12 Swoon-Worthy Romances You Need to Read Before the End of the Year

The end of the year is upon us, and with that, for many people, comes the stress of the holidays. The best way to relieve that stress is with a good book. Below is a list of swoon-worthy romances you need to read before the end of the year, with books full of romance, will they/won’t they, travel, secret relationships, friends to lovers, and so much more! Romance books are full of tropes people either love to love or love to hate, and the best part is getting to read all the romance to find the best of the best.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.


swoon-worthy romances #1-4

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah Green, who is quite happy with her life in New York, far away from her hometown of Bright Falls, is called back to her old life when her sister asks her to photograph her wedding. While there, she meets Claire and wonders if her life with a different woman every night back in New York is really what matters. Will this clash of Delilah, who lives a life of surprise, and Claire, who prefers life with no surprises, collide? Or will sparks fly?

Continue reading “12 Swoon-Worthy Romances You Need to Read Before the End of the Year”

5 Unique Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors You Need to Read This Month!

5 books by Canadian Indigenous Authors to Read With Your Kids Article by Hygge Dreamer

If you’re looking to support Indigenous authors in children’s publishing this month — which you should — look no further! Here are 5 unique and emotional books written by Canadian Indigenous authors for you to read this month. Whether you read them with your kids or on your own, you’re sure to love this selection. Of course, there are way more than 5 amazing books by Canadian Indigenous authors available today, so be sure to check back in the future for more recommendations.

The Barren Grounds (The Misewa Saga #1) by David Alexander Robertson

Four figures on a barren landscape.

From Goodreads: Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.

Forever Birchwood by Danielle Daniel

Four friends walk toward a treehouse.

From Goodreads: Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her.

But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives–and construction company–seem equally suspect.

As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much–can they even stay together long enough to save this special place?

With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person’s life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended.

Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children by Wendy Proverbs

Two girls hold hands before a dark night.

From Goodreads: Based on the true story of the author’s biological mother and aunt, this middle-grade novel traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school.

When Maddy discovers an old photograph of two little girls in her grandmother’s belongings, she wants to know who they are. Nan reluctantly agrees to tell her the story, though she is unsure if Maddy is ready to hear it. The girls in the photo, Aggie and Mudgy, are two Kaska Dena sisters who lived many years ago in a remote village on the BC–Yukon border. Like countless Indigenous children, they were taken from their families at a young age to attend residential school, where they endured years of isolation and abuse.

As Nan tells the story, Maddy asks many questions about Aggie and Mudgy’s 1,600-kilometre journey by riverboat, mail truck, paddlewheeler, steamship, and train, from their home to Lejac Residential School in central BC. Nan patiently explains historical facts and geographical places of the story, helping Maddy understand Aggie and Mudgy’s transitional world. Unlike many books on this subject, this story focuses on the journey to residential school rather than the experience of attending the school itself. It offers a glimpse into the act of being physically uprooted and transported far away from loved ones. Aggie and Mudgy captures the breakdown of family by the forces of colonialism, but also celebrates the survival and perseverance of the descendants of residential school survivors to reestablish the bonds of family.

Treaty Words: For As Long As the Rivers Flow by Aimee Craft (Luke Swinson – Illustrator)

Two people sit on a riverbank as a bird soars above.

From Goodreads: The first treaty that was made was between the earth and the sky. It was an agreement to work together. We build all of our treaties on that original treaty.

On the banks of the river that have been Mishomis’s home his whole life, he teaches his granddaughter to listen—to hear both the sounds and the silences, and so to learn her place in Creation. Most importantly, he teaches her about treaties—the bonds of reciprocity and renewal that endure for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow.

Accompanied by illustrations by Luke Swinson and an author’s note at the end, Aimée Craft communicates the importance of understanding an Indigenous perspective on treaties.

The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills

An illustrated graveyard with a cat and two figures.

From Goodreads: Ghosts aren’t meant to stick around forever…

Shelly and her grandmother catch ghosts. In their hair.

Just like all the women in their family, they can see souls who haven’t transitioned yet; it’s their job to help the ghosts along their journey. When Shelly’s mom dies suddenly, Shelly’s relationship to ghosts—and death—changes. Instead of helping spirits move on, Shelly starts hoarding them. But no matter how many ghost cats, dogs, or people she hides in her room, Shelly can’t ignore the one ghost that’s missing. Why hasn’t her mom’s ghost come home yet?

Rooted in a Cree worldview and inspired by stories about the author’s great-grandmother’s life, The Ghost Collector delves into questions of grief and loss, and introduces an exciting new voice in tween fiction that will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home and Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.

Have you read any books written by Canadian Indigenous authors lately with your kids? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!

Exciting November 2022 Book Releases You Need to Check Out!

It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten excited about new book releases; instead, I’ve been reading the books on my shelves and doing a lot of rereading, which is great, but there’s a feeling you get when a brand new book is released, and you get to hold it in your hands. It’s magical!

Here are my top 15 anticipated releases for November 2022, broken down into three groups: Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.

Middle Grade

Looking For True by Tricia Springstubb
Release Date: November 1, 2022

Two unlikely friends bond over the love of a mistreated dog they plan to save and while doing so, they learn more about themselves and their families, learning what it means to truly belong.

The Cool Code by Deirdre Langeland
Release Date: November 8, 2022

All Zoey wants to do is fit in, so she develops an app to make her “cool.” The app gives her ridiculous advice–and then makes her so popular she forgets who her real friends are. For fans of Raina Telgemeier.

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart
Release Date: November 8, 2022

It all starts with a social studies project where Daisy helps a classmate become a YouTube fashion celebrity. This is a story about Daisy finding her voice amidst her fear of public speaking and how being happy shouldn’t be reliant on our differences.

The Astonishing Chronicles of Oscar From Elsewhere by Jaclyn Moriarty
Release Date: November 15, 2022

This fantasy story is about Esther, who is given the task of saving a town of elves who are trapped under layers of silver. In doing so, a young boy dies. However, this leads Esther to team up with friends to try and stop the clock and fix what happened. Adventure awaits!

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston by Esme Symes-Smith
Release Date: November 8, 2022

The first in a series, this story starts with Callie, who is 12 years old and nonbinary. They feel that they don’t fit in anywhere, and despite the gender rules that stand in the way, they plan to become who they truly want to be–with some sword fights thrown in.

Young Adult

Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: November 8, 2022

Scattered Showers is a collection of love stories filled with Rowell’s masterful storytelling. But this isn’t just about girl meets boy; best friends fall in love, and a prince romances a troll. Plus, a well-loved character has his own story.

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow
Release Date: November 1, 2022

The story of Shani and May starts off with Shani running into May–literally. Shani is at college to study paleoichthyology and not think about her breakup with her ex. When she keeps getting thrown into May’s path, she’s left to wonder if she’s ready to be in a committed relationship again.

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Release Date: November 1, 2022

Adapted for young adults from its original edition published in 2013, this non-fiction book brings forth Indigenous scientist and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer’s knowledge of how all living things provide us with gifts and lessons. It’s about listening to Earth’s oldest teachers–the plants around us.

Whiteout by Various Authors
Release Date: November 8, 2022

Just in time for the holiday season, this anthology brings forth interwoven narratives of friendship and romance, brought to you with black and LGBTQIA+ voices. This is the follow-up to Blackout, the summer romance anthology by the same award-winning authors.

House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur
Release Date: November 29, 2022

Fifteen-year-old Sara is dealing with the grief brought forth by her parent’s impending divorce. She takes a job with her family’s home renovation business to try and distract her, but the latest project seems to hold the secrets of her old life. This is the YA debut of Deeba Zargarpur, taking inspiration from her own Afghan-Uzbek heritage.


Five Survive by Holly Jackson
Release Date: November 29, 2022

This crime thriller is reminiscent of stories like And Then There Were None and Ten, with a group of friends heading out on a road trip for spring break in an RV. The RV breaks down, and soon the teens realize this was no accident. Not everyone will survive.

Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli
Release Date: November 1, 2022

This story is about one woman’s devastating and emotional journey after finding her husband after he commits suicide. She is then pulled into her Nigerian family and close group of new friends to help her deal with her loss.

The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle
Release Date: November 29, 2022

This thriller is about a blogger, Alex, whose assistant goes missing after a controversial post is published and the assistant is contacted to do damage control. Alex then digs into the history of her personal assistant, the woman who knew all about Alex’s marriage and family life. The story dives into the dark side of the digital world and will keep you guessing.

The Prisoner by B. A. Paris
Release Date: November 1, 2022

Amelie is a woman who lost her parents as a child in Paris and is now making it on her own in London. She meets a handsome rich man and is swept up into his world. But one day, she wakes up and is in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why was she taken, and who took her?

And Yet: Poems by Kate Baer
Release Date: November 8, 2022

This intimate collection of poetry, Kate Baer’s second full-length collection, touches on themes of motherhood, love, loss, and friendship.

November is full of so many great new book releases that you need to check out! I know I’ll be adding these to my TBR. How about you?

What books are you most looking forward to this November? Let me know in the comments below!

Reading Halloween Classics: Scary Classics to Read This Halloween

When fall starts to move in, I always find myself gravitating towards scary books, and while I love reading scary books from any time period, there’s just something about the Halloween Classic that is not only spooky but also cozy. And I am ALL about the cozy!

Here are 10 recommendations – with a few more thrown in for good measure – of scary classics to read this Halloween that pair perfectly with a chilly fall night, a cup of tea, and the dimmed lights.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

Classic, classic Poe – something you can never go wrong with. This is the story of two friends and revenge, told in Poe’s gothic and spooky way that fires up your imagination. Since this is quite short, another wonderfully spooky Poe story is The Tell-Tale Heart which has similar Poe storytelling but is psychological in its horror.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Perhaps you’ve seen the Netflix show based on this novel, but I highly recommend everyone reads the story. Whether you read it before or after watching the show, it’s still a creepy and subtly chilling story about a haunted house. It might seem light-hearted at first when we meet Eleanor, Theadora, and Luke as they gather at the house, but it takes a turn toward the haunted as the story moves on. Another wonderfully creepy book by Shirley Jackson is We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is so atmospheric and gothic.

Carrie by Stephen King

This book might just be on the cusp of being considered a classic as it was published in 1974, but I think it can be regarded as so since it was the book that started Stephen King’s journey to becoming the Master of Horror. This is the story of Carrie, a teenager who has telekinetic abilities, and the traumatizing events that take place at school one day. This spirals into a horrifyingly scary novel that will have you longing to read King’s entire collection. If you finish this looking for more Stephen King, I highly recommend Pet Semetary to read next.

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

So many books by Agatha Christie feature someone being murdered, but this story, in particular, has a murder that takes place during a Halloween party. The party vibes at the beginning of the story are so nostalgic for Halloween parties of the past, and when Poirot is called in to investigate the murder, it’s a mix of detective story and sinister atmosphere. If you enjoy detective stories with a spooky twist, Christie’s classic story And Then There Were None is an amazingly good read.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This is Wilde’s only novel and one that I’ve read numerous times. It is the story of what happens to someone when they sell their soul to the devil for the promise of eternal youth and beauty. Dorian is such a great character and the book is so chilling and macabre that you will want to reread it every Halloween. Another Halloween story by Wilde is The Canterville Ghost, which might not be so spooky but it is still a ghost story and one that features Wilde’s addicting writing.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It is hard to come up with words to describe my love of The Yellow Wallpaper. This story is not very long, but it deals with so much. It’s not a ghost story per se, but there are ghosts and a descent into madness. The reasons for that descent aren’t creepy or scary at all, but something that nowadays would be classified as completely normal and common. The horrifying thing about this story is watching the main character descend into madness, knowing that the results would be much different in modern times.

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton is such an amazing writer, and her words never cease to move me. One of my favourite books by her, Ethan Frome, might have a horrific ending, but this collection of ghost stories will transfix you. Some might not seem so scary, but others absolutely amazed me with their horror. My favourites in the collection are Afterward, Kerfol, and All Souls’.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

This book might lean a little more toward creepy science fiction, but it’s still perfect for Halloween. The Day of the Triffids follows Bill Masen, who wakes up in a hospital with his eyes bandaged up to realize he’s in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has lost their sight. Not only that, but strange plants start to come alive! It is a scary story of survival that is definitely worth a read. If you like this one, Wyndham’s book Chocky is also worth a mention; it’s the story of a boy with an imaginary friend that takes a twisted turn.

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

This story starts in the year 1900 with a group of schoolgirls and their teachers heading off to a picnic at a place called Hanging Rock, a volcanic rock formation in Australia. Some of the friends and a teacher wander off and after a while, the others are left to wonder what happened. The remainder of the story deals with the fallout of this event. But the real mystery of the story is: is it fact or fiction? This is the perfect book to curl up with on a fall afternoon — especially if you can finish it in a day.

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

If you thought the vampires started with Bram Stoker, you’d be mistaken. Carmilla is the story of a family who takes in a young woman, Carmilla, who was injured in a carriage crash outside of their home. The young girl in the family, Laura, starts to become ill, getting sicker every night, and Carmilla becomes more secretive by the day. Laura and her father set out to solve the mystery of Carmilla and come to a terrifying conclusion. This gothic tale is ambiguous, sensual, and downright chilling.

Have you read any of these spooky classics? Are there any that I might have missed on this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books, as well as any recommendations you might have!

Exciting Halloween Books to Read as a Family

Halloween Books to Read as a Family

Get into the Halloween spirit and have some family reading time with these spooky books that will be exciting for the whole family to read. These recommendations are for a wide age range of children, but all are something fun to read aloud on a spooky evening.

Note: Not all kids will love reading scary books! Sometimes it can be helpful to read reviews or to read a book before sharing it with your kids. While my 7-year-old loves anything we read together, my 9-year-old would rather read anything else. All books are linked to their Goodreads page, which will take you to loads of reviews to check out before reading.

Do you enjoy reading classics? Check out my list of Classic Books to Read This Halloween.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.

Exciting Halloween Books to Read as a Family

Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Whimsical and a little creepy, The Graveyard Book is a story about Nobody Owens, who not only lives in a graveyard but is being raised by the ghosts in that graveyard. With Gaiman’s rich writing, this story is bound to be a family favourite. For younger readers, Nobody (“Bod”) may have a bit of a scary backstory, but the story is still unique and spellbinding.

Rise of the Balloon Goons (The Notebook of Doom, #1) by Troy Cummings

A story about Alexander, a new boy in town, and his interactions with various monsters around town. With monsters that are more silly than scary, this book is sure to entrance your child who may be new to reading. This is the first book in a long series and a Branches book, which is perfect for young readers. Opening line: “Once there was a pile of bones.

The Notebook of Doom Rise of the Balloon Goons Troy Cummings

Coraline Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Maybe you’ve seen the wonderful movie based on this book, but even if you have, you have to give the book a read. Coraline is wonderfully creepy and engaging, with images that will stick in your head and maybe make you want to explore your own home a little more thoroughly. This has a much different feel from The Graveyard Book, but with Gaiman’s beautiful writing, it still has his usual charm.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

When you read the synopsis for The Witches by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, you might think there’s no way this book is suitable for kids: ” … there’s nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she’ll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them.” However, Dahl writes with such wit and charm that you won’t help but laugh your way through this spooky read. With the recent obsession with all things witches, this is definitely one way to fulfill the appetite.

The Witches Roald Dahl

A Tale Dark and Grimm Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1) by Adam Gidwitz

This is the story of Hansel and Gretel and their adventures through various fairytales. It might not be classified specifically as a creepy or scary book, but the quirky and mischievous children have a bit of Halloween charm to them. However, when you think of fairytales, think of the original Grimm fairytales, not the Disney ones. There is definitely blood and gore in this book, so be warned!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

When you start to read A Monster Calls, you will definitely get a scary story kind of vibe, but by the end, you’ll realize how a beautiful story with a monster can be. This book is stunningly illustrated and the perfect read-aloud book for a family. It’s sad, but charming, and has a message about death that will hit hard for adults and children alike.

A Monster Calls Patrick Ness

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories, #1) by Alvin Schwartz

This series is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is morbid and scary and will have you looking in your closet and under the bed — and only part of that will be because of the stories, the other part will be because of the truly horrifying illustrations. This is not a book for your toddlers or younger children, but older kids who might want to tap into the nostalgia of what might have scared their parents when they were young. Traditional ghost stories and folklore fill the pages and you might want to leave the light on when you read!

The Haunted House Next Door (Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol, #1) by Andrés Miedoso

Just like The Notebook of Doom, this is another fun series about a new kid in town. Andrés moves into his new home with his family and all is well until he meets his neighbour, Desmond, who is a ghost hunter. Based on the title, my 9-year-old actually hid the book so we couldn’t read it, but I unearthed it and read it with my 7-year-old who LOVED it. There are ghosts, but nothing that should ruin your night. It is also part of a long series of Andrés’ and Desmond’s ghostly adventures.

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol The Haunted House Next Door Andres Miedoso

Small Spaces Katherine Arden

Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1) by Katherine Arden

This is the story of Ollie, who recently experienced the loss of her parents. She encounters a woman who is about to throw a book into a river and, book lover that she is, Ollie rescues the book, brings it home, and starts to read. This book might not be super spooky, but Arden’s stunning writing puts forth an eerie atmosphere that might give you chills. Like A Monster Calls, this story will bring forth emotions, but also enchant you with an otherwordly charm.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some scary books you like to read with your kids during Halloween? I’d love to get more recommendations!

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