October Releases You Should Know About

October Releases You Should Know About

I thought I'd share with you some of the books that have come out in October that are on my radar.

This first one is my favorite book that came out this month and one of my favorite books I've read this year.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

I absolutely LOVE the Hogarth Shakespeare Project and Hag-Seed has got to be my favorite so far. This majorly meta retelling of The Tempest is amazing. Margaret Atwood manages to tell the tale on three different levels and if you don't know The Tempest she manages to teach it to you at the same time. It was definitely a five star read for me. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)

Also check out the other Hogarth Shakespeare titles,

Jeanette Winterson's retelling of The Winter's Tale, The Gap of Time

Howard Jacobsen's retelling of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is My Name 

Anne Tyler's retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, Vinegar Girl

The next title is to come out in February of 2017, Jo Nesbo's retelling of Macbeth.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Another favorite of mine this month is the debut novel, The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I was excited to read this because not only does it take place in the hometown of my book club, Oceanside, California but Brit Bennett is from here. I was not disappointed. The Mothers follows 17 year old Nadia Turner through some difficult decisions and the impact of those decisions through the next ten years of her life. Bookriot described it best, “This book is something special: sage and sad and spectacular. This is a book about how the choices you make, and those made for you, shape the lovely, hopeful tragedy of your life.” I'll be on the look out for Brit Bennett's books in the future. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)

Today will Be Different by Maria Semple

We loved Where'd You Go Bernadette? in book club, so I was looking forward to reading this one. It isn't as good as Bernadette, but I enjoyed it. It was a nice quick read and I laughed alot. I think it's worth a read. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)

Am I Alone Here: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live

by Peter Orner

In the introduction to his collection of essays about reading, writing, and living, Peter Orner tells us to "Think of this as a book of unlearned meditations that stumbles into memoir." This book combines essays on the influence of certain authors on Orner's life with tales of the lives and works of these authors. This is the type of book that makes you want to re-read or read for the first time the works mentioned and also reminds you how literature and reading impact our lives. "Only through reading has the rest of the world, including my own small place in it, begun to make any sense whatsoever." After reading this line I knew this was a book I would savor and go back to again and again. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)

The following are books that are on my radar and I am looking forward to reading:

The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine

I loved An Unnecessary Woman when we read it for book club so I am very much looking forward to reading his newest novel.

"Set over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic, The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana'a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrait of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound, philosophical and hilariously winning story of the war between memory and oblivion we wrestle with every day of our lives." - from the publisher

The Life Writer by David Constantine

I've heard good reviews of this one. From the Back Cover - "Following the final illness and death of her husband Eric, Katrin—a writer of brief lives of minor figures of European Romanticism—decides to fight against his absence by writin"g the story of his life. Desperate to know Eric as he had been before she loved him, to fetch his early years into those that she must now face without him—Think of me then, Katrin, Eric told her on his deathbed, never forget me then, that lad gaily assuming the land and its roads and traffic would never be anything but kind—she begins, through letters and diaries and conversations with his childhood friends, to reconstruct a pivotal period of his life, uncovering an early affair Eric had with a Parisian artist. As the young couple's increasingly impossible love rushes toward its devastating conclusion, past and present intermesh in unexpected ways and Katrin begins to understand how that period of Eric's youth impacted Katrin's love for him and the marriage the two of them shared. Passionate, profoundly moving, and lyrically written, The Life-Writer offers up an unforgettably heartbreaking portrait of a brilliant woman who grieves for her beloved by writing what others wouldn't dare: the story of his first true love."

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

The German Girl has been compared to The Nightingale, Schindler’s List, Sarah’s Key and All the Light We Cannot See

The story of a twelve-year-old girl’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations—those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to re-imagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences. - from the publisher

The following came out in paperback in October:

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

Over the course of a day, Yapa spools a narrative of the now infamous World Trade Organization protests that took place along the streets of Seattle in 1990--a day that started peacefully and ended in blood. Yapa’s world introduces you to a kaleidoscope of characters and each is raw, real, driven by their own obligation and role in the protests—from the Chief of Police whose city it is to protect, to an ardent non-violent activist, to a delegate making his way to an important meeting in the hopes of transforming his country. This epic day unravels from every vantage point, and the result is a story empowered with exacting empathy. - Al Woodworth

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

We enjoyed Melanie Benjamin's previous novel The Aviator's Wife and I'm looking forward to reading this new novel about New York's Swans of the 1950s and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.

Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos

A luminous work of fiction inspired by the real-life, 37-year friendship between two towering figures of the late nineteenth century, famed writer and humorist Mark Twain and legendary explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

That's all I've got this month.. I hope you found some books you are interested in. I'll be back next month with my picks for November.