Reading Round-Up: October Edition

It’s been another great month of reading! I hope you’ll take a look at the titles I share this month and add your own to the comments.

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Murder on Astor Place: A Gaslight Mystery

The first book I finished this month was Murder on Astor Place, Book 1 in the Gaslight Mystery Series by Victoria Thompson. This is an historical mystery set in New York City around the turn of the twentieth century and features main character Sarah Brandt, ex-socialite-turned-midwife who is compelled to help solve the mystery of a young woman’s death shortly after meeting the girl under stressful circumstances. I am going to read every one of the Gaslight Mysteries! Read my review here.

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Alice by [Bibiana Krall]

Next up was Alice by Bibibana Krall. If you receive my newsletter, you may remember that Bibiana is one of the authors who makes up the BookEm YouTube team, of which I am a part. With that being said, Bibiana writes paranormal stories in a way that makes me feel like I’m right there, watching the scenes unfold in front of me. Read my review of this remarkable paranormal tale here.

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The Woman in Black (The Susan Hill Collection)

If you like ghost stories, this one is for you. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill was apparently made into a movie some years ago, but I had not heard of it until just last week. I read this story with nary a care for food, drink, or sleep, much like the main character, Arthur. This tale will give you the chicken skin and make you reconsider going outside at night. I highly recommend this for lovers of all things scary. Read my review here.

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And next was something a little different (actually, very different). For my book club this month, we read A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson. Written as an ode to the author’s friendship with a remarkable woman she met on Cape Cod one fateful autumn, this is a beautiful tale of wisdom, zest for life, and the importance of being active and engaged. I gave this book five bright stars. Read my review here.

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The Guest List: A Novel by [Lucy Foley]

I was intrigued by Lucy Foley’s The Guest List because of a blurb I read about it some months ago, and I found it to be a thrilling look at some of the secrets people keep and the things that drive them to commit unspeakable acts. With that being said, I would only recommend this book to someone who doesn’t mind a close-up look at those unspeakable acts, because some of them are pretty gritty and nauseating. Read my review here.

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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson was the October choice for one of my book clubs. As I write this post, I haven’t yet attended the discussion, but I think it’s good to reflect on the book before listening to the opinions of others. So my review of this book about white Americans and their relationships with and to Americans of African descent is here and I hope you’ll take a minute to read it. This is a hugely important book on an even more important topic, and I think everyone should read it. It’s scholarly enough for high school and college students, yet written in a style that’s easy enough for everyone else to read.

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You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations by [Michael Ian Black]

I had so many mixed feelings about this book, and in the end I gave it three stars and would not recommend it. The author, who is a comedian and actor, was new to me. His brutal and (admittedly, sometimes very funny) shameless honesty was really something to behold, and his obsession with sex and genitalia were off-putting, at best (he seemed never to have gotten beyond adolescence). And let me just say that if my husband ever talked about me the way Black talks about his wife, I’d give him the boot. Read my review here.

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So what have you all been reading? Care to share?

Until next time,

Amy

28 thoughts on “Reading Round-Up: October Edition”

    1. Hi, Robbie,

      I wouldn’t recommend the last one to anyone who doesn’t appreciate adolescent male humor, which is most adult women I know. And as for Caste, it really is aimed at American audiences so I’m not sure people from other parts of the world would appreciate its messages.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I appreciate your very honest reviews. That last book I give you kudos for even trying it. I think it would probably make me mad if I picked it up and read it.
    I’m a wimp and don’t read books that give me chicken skin, but I think I’d love to try a walk on the beach. 😍

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    1. It’s funny you say that, because I was thinking of you when I read A Walk on the Beach, and I was going to email you (I forgot, of course) to recommend it to you specifically. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked Sarah’s Key, Debby. Sometimes I get nervous about making recommendations because I feel responsible if the person doesn’t like the pick. Let me know if you like Caste. Like I said, it’s geared toward an American audience, but everyone everywhere should read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how you do it! I’m lucky if I can read two books a month.

    A Walk on the Beach caught my eye and is going on my TBR list. I don’t know whether to thank you or cry. (LOL)

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    1. I call it “research,” no matter what I’m reading. That makes me feel better about all the time I spend reading when I should be doing something else. πŸ˜‰

      I think you’ll like A Walk on the Beach. It’s also a great gift for other women.

      Have a great day, Pat!

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  3. Well, that was fun because I haven’t read any of these books. That doesn’t happen too often anymore. I’ve meant to read Caste, and I know that’s one I’ll get to.

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    1. Like I said in my review, I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially white people. I didn’t even know that the word “Caucasian” has a more or less random meaning and it simply stuck after being uttered by a psychologist (if I’m remembering correctly) years ago.

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  4. I always look forward to these posts as your reviews seem very honest and nothing is glossed over…The Women in Black I read a while ago and loved it…I always come away wanting to read at least one…Great reviews Amy πŸ™‚ x

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    1. Hi, Carol,

      Thank you! I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of The Woman in Black until just before I read it. It sounds like most people, as usual, were waaay ahead of me on that Gothic train. I’m so glad I read it and I look forward to reading more by Susan Hill. Thanks for dropping in!

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    1. My pleasure, Jim. I think being in two book clubs definitely helps me expand my comfort zones and my horizons, and it makes for a more interesting mix of books to review each month. I only wish I could read faster!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. what a great idea to be in multiple book clubs – do they meet i person (or at least used to), or are they virtual book clubs. And yes, I wish I could read faster as well!

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      2. I enjoy being in the two clubs because the books are (typically) vastly different from each other. Right now we’re meeting in person. We remain socially distanced, but one group is meeting indoors and the other is meeting outdoors. Since the cold weather is upon us, I assume the outdoor group will have to move inside before too long. We’re guessing that restrictions put in place by the governor will eventually require online meetings, which we did in the spring. The online meetings, for the most part, went very smoothly and I wouldn’t mind doing that at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The only one of these I’ve read is The Woman in Black, which I adored! It was amazing what a difference it made to the tropes of Gothic fiction when the protagonist was a man. I’ll have to check out some of these others . . .adds to endless TBR. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  6. Great variety of books! All the emotions- from gritty and nauseating to brutal, shameless honesty. I think I will start with The Woman in Black. I really like your intros to the books and thanks for the enticing recommendations.

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