What are we reading in October 2019?

Annie Deighnaugh
October 1, 2019

I'm reading Fall On Your Knees which I believe was recommended here. I'm not half way yet and some of it has been wow!

Our book group will be reading Educated this month.

What's on your reading list?

(As always, if you can, it's helpful to bold the titles, rate the books on 1-5 stars, and let us know if you think it'd be good for a book group.)

Comments (66)

  • Kathsgrdn

    Thanks for this post! I now have a list of books to look for. Especially like someone's post about good audio books. Need a good one for the commute to and from work!

  • georgysmom2

    Just started reading The Reckoning by John Grisham. I haven't read him in many years. He started out great and then began just churning them out and they were not as good so I stopped reading him. From all accounts, this one is very good and so far am liking it. Will report back when I finish. Educated is next months book.

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  • sweet_betsy No AL Z7

    I have just finished Praying for Sleep, an older book by Jeffery Deaver. This is not one of his Lincoln Rhyme series which I love but a mystery which has so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing until the last page. 4 stars

  • chisue

    @ Bunny -- You may have read my take on The Darwin Affair, posted here on the KT. I agree that it was slow going at the start, and I, too, noted editing errors -- like some sentences with missing articles (the, an). I ended up thinking it was a 4-star 'affair'. lol

    I've just finished The Substitution Order, by Martin Clark (retired circuit court judge). Very entertaining, if a brain-stretcher due to the complicated legal shenanigans involved. The protagonist is a 40-year-old lawyer fighting to regain his formerly beautiful life following a (deserved) drug conviction.

    I was impressed to realize how totally your entire future is ruined once you are known to have been a drug addict. Even this man's nearest and dearest are unable to trust that he's telling the truth, making him the perfect victim of a setup. Four stars.

  • OutsidePlaying

    Dang it....twice I have written this and twice it has failed to post. What is up with Houzz? Half the time my pics are grayed out and won’t post, and now this! Rant over and will try again.

    Finished The Tattoist of Auschwitz a few days ago. I give it a solid 4 stars and would have given it 5 had it not been for the rather abrupt ending. After reading the epilogue, the postscript, and the additional information at the end of the book, I better understand how difficult it was for the author to tie all the information together. Obviously many scenes were fictitious, and some characters were composites, but the writing was beautifully done and it was a wonderful story. For those who have read it, did you know she has written Cilka’s Journey, which follows her story?

    A friend gave me her copy of Educated, which I plan to start next.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    I've not really been reading, I've mostly been listening. New Yorker fiction podcasts are my thing. It has reminded me though how much I like Alice Munro. If you haven't read her, try this short story from the NY'er. It popped up on my NY'er most popular feed,no idea why this story from over 18 years ago.

  • Kathsgrdn

    I took my list of 5 books mentioned here to our local library and they only had one and it was out. So the librarian ordered the rest and put me on the list for the one that was out. I then asked for a recommendation for a good audio book that they had in stock. I need something for the commute to and from work. I go back tomorrow. Not looking forward to it.

  • skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

    Were you able to find something fun for your commute?

  • Sister Sunnie

    Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton , just finished City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.

  • Bestyears

    kathsgrdn, I don't know if you've heard of SCRIBD, but I just love it for audiobooks. It's $8.99/month, and gives you access to all kinds of regular books as well as audiobooks (papers, etc. as well). It's a real bargain in my mind. I don't use it for reading books so much, because SCRIBD only allows me to read them on my macBook, not on my Kindle. But I love, love, love the audiobooks. I have the SCRIBD app on my phone as well, so whether I'm listening on my macBook while sewing or on my phone while walking Savannah, I have access, and it autosyncs. As you describe, the selection at local libraries is not what it should be. I belong to a wide system of libraries here, and another one across the country where we have a vacation house, and while the ebook selections have improved over the years, in neither case is it where it should be. Very frustrating. Thank God for SCRIBD!

    I just did a quick random check for some of the books mentioned here, (The Orchardist, The Dutch House, Praying for Sleep, Undaunted Courage, The Tatooist of Auschwitz) and all were available as audiobooks on SCRIBD>

  • Elmer J Fudd

    Another option for audio books is the Overdrive service most libraries provide online. It's probably not always as convenient as what's described for SCRIBD and it functions like other library services - the library will have a limited number of copies for simultaneous use and when all are "checked out", there's a wait until the checkouts expire. But, it's free.

    The entire Overdrive library is too extensive for most libraries to subscribe to, just as no public library has a copy of every book ever printed. The larger the library system (meaning, the population of the area served), the more extensive the Overdrive subscription will be and the larger number of copies for simultaneous use the library will provide. The smaller the system, the more meager the selections will be.

  • Kathsgrdn

    Skibby, a murder mystery by an author I've never read before. I would tell you what it is but it's out in the car and I'm too lazy to go look. Bestyears, no never heard of them but I don't have a kindle that I can it's for when I'm driving and want cds. Elmer, they did ask about the Overdrive thing too at the library but again was looking for CDs.

  • 4kids4us

    @kathsgrdn, you don’t need a kindle for Overdrive/Libby audiobooks from the library. If you have a smartphone, you download the app to your phone, log in to your library, then you download the audiobooks right to the app on your phone. If your phone is hooked up to Bluetooth in your car, you can listen through your car speakers. Otherwise you can use headphones (I only put one headphone in when I’m driving). You will have access to a lot more audiobooks this way than if using CDs.

  • stacey_mb

    I use RB Digital and OverDrive, both available via the public library. My library's offerings aren't the more desirable audiobooks, unfortunately, so I also subscribe to for a better selection. After locating a book at Audible that I would enjoy, I search OverDrive for the title and sometimes find it there as well. As Elmer points out, there is usually a wait for an available copy, so I place a hold. This is all a part of the juggling act of my audiobook experience!

  • Elmer J Fudd

    In some areas, residents can get a card (and access to online resources) at many in-state public libraries, even for cities where they don't live. If it's like that for the libraries in your area, by getting additional cards for other systems you'll have access to more copies and more titles. And, you'll encounter fewer wait list situations.

  • stacey_mb

    Bestyears - thank you so much for mentioning SCRIBD. I have investigated their site and may subscribe - I think it's time for a change from Audible!

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    Just finished Fall On Your Knees... what a story line! I'd rate it 4 stars and am debating whether to recommend for my book group...probably won't, but it was quite scene in the book especially was wow!

    Next up is Educated.

  • stacey_mb

    For audiobook users, I found out after much reading on their web site, that SCRIBD audiobooks are not purchased, but rented. Members have unlimited access to their material and when a membership is discontinued, audiobooks and other material disappear from devices. Audible's fees are higher and any material is purchased and remains on devices, whether membership is current or not. SCRIBD offers a trial membership which I might explore to check it out further.

    Edited for clarity.

  • joann_fl

    I'm reading a book by Melody Carlson, I just love her books. This one is "Christmas in Winter Hill". Almost finished with it.

  • Bunny

    I'm reading This Tender Land by Wm. Kent Krueger, who wrote Ordinary Grace. I'm really liking it so far.

  • salonva

    I started Dandelion Wine and at first I was about to give up as I just couldn't get into it or even follow. Now at about 15 % or so (kindle) it's really grabbing me. Hope it keeps up! I think it was on a previous month's thread that it was mentioned and I realized I always heard of it but never read it.

    I keep wanting to read Rebecca but the timing never works out so maybe maybe that one will get read soon.

  • pudgeder

    I just want you all to know that I comprise my reading list from these monthly threads. :-)

  • Bunny

    chisue, when I saw a recent photo of Trey Gowdy, I immediately thought, "The Chorister."

  • sableincal

    Just finished Michael Connelly's The Fifth Witness as a kind of palate cleanser from a year or more of reading Joyce Carol Oates. I love Oates, but she exhausts me with her emotional explorations of American life. Connelly's Harry Bosch is a good creation if you want to feel that things will work out, no matter what! The Fifth Witness is good, although not the best Bosch book.

    Now, based on what Stacey and April wrote upthread, am about to begin Meir Shalev's A Pigeon and A Boy. In English, though, as I don't have patience now for plowing through Hebrew. I very much enjoy Israeli writing, e.g. Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua. Shalev will be a new experience!

  • salonva

    ok so now definitely adding Meir Shalev to my list.

  • aprilneverends

    ..I finished Two She-Bears btw.

    Now I'm really impatient to check out that English translation

  • Bunny

    sableincal, I recently read Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly and enjoyed it very much. A definite palate cleanser after all the historical fiction I'm usually reading.

  • skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

    Bunny - is that Connelly book a psychological thriller?

  • diane_nj 6b/7a

    The Travelers: A Novel by Regina Porter. Many family ties, lots of time shifting.

  • NewEnglandgal

    Michael Connelly is a good writer and I love his Harry Bosch series.

  • Bunny

    Skibby, I guess you could call it that. Murders, weirdos, LA.

  • Kathsgrdn

    Listening to "Defending Jacob" by William far, so good.

  • sableincal

    Bunny - Dark Sacred Night is on my coffee table, awaiting a reading after I finish one or two books by Shalev. I wonder if you have watched the Bosch series on Amazon Prime. There are five of them, starring Titus Welliver as the moody, intense detective, and he is excellent. Even DH, who usually doesn't share my love of detective thrillers, joins me for each new season.

  • Bunny

    Sable, I haven't watched the Bosch series on Amazon Prime. No real reason other than I'm trying to read more and watch less TV, even good videos.

    Although I do often find myself in historical fiction, I love a good Michael Connelly. LA is such a great setting for noir.

  • runninginplace

    We had an exciting week in book club-the day after our meeting was held the book we discussed won the Nobel Prize! My husband asked if the committee was influenced by our recommendation LOL

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    I‘m a few chapters into The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. She writes about the rising awareness of AIDS in the 1980s, through a group of Chicago friends, and weaves a current-day story into the 1985 story. It is an amazing bit of writing, she leads you along one path and then drops a bit of information that makes you realize you didn’t recognize the path you are really on. Won the Carnegie Medal, nominated for Pulitzer and National Book Award and others.

    Listening to Becoming as read by the author, Michelle Obama. She sets a scene well. She reads it beautifully, I love her voice, but we were listening in the car and it was a little too soothing on a warm day (especially since I wasn’t driving) and I dozed off during her early childhood. But I look forward to listening to the rest. (As an aside, it is probably a 10-hour book; I can’t Imagine how this busy woman found the time to record it, or how long it took.)

  • Bookwoman

    runninginplace, which of the two authors who won the prize - assuming you meant for literature - did you read? (And BTW, the prize is given for a body of work, not a particular book.)

    bpath, I loved that book.

  • rosesstink

    Finished The Testaments by Margaret Atwood earlier this week. Quite good. I had to pause while reading and ask myself what I expected this book to be. I couldn't answer my question other than with a vague sense of "I hope the men suffer greatly." (I used much harsher terms.) I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it yet.

    Yesterday I completed The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman. Didn't care for it. I kept thinking I must have read it before but I haven't. It's just formulaic. Melodramatic. Blah. Many people think highly of the book and the edition I read has a series of "discussion questions" at the end so I guess it's popular among book clubs. To each his own.

    I have decided not to finish 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman. It is just not holding my interest.

    Moving on to The Birthday of the World by Ursula K. Le Guin.

  • runninginplace

    Bookwoman, our October book was Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead. Got a universal thumbs up, although it was sometimes a challenging read.

    Bpath, I hear you about Michelle Obama's book. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to; she wrote in a much more unguarded and open style, sharing parts of her life that sometimes surprised me--as a public figure, I didn't expect to get some of the honest and blunt sharing about her life, her marriage and being the First Lady.

    She seems like a very warm and engaging person and regardless of one's politics, it's hard not to compare her solid, loving and very traditional family values with the ones of the president who followed their tenure in the White House.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    I finished Educated and I thought it was good 4 star...we'll be discussing this week in book group.

    Just started another recommendation from here: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. So far it's really good....eye opening.

  • leela4

    I just finished Beloved by Toni Morrison last night. It was a hard book to read in some ways - the underlying menace I felt throughout the book was enhanced (and not mitigated) by her style of writing. However, I feel like it is a book everyone should read as it so bleakly and somewhat matter of factly presents the atrocities of slavery in this country. I am glad I read it but I can't say I really "enjoyed' it. But I would recommend it- 4 stars.

    Annie The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a great book - I think you'll enjoy it.

    Our bookclub pick - The Ghosts of Eden Park was okay - sort of interesting but very flat writing. Maybe 2.5 stars?

    bpath I loved The Great Believers.

    I'd like to read The Orchardist but I think the next book on my pile is Dandelion Wine, recommended by someone upthread.

    As always-thanks Annie for this thread.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked leela4
  • Bestyears

    Like others, I really enjoyed two books mentioned in this thread:The Great Believers and Becoming. I just finished listening to The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, and I will greatly miss the characters accompanying me on my morning walk with Savannah now. Really a memorable book with terrific characters. I also just finished The Moth Presents Occasional Magic, which is a compilation of stories presented at Moth Story Slams. Really enjoyed that as well. I've just started Jill Biden's memoir, Where the Light Enters. She's an excellent writer, and it's shaping up to be an interesting story. I hadn't realized she was so young when she began dating Joe (just 24).

  • Bunny

    I realized I learned of This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger on a thread in Reader's Paradise. I have no idea how I found myself there, but I'll post my reply here, since you all are my book peeps.

    Skibby, thanks to this thread, I found out about This Tender Land. I just finished it, along with a handful of Kleenex.

    Krueger is a gifted writer. It's the story of four orphans who run away from a very oppressive and abusive school for Indian children in Minnesota in 1932. It's told by one of the four children, now in his 80s, about their summer odyssey, much of it harrowing, with moments and encounters of great beauty.

    There were a few times when I wished the story would move along a bit faster but now I think it was worth the wait. It's a story about heart and becoming who you were meant to be. 4.5 solid stars. I'm not a book club person, but I think it might work for one.

  • sheilajoyce_gw

    I am enjoying David McCullough's 1776. He is a talented writer and great researcher.

  • 4kids4us

    I recently finished listening to Miracle Creek by Angie Kim that I saw on a recommended reading list somewhere. Good writing but the plot/subject matter just did not appeal and found it to be very slow moving. Decent ending, but would not go out of my way to recommend this one. 2.5 stars.

    After a long time on the waiting list, I finally got a copy of the highly rated latest by Elin Hilderbrand, Summer of ‘69. I’m picky about chick lit; this is the first of her novels that I’ve read but thought it was promising given its acclaim. It started off well and I enjoyed the chick lit escape following some heavy reading, but it went off the deep end when every single noteworthy event from 1969 and moral issue of the era seemed to personally affect this family. it didn’t live up to hype for me. 2.5 stars.

    I’m currently reading Dominicana by Angie Cruz. I put this on my reading list earlier this summer and my library just got it. I see it’s now on several recommended reading lists. I just started it and then realized it was due back at library. I couldn’t renew as it has holds so I’m spending my free time finishing it. It’s an interesting look at a Dominican family in NY in the late 60s. I like learning about other cultures and enjoying it.

    I’m glad to see positive reviews for This Tender Land as I have that on my TBR list. I adored Krueger’s Ordinary Grace and am really looking forward to this one!

  • Bunny

    4kids, I also adored Ordinary Grace. The guy’s got a gift.

  • skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

    I was about to begin The Orchardist (Coplin) when I got a call from the Library that the book I had on hold was ready. I picked up This Tender Land (Krueger) and started that. What a gem. I'm loving every word of it. I hope Bunny did too. It's one of those you want to savor, yet devour in spite of yourself.

  • Bunny

    Skibby, yes, I loved it too.

  • Bestyears

    I've finished everything I noted above, so I've just started Elizabeth Strout's Olive, Again -and am enjoying it. I'm also listening to Demi Moore's memoir, Inside Out, which is mesmerizing.I intend to start Elton John's new memoir very soon too.

  • Kathsgrdn

    If She Wakes by Michael Koryta. So far, so good. Listening to The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. I was listening to another book on CD but had to stop, it was awful, something about Portugal.

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