 23 in the UK. You can watch the trailer here. I probably won't seek out the movie because, while I can read horror, I don't enjoy watching it at all. 



Evelina by Frances Burney - I picked up this novel because it was recommended for Jane Austen fans. First published in 1778, Evelina follows a young girl's introduction into society. Evelina is an innocent girl who was raised in the country by a loving guardian, Arthur Villars, after the unfortunate death of her mother. Mr. Villars somewhat reluctantly sends Evelina to London where she makes makes many social faux pas and is often downright confused by the manners of the people in London society. This takes a look at gender, class, and social customs of the day in a satirical way. I thought it was delightful! The notes in this edition where quite helpful when I didn't understand what certain things were or why exactly something Evelina did was considered a faux pas.

Birthday Book Haul

I'm a huge fan of used book stores and my public library. When possible, I try to get my reading material from one of those places. Sometimes, books that I want cannot be found in either place, and they go on my Amazon list. My birthday was at the end of September, and my mother in law sent me some books from my list as a gift. I'm very grateful and can't wait to dive in!



At the top of the pile, I have How to Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh. I attended a meditation workshop earlier in the year, and this was the book that was recommended for beginners. It's a short book about mindfulness meditation. I've read three other books by Thich Nhat Hanh and found all of them to be worth my time.

Belinda by Maria Edgeworth - Another work of English literature, Belinda was first published in 1801 and is a comic look at gender and race. I don't know much about the story, but it sounded interesting because there's an interracial marriage that's treated respectfully by the author. From what I've heard about this book, Maria Edgeworth was told to change that later on, but this particular edition (Oxford World's Classics) includes that part of the story. 

The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout - Algerian novelist, Tahar Djaout, was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists in 1993. The manuscript for this book was found among his things after his death and is unfinished. The story is about a bookstore owner who lives in a country in which a fundamentalist group has taken over and the consequences that it has on the owner and his store. 

The New and Improved Romie Futch by Julis Elliott - Set in the American South, we find taxidermist, Romie Futch. Needing some extra cash, he agrees to become a research subject for scientists to download information into his brain, and now he knows a wealth of information. It sounds strange and funny, and it's set it the South. Sounds like a must-read to me!

Application of Impossible Things: My Near Death Experience in Iraq by Natalie Sudman - Working as a civilian for the US Army Coups of Engineers, Natalie Sudman's truck exploded from a roadside bomb. This is an account of her near death experience and miraculous survival. I think I read a little bit about this somewhere, and it sounded different from other near death experience accounts. I'm curious to learn more about her experience.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - This is a book that has a bit of a cult following, and I don't know that much about it. My husband isn't really a fan of reading fiction, but he recommended this book to me. It's about a family that moves into a house, and the house turns out to be larger on the inside than it looks on the outside and strange things happen. I was told that if I didn't like it at first to stick with it because it changes quite a bit. This book also changes a lot in the format. For example, a page here and there will only have one sentence or a couple of words on it, and some pages are formatted in columns. That sort of thing. I plan on reading this book after I finish what I'm reading now because it sounds spooky enough for Halloween reading.

Current Book & Audiobook



The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury - Set on Halloween night, a group of children are meeting up at a haunted house when one of their friends, Pip, gets taken away by something. The mysterious Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud takes them back in time in search of their friend. I'm about halfway through, and so far they have been to ancient Egypt and back to the time of the caveman. I don't read a lot of children's literature, but I'm really enjoying this. The story was made into a cartoon, and I plan on watching it after I'm finished with the book.



American Gods: the 10th anniversary edition by Neil Gaiman - I'm currently listening to this on audiobook from my public library through the OneClickdigital app . This is a more expanded version of the first release of the book. I particularly enjoy this audiobook because it has a full cast. There is a narrator, but each character is portrayed and the dialogue is delivered by a different voice actor. I've tried reading this before, but I ended up having to return it to my library before I got very far along with it. I'm enjoying it a lot more in audiobook form, and I'm really loving the entire cast of actors in this production. It's very well done. If you plan on listening to this on audiobook, make sure you listen to the 10th anniversary edition. 

That's my current book situation! Let me know if you're interested in anything in my book haul stack, and I will add it to the top of my To Be Read list. I like to read a little bit of everything, and my preferences don't have much rhyme or reason to them. I just go with whatever seems interesting to me at the time. 

What are you currently reading? 


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Veeda 100% Natural Cotton Feminine Care Products

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*Got a couple of samples, and I bought the rest!

I have been hearing about tampons that have synthetic materials and have been treated and bleached for years, but I never knew of a convenient alternative. Organic tampons are pretty expensive for a tiny box. The Diva Cup and other brands of menstrual cups have been on my mind, but having read both the positive and negative reviews, it was a purchase that I kept putting off. Then, I started reading reviews from other bloggers about a brand called Veeda that offered 100% cotton feminine care products that weren't treated with chemicals or dyes. Immediately, I investigated the website and checked the store locator to see if any products were available at my local stores. Lucky for me, two of my local supermarkets popped up in the results! 



The first store that I checked had just gotten Veeda's tampons and was selling them at a really good price. I checked the other store soon after, and they didn't have any of Veeda's products on the shelves. I'm hoping that if I go back soon I will find them there. I would love to be able to purchase the pads and liners at a store. Of course, all of Veeda's products are available on their site. If you're on the fence about ordering online, they have free shipping in the US! 


These products are a must for anyone who is sensitive to irritation that many feminine care products can cause. This is a sensitive area we're talking about here, and most of the time, I have a good bit of irritation from pads and tampons by the end of my period. These products actually help in reducing that. 

Veeda has tampons with plastic applicators and applicator-free. I have used the regular tampons with the applicator, and they are just as easy to use as others I have tried. The tampons meet the same standards of absorbency as other tampons and are FDA approved. Because these are all cotton, they don't leave behind any fibers once removed. Evidently, rayon can do that! For more information on synthetics, chemicals, dyes, etc. you can visit the Veeda FAQs page

I was lucky that someone from Veeda contacted me after I commented on another blog about being interested in this brand, and they sent me a couple of tampons, pads, and liners to try. So, I was able to try the pads and liners, if only briefly. While I don't prefer pads, I do use them at night. The couple I got to try were comfortable and more absorbent than the Always pads I had been using. I definitely felt drier when I got up in the morning than I usually do. The liners are very comfortable, and I didn't feel them at all when I used them. None of the Veeda products I tried caused any irritation at all. Like the tampons, the pads and liners are made of 100% cotton. 

I definitely recommend Veeda if you've been looking for some kind of alternative to the pad and tampon options we have now. I'm so glad that these are sold in a couple of stores where I live!


Snapchat: singformakeup


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