Good morning, and a very Happy Halloween to you all! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far! I’m so excited that it’s finally Halloween, and I’m really looking forward to all of the fun activities that I have planned for the day. I’ll be spending most of the day reading Kerri Maniscalco’s newest book, Kingdom of the Wicked, but I’m also going to be baking some Halloween treats. Then, once it gets dark, I’ll be finishing up my Halloween Horror Movie-thon by watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I think it’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday!

If you are currently looking for alternatives to Trick or Treating for your kids this year, please check out my post titled “A Read and Treat Halloween.” While some of my suggestions may require a little more preparation time or materials than you currently have available, many could also be adapted to work on short notice if you need an activity for this afternoon or evening.

For this week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update, we are focusing on the prompt “a book by an author who has written more than 20 books.” The title I chose for this prompt was Laughter at the Academy, by Seanan McGuire, which was a very interesting collection of McGuire’s short stories. If you’d like to learn more about this book, my review is located in my Week Six update.

If you are currently participating in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, and you’re looking for a book to complete this prompt, here’s a list of several authors who have written more than 20 books, along with some titles I really enjoyed…

Here are just a few of the books I recommend…
  • David Baldacci — If you’re a fan of young adult fantasy novels, you might be interested in checking out Baldacci’s Vega Jane series. The series includes the following books:
    • The Finisher
    • The Keeper
    • The Width of the World
    • The Stars Below
  • Ray Bradbury
    • Fahrenheit 451 — If you’d like to learn more about this book, please check out my review from Banned Books Week 2019.
    • The Halloween Tree
    • The Martian Chronicles
    • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Agatha Christie
    • And Then There Were None
    • Hallowe’en Party
    • Sparkling Cyanide
  • Michael Crichton
    • Congo
    • Jurassic Park
    • Pirate Latitudes
    • Sphere
  • Heather Graham — While I’ve enjoyed several of Graham’s Krewe of Hunters books, my favorites that she has written are the Cafferty & Quinn novels, which take place in New Orleans and feature a mystery-solving duo that includes the owner of an antique store and a private investigator. This series includes the following books:
    • Let the Dead Sleep
    • Waking the Dead
    • The Dead Play On
    • Big Easy Evil (novella)
  • Kerry Greenwood
    • Cocaine Blues — This is the first novel in Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher mystery series, which takes place in Australia during the 1920s. I highly recommend checking out the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries television series as well.
  • Susan Hill
    • The Woman in Black
  • Stephen King
    • The Institute — If you’re interested in learning more about this title, please check out my review from earlier this year.
    • The Shining
  • Seanan McGuire
    • Discount Armageddon — This is the first novel in McGuire’s InCryptid series.
    • Feed (written as Mira Grant) — This is the first novel in the Newsflesh trilogy. If you’d like to learn more about this novel, please check out my review.
  • Rick Riordan — Riordan has written some incredible stories that have gotten both middle grade and young adult readers interested in mythology. If you haven’t read any of his books, I recommend starting with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which includes the following books:
    • The Lightning Thief
    • The Sea of Monsters
    • The Titan’s Curse
    • The Battle of the Labyrinth
    • The Last Olympian
  • James Rollins
    • Sandstorm — This is the first book in Rollins’s SIGMA Force series. While I haven’t had a chance to continue this series (yet), I had a very hard time putting this first book down once I started reading.
  • Fred Saberhagen
    • The Dracula Tape — This is the first book in Saberhagen’s Dracula series, which tells the vampire’s story from his own point of view.
    • The Holmes-Dracula File — If you’d like to learn more about this book, feel free to check out my review.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
    • The Hobbit — If you’d like to learn more about one of my all-time favorite books, please take a look at my Book vs. Movies review.
    • The Lord of the Rings — If you enjoyed Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I highly recommend reading the original books. They include:
      • The Fellowship of the Ring
      • The Two Towers
      • The Return of the King
    • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

If you have the opportunity to read any of these books, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did!

It’s hard to believe that we only have eight weeks remaining in this year’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. Based on some of the comments I’ve seen on Twitter and Goodreads over the past couple of weeks, I know that some of you may be feeling a lot of pressure to finish your remaining prompts.

Just as a reminder, reading challenges like this one are meant to stretch you as a reader, but they are also meant to be fun. If the Reading Challenge has become a source of stress for you, there is nothing wrong with calling it quits. In fact, if you’re not enjoying reading right now (and it’s because of the challenge), you probably need to stop and just read for your own pleasure.

The truth is that you don’t actually have to finish the challenge for it to have been a worthwhile experience. If you’ve had fun, discovered a new favorite author (or book), or taken a chance and read something outside of your comfort zone, then you’ve already accomplished the goal of the challenge. Reading challenges aren’t something that you have to do, and not finishing all of the prompts is not failure.

If you are currently planning to finish the challenge, and you’re looking for book recommendations for a specific prompt, please leave a comment on this post to let me know which prompts you would like to see me address in the coming weeks. Next week’s update will be focused on the prompt “a book from a series with more than 20 books.”

In the meantime, I hope you will visit The Unapologetic Bookworm frequently next week for book reviews and other new content.

If you are celebrating Halloween today, I hope you have a fun, safe holiday!

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