Tuesday, October 31, 2023

the books I read in October


Happy Tuesday to you, friends, and happy Halloween! How was your reading this month? Did it change from one month to the next? I love to read books that are in season with whichever one I'm currently in. Are you like this? I will say that next month I will start reading Christmas books, because I like to decorate early each year. Now, onto the books I read this month!

First up was this one by an author that is new to me.

Todd totally made fun of me over how much this book creeped me out, but even so, I could barely put it down! This is one that Andrea recommended back in the summer of this year. If you decide to read this book, make sure and read the author's note at the beginning. It gives some background information as to why this author wrote a book like this, set in this time period. The whole story takes place in the 90's, so that's kinda fun. The byline on this description is this: "Steel Magnolias meets Dracula".

Patricia's life has never felt so mundane. Her husband works all the time, their teenage kids each have their own lives, and the care of her elderly mother-in-law rests on her shoulders. Patricia has always belonged to a book club, but when she quits one boring and uppity one and starts another one that reads the books she wants to read, her life changes. These women love to read true crime stories, and they become fast, though unlikely, friends. One night after book club, Patricia is attacked by an elderly neighbor in her own backyard. When she goes to the home of that neighbor's nephew to take a casserole after learning of her death, she meets James Harris, and everything in her life changes. He is a mysterious new man in the neighborhood, and expresses an interest in joining their book club. He is well traveled and he loves to read; why wouldn't they let him join in their fun? 

When children on the other side of town start to go missing, and then die terrible deaths, Patricia begins to wonder about this new and mysterious neighbor. Has she unknowingly invited a monster into her home, her family life, and her book club? She is not giving up until she gets to the bottom of this, even if it takes years of detaching herself from this man, and convincing the others around her that maybe they shouldn't be so quick to trust him. 

Quick thoughts and a disclaimer: This book was really good, funny at times, and cringe worthy at others. I couldn't put it down to see how it would end, but know that it is a book about vampires, and it was more gory that I'd thought it would be. That's why Todd teased me over this; I had to put it down one night and go watch something fluffy so that I wouldn't have nightmares about rats. It's definitely not a book for everyone, but I was curious enough to read it for myself. 

Olivia is down on her luck with everything: job, boyfriend, places to call home. Because of that, she finds herself living with her brother and his annoying best friend in their apartment. She's sad about everything in her current life, and then one night she gets a text from a wrong number that changes everything. He asked a snarky question, and she gave him a similar comment in return. Before she knows it, they're keeping that going and her life is starting to change. She lands the perfect job, she finds joy in keeping her little nephews every once in a while, and she has fun texting this mystery man with whom she has chemistry. She would only change one thing: Collin, her brother's roommate and best friend. But wait...she starts to see another side of him, and feels maybe there is something there that she missed before. But what about Mr. Wrong Number? Why did he disappear all of a sudden? Can she like them both at once? 

I'll let you read to find out more, but this wasn't my favorite Lynn Painter book. The language and quality was worse than her other books, and I found myself quickly skimming through the last third of the book. On Good Reads I only rated it as a 3 star book, and for me, that's saying something. 

Next up was this one by a new author.

Here's what Good Reads says about this book:

What's a movie star to do when giving up the spotlight could hurt the ones he loves most? My agent has this idea—an insanely bad idea—to reboot my Hollywood heartthrob status by having my long-lost love dump me...while I'm proposing to her on national tv. The theory? Women everywhere will swoon over poor Lincoln James, scrambling to repair his vulnerable, shattered heart. Trouble is, I don't have any kind of love—long-lost, or otherwise. To play my fake girlfriend, my agent enlists Hadley Morgan, my secret college crush. The one who dragged me to an audition that launched my career but left her in the dust. Upping the ante, she offers Hadley a slot on the show she missed out on years ago. When the alternative publicity ploy is for reporters to dig up dirt on my family, I've got no choice but to go along with the ruse. That's how I found myself back in Harvest Hollow...

This was cute, a friends-to-more kind of story that I like, and though this one kept me entertained, it did move a little slower than I like. 

Lastly was this cozy mystery that I found in the Libby app.

In the small village of Kilbane, Naomi's Bistro has always been a warm and welcoming spot to visit with neighbors, enjoy some brown bread and tea, and get the local gossip. Nowadays, twenty-two year old Siobhan O'Sullivan runs the family bistro named for her mother, along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents almost a year ago. It's been a rough year for the O'Sullivans, and it's about to become even more so. One morning as they're opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table, dressed in a suit, with a pair of hot pink scissors protruding from his chest. With the local guarda suspecting the O'Sullivans and their business in danger of being shunned, it's up to feisty Siobhan to solve the crime and save her beloved brood.

Quick thoughts about this one: It was adorable! I feel like I'd traveled to Ireland after reading this book, and though the names are hard to pronounce and it was filled with words that had different meanings, that is how the book began. For instance, the author told us that you pronounce the name Siobhan as Shi-vawn. How clever! There was a glossary of terms as well, and I loved and appreciated that. The setting of this book took place in the summer, but it felt more like fall. It was very reminiscent of an Agatha Christie book, which you know I am always on board with.

Do you like to read books that are in-season like me? I enjoyed these fall (or fall-feeling) books that I read this month, but I'm excited to start reading Christmas themed books in November. There are always plenty to keep me occupied, and I look forward to sharing them here at the end of the month. I'm starting my first one of the season tomorrow, with one I purchased over the weekend. I read most of my books through the Libby app on my phone and then download them to my Kindle, but I also rely heavily on Kindle Unlimited. Two of these books above are ones you can read there now for free, the last two that I mentioned. I will also occasionally buy a book or two throughout the year, it just depends on the author and whether or not it's someone whose books I read and loved. 

Share some books with me, please! I would love to know what you're reading, or what you're looking forward reading. Thanks for reading my blog today, friends! Love to all. 


  1. I find it hard to find fall books, but I already requested a couple of Christmas books from the library. I am patting myself on the back for going to Target.com and clicking on new release books and then requesting those that looked good. I usually go in to Target and snap photos, but I haven't been inside Target since September.
    I probably won't read about vampires, but it's good to go outside your comfort zone! I am almost done with Elin's 5 Star Weekend and it might be my favorite of all her books since her really old, first books, I think? I also really enjoyed her Winter Stroll? series.

  2. Amy, I do something similar. I get emails from lots of different publishers and a local Indy bookstore here in Memphis, so I depend on those two things to know what's new and noteworthy. I also follow a few bookstores on Instagram that are all good about posting what's coming soon. It's very hard to find fall books! I bought that book at the end of the summer, but I'm waiting until spring or summer to read it, because I'm weird like that. I loved the Winter Stroll series!

  3. I'm enjoying some fiction right now, by Lisa Jewell. I just finished "I Found You" and it was a page turner, for sure.

    I was also reading Share Your Stuff, I'll Go First, and that is a great book about friendship and sharing your life.

    I try to read a fiction and then non-fiction and alternate genres.

  4. The books you read sound pretty good! I have no rhyme or reason to the books that I read in terms of seasons. My biggest criteria is that they are well written, aren´t endorsed by celebrities (sorry if that makes me sound like a book snob- I guess I kind of am), cause me to think, etc. I tend to not like fluffy, chick lit type books but I do think some chick lit authors write meatier, better material and I read some of those.

  5. I read the vampire book and liked it. VEERRRYYY different for sure. It would make a perfect read for October!

  6. Oh what a great little collection- adding a couple to my queue- Happy Halloween!

  7. Great recommendations! I'd like to read Murder in an Irish Village.

  8. I tried reading that first book last year and by the end of the first chapter I was literally gagging and just could not go on.


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Friday Favorites, 6.14.2024.

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