What I Read in October

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Just like that, it's November. In September, I hit my annual reading goal of 75 books, but I still want to try to see how far I can get by the end of the year. I made it through eight books in October - not a bad number, considering how busy the month was. 

The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani

I think I hated this book. I was intrigued by the premise: a seemingly perfect nanny is suspected of brutally murdering the two children within her care. The book opens with a violent scene, then  moves into a plodding narration that I found ]tedious, cold, & distant. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the novel was translated into English from French - but even translation couldn't have changed the story's lackluster, dissatisfying ending. Skip this one, please. I wish I had. ★★☆☆☆

I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux 

Arceneaux, a comedy writer, tells of growing up Black and gay in a religious Texas home. Though he knew from a young age that he was gay, he knew, too, that he couldn't reveal it to his family. At one point, his priest even suggested he enter the priesthood - but eventually, Michael fell away from the faith, moving to bigger cities, pursuing a writing career, & exploring both race, sexuality, & other elements of his identity in ways both poignant & hilarious. ★★★★☆

Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M. Martin

Four BSC books down, about a billion to go... I originally tried to read this book in Spanish (Mary Anne Salva la Situación), but I quickly realized that my grasp on the language is nowhere near sophisticated enough for this middle-grade novel. Womp. Anyway, I never much liked Mary Anne as a kid, but reading the first book in her voice, I realized that she's actually cooler - & a lot more bold - than anyone ever gave her credit for.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Carreyrou is the journalist who broke the story of the mega-scam that was Theranos, a medical start-up worth billions... that couldn't do a damn thing it said it could. Its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, had been called the next Steve Jobs, featured in The Wall Street Journal & beyond; Henry Kissinger & other big names sat on the board; the company had a major partnership with Walgreens stores... & yet, it was all a farce: Holmes - & Theranos - was a total fraud. ★★★★★

The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus by John Glatt

Yes, this is the fourth book I've read about the Cleveland kidnappings. The others were memoirs, though, making this the first reported nonfiction book from an outside source. It's written by New York Times bestselling crime writer John Glatt, & it's an incredibly in-depth look at all things Castro-related, including his childhood, his personal life, his horrifying abuse of his ex-wife, his treatment of his own children, the kidnappings themselves... & what his neighbors knew, without even realizing it. ★★★★★

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)

This is the fourth book in Rowling's popular series about British detective Cormoran Strike and his business partner/friend/potential eventual lover Robin. This one was massively long & an incredibly convoluted, & I listened to it at 1.25x speed on audiobook - the equivalent of about 21 hours of listening. Yowza. This wasn't my favorite of the series - it was pretty hard to follow - but I still love these books, overall. If you're new to the series, be sure to start at the beginning, with The Cuckoo's Calling★★★★☆

The President is Missing by James Patterson & Bill Clinton

When you miss the way life felt under competent presidents, immerse yourself in fiction about them. This was my first Patterson novel, but because this one also bears Clinton’s name across the front, it’s also delightfully liberal in a way I'm guessing most of his books aren't. It's about a brave, decent, action-hero president who’s committed to saving the country, the world, & the dignity of the democratic system during a terrorist attack. The speech he gives at the end of the book is such a dream - exactly what we need right now. ★★★★☆

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This book was so gooooood. Sure, it was totally predictable, as wacky as the storyline was - but it was done really well, & even though I was pretty sure I knew what would happen, I still enjoyed reading about it as it played out. Laurel, a middle-aged mother, still mourns the disappearance of her 15-year-old daughter Ellie. When she starts dating a new guy, she's alarmed by how much his young daughter looks like hers. Could there be some connection? This was my first time reading anything by Lisa Jewell, but I look forward to checking out some of her many other books. ★★★★☆

Comment to tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past. You can also follow my bookstagram account!

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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