Do you like fast-paced thrillers or slow-moving fictional stories best? I have some of both to share this month. These are the best books of October!
I have four to review and a few more to recommend. This was a great month of books. I only gave up on one and it was a nonfiction selection I just didn’t enjoy. Take a look at these fabulous reads and choose one for your next-read stack!
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The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger
Every book by this author that I have read has been profoundly well-written. I love them all!
This one is a slow-paced fictional account of the death of a local resident in a small town called Jewel.
I say it is slow-paced but all of WKK books are. He writes in a descriptive style that sneaks in and makes you part of the story. His characters are unique and true. This book is no exception.
The book begins in Black Earth County on the Alabaster River where a body is found that has been partially eaten by catfish. The man, who was killed by a gunshot, is a much-hated local named Jimmy Quinn. It is 1958 when the death is reported to the sheriff, Brody Dern. As the investigation begins the gossip spreads through Jewel and blame is quickly placed on Noah Bluestone.
Noah is a Native American, a WWII veteran who brought a bride home from the war. The community dislikes Noah and his wife, who is Japanese. (Remember, it is 1958.)
The townspeople want justice quickly for Jimmy Quinn, even though most people hated him. You will meet a large cast of characters in this town as they all grapple with solving the crime and coming to grips with the aftermath. The book is beautifully written. The ending was perfection.
I loved this book. It will be on my top ten list this year. 5+stars!
The Postcard by Anne Berest
Oh. Goodness. This was a heartbreaking story of a family during WWII.
In 2003 the Berest family received an anonymous postcard bearing the first names of 4 family members who died during the Holocaust.
The family begins an investigation to find out why the postcard was sent and who sent it. Anne, the author of this book, is helped by her mother, family members, friends, a private detective, a graphologist, and strangers she meets on her journey to find out all she can. What happened to the Rabinovitch family?
Anne was the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor but did not know The story of her grandmother, Myriam. Anne’s mother (Lelia) also did not know the whole story. When Myriam died, Lelia archived all the pictures, letters, and scraps of writing she could find about Myriam’s life.
Lelia conducted her own research about these family members for years without any breakthrough into the real history. Then as Anne is approaching the end of her pregnancy she is invited to her mother’s home to be cared for. Lelia begins to share information with Anne and this is when Anne learns about the fates of her great-grandfather Ephriam, great-grandmother Emma, aunt Noemie, and uncle Jacques Rabinovitch. They had all died at Auschwitz in 1942. Anne had never known about these family members.
The book changes time and voices as you read and can be a bit confusing. (Chapter titles or dates would have been great!) I will not tell you more because this story is profound in its grittiness and truth. Anne wastes no words describing the horrors of the Jewish people and the slaughter that befell so many.
The story is told in beautiful language, rich with descriptions of the countryside and characters. The ending was fitting. This is a must-read. 5 stars.
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for a company (the Museum) for 40 years. Their job?
They were Assassins.
The book begins as the women take off on an all-expenses paid cruise vacation for their retirement.
And, yet, their skills never rest because one of them spots a suspicious person aboard the ship and they realize they have become the MARK. Someone is there to kill THEM!
Oh, my, goodness, this book takes off as the women face person after person who is trying to kill them. They must rely on skills they learned as beginners to stay alive and find out why they have been targeted.
This was a wild little book and I loved it! It is funny, gruesome, and completely addictive. 4.5 stars!
No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister
This is a story about a book. Theo written by Alice Wein.
It begins as the story of Alice, a 25-year-old author who has poured herself into her debut novel.
But it is also the story of 9 people who read her book. Each of the nine people has their own story told because each has been affected in a different way by Theo. The book has made a difference in their lives.
There is a literary agent and her assistant who is also a new mother, an actor and audiobook narrator, a homeless teenager, a professional diver who tests his own boundaries, an artist looking for inspiration around her, a bookseller, a coordinator who works in the movie business, and a widower in his sixties grieving the recent loss of his wife,
These are all people from different places, in different stages of life, facing sets of challenges apart from all the others. The stories do not overlap. The people do not know each other.
Their stories are held together by only one common thing- Alice and Theo.
The book is beautifully written with real stories, relatable circumstances, and heartbreaking events. You will read this and want to reread it. The thing is – this book will be different for you than it will be for any other reader. And isn’t that what this book is about. 5 stars.
I found some truly amazing books for October. Which one will you try?
BOOKS I ALSO READ THIS MONTH
- Great and Precious Things by Rebecca Yarros – 4 stars
- Don’t Forget to Write by Sara Goodman Confino 4 stars
- Morning in This Broken World by Katrina Kittle 4 stars