I read eleven books this month and here’s what you should know about them!
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I’ve outlined my thoughts on all of my October reads. Some will have you clicking “add to cart.” Others, I read it so you don’t have to! Either way, here to support those TBRs! Be sure to let me know if you pick up any of these books!
Solito by Javier Zamora, published September 2022
The premise of this memoir sold me as soon as I read the synopsis. A nine-year-old Javier embarks on the dangerous migration from El Salvador to California, where his parents are already there waiting. He traveled with strangers, led by multiple coyotes in different regions. This emotionally gripping memoir has added depth, as it’s told from a child’s perspective. It reflects on the scary journey, moments of personal growth, and the tender moments experienced with strangers who looked out for him. Absolutely recommend this book for those looking to broaden their perspective.
The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh, published March 2022
This genre-bending book took me by surprise! Admittedly, I didn’t read the synopsis before diving in, but the title and cover led me to think it was going to be a summer love-esque/ second chance romance type of plot… I was wrong! It packed a punch right from the beginning with the main character having cancer and suffering from infertility (not spoilers). As the story went on, it melted between romance, family drama, and suspense/mystery. Some may think that feels all over the place, but I thought it added depth to the story. This was the Bookcase Beauty Book Club pick for October and we had such great conversations that stemmed from topics in this book. Pick it up if you’re looking for something that will keep your mind swirling.
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeny, published August 2022
I’m a sucker for a trapped thriller! Stuck in a house? A basement? An island? And people keep dying?! I’m all in! This was a very Agatha Christie-inspired book! The Darker family has traveled to their grandmother’s coastal home for her 80th birthday, but then Nana is found dead! So begins ongoing murders and the inability to escape. The Darker family is forced to reckon with their own secrets, while trying to stay together and alive until the tide goes out. This was a fast read! The story keeps the pages turning almost automatically. Pick this one up if you want to get lost in thrilling book!
Perish by LaToya Watkins, published August 2022
This was another powerful read! Although some moments were difficult to read, this story is immersive and shines light on generational trauma. If you have reading sensitivities, I would suggest looking up the content warnings on Goodreads. This book follows the Turner family over four decades and is told from four perspectives of family members. Set in a tiny town in east Texas, the Turner family has a dark and twisted path. A family reunion brings up long-held secrets that force each family member to evaluate who is worthy of forgiveness and who is worthy of blame.
Seattle’s Great Fire by Jordan Kidd
This narrative non-fiction book was fascinating! Set in the mid-1800s, it centers on local pioneer “Doc” and Chief Si’ahl (Seattle) of the native Duwamish tribe, as they try to bring together a clash of cultures. The real partnership in this story comes from young Mila and Catori, one an orphan being raised by Doc and the other a boy in the Duwamish tribe. This pair comes together to try and stop a planned attack on the new settlement by the Duwamish tribe. I loved reading about the relationships, good and bad, that grew between cultures.
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, published July 2018
I had marveled at this cover for over a year, yet left it unread because I wouldn’t prioritized it over the new releases. I finally read this for my Backlist Book Club’s October focus, Cover Love. I’m so glad I did!! The synopsis hooked me right away, hence why I bought it on Pangobooks, but the story was so immersive. It had everything I needed for a fall historical fiction read! It’s set in Columbia during the Pablo Escobar era and contrasts high society and working class. Told between alternating perspectives of Chula, a seven-year-old girl and Patrona, a young live-in maid, this story gives a history lesson of Columbia during this fearful time. It was eye-opening and heart wrenching at times, but a powerful read worth your time!
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, published October 2022
FIVE STAR ALERT
I recently gushed about my love for Barbara Kingsolver and Demon Copperhead on Instagram. Please go check out this post for more of my thoughts, the algorithm was not too kind to it. She wrote one of the pivotal books that formed my passion for reading, The Poisonwood Bible. She has such a power about her. Her writing feels classic in the modern era, something so rare! It’s absolutely one of my favorites of the year and I won’t be surprised if I pick this one up again one day.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna, published August 2022
This was a cute, not-so-spooky read for spooky season! It reminded me of The House in the Cerulean Sea, with characters feeling like misfits and unlikely bonds between children and caretakers. This was a great representation that family doesn’t always mean shared blood. Don’t let the title fool you, this book may be about witches but it’s not a Halloween book. Think Sabrina, the Teenage Witch vibes. It can be read year-round without holiday ties!
East Winds by Rachel Rueckert, publishes November 2022
East Winds initially grasped my attention with its book trailer. You can watch it here:
I loved the examination of marriage and commitment across cultures! Rueckert did a fantastic job making parallels to her own religion and culture. Beyond the scope of cultural diversity and unique travel experiences, East Winds gives a great depiction of the first year of marriage- learning the nuances about your partner, building communication, and inevitably repairing and learning from negative experiences. Definitely recommend this perspective-broadening book!
The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simon St. James, originally published 2012, reprinted October 2022
St. James can tell a ghost story! Although this book is a decade old, the reprinting of this cover made me finally pick it up! I also read this book for the Bookcase Beauty Backlist Club’s Cover Love focus. It’s a mystery how Maddy came to be at the Clare’s home all those years ago, but they took her in and raised her. After her suicide, Maddy still haunts the barn on the Clare’s property. The story is told from the perspective of Sarah, who’s temp agency has sent her to assist the ghost hunter, Alistair. The hope is that they can finally send Maddy to rest in peace, but Maddy is MAD and she wants vengeance. If you’ve never read any of Simone St. James’ books, this is a great place to start!
Happiness for Beginners but Katherine Center, originally published in 2015, republished in 2020, soon to be a Netflix movie!
I managed to squeeze in one last Cover Love book for the Bookcase Beauty Backlist Club! If you’re thinking, “geez, that club seems excessive.” It’s not, we only plan to read one book a month from our TBRs, I’m just an overachiever. 🙂 Happiness for Beginners has been on my TBR for so long. I’m a huge Katherine Center fan. If you’ve been around the blog or followed me on Instagram for very long, you know that to be true. Here’s an embroidery I made of her newest book, The Bodyguard.
She’s the master of sweet. This sweet romance has the fun little brother’s best friend trope. There’s something about the friends to lovers and siblings friend to lovers tropes that always get me. Maybe because there’s already a trusting relationship there. I feel like the relationship build is so much more believable. Absolutely recommend picking this one up when you need a dose of sweetness in your life. There are a few heavy topics woven in, but Center does so with such love and grace.
Overall, here are my top three favorites of the month:
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
If you pick any of these tiles up, I’d love to know your thoughts! Let’s keep the conversation going by leaving a comment below!
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Have you read any of these? Do we have any similar or differing opinions? Put any of these on your TBR?
Leave me a comment!