October 2019 Reading List

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After skipping last month’s reading list because I was desperately behind on my planned reading, I’m back with a new October reading list. 

I’ve leaned toward lighter books these last few months, but fall is one of my favorite times for a good curl-up with a more intense book.

This month brings a good mix of dystopia, family stories, historical fiction, and a thriller and lighter novel to round things out.

While I have a couple more new books on the horizon this year, for the most part this wraps up the advanced copies I’m reading in 2019.

The next couple months will be a little more free reading–some backlist, some nonfiction (for Nonfiction November), and maybe a few coming early in 2020.

For now, today is our first real day of rainy, cool fall weather. I think it will be just right for a fire, blanket, tea, and Atwood.

October 2019 Reading List

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood
Source: Library
Publish Date: September, 2019

I’ve already started The Testaments, the highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale that the literary world has been buzzing about all year, and so far it’s promising. The book is told in the voices of three females: two young women coming of age–one within Gilead and one outside in Canada–and the famed Aunt Lydia. I’ve read few reviews and don’t yet know how these three will come together, but aside from some initial disorientation when the narrator changes, I’m hooked. Aunt Lydia’s story has me especially intrigued. I have not see the Hulu series and I reread The Handmaid’s Tale earlier this year, so Atwood’s story is the only one in my head and I can’t wait to see where she takes it.

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Any Good Thing

Any Good Thing

Author: Joy E. Rancatore
Source: Author/Publisher (Logos & Mythos Press)
Publish Date: September 24, 2019

Jack Calhoun flees his southern town–and his demons–to go fight the war in Iraq. He tries to find his purpose while waging his internal battles and those on the ground around him, while wondering if peace is even possible.

Any Good Thing is the debut novel by my blogging friend, Joy E. Rancatore, and I’ve been looking forward to reading it for months!

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The Giver of Stars: A Novel

The Giver of Stars: A Novel

Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: Publisher (Pamela Dorman Books) via Edelweiss
Publish Date: October 8, 2019

I haven’t read a lot of Jojo Moyes-her Me Before You trilogy has many superfans, but for me it was just okay (and I didn’t even read the third book). I did, however, enjoy her historical fiction novel The Girl You Left Behind more, so I have high hopes for her new historical fiction. The Giver of Stars tells the story of the Depression-era Horseback Librarians of Kentucky, five women who sign on to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library.

Books, quirky characters, before-their-time feminists, and based on a true story? Sign me up!

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The Girl Who Reads on the Métro: A Novel

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro: A Novel

Author: Christine Féret-Fleury
Source: Publisher (Flatiron Books) via Edelweiss
Publish Date: October 8, 2019

The Girl Who Reads On the Metro follows Juliette, a Parisian who dreams about the people she sees reading on the train during her commute. One day she encounters a bizarre bookseller who hires her to care for his daughter while also working as a sort of book matchmaker.

I’m not exactly sure what to expect from this one–the blurb says it’s perfect for fans of the movie Amélie, which is charming if a little twee for my tastes–but I’m usually up for a light read, centered around books and quirky characters.

More info →

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If Only I Could Tell You: A Novel

If Only I Could Tell You: A Novel

Author: Hannah Beckerman
Source: Publisher (William Morrow Paperbacks) via Edelweiss
Publish Date: October 15, 2019

If Only I Could Tell You is another family story told over decades, this time about two sisters who have been torn apart because of a shared secret. Their mother tries desperately to repair the family, until the secret is revealed–it could either bring them back together or forever break them.

I never thought I’d say this, but I might be getting a little burnt out on “family stories told over decades.” There have been so many good ones this year–it’s a little unfair that this book has so much to live up to. The blurbs and reviews have been strong, though, so I’m hopeful that this is a new take on the family saga that will keep me reading.

More info →

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The Family Upstairs: A Novel

The Family Upstairs: A Novel

Author: Lisa Jewell
Source: Publisher (Atria Books) via NetGalley
Publish Date: November 5, 2019

At 25 years old, Libby opens a letter to find out the identity of her birth parents–and that she has inherited their abandoned mansion in London. Twenty-five years ago, police were called to the house finding only a baby alive in a crib–and three dead bodies in the kitchen. The four other children were gone. Libby finds herself entangled in the three families that lived in the house–and their secrets.

Lisa Jewell has become one of my favorite thriller writers. She writes smart, solid stories with fully developed characters and without gimmicky twists, and I’m hopeful that this one follows that same pattern.

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What are you reading this month?

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12 Comments

  1. I’m about halfway through The Testaments and I’m in the minority. The first 10% was really rough – it’s pretty disorienting as far as who’s narrating and when. And, it’s better, but I still feel like I’m having to push myself to pick it up…rather than pulling me back to it.

    1. Oh, too bad it hasn’t pulled you in. The two younger characters themselves are not very interesting to me yet–it’s the world itself that Atwood built that intrigues me. And the long game (really long) that Aunt Lydia seems to be playing.

  2. Looks like a great month! We have a little overlap — I’m also hoping to get into Testaments this month (or actually I better before it’s due back at the library!) and Giver of Stars is up there too. Probably not this month, but soon. 🙂 Enjoy!

    1. I’m racing some library holds too–I feel lucky that I got on the hold list for The Testaments early, because I think it’s really long!

  3. The Testaments is also on my TBR! It sounds like we have similar reading patterns. I’m finishing up The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and craving something that will make my brain hurt a little.

    1. Aw, I loved Nina Hill. It was great light reading. Some of the characters in that one are also in The Garden of Small Beginnings, if you find yourself needing another light one in the future.

    1. I hope it’s good! I haven’t really tried any Jojo Moyes other than the ones I mentioned so I’m not sure if others would be of interest or not. Maybe I’ll check out her backlist if this one works out.

  4. Thanks for participating in the Mix n’ Mingle linkup! I’m also a Lisa Jewell fan! I read Then She Was Gone and The Girls in the Garden. Interested to hear what you think of The Family Upstairs!

  5. Interesting—I didn’t know that’s what Jojo Moyes’s new novel was about! As I just finished The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (based on the same subject), that might be a good one to try. I’ll probably wait to hear your review on it to see if it’s worth picking up, too.

    I’m excited about The Testaments! I was fine with the ambiguous ending of The Handmaid’s Tale, but I won’t complain about hopefully getting some ends tied up! It’s been ages since I read Handmaid’s Tale though, so I might have to refresh myself a bit before this hold comes in for me at the library.

  6. The Family Upstairs sounds like the perfect October book! I might have to add it to my TBR…. I’m planning on reading The Testaments, too, and I’m super excited to see how this is all going to work out.

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