October Reading Wrap Up, Here’s What I Read & Loved

 

October was another fantastic month for reading good books. I have written about a couple of these already but will feature again with a synopsis. Only two more months until 2020, how many books do you think you will read? Let me know!

I continue to update my *NEW* Bookstagram (that’s an Instagram account for books, here.) so be sure to follow as I feature new books daily.

Now, onto the books!

 

Long Bright River by Liz Moore is gritty and atmospheric and quite an intense read!

“I knew she was dead before I reached her. Her pose was familiar to me, after a childhood spent sleeping next to her in the same bed, but that day there was a different kind of limpness to her body. Her limbs looked too heavy.”

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

This isn’t light fun suspense, its a dark look at the opioid crisis and a tough, emotional plot that will engage you but also haunt you.

Due out on January 7, order it here!

 

I absolutely loved Single by K.L. Slater and will be reading all of her other books in the future. There’s a lot of novels to catch up on! I just reviewed this in last week’s round up but here’s what you need to know in case you missed it:

‘I keep feeling like I’m being watched – dropping the boys off at school, choosing wine at the supermarket – but when I turn around there’s nobody there…’

When single mother Darcy’s son falls from a rope bridge at a local playground, life stands still. She clutches his small, limp body, frozen, until a pair of strong hands push her aside, and she watches as George, a local doctor, saves her son’s life.

George is a single parent too, and with his twinkling hazel eyes, easy charm, and lack of wedding band is almost too good to be true, but coffee becomes lunch, lunch becomes dinner, and soon they can’t go an evening without seeing each other. When he invites her to move into his beautiful home with its sprawling garden for her boys, Darcy doesn’t hesitate.

But as Darcy is settling in, she receives a bunch of flowers with a chilling message. George says they’re from an obsessed ex-girlfriend, Opal, and days later Opal turns up at Darcy’s son’s football match. She claims to have shocking information that could threaten George’s custody of his daughter.

Darcy doesn’t know who to trust, but she’s starting to suspect that, whatever the truth, she might have put her beloved boys into terrible danger…

 

Only $3.99 for your kindle! What a great deal! Order it here and have it delivered when it comes out.

 

 

I wrote about this book on my book Instagram, otherwise known as bookstagram (follow me here) and I am so happy to share the story of Nancy Wake with you. Here’s how I found out about Nancy: I listened to a My Favorite Murder podcast where they talked about brave women during World War II and it was a really great introduction to some fearless women. The next day, I looked for another podcast to listen to and stumbled upon Criminal Broads where the episode (episode #30)  about five Nazi killing women and one of them was Nancy Wake. Fast forward to the next day when I discovered this book is about to be published!

What timing! I knew I had to get my hands on it so I could learn more.

Here’s what you need to know:

‘Of all the variously talented women SOE sent to France, Nancy Wake was perhaps the most formidable’ —Sebastian Faulks

“This is the incredible true story of the greatest spy you’ve never heard of—as told to the author by the woman herself.

At the outbreak of World War Two, Nancy Wake’s glamorous life in the South of France seemed far removed from the fighting. But when her husband was called up for military service, Nancy felt she had just as much of a duty to fight for freedom. By 1943, her fearless undercover work even in the face of personal tragedy had earned her a place on the Gestapo’s ‘most wanted’ list.

Mixing armed combat with a taste for high living, Nancy frustrated the Nazis at every turn—whether she was smuggling food and messages as part of the underground Resistance or being parachuted into the heart of the war to lead a 7,000-strong band of Resistance fighters.

The extraordinary courage of this unequalled woman changed the course of the war, and Russell Braddon’s vividly realized biography brings her incredible story to life.”

The synopsis doesn’t go into much detail but from what I have read, Nancy was actually feared by the Germans and on their Most Wanted list. If you love history, badass women, World War II, then you must get this book!

Read it for FREE with Kindle Unlimited, go here to pre-order, comes out on Nov. 1

 

 

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore was an excellent book! I HIGHLY recommend it for those who love non-fiction, history, stories of strong women. Its a fascinating and intense book about the factory women who painted glowing dials on clocks and watches using radium infused paint starting around 1917.

Radium wasn’t thought to be dangerous or toxic and some even thought it contained healing properties. Long story short, the radium caused the women to get gravely ill. Many of them suffered long and painful illnesses as a result of working closely with the radium. The company denied the connection between the toxic radium and the women’s sicknesses and the book explains the corruption and lack of concern for the women along with corporate greed.

“The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Read it now, order it here! 

 

The Secrets He Kept by Jackie Walsh was really good, a suspenseful page-turner that fans of domestic thrillers will absolutely love. I was hooked from the beginning and thought the story could go in any number of directions. The author kept me guessing!

“He loves you. He loves your children. He’d never put his family in danger.

One of these is a lie.

It started like any other day at the hairdressers where Sally works as a stylist… until her first client innocently shows her a family photograph; a photograph that causes Sally to collapse in shock.

In one moment, Sally discovers that Tom has been hiding an explosive secret – one that could tear apart the life they’ve built together. Faced with an impossible dilemma – search for the truth, or keep her contented life? – Sally is about to discover that even those closest to us have secrets… and that sometimes the truth is the last thing we want to hear.”

The pace of the story plus the tension and drama and the characters are kept me engrossed. I read this one very quickly, its definitely one of those books where once you start it, you want to finish it.

A must-read! Its due out on November 6 and the Kindle version is only $2.99! Pre-order here.

 

 

I know of Gary Janetti from his hilarious Instagram account where he displays his biting wit and snarky comments, specifically relating to the Royal family and Prince George. Gary has been a writer for TV shows, is married to famous styles Brad Goreski and now he’s an author with the upcoming book, Do You Mind If I Cancel, where he showcases an introspective side, but always with a sense of humor.

I really enjoyed reading his collections of essays and felt like we could truly be friends. I mean, we are both writers with a snarky sense of humor, what more do you need for a deep and lasting friendship?

Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar. As Gary himself says, “These are essays from my childhood and young adulthood about things that still annoy me.”

This honest and fun book is a quick read, it was every bit as good as I hoped it would be!

Out now! Get it here!

 

 

If you don’t know about Dialectical Behavior Therapy, learn about it right now. This is a brilliant form of therapy that can help everyone. Its a way of reframing your thoughts in order to make better, wiser choices and to process things that make us uncomfortable. I have been through it and want to learn more and feel that it is invaluable to every person, especially those prone to depression and anxiety.

When I saw this book, Building a Life Worth Living by Marsha M. Linehan, I knew I needed to read it. This is the story of how Marsha came up with this form of therapy. She was a young woman who suicidal thoughts and severe depression who spent a long time “locked up” in a psychiatric hospital. She vowed to help others in some way when she got out and she dedicated her life to studying and learning about psychology, eventually developing what became DBT.

“Over the years, DBT had saved the lives of countless people fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, but Linehan had never revealed that her pioneering work was inspired by her own desperate struggles as a young woman. Only when she received this question did she finally decide to tell her story.

In this remarkable and inspiring memoir, Linehan describes how, when she was eighteen years old, she began an abrupt downward spiral from popular teenager to suicidal young woman. After several miserable years in a psychiatric institute, Linehan made a vow that if she could get out of emotional hell, she would try to find a way to help others get out of hell too, and to build a life worth living.  She went on to put herself through night school and college, living at the YWCA and often scraping together spare change to buy food. She went on to get her PhD in psychology, specializing in behavior therapy. In the 1980s, she achieved a breakthrough when she developed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a therapeutic approach that combines acceptance of the self and ways to change. Linehan included mindfulness as a key component in therapy treatment, along with original and specific life-skill techniques. She says, “You can’t think yourself into new ways of acting; you can only act yourself into new ways of thinking.”

Throughout her extraordinary scientific career, Marsha Linehan remained a woman of deep spirituality. Her powerful and moving story is one of faith and perseverance. Linehan shows, in Building a Life Worth Living, how the principles of DBT really work—and how, using her life skills and techniques, people can build lives worth living.”

 

Due out January 7, order it here!

 

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer was every bit as suspenseful and twisty as I had hoped. What happens when a woman’s new boyfriend isn’t as perfect as she thinks he is? Does she believe her surly teenage daughter who feels something is off about him? And what really happened to her husband who everyone believes is dead? What a fantastic premise for a book and the author doesn’t let us down!

I enjoyed this book and know you will too!

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted—or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

 

I couldn’t put this down! It was a very satisfying read, I look forward to the author’s next book.

This one comes out on April 14, 2020 but you can order it right now.

 

 

The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth was such a great book and I loved the writing, the pace, the plot, and characters. Charlotte Duckworth is definitely another writer whose future works I will be eager to read! I read her upcoming novel, Unfollow Me, and was totally hooked. I then got a hold of The Rival and its equally as intriguing.

Here’s the plot: 

NOW: Living in her home in the countryside HELENA is a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. She blames ASHLEY for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley’s fault?

THEN: When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she’s startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud -maybe this is the protégé she’s always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley’s drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.

The book was really good and then during the last quarter of the book, there was a  bit of a twist. I’m still thinking about it. Charlotte is a wonderful writer and I cannot wait to see what she writes next.

 

I just realized that I bought this book last year and then rebought it recently and read it this week. I have a surplus of books and forget what I have purchased. Anyone else?

Here’s a link to the $1.99 kindle version!

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