Every month I try to read at least one book from the following categories: nonfiction, devotional, and fiction. And this year I’m participating in the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenges, so I’m also going to be listing which category my books fulfill. If you want to join in on the fun, you can check out the list of categories here! This is my October 2017 Reading List, my brief reviews and book recommendations for October 2017. Hopefully I’ll provide you with some inspiration for your future reading as well!
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This book was so intense! From page one I wanted to know what was happening, and could scarcely stop reading or thinking about this book. In the story, you meet Shadow when he’s in prison nearing the end of his sentence. You don’t know what he’s in for, but you know it’s something serious. And some weird and probably bad things are happening around him. He doesn’t know what’s happening, and therefore you as the reader don’t either. But it is gripping stuff. I really, really enjoyed this book and would recommend it strongly!
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
My book club read this for our Halloween meeting. Although we all found it interesting, it was by no means scary in the sense that we were expecting. Written from the perspective of a demon advising his nephew in tempting a human man, each letter touches on a different topic or theme. The book made me think of my own actions and ways that I’ve been tempted in my own life. I recommend this if you’ve not read it before, although not all in our book club enjoyed it.
The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe
In addition to reading The Screwtape Letters, my book club read The Black Cat aloud during our meeting. It is a short story most appropriately placed into the horror genre. After not having the ‘scary’ experience from The Screwtape Letters, this was exactly what we were looking for.
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
In searching for a piece of Poe’s work for our live book club reading, I also read this one. I settled on The Black Cat because of it seeming more appropriate for Halloween and being shorter, but very much enjoyed this short story as well. The story of a man going to visit a childhood friend, Usher, who is very ill. The cause of his illness is mysterious and made more alarming by the grave and haunted feel of his house. It’s creepy.
Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation by Laurel Parnell
Recommended to me at a training on reflective practice, I’ve tried to implement the skills when I’m anxious. Essentially the book teaches to use bilateral stimulation to help calm a person. I listened to this in the audiobook version, and recommend this version, as the author herself walks you through the different strategies.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
2017 MMD Reading Challenge: a book that’s more than 600 pages
I’ve been working my way through this one for a couple of months because it is quite long. But I very much enjoyed it, and intend to read the next book in the series. The book at first seems to jump forward from character to character, but in the end ties the pieces together. This book begins in a few years in the past, moves forward to present day, and then jumps forward approximately 100 years and is clearly a piece of dystopian fiction. I don’t really want to describe anything else about the plot for fear of ruining the surprise and the suspense, but I do recommend this book wholeheartedly.
Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I just love L.M. Montgomery’s books after beginning with the Anne of Green Gables series in recent years. This entry in her collection is a sweet romance, and (at least as far as I’m aware) not a part of a series, but instead a standalone. The book picks up with Eric as he’s completing his studies. He moves to Lindsay, Prince Edward Island and meets an unusual woman, and learns more about her history. As with all of her other novels, this one was charming and sweet.
New Enlarged Anthology of Robert Frost’s Poems by Robert Frost
2017 MMD Reading Challenge: a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection
I am not typically a fan of poetry, but there are a few poets whose work I enjoy immensely, as it just makes sense to me. Frost writes in a way that everyone can understand and enjoy his works, but at the same time they are immensely beautiful to read. If you’ve not spent any time with Frost’s poetry, I recommend doing so.
The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person by Judith S. Beck
My second time through this book, I found it easier going, but still great tips (now reminders) about what I need to be doing to continue losing weight. I recommend this book, as it’s not a diet plan, but simply using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy strategies to work through whatever diet plan you choose, and then to maintain weight loss later.
Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
I serve on the local Board of Health, and have been following the opiate crisis that has hit certain places in the country. Thus far, we haven’t seen significant issues with opiates, but I’m hoping that with some interventions, we can avoid it becoming a significant concern here. This book lays out quite well the major causes of the opiate epidemic.
The Diamond As Big As The Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald
An immediately engaging story, I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished. John Unger, the protagonist goes away from home to a boarding school for very wealthy young men. Whilst there, he meets a rather unusual man, and goes to the man’s home in Montana. Surprises (I was really surprised to find out what was really going on) ensue.
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg or Adam Grant
Option B is the story of Sheryl Sandberg’s journey after the death of her husband, trying to find a new normal for her life and the lives of her children. It was gutting at times, but important reading whether you’ve lost someone close, or you know people who have (and who doesn’t?!). A great book.
The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley
I also picked this book for October for Halloween. It was suspenseful, and seemed a little bit scary when trying to figure out exactly what was happening. But it’s not a horror or thriller type of book. It was a nice read, and not particularly long.
Books In Progress:
Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child’s Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore by Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper, and Bert Powell (this was recommended to be by some therapists that I work with regularly on my cases, as it is the background for the Circle of Security Parenting curriculum that we often have parents go through as part of their case plans)
My Brilliant Friend (Book One of the Neapolitan Novels) by Elena Ferrante
Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking by Priscilla Shirer
The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Books I’ve Abandoned:
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison