Books I Read in October

 After floundering with my reading at the end of September I was reading to jump into October's books.  I found a great one to start my month and then floundered again!  I couldn't believe when it was already the 14th and I had only read 3 1/2 books!  I typically read anywhere between 8 and 10 books so this was just crazy to me.  Luckily the few books I did read were really good as the "meh" books were quickly set aside. 



1. Philly Barker Investigates by Joanne Tracey-- Philomena Barker is a antique dealer and when she spies a painting and some odds and ends in a box during an auction she gets a tingling sense that there is something special about the items.  After winning the bid, her dealership is broken into-- the only things that go missing were from that lot.  As Philly starts investigating she joins forces with a police inspector and the two become friends while trying to unravel the mystery behind the theft.  This was such a cute little mystery story and I really enjoyed Philly and her friends and Inspector Robbie Dawkins.  


2.Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks-- I typically enjoy Sparks books and was looking for something to break my reading rut-- this book fit the bill!  I was immediately drawn to the main characters.  Told in two parts with the reader left guessing how these two story lines would intersect..  They were compelling stories on their own and I had so many guesses as to how they might collide (not one of which was right)! Colby's ambition had been to become a musician but his dreams were put on hold when he took over his family's farm.  Years later (as an adult) he takes a working vacation to Florida playing guitar at a local bar and runs into Morgan Lee who ends up turning his world upside down.  The two could not be more different but musically they complete each other and with Morgan's driving ambition to make it big in Nashville, Colby is going to have to pick between the farm and music/Morgan. Meanwhile Beverly's story is heartbreaking; on the run with just two small backpacks she's fleeing from her abusive husband trying to make a better life for her young son. But with her husband having enormous reach she's not sure they'll ever be safe and with money running out she's going to have to do something drastic soon. It might not have been my favorite Sparks book... but it was definitely one story that was hard to put down. 


3. Book Lovers by Emily Henry-- Never having read anything by Emily Henry before I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book but it really is a cute story that sucked me in from the start.  I do love that enemies to friends (or lovers) trope and while this wasn't quite that it was pretty darn close. I found myself laughing out loud and sharing snippets of the story with my family.  When bit city gal and literary agent Nora gets dragged off to the country by her younger sister Libby she's not expecting to run into Charlie, a book editor from back home.  With a less than stellar history between the two, Nora tries to avoid Charlie but that's impossible in a small town.  


4. Meant to Be by Emily Giffin-- Since everyone kept comparing this book to the Kennedy family, I wasn't sure I was going to like it; I know nothing about the Kennedy family other than a vague image and a few snippets of stories.  However, once I stopped trying to think about the Kennedys and just enjoy the story I thought it was really good.  Joseph Kingsley II has grown up in the shadow of his father and trying to live up to family expectations. Meanwhile, Cate grew up fatherless with her mother struggling to make ends meat until she marries the wrong guy.  Cate, anxious to escape, is more than happy to get a career in modeling at the age of 16 and saves up every cent she can to move out the moment she turns 18. When the two meet they feel an instant connection but it's unlikely they can survive the scrutiny of the media and the pressures of both their careers. 


 5. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle--  This is another popular book I avoided thinking I wasn't going to like since I don't like things that involve time travel or science fiction-y type elements... however I decided to give it a try and I really enjoyed it!  Dannie and David are just perfect for one another and when he proposes Dannie is quick to say "yes!" but that very night she falls asleep and dreams of a different apartment, a different man, and a different life 5  years in the future.  Her dream didn't feel like a dream though and Dannie spends a long time trying to shake it off.  Then 4 1/2 years later she stumbles upon the man from her dreams in the most unlikely scenario and she starts to fear her carefully orchestrated world is going to change. I guessed quite a few parts of the story but still found it utterly heartbreaking and sweet and sad.  



6.  She's Up to No Good by Sara Goodman Confino-- Jenna is shocked when her husband tells her he's leaving just 4 short years after they were married. Lost and living with her parents she finds herself volunteering to drive her 90 year old grandmother on a road trip to the Massachusetts shore.  I was giggling through much of the story listening to Jenna and her grandmother, who is quite feisty and fun. 


7. The Night Burns Bright by Ross Barkan-- I almost didn't read this book; by the time I picked it up out of my pile I only had 2 days to read it before it was due back at the library.  But I am so glad I did! I could not put it down and finished it a day.  This unbelievable and heartbreaking tale of Lucien, a boy living with his mom in a little town of New York, attending a private school of sorts known only as House of Earth.  Very quickly the reader gets an unsettling feeling that all is not quite right with Lucian's mom or his school and after the attacks of 9/11 things in Lucien's life begin to change at an alarming rate.  Entire families are moved onto the grounds of House of Earth, walls go up, they begin preparing for war... and then slowly one by one his friends and their family begin to disappear.  No one talks about where they go or what happened to them. It was riveting.  



DNF

1.Bookish people by Susan Coll-- I tried again this month to get into this story and I just can not.  I finally decided it's the book and not me.  I think I just found it much too depressing with a series of rather sad and lost characters.



2. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus-- I forced myself to read a good 4 or 5 chapters and found I was dreading picking it up.  I'm not even sure what it was I didn't really like as I thought it had a good premise.. but I really didn't like any of the characters in this book either and for me that makes it really hard to read. 



Linking up with: Spread the Kindness,











Comments

  1. I LOVED "Meant To Be" and I totally need to check out "She's Up To No Good"- thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's Up To No Good was so funny and sweet and really enjoyable.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing. Adding some of these to my list. Regine
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Too bad about Lessons in Chemistry but not every book is for everyone! I still have to read Dreamland too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You always find books I've never heard of. Thanks for the list. We just watched one of Nicolas Spark's books made into a movie--The Choice. SO good.
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I haven't seen that but I bet I'd really enjoy it.

      Delete
  5. I just finished Book Lovers last night and LOVED it, so glad to see another positive review! I think I'm slightly biased though, because this is the third Emily Henry book I've read, and she's quickly becoming one of my favorite rom-com authors. Sorry to hear about the DNFs, but sounds like you read some great ones too! She's Up To No Good sounds very cute, I think I'll have to check that one out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried any of Emily Henry's other books but I definitely want to!

      Delete
  6. I cannot get into reading, but this post is super inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I have been a book lover from waay back! I used to read nearly a book a day in middle school and high school.

      Delete
  7. I read Meant to Be and just couldn't get past the Kennedy angle. I finished it, but I wouldn't say it was a favorite. I did like Lessons in Chemistry a lot. I think maybe it's an age thing. I could relate to the mother quite a bit. It was written with a bit of a different stroke, I'd say. Do you read any of Taylor Jenkins Reid's books? I just finished one and have started another.

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think not knowing anything about the Kennedy's helped because other than being a junior and in politics I knew nothing else about them so I couldn't make any correlations between the story and the family! I just read two of TJR books in November already and really enjoyed them both.

      Delete
  8. I enjoyed this! I've read Book Lovers and made a note of the mysteries. These long evenings are perfect for cozy reading.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sorry Lessons in Chemistry didn't work for you. I've heard good things, but sometimes it's not to meant to be with a book!! I liked Book Lovers, but I didn't love it. I have read her book Beach Read and enjoyed that one far more.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read Beach Read yet but it is on my list of books to get to.

      Delete
  10. I will be adding some of these to my book list Joanne.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i've been wanting to read Book lovers but now you've added quite a few more to my reading list! Stopping by from penny's passion's party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Sorry, I am the exact same way with book lists and reviews; my reading list just keeps getting longer and longer.

      Delete
  12. I'm adding a few of these to my TBR list - thanks for the recommendations! I also admire you being able to just stop reading a bad book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! That is a trait I only picked up in the last few years and I am embracing it fully! LOL.

      Delete
  13. In Five Years is one of the books that I always recommend to people when they're looking for something. I LOVED that book.

    ReplyDelete
  14. In Five Years sounds a little like The Midnight Library. It would be interesting to go back in time and see how our choices would affect us later! I've noticed that illustrated book covers are definitely the in-thing now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They reminded me of each other only in that time travel/ choices aspect but the execution could not have been more different. I've got to admit that the illustrated book covers often put me off... but I am definitely relearning that lesson of not to judge a book by it's cover.

      Delete
  15. I loved Jo's Philly Barker and can't wait for her next one in the series! I've heard mixed reactions to Lessons in Chemistry so not sure about it. Thanks for joining us Joanne and sharing your reading and reviews :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait either; I really enjoyed all the characters.

      Delete
  16. Hi, Joanne - Thank you for being a regular at WOYBS. I greatly look forward to your posts. Like you, I really enjoyed Philly Barker Investigates. I am already anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. While I ultimately enjoyed Lessons in Chemistry, I did have a very difficult time getting into this book. I can definitely see why others would not like it. I have heard good things about Book Lovers. I will keep a lookout for that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to have to check out other books by Emily Henry now!

      Delete
  17. Hi Joanne some great recommendations here and thanks for joining us for WOYBS. I've read several of your recommendations but not others - so more to add to my list. Enjoy your reading in December x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aw, thank you! Sometimes it surprises me too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Firstly, thank you for including Philly on your list - she's well chuffed. There are a few on here that I'm interested in - especially Book Lovers & Lessons in Chemistry. I used to be a massive fan of Emily Giffin, but not so much of late. I might, however, give this one a whirl. Thanks for linking up.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dollar Store Candy Cane Wreath

Let's Look At.. Where I Shop for My Mom

Monthly Musings: November 2022 "Holiday Prep"