Features, Monthly TBRs

October 2017 TBR


Well, I failed my September TBR by only reading 3 out of 7 books… Does it count that I am finishing up the 4th and am adding the 5th back on October’s TBR? No?  Didn’t think so… Let’s hope I fare better in the month of October.

Let’s see what I am planning on reading this month, shall we?

*Book titles link to Goodreads

» Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo


Welcome to the world of the Grisha.
After pulling off a seemingly impossible heist in the notorious Ice Court, criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker feels unstoppable. But life is about to take a dangerous turn—and with friends who are among the deadliest outcasts in Ketterdam city, Kaz is going to need more than luck to survive in this unforgiving underworld.

This is going to be a buddy read with my friend Kirstie over at @Upside-Down Books

» The Tale of Despereaux, The Tiger Rising, The Magician’s Elephant & Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo will be attending the Books by the Banks book festival here in Ohio at the end of the month.  I am currently reading Raymie Nightingale, but have never read a Kate DiCamillo book before this.  I’ve only heard wonderful things, so I am going to read as many of her books as I can before the festival.

» Replica by Lauren Oliver


From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.
But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.
But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.
Two girls, two stories, one novel.
While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.

Back from my September TBR, this is part of my Books by the Banks TBR.  If anyone has any insight into how to read this book (separate narratives or alternating chapters) please let me know.

» The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway


The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

My husband and I will be taking a vacation to Key West (Florida) the first week of November to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary.  I figured I should probably read one of Ernest Hemingway’s books before I visit his home & museum in Key West 🙂  I picked this one because I remember my Mom (not a big reader) saying this was one of her favorite books that she read in college.

Books For Review

» Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran


A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy.
Solimar Castro Valdez is eighteen and drunk on optimism when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin’s doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. But amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her dwelling and the boy at her breast her hearth.
Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents’ chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya’s mid-thirties. When she can’t get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya’s care. As Kavya learns to be a mother – the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being – she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.
Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.

» The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne


From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man’s life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.
In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

Book Club Selection

» The Alienist by Caleb Carr


The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.

Divider2Which books are on your TBR for October?

Have you read any of the books on my list?  If so, what did you think?

Comment below & let me know 🙂


21 thoughts on “October 2017 TBR”

  1. I am reading Crooked Kingdom too. How cool is that? So far I am loving it. But I feel the pace is off. Like SoC was slow in the beginning and then it was all fast paced. CK seems to be alternating between slow and fast. I heard Heart’s Invisible furies is excellent. Enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I apologize this response is more than a month late 😦 How did you end up liking Crooked Kingdom?! I enjoyed it better than SoC because I felt the pacing was better… Like you said, the pacing of SoC was too slow in the beginning, then a mad dash to the end. I felt I was more engaged with the story from start to finish. When I finished CK, my head heard with the plot complexities and all the intricate details to the story. Talk about a book you need to pay attention while reading!


  2. Oh wow, you get to meet DiCamillo!! Man, you are on a roll. The Tale of Despereaux is absolutely gorgeous (have you seen the film? Emma Watson is a voice actor in it). Such a wonderful story!! I’d love to read some of her other books now you mention it . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So I ended up NOT getting to meet her 😦 My son’s football team made it to their super bowl, and of course it was the same day as this book festival. I was devastated that I couldn’t go, but I would never miss such a big day for my boy 🙂 I actually wasn’t a fan of Despereaux…. Maybe I would like the movie more? I really enjoyed her other books: Raymie Nightingale and Because of Winn-Dixie. I love her dry sense of humor 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw no, how sad but ah well – what can you do? 😜 the movie is quite sweet but if you didn’t like the book I’m curious to see if the film makes a difference on your opinion 🤔🤔 Emma Watson *does* voice the princess which is cool.


  3. This is an awesome TBR! I love Kate DiCamillo’s works. I’ve read both The Tale of Despeareaux and Because of Winn-Dixie. I prefer the latter, but I love both of those books! I hope that you enjoy them too.

    I also read and enjoyed the Six of Crows duology. I am curious to see what you think of these books. Have you read other books set in the Grisha universe?

    Which of these books are you most excited to read?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So I didn’t end up being able to go to the book festival to meet Kate DiCamillo 😦 My son’s football team ended up making it all the way to their super bowl, so of course it was the same day. I was bummed, but I wouldn’t miss my son’s big day for anything 🙂 I actually wasn’t a fan of Despeareaux… but I adored Because of Winn-Dixie! If you liked BoWD, you’d like Raymie Nightingale as it has a very similar feel – I love DiCamillo’s dry sense of humor.

      I enjoyed Crooked Kingdom! Actually, I preferred it to SoC. I thought the pacing was much better. I also loved how intricate the plot was… talk about a book where you need to pay close attention!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sad you didn’t make it to the book festival– but congrats to your son!!! That must have been a lot of fun. He must be so proud. How did his team do?

        I’ve got Raymie Nightingale on my TBR — I’ve heard great things. I hope to read quite a few of DiCamillo’s works, actually. She is so prolific! It’s a bit overwhelming to think of trying to read them all, but perhaps someday… 😉


  4. Hope you loved Crooked Kingdom!!! Can’t wait to see your full thoughts on it, and gah you had a bad Sept I’m having a bad Oct, as the year comes to an end I find myself less motivated to pick up books, I need to get back into it and make a dint in the tbr though. Hope you’re having an awesome month Amanda ❤


    1. I really enjoyed Crooked Kingdom! In fact, I enjoyed it more than SoC. I struggled with the pacing of SoC, whereas I felt CK held my attention more from start to finish. I also loved how complex the plot was… talk about a book where you need to pay attention to all the small details!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I loved it more too, there was so much action and I really liked the setting, plus the banter was A+. I love a good resolution to a series too so that gives it a bit of sway against SoC 😀


  5. Oh yay, you’re going to read Replica, that’s so great! I look forward to hearing your thoughts about that one. If you haven’t started – since I am a bit late at commenting -, I’d recommend reading it with alternating between perspectives. I thought it was a really cool reading experience this way, and I loved following their stories at the same time. They were quite different, and really gave more dimension to the world and everything that was happening, at least, for me 🙂
    Happy reading, Amanda! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries about being late to comment! I am obviously having the same problem lol I actually ended up not reading Replica because I was unable to attend the book festival where the author was appearing. I still want to read it at some point though… thank you for the intel on how to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahah no worries, Amanda! It’s good to hear from you, I hope you’re doing well xx
        I hope you’ll read it someday and enjoy it 🙂


      1. LOL no worries girl! We bought a house back in August that needed a complete renovation, that paired with getting our old house ready to sell & moving… My life was a little chaotic so blogging had to go on the back burner. I am happy to report that we are all moved in, so my nightmare is over! I cannot wait to get all caught up with everyone. Expect a visit from me on your blog to see what I’ve missed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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