Books I Read in October

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This one absolutely lived up to the hype! I loved how it was a fantastic take on the boy meets girl, boy loses girl framework. And this was not at all what I expected to rise to the surface - a love story. It is that, as well as a mystery, beautifully written. 
"She laughed for his sake, something she'd never done. Giving away another piece of herself just to have someone else."
The evocative poetry interspersed throughout was lovely, and the descriptions of the marsh. Kya was such a vulnerable, yet tough as nails, character that I just ached for as she dealt with the hand life gave her. I had to suspend my disbelief at HOW clever and capable she was given the circumstances, but that was an easy sacrifice to enjoy Owens' excellent fiction debut. 

Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Since I realized back in April that I actually quite enjoy short story collections, I've been meaning to pick up another. I loved The Namesake and had heard good things about Interpreter. It definitely scratched that short story itch - quick read, full of intense and thought provoking emotions. I loved how the stories were about Indian Americans, but that that their culture wasn't necessarily the focus. The stories were about everyday lives of everyday people that just happen to be Indian. I didn't adore every single story, but each had some interesting food for thought - favorites were A Temporary Matter, Mrs. Sen's and the title story. 

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
I love this author, but her latest was not my favorite. Full review here.

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Oof! I went into this one totally blind, and it's stomach churning true crime stuff. If you have any triggers whatsoever, this book seems to hit on all of them. Though I thought that the author crafted an impressive narrative of how the events in her life mirrored those in the life of murderer Ricky Langley, at times I felt like the shift between her story and Langley's confusing and it didn't seem to flow well. Perhaps because I listened to the audio book. Overall I found it to be highly provocative, thinking about the root cause of a crime and how our life experiences can contribute to our future actions. 

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
The writing team that constitutes Christina Lauren seems to be all the rage on social media, and I felt like I was due for a romantic read. This love story was so completely adorable, bittersweet, addictive, and so totally unbelievable. Ha! But, in a good way. I think it ought to be categorized in YA, with it's 'ideal boy next door of your dreams' and all of those first love vibes. Though, it gets a little too steamy for the younger crowd, which I guess is their specialty and this was Christina/Lauren's first 'women's fiction' (whatevs that means) novel. They also totally preyed on all of our bookish hearts with a dream book nook in Macy's room, and book nerd bonding with Elliot that brought them together. Of course I loved it, and gobbled it up in a few days. I for sure plan to read Roomies the next time I need a hit of syrupy romance.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
When I learned that the majority of this story was set in the neighborhoods of Chicago's North side, mostly Boys Town, it put me over the edge and I HAD to read it - my old 'hood! Of course, being a finalist for the National Book award is a pretty glowing endorsement. I must confess that it took me awhile to get into the story. There are so many characters and the dual timeline felt confusing at first. The main character of the past set in Chicago is Yale, and I adored him from the get go. His friend Fiona is the main character of the present day timeline set in Paris, but we don't get a good sense of her character in the past until at least halfway through the book. It was excellently plotted, so I could see why we had to wait to get her full story, and it all came together in a beautifully heartbreaking way. It was just hard for me to care as much about her for most of the book because I felt like I didn't know her. By the end, though, she was so relatable and I was absolutely moved to tears by this magnificent portrait of friendship and love.
"How this show might begin to convey it all, the palimpsest that was her heart, the way things could be written over but never erased. She was simply never going to be a blank slate."


  1. So glad you loved Crawdads and Great Believers! The more reviews I read of Unsheltered, the less I want to read it.

    1. I'd be curious to hear your take on Unsheltered! But, understand the hesitancy, for sure.

  2. Wasn't Crawdads something?! I also loved Unsheltered but have a blogging friend who DNFed it because it was too slow. Which I get, but if the writing is good enough (which hers definitely is) then I don't mind slow.

    I had trouble with Great Believers. So much so that I was never able to finish a review. I couldn't quite articulate why I didn't love it and so many others did that I let it go.

    1. It took A WHILE for me to get into the story. I wonder if I would have been as charmed if it hadn't been set in my Chicago neighborhood, though...

  3. I'm about 75% through Where The Crawdads Sing and cannot stop listening to it. I love the different POVs and the way the storylines weave together. Glad you liked it too!