There are always some interesting titles on the LibraryReads list. Some might not be my cup of tea but I am sure they are for others. This is one of those months where only a few of them are titles I chose. The number one choice on this months list is News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Jiles' historical novels are always well researched but she is known more for great characterizations. Both are present in this title. An old ex-soldier becomes an itinerant news reader in Texas after the Civil War. Captain Jefferson Kidd would read world event news to the small towns spread throughout Texas. In one, a gentleman he trusted, asked him to return a young 10 year old, kidnapped by Indians when she was 6, back to her parents in Austin. This work claimed quite a few hearts with the reviewers - even those who don't like historical fiction.
Next, in no particular order on the list:
The Trespasser by Tana French. This is the sixth in the Dublin Murder Squad series. This series is always dark and disturbing but also compelling - once you start, you can't put it down. Here a young beautiful girl, Aislinn Murray, is killed and although all clues point to her boyfriend, Antoinette Conway and her partner Steve Moran have doubts. Conway is rough and tough. The rest of the squad would like to get rid of her. So when all clues point one way, Conway wonders if she should look another way.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Picoult likes to examine current day issues through the perspective of fictional stories of everyday people. Here neonatal nurse, Ruth Jefferson, is asked to not touch a newborn's white supremacist's parents. When the baby goes into cardiac distress, Ruth is alone in the department. She hesitates and the baby dies. Now, she is being charged with causing the death of a baby. The story is told from the point of view of Ruth, Ruth's attorney and the newborn's father. Reviewers have called it brilliant and gripping.
Crosstalk by Connie Willis. I like Connie Willis. She writes speculative fiction kind of science fictiony in a way with humor in her dialog. I read a series she wrote about people time travelling back to WWII Britain. It was really good. This one will take a leap of faith at the beginning. It takes place in the relatively near future. There is a procedure that has been invented to telepathically connect couples - boyfriends and girlfriends. The main character, Briddey, undergoes this procedure to connect with her seemingly perfect boyfriend. Unfortunately, she ends up connected with someone else. Quite a dilemma.
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict. This was kind of surprise to me. I was not it's biggest fan. It is the story of Einstein's first wife, Mileva Maric who was a brilliant physics student with Einstein in university. After marrying Einstein some say she played a big part in his theories - others say she lost her drive for physics.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett. This is a highly regarded debut novel that takes place in an African American community in California. Nadia, a high school senior, is troubled by her mother's suicide and turns to a local pastor's son for comfort. A pregnancy results. The story is about Nadia, the young man, Luke, and Nadia's best friend, Aubrey. It is the story of how the decision that they make this particular year affects their lives. There is the constant question of 'what if'. Reviewers have said things like 'outstanding', 'sage and sad', blindingly good'.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. Semple wrote the very popular Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Truthfully, the reviews have been mixed here. Some absolutely loved it, others thought it was so-so. Here were follow one day in the life of Eleanor Flood. Flood, with a young son and married to a hand surgeon, had been a top animator in New York but moved to Seattle with her husband. She has become a neurotic mess. She makes plans for this day to be different but then life happens.
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris. This is the ninth in the Aurora Teagarden series, the first since 2003. Defined as her most cozy series, it will be interesting to see if that continues. Teagarden.is a librarian who can't help but investigate crime. She is married to a crime writer so...it is a beneficial partnership for all. Disaster stricks her small Georgia town when 4 children disappear from the school soccer field. One of them is Aurora's 15 year old brother. How can she not investigate this one.
Smoke and Mirror by Elly Griffiths. This is the second in the series entitled Magic Men by some and Stephens and Mephisto. Stephens is DI Edgar Stephens and Mephisto is Max Mephisto, a friend of Stevens from WWII and an illusionist. This title takes place in Brighton in the winter of 1951. Max is starring in the play Aladdin but Stevens is concentrating on 2 missing local children who are found dead in the snow with a trail of candy around them. A gruesome crime for sure and one where Stephens again needs Max's help.
Lastly, The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue. This will take a leap of faith right from the beginning almost but if you can make it, it is a creepy story that will have you looking at puppets with fear. Kay is a performer at the cirque and her husband, Theo, is a French professor in New York. They are spending their summer in the old section of Quebec. After a late post show dinner, Kay is distracted by a puppet shop which she had never seen opened before and goes inside. She is transformed into a puppet. Her husband searches the city for his missing wife. Can he recognize her in puppet form? Will she want to return to human form? Said to be frightening and dark.
OK - there you go. The 10 titles that come out in October that were the most popular among librarians around the world. I hope one of them grabs your attention.