Well, the end of October has completely kicked my biscuits.

Biscuits are what we call butts in preschool because it’s cute. Preschool is my current subbing assignment, and I love it and I love the kids, but holy moly it is exhausting me. But what the end of October and preschool haven’t done is made it impossible for me to read. Thank goodness.

In case you missed it, our October meeting was improved by the remote presence of Jillian Kuhlmann, author of The Hidden Icon. Y’all. Y’all. I had no idea that having the author of our book under discussion join us to answer questions about it would be so much fun. If I had, I would have worked to have Mary Shelley visit us when we still had Frankenstein on our list for the year. Ba-dum-ch. (Yes, I know, she’s dead and has been for 167 years.) It really was fun to have Jillian join us, and I think everyone agreed that the book is ace, and she needs to please hurry up with the third one — for Rachel’s sake if no one else’s. She provided some insight into characters, alluded to stuff that would be spoilers for anyone who hadn’t read the second book, and told us how she pronounced characters’ names. She has an open invitation to visit the Rogue Crusade at any time. But let’s be real, friends: that invitation is open to all.

November sees us finally reading Shades of Milk and Honey, and I am excited. An homage to Jane Austen? Check. An alternative historical timeline? Check. Fun fantasy elements and magic? Check. It’s highly doubtful that Mary Robinette Kowal would be able to join us remotely, but I might ask her anyway, just for funsies.

Our November meeting is on November 24, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is Small Business Saturday. Don’t spend all your money on Black Friday; save some to put into local businesses. They’re the people you talk to in the grocery store line, that you see at church, who take their kids to the Homecoming game. By supporting them, you’re putting money into the local economy, and that only helps everyone. So things are a little more expensive? Well, that’s because if the items being sold are handmade — someone put hours into it. The clothes at the boutique owned by your kindergarten teacher’s daughter? Carefully chosen to be sold to you. So please, when you do your Christmas shopping this year, absolutely go out on Black Friday. But also go out on Small Business Saturday and show the people in your community some love. The Rogue Crusade will be open that day, so stop in and take a look around at what Jess has to offer! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

December will see us ramping up towards the holiday season, which is, as we all know, the most magical time of the year — to paraphrase the song. What better way to celebrate that magic than with Harry Potter? Read any of the Harry Potter books you want, even Tales of Beedle the BardFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages. If you have a youngling at home who hasn’t yet read them, this would be a great time to introduce them into their life! We’ll discuss all things Harry Potter on December 31, and be ready to jump feet first into 2019!

And finally, if you’re attempting NaNoWriMo this month: GOOD LUCK!

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