Books read in October 2016

Maybe it was the presidential election coverage wearing me down.  Maybe I was more nervous about my mother’s surgery than I thought I was. (It went well. She’s recovered.)  For whatever reason, the first part of October was all about the Smart Smut.  I reread, I looked for more.  I eventually decided it was a too-much-ice cream situation and made myself stop.


Picture books: none read this month
Middle grade: The Best Man
Young adult: no recommendations this month
Young nonfiction: Giant Squid.  (So awesome!)
Grownup nonfiction: Future in a Handbasket. (niche reading)
Grownup fiction:  No recommendations this month
Smart Smut:  The Tattoo Thief Series.  (Lower your expectations for book 1.)


Inquisitor’s Tale
Read for Librarian Book Group
A Canterbury Tales for the Middle-Grade set, this manages not only to include a plausibly diverse cast of main characters in 1200s France, it’s also funny.  And there are illuminated manuscript-style illustrations.  Three kids in medieval France find themselves in troubled circumstances (mostly because of their powers)  and must find their way out again.  There are adventures, and things you don’t expect to happen will happen.

The Best Man
Richard Peck
Read for Librarian Book Group
I had started and wandered away from three–count ’em, three!–required reading books when I picked this up.  This was so expertly crafted and fun I whipped through it in an afternoon.  The story is bookended with two weddings, once when Archer was quite young and once when he is in sixth grade.  In between those two, Archer learns a lot of different things.  This hits all the points–happy, sad, funny and solid. I’ve been reading Richard Peck since the 80s and he hasn’t lost his sense of craft.  Recommended.


Golden Boys
Sonya Hartnett
Read for Mock Printz
One of those YA books where I can see exactly where the story is going and I don’t really love the direction.  As a teenager I would have been less resistant to the grim ending.  The author is a master of spare description and capturing emotion as well as nuance in teenage friendships.  Expertly crafted and (for me) not at all enjoyable.

I know the author has no control over the cover, so this is a note for the people in charge of covers. The cover depicted a mountain bike, whereas the story very clearly contained a BMX bike.  This irritated me every time I picked up the book.


Giant Squid
Read for Librarian Book Group
So cool!  While I was learning about Giant Squids, I also felt like I was watching a very exciting movie.


Future in a Handbasket
Amy Dolnick
The Maud Heart Lovelace tour continues!  This book contains the letters of the family of Marion Willard.  You don’t know who she was, but Lovelace based the character of Carney Sibley on her. (And I know most of you still don’t know who she is, but if you read all of the Betsy-Tacy books, you might know what I’m talking about.)

Willard and her family were solid letter writers, and as you read along you will be privy to upper-middle class life at Vassar college in the 1910s; some WWI training stuff, various letters in the 20s and 30s; WWII letters; and post-war letters.

I’m a fan of letters in general, so I enjoyed this book.


Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin
Read Aloud with Matt
This book is really long.  Mr. R.R. Martin really likes to describe things.  A lot of stuff happens to many characters.  Reading it aloud, there was a lot of peanut gallery commentary from me.  Now that it’s all over  (reading it aloud took us years) I can still see a lot of the scenes, so that says something.

(Note: In publishing this review to Goodreads, I discovered the book is actually called A Game of Thrones.  I had no idea. The article kind of changes the meaning of the title.)

smart-smutTattoo Thief
Heidi Joy Trethaway
Thus begins the great re-read of the Tattoo Theif series.  This book is the weakest in the series.  The actions of Beryl are sometimes questionable and, were I a famous rock star, would strike me as those of a stalker.  For most of the book our two love interests communicate via email.  Overall, it’s kind of an “eh” experience.  But it’s the gateway book.  So read it thinking that.

Tyler and Stella
Heidi Joy Trethaway
Ah, Tyler and Stella, I love you for your good guy/bad girl dichotomy.  I love Tyler for, well, everything. I love Stella for her flailing.  I love how well this story tracks.

Revenge Bound
Heidi Joy Trethaway
I love Violet’s very real struggle in this book, as well as Jayce trying to find what he’s looking for.  And the sex is hot.

Say it Louder
Heidi Joy Trethaway
Having reviewed the first three books, I gave this one a reread.  Still good.  Still excited for the next one.

Willing Victim
Cara McKenna
And then it was back to this old standby.  Still hot.

Willing Victim
Cara McKenna
Hot enough to read it two times in two days.

Cara McKenna
I ventured into a different Cara McKenna story, this time about a woman who has lost nearly 100 pounds and a man who has exiled himself to the Scottish Highlands.  Find out what happens when they find each other.

Menage on 34th St.
Logan/Ryan Davis
A recommend by my favorite Amy Jo Cousins, this book is long on sex scenes and short on details.  To my surprise, I found myself missing the development of characters and story.




3 thoughts on “Books read in October 2016”

  1. Loved Best Man! Sometimes we need some ice cream. But too much is not great. I’ve been that way with my YA Romance!

  2. I guess that answers my question about how you felt about A Game of Thrones! Just as January 2017 wasn’t a great movie month for me, neither was it a great book month. I was lukewarm on all 3 that I read.

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