Looking for a good book to cozy up with? Read along with me!
I just realized that the month is almost over and I still haven’t shared my reading list! I always say that I’m really excited about this month’s picks, but this time, I REALLY MEAN IT. I’ve read three of the four and they were all FANTASTIC. Really, really great. Also, is there anything better than crisp fall evenings with a book? Good grief, I’m in heaven. Give me a cup of chai and a soft blanket and I’m done.
I started a book club with some local friends last month and we have our first meeting this week! I’ve always wanted to have a book club and finally decided to just make it happen. Hopefully all goes well and I can share some fun ideas for starting your own book club very soon. There’s just something about being in a book club that makes you feel like a legit adult, you know that I mean?
Here are my choices for this month. One is our book club pick for October and one is a POTENTIAL pick for November. It’s the only one I haven’t read of the three, just in case we choose it.
As an aside, if you haven’t joined Book of the Month Club, you should look into it! Only $17 a month gets me a hardback of my choice (they have 5 choices) and you can always skip a month. You actually have to opt IN, instead of out, which I love because I’m notorious for forgetting to opt out and then collecting credits without realizing it. There are always additional books available from previous months (most are popular best-sellers) that you can add for $9.99. So last month I got TWO gorgeous hardback novels for $27. Not bad! I do most of my reading on my Kindle but it’s always nice to have some pretty REAL books hanging around. They’re just one of those things that make me happy.
The Unseen World by Liz Moore
One of my all-time favorite books is Heft by Liz Moore, so I decided to look and see if she’d written anything else recently. This book had excellent reviews so I immediately downloaded it and dove right in. It’s a really, really great book. It’s part mystery, which I love, and partly just a story about families and complicated relationships, which I also love. It’s not a book you’ll breeze right through, but it’s incredibly well-written and hard to put down.
Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World’s heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
You might have seen Jane Fonda and Robert Redford making the rounds on talk shows recently to promote the Netflix movie based on this book. I decided to read the book before watching the move and I am SO GLAD that I did. There are those books that are so quietly beautiful that they just linger with you…and this is one of those books. It’s not a flashy story or one that will keep you glued to the pages late into the night. It’s just moving in a way that is peaceful and sad and hopeful all at once. The movie was just as lovely. Definitely consider reading, then watching.
In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away, her son even farther, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. But maybe that could change? As Addie and Louis come to know each other better–their pleasures and their difficulties–a beautiful story of second chances unfolds, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature.
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
This was our book club pick for the month! I always love Colleen Hoover (my favorites of hers are November 9 and It Ends With Us), and this book was very good, but a bit different than her usual style. I would classify this book as more of a YA but definitely a great read for adults — there were complicated and mature family themes that I would not recommend for anyone under 16. The style reminded me a bit of John Green in it’s quirkiness and unique characters, which I actually really enjoyed.
The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.
Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.
Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.
Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
I read every John Green novel — he is one of my absolute favorites. I love that his teenage characters are smart and quirky and the dialogue is always engaging.
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
Are we friends on Goodreads yet? You can find me there to keep up with what I’m currently reading and my ratings for books I’ve read in the past!
Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day!