Reading Recap: October 2020

I read a lot of good books in October! The cooling weather sent me to the couch early on many evenings where I curled up with a blanket and a book. I’ve recently discovered ambiance videos on YouTube and have been enjoying my reading with backgrounds such as this and this.

I also set up my affiliate store! You can go here and find all of the books I’ve read and recommended:

If you want to know more about what I’m reading, you can follow my Bookstagram @thelazybookshelf. Or you can follow me @heymeff for general silliness and sporadic posting.

I have recommended Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson over and over, and this would be an excellent companion read. It follows the story of many Black Americans who’ve been sentenced to life in prison for minor drug charges–sometimes without evidence or witnesses. The author tells us how substance abuse and addiction affected her own life and family. It follows her path to social justice warrior in such a compelling way. I read this and listened to it on audio simultaneously and I’d highly recommend both formats!

This was a quick, quirky read about, you guessed it, a haunted house. John Boyne wrote The Heart’s Invisible Furies which I read and loved last year. This book was on sale on Kindle and it was the beginning of October, so I bought it even though it’s pretty far outside of my typical genre. It’s pretty much a ghost story and that’s all you need to know! I’d categorize this book as less scary than Stephen King, definitely not as gory, but scarier than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

As soon as I heard the description of this book, I downloaded the sample immediately and then couldn’t put it down! It’s a really good mystery surrounding a suspicious drug infestation on a Native American reservation. So many details in this book sent me to Google. There is so much we don’t learn in history class about the history of Indigenous people here in the US, and as soon as I finished this novel, I bought the nonfiction book The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee.

This book was….meh. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting which was a disappointment because a few bookish people I trust on Instagram really loved this one! I’d definitely categorize it as character driven rather than plot driven and usually I don’t mind that. However, I didn’t really like any of the characters. It follows three generations of women in Minnesota over several decades and I just couldn’t fully invest in the story!

I read this over a weekend because it was the exact opposite of Lager Queen. It was a page turner! If you liked The Night Circus or The Time Traveler’s Wife, you will love this one. It’s about a curse, a woman who is never remembered by anyone she meets, and her life, all three hundred years of it! The writing is lyrical and dramatic. It takes place between New York, and France and I loved that aspect of it too.

This book was another mediocre read for me, but somehow I ended up finishing it. Because I read so much, I’m usually pretty good about giving up on a book if I’m not loving it. But I kept thinking it was going to get better. And it didn’t. It was squarely in the historical fiction category which I rarely read. It’s about a female friendship that lasts decades, but honestly one of the women isn’t a very good friend. It was too long and I ended up not really caring what happened to anyone in the story!

This was a perfect spooky Halloween read. It’s about a young woman who receives an alarming letter from her newly married cousin. So she travels hours into the countryside of Mexico to check on her. When she arrives, things are *weird*. The pacing was very good and the ending is really satisfying. It wasn’t at all predictable and I seriously had no idea what was going on (in a good way) pretty much the entire time.

If you want to feel sad, read this book. The premise is a little bizarre: it’s about the daughter of a snake handler/preacher, her mother, and her community in the mountains of West Virginia. It’s only 250 pages long which I appreciated. It starts with a woman who catches fire and doesn’t slow down. There’s a lot of moonshine and interesting characters. It’s about a community in the US that’s very real, but very often forgotten about and rarely written about.

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What did you read in October?

What else do you want to know about the books I’m reading?

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