They announced the LibraryReads for October yesterday and most of these are ones I would pick so I am excited about them. There are a couple of nonfiction that I might not have chosen but that is because I don't really read much nonfiction. So....the biggest vote getting this month was - - -
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg. This is Hallberg's first novel and people in the know say it could be the book of the year. It begins with a killing in Central Park on New Year's Eve; follows a large cast of characters in New York City; meanders from 1959 to 1977; and culminates in the blackout of July of 1977. It is more than a mystery but at over 900 pages, it better be. All the characters are connected by the killing and by the blackout but go their own way and develop stories of their own. People have complained that it is overwritten and people have called the writing smooth and enthralling. If you want to read 'the possible book of the year' - this one is for you.
Next up, Jojo Moyes' After You. If you read Me Before You, then you have to read this one because it is the continuing story. I talked about this title last month because it actually comes out in September. As a reminder, it carries on with Louisa Clark who is forced to return home after an accident. She is trying to move on after loosing Will Traynor. One that makes you laugh and cry.
Elizabeth George is next with a Lynley and Havers novel, A Banquet of Consequences. This is the 19th in the series and is said to be better than the last few. If you have read her before, you will want this one. Once again Havers is definitely the more active investigator and Lynley is the brains behind the action. Havers has been disciplined and is trying hard to toe the line and Lynley is coming out of mourning for his wife and unborn child's death. Quite literary in tone and maybe more novel than police procedural. If you like her, you will like it.
If you read The Bone Clocks, you can not miss Slade House by David Mitchell as it takes place in the same world. Every nine years, Slade House appears in a grungy alley in London and every year, someone goes in it and goes missing. The book progress in 9 years leaps starting at Halloween 1979 and ending at Halloween 2015. Fantasy, haunted house or horror - you can decide. It is much shorter than The Bone Clocks so there is that. Said to be deeply satisfying for those who read TBC.
Next comes Margaret Atwood's The Heart Goes Last. This is another one that I spoke about with the September books as it comes out on September 29. Atwood is an award winning Canadian author. The Handmaid's Tale has become a modern classic. This one is a reworking of her online Positron stories. Amazingly, some reviews have hated it but I think it is a must read for those who have loved her prior works. A young couple, Carmaine and Stan, are living out of their car when they find out about Consilience. This is a social experiment where people live in a comfortable home of their own
in the suburbs for one month and switch every other month with living in a jail cell. They begin to obsess about who is living in their home while they are gone. Some hate it / some love it. If you love her, you need to give it a try.
From Pulitzer prize winning author, Geraldine Brooks, comes A Secret Chord. This is a fictionalized account of the life of King David. The story is told mainly for other people's viewpoint. Reviewers are saying the writing is wonderful, the character's complex, and she really takes you back to living in that time. If you like t
Next comes a novel born from a series of twice-monthly podcasts in the style of a community update for a small desert town. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor is the story of 19 year old pawn shop owned Jackie Fierro and a mysterious man in a tan jacket who gives her a paper that she can't seem to put down. Described as weird and funny, only you can decide if you have to read it.
Now for the last fiction before taking aim at the 2 nonfiction books, Sarah Ward has the British mystery In Bitter Chill. A small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised when 2 young girls are kidnapped in 1978. One of the girls is found but the other remained missing. When the mother of the still missing girl commits suicide over 30 years later, the case again attracts attention. The girl who was found can not remember a thing about what happened but since the suicide has brought press attention, she realizes that she needs to find out what happened years ago.
Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickery. The attorney who argued before the Supreme Court for the plaintiff in this case relates the story behind the news.
Lastly, We Were Brothers: A Memoir by Barry Moser. 2 brothers born of the same parents in a small Tennessee town were so different, right from the beginning, that they did not really care too much for each other. One was reflective and artistic and one was aggressive, outspoken and a racist. Barry left Tennessee and became and artist. For years, they did not speak to each other. This is Barry's story of growing up and eventually overcoming to find his brother again.
See if any of these sound interesting to you.