October Reads

What I read in October, what I thought and how to know if the book is for you! // dreams-etc.com

Note – The book title links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something by clicking on that link I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All thoughts and opinions on all of the books listed are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting Dreams, etc.!

I read nine books last month. Nine! I don’t think I’ve even read nine books in two months recently, so I was totally amazed as I added books to my list and watched that number rise. I also read some books that I really enjoyed, so of course, I had to share them with you. If I already reviewed a book on the blog, I linked to that review in this post, but all nine books are listed below in the order that I read them.

1 // Fracture by Megan Miranda

Delaney spends eleven minutes trapped underwater with no oxygen. She’s rushed to the hospital and given a bad prognosis, but when she wakes up she’s fine, but soon discovers that she’s able to tell when someone is about to die.

This is the second book I’ve read by Megan Miranda and I really enjoyed it. I already reviewed it, so I’ll direct you there if you’d like to know more of my thoughts on the book. There’s a sequel to this, which sounds even better, so I’m excited to read that soon!

2 // The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

When Imogene’s father–a bestselling medical mystery novelist–goes missing, she decides to put her sleuthing skills to work to track down the mother she never knew in hopes of finding her father.

I listened to this on audiobook and I sometimes had trouble returning to the book. I’m not sure if it was the audiobook format for this one or if the story fell a little flat for me at the beginning. I enjoyed it and I wanted to know what would happen, but it wasn’t a page-turner. Once I reached the end, that changed, and I was spent quite a bit of time listening to it one night to finish it.

Read this if:
>> You like coming-of-age novels.
>> You enjoy teenage sleuths. [She’s not quite Veronica Mars, but I think VM fans will enjoy that part of it. I did. :)]
>> You’re willing to read a slower book at the beginning, to reach a beautiful end.

3 // The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

The second in the Natchez Burning trilogy, this continues the story of Penn, whose father has just been accused of murdering a nurse he worked with in the past.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but I have a full review for this. Just know, even though it’s a long book, it’s a page turner, totally worth the read, and might make it on my list of fave reads for the year.

4 // The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore

I already reviewed this one, but to sum up: I had mixed feelings and wasn’t sure I really liked it. However, my mom has since read the book and after she finished it she read it a second time to take a closer look at one of the characters. This is why I always want people to know that if a book sounds really good to you, but receives a mixed review from me (or someone else) you should still take a look at it. Not everyone will like every book, so you might enjoy a book that I didn’t, and I might enjoy a book that you don’t.

Earlier this week I finished Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. This is the third book of his that I’ve read this year and it might be my favorite of the three. The book follows Sierra, who sees a mural crying real tears and learns that she’s a Shadowshaper: she can put ancestral spirits into paintings. If you haven’t read any of Older’s books yet, I highly recommend checking them out. You’ll meet characters that you’ll love sharing stories that you can’t put down. I also had a chance to meet the author last weekend and he was so nice! (Also, if you check out his Bone Street Rumba series, you might want to listen to the audiobooks. He narrates them and did a fantastic job!) #yalit #urbanfantasy #danieljoseolder

A photo posted by Crystal // Dreams, etc. (@crystalbrutlag) on

5 // Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

When Sierra sees a painted mural cry, she discovers that she’s part of a line of Shadowshapers: people who can infuse art, music and stories with their ancestral spirits.

I discovered Older’s books this year and have loved all of the ones that I’ve read! (I also had the chance to meet him in October and he’s the nicest guy!) I think this is my favorite of his books so far in terms of story. (If you’re looking for the experience, my favorite is definitely listening to Half-Resurrection Blues on audiobook, which Older narrates.)

As an artist, I think that’s what really drew me to this book over his other’s in terms of the story. I loved the role that art played. It especially caught my attention, since I also developed a fascination with street art this year while in Bogota. So basically, it brought a lot of loves together in a way that really caught my attention. I listened to this one as well and I spent some extra time cleaning just so that I could listen.

Read this if:
>> You like stories with art and family secrets.
>> You want to read a story where the setting really comes to life.
>> You like paranormal stories.
>> You’re looking for a book with diverse characters.

6 // Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith

This is the third in a series about a teen named Alex, a thief who’s falsely accused the murder of his best friend and sent to serve his time in Furnace, a prison buried deep within the earth.

I can’t say too much about this one, since it is the third in a series, but I really enjoyed this one, even though it took me forever to read it. (Sorry PJ!) I actually started reading this series with a coworker, who wasn’t sure what I was getting him into when he picked up the first one. However, he has since finished the series and I’m still making my way through. I think this one starts to answer some questions about the world, but I wasn’t frustrated that it took three books to start getting some of these answers. This series is just a ride that you should definitely take.

Read this if:
>> You’re in the mood to start a new series.
>> You’re ready for some action in your books.
>> You think the story sounds cool.

7 // Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

I love historical fiction that’s told from the POV of a character that can sometimes be left out of the story–or not highlighted. It always provides a fresh and unique perspective. I thought Bridget was the perfect character to narrate the story because of the insight she was able to provide. I wasn’t sure how Leaver and Currie would choose to end the novel. (If you don’t know who Lizzie Borden is, she was accused of murdering her father and stepmother, but was eventually found not guilty. The case was well known and no one else was ever tried for the murders.) I thought this book was so well-done. There were just enough eerie moments and there was a level of uneasy tension throughout the entire book, but it didn’t overwhelm the story.

Read this if:
>> You’re a fan of historical fiction.
>> You’re looking for an eerie novel that isn’t too over-the-top.

8 // The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris

Norris examines how the daily “mundane” tasks in life, like dishes and laundry, can become a spiritual practice.

I read this to satisfy “Q” in the ABC Reads challenge, so you can check out my most recent update for my thoughts on the book.

9 // The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Set in the midst of WWI and the flu epidemic, Ivy has the gift–or curse, depending on how you look at it–that her family has: she receives visits from the Uninvited, the ghosts of loved ones who have passed that foretell a coming death.

I read this to satisfy “U” in the ABC Reads challenge and also reviewed it in my most recent update.

What have you been reading?

[Tweet “Let’s talk about what we’ve been reading! #amreading #bookreviews”]

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Tawni
    November 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Ooooh I love this list!! Thank you! I’ve got quite the to-read list right now but will definitely be adding a couple of these to it. 🙂

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Let me know if you try any of these out. What’s on your to-read list?

  • Reply
    Shannon
    November 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    This is perfect timing! I am on the hunt for a new book and was looking for some recommendations. I will have to give a few of these a shot!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 20, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Let me know what you think if you try these out. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dominique @ Ohbeehave
    November 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Sounds like there’s some really good books in there!! My sister-in-law recently did a clean out of her books and I have 50 or so that she passed on to me to get through! I think it might take me years… don’t know how you manage to get through so many in just 1 month!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      That’s awesome! New books are always fun. 🙂 To be honest, I don’t know how I read so much last month either!

  • Reply
    Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.
    November 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I haven’t read any of these books! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m hoping to have some down time during Thanksgiving week to get some solid reading done! Currently, I’m reading/listening to “The Help.” Have you read it?

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      I haven’t, but I’ve heard good things about it! Are you enjoying it? If you check any of these out, let me know. I haven’t had a chance to read as much in November, so I’m hoping for some time to read over break too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    November 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, 9 books is amazing!!! You ever get stuck on ONE BOOK that is taking you forever?! It’s not that I don’t like this book, but it’s just… not moving anywhere and is taking me way too long to finish. Once I’m done with this I’m going to check out some of the others on your list. I’ve already requested Fracture from my local library. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Yes! I do sometimes. 🙂 If you’re talking about the book I think you’re talking about, I was stuck on that one for awhile. Let me know what you think when you read some of these! I’d love to talk to you about Fracture once you finish it.

  • Reply
    Tayler Morrell
    November 15, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I actually haven’t heard of ANY of these books! I’ll have to check them out!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Let me know what you think if you do!

  • Reply
    Lori
    November 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Sweet Madness sounds really interesting…I really like it when it’s a little eerie but not too much! I just finished “March” by Geraldine Brooks and started reading “One Good Turn” by Kate Atkinson. Thanks for sharing and happy reading!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Yes! It was perfect! I do like books that are pretty creepy, but I also really like when it’s just creepy enough. It shows a lot of skill, I think, and it’s always nice to have just the right amount of tension. 🙂

      I’ll have to check those books out! Are you enjoying them?

  • Reply
    Alissa
    November 15, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Wow that’s too many books for a month, I salute you! I bet they’re all interesting anyway that’s why you have to read al of them right away 😀

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, I was surprised by how many I read last month!

  • Reply
    Heather Denniston
    November 16, 2016 at 9:34 am

    What a great list. You are voracious! (sp?) Nicely done. Do you do non-fiction reviews?

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      I try to be! But this was a really good month for me… especially with how things have been going this year. 🙂 I don’t gravitate naturally to non-fiction, but I’m definitely open to reading it.

  • Reply
    chelsea jacobs
    November 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

    You had such a good reading month!!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      I did! I was really surprised.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    November 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I’m always looking for new book recommendations! Thanks for this.. these all sound amazing!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 18, 2016 at 11:39 am

      You’re welcome! Let me know if you read any of these. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tara
    November 21, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Nine books is amazing! Way to go! 2016 has really been the year of audiobooks for me, but in the last couple of months I’ve been really neglecting my reading. Need to catch up. 🙂

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Thanks Tara! I still don’t know how I managed nine books… I definitely won’t be hitting that in November. 🙂 Last year was the year of audiobooks for me… I still listen to them, but I also have a bunch of podcasts that I listen to now. They’re so handy, though! I love that I can read while commuting to work, cleaning the house and doing just about anything that allows me to multi-task. 🙂

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