Books of the Month: October

Let’s jump right in…

  • Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon, YA fiction 

I really enjoyed this story. Madeline is an eighteen year old girl with a disease that doesn’t allow her to leave her house. A boy named Olly moves in next door and they get to know each other. There’s a twist that I didn’t see coming and Madeline and Olly’s story is very sweet. 

  • Standard Deviation, Katherine Heiny, fiction

This is a run-of-the-mill novel about a couple living in New York City named Audra and Graham. They have a son named Matthew who has Asperger’s and another prominent character is Graham’s ex-wife, Elspeth. I didn’t really enjoy this book. There’s a lot of infidelity and it’s presented as normal, so it’s a little depressing. The only thing I liked was the NYC setting. 

  • Into the Water, Paula Hawkins, thriller

I really liked The Girl on the Train, so I’ve been really looking forward to reading this and was on the wait list at the library for months. It was a bit of a let down. The narration rotates between what feels like twenty characters, and it was difficult for me to keep track of who was who at the beginning. It was a gripping story, but I never felt like I got as much resolution as I wanted. Also, I don’t think there was one character that was really likable – possibly Josh, but everyone else was pretty awful.  

  • Secrets of the Tulip Sisters, Susan Mallery, fiction

This book is the definition of chick lit. I was intrigued by the title, but it’s a little misleading. There are sisters and one of them is indeed a tulip farmer. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers so I wanted to read it after I saw that. It was entertaining, but I rolled my eyes while reading several times. 

  • The Accidental Empress, Allison Pataki, historical fiction 

I love historical fiction, especially when it is essentially a biography of a monarch, and especially when it mostly stays true to the historical record. This fulfilled all my preferences. It is the story of Sisi, Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She had a very tumultuous life, but is a gripping character who lived in a fascinating time period. This felt very long to me, and didn’t cover her whole reign, but I enjoyed learning more about her in an interesting way. 

  • The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, Lauren Willig, historical fiction

Book four in the Pink Carnation series. Vaughn and Mary were the lead characters in this one, and I enjoyed them. AND you finally find out who the Black Tulip is. 

Reading Challenge Progress: 65/75 books completed. 

One thought on “Books of the Month: October

  1. I would definitely read The Forgetting Time and The Girl in the Red Coat. I would also read of Beast and Beauty and maybe Two by Two/American Wife.

    1) A Perfect Proposal; Katie Fforde – This novel was about Sophie, a young girl living in England. She is the only person in her nuclear family not in ‘academics’ and is ostracized by her family. Throughout the novel we follow her as she travels to the US, and adventures that stem from the people she meets there. It was a cute book, but very predictable.
    2) Bossypants; Tina Fey – I didn’t love this book. It goes into her career history, and focuses a lot on her time at SNL. I haven’t ever watched SNL, so it was hard to be interested in this. I would pass on this next time.
    3) Wired; Julie Garwood – This novel follows a computer hacker who is tracked down by the FBI to help them solve cases. It was a quick read, but the characters were so unrealistically perfect, it was annoying.
    4) Mr. Maybe; Jane Green – This novel follows a women in her twenties looking for a husband. There is a man who she loves, but he doesn’t meet her criteria for what a life partner should have. She then meets a guy who meets all of her criteria. This story follows their relationship. I really didn’t like the main character, or the storyline. Would pass.
    5) American Wife; Curtis Sittenfeld – This is a fictionalization of the life of the first lady, Barbara Bush. From interviews that I’ve read with the author, very little of what is in the book is true. However, I found it fascinating and was always trying to determine if the current storyline was true for Alice, the main character, or for Barbara. I would recommend this novel. Disclaimer – it doesn’t paint the main character’s husband (in real life President Bush), in the kindest way, so if this would offend a reader, best to stay away.
    6) The Possessions; Sara Flannery Murphey – You also read this book! I didn’t really like it.
    7) Losing It; Emma Rathbone – This book is about a mid-twenties woman who was obsessed with losing her virginity. It was dumb. I didn’t like the main character at all, she was annoying and selfish.
    8) The Girl in the Red Coat; Kate Hammer – This novel is about a little girl who goes missing, and is told from both the girl’s point of view and her mother’s. This kept me reading wanting to find out what happened. I really liked it and would recommend.
    9) The Forgetting Time; Sharon Guskin – A single mother is concerned when her four year old son has eccentric behaviors. He refuses to bathe, saying he is terrified of the water. He tells her he wants his other mom and wants to go home. He has a reoccurring nightmare where he dies. His behaviors eventually get him kicked out of daycare. In an effort to help her son, the mother reaches out to a child psychiatrist who specializes in children “who remember past lives”. This novel is told mainly from the POV of the mother and the psychiatrist, with a couple other characters narrating from time to time. It was an excellent book and I would recommend it.
    10) Of Beast and Beauty; Stacey Jay – I love re-told fairy tales! While this novel has some underlying themes of beauty and the beast, it is overall quite different. It is set in a futuristic society, where there are “smooth skins” that live within a domed city and “monstrous” which live outside the the city. Princess Isra, a smooth skin, takes Gem, a monstrous, prisoner, and this is their story.
    11) Two by Two; Nicholas Sparks – This novel follows Russell, a man in his early thirties with the seemingly perfect life. He has a gorgeous wife, an adorable daughter and a job he enjoys. As the book goes on, his life unravels, and he is left to pick up the pieces. I didn’t actually enjoy the first part of this book, as his wife is annoying, and he seems to just put up with it. However, the ending was really nice, and in typical Nicholas Sparks style, I ended up sobbing towards the end. I would recommend this book.
    12) The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family; Karyn Purvis – This book was quite interesting. The author goes into how traumatic/unstable conditions while growing up lead to imbalanced neurochemistry in children. This imbalance of neurotransmitters puts kids in a perpetual fight/flight mode which result in behaviors we typically view as “bad”. However, these kids aren’t being “bad” they are just trying to survive. It also goes into how to help kids heal from traumatic experiences and restore normal brain chemistry. This author is a big believer in organic foods, and even mentioned elimination diets as ways to improve behavior, which I’m not 100% sold on. Overall, a solid read.


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