This month was a very good reading month for me! It rained almost EVERY SINGLE day this month, which meant I spent a TON of time indoors… perfect for reading. Also during October we did quite a bit of traveling for work, which meant hours upon hours spent on buses, planes, and waiting around in lines. So overall, tons of prime reading time, and no excuse not to devour my stack of books.
Here are (in no particular order) the 12 books I read last month. I will attach each book’s official “GoodReads” plot summary, as well as a few brief thoughts I had about each of them.. and my rating from 1-5/ out of 5. Please let me know if you would like me to go more in depth with a specific review.. I should note as well..that I will have a much more thorough review of the Lars Kepler books (including “Stalker”), as well as a full review of “A Little Life” & “The Wonder”, coming to the Blog soon.. so stay tuned if you are interested in hearing more of my feelings/ramblings about those specific novels.
xo, Happy Reading
1.) “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur
I loved every single word inside this book of poetry. It was so beautiful, heartfelt, and just perfect. A very modern take on love, life, loss, and relationships. I have a full Review about these poems, earlier in my Blog if you are interested.
GoodReads Plot & Quotes
(milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.)
“i do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire”
― Rupi Kaur,
2.) “The Kind Worth Killing”, by Peter Swanson
Wow! This was SUCH an incredible thriller. I first saw this book a year ago in Heathrow Airport, and the glowing reviews on the cover/back of the book convinced me immediately to buy it. I just finally got around to reading it this past month, and I now HATE myself for waiting so long. I can’t believe this wild thriller was sitting on my bookshelf all this time, collecting dust! Anyways… clearly I loved it <3 This book had everything I love about a good mystery/thriller. So many unexpected twists and turns, and told from a few different points of view. Again this story had a few very very flawed main characters, but they were developed so well.. and just felt so REAL.. that I found myself relating to them, and caring for them almost immediately. Even though the things they were thinking about doing were outrageous, for some reason I felt like I was in their heads..and I found myself rooting for them.. despite the fact it was very very wrong. I loved this so much, I’ve already forced everyone I work with to read it.
GoodReads Plot & Quotes
(A devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder. This is a modern re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train from the author of the acclaimed The Girl with a Clock for a Heart.
On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. But their game turns dark when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.”
From there, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they plot Miranda’s demise, but soon these co-conspirators are embroiled in a game of cat-and-mouse–one they both cannot survive–with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.)
“And to take another life was, in many ways, the greatest expression of what it meant to be alive.”
― Peter Swanson,
3.) “A Little Life”, by Hanya Yanagihara
A resounding 5/5
I honestly didn’t even know that one book could make me cry so much. Not just cry… it felt like this book broke my heart over and over again 100 times. This was an experience. An intense and incredible one. This book was exquisite.. just so moving, so real, and so heartbreaking. Probably the best book I’ve read in years. I know I’m always saying that…. but this book just knocked me on my ass. So indescribable, you need to read this one, immerse yourself in these incredible characters lives, and let it do it’s thing. There is a reason this book is a finalist for the prestigious “Man Booker Prize”.. and you owe it to yourself to find out why. Warning, this is a very depressing story, and also potentially triggering with issues of addiction and self harm.
GoodReads Plot & Quotes
(When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.)
“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”
― Hanya Yanagihara,
4.) “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl
I really enjoyed this book. A very creepy, intriguing crime thriller. The only negative I really had, is that I found it a bit hard to get into straight away. Also I read this book right after finishing another epic crime thriller, and I might just not have been in the right mood. It was a very good book though, and if you are interested in film/dark cult films.. then you will love this. I feel bad even saying anything negative because it was honestly SO good, and written in the most stunning way. So many twists that kept me guessing.. I think I was just in a reading slump and couldn’t give this one the 5 star energy it needed.
GoodReads Plot & Quotes
(On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.
The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.)
“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”
― Marisha Pessl,
5.) “Just Kids”, by Patti Smith
5/5 or 10/10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THIS BOOK. I am so glad I finally read this, and I wish I could read it for the first time, 100 times in a row all over again. As a Photographer, I was very personally interested in everything to do with Robert Mapplethorpe, and his life. This book was like living Art itself.. just the most wonderful memoir I’ve read all year. Patti Smith is a legend, and I feel so lucky to have read this, and learned so much more about her.. about Robert.. about Art and Life. Very interesting read. Also I’ve never been to New York City, and now I have fully realized how BADLY I need to go there. Chelsea Hotel anyone?
GoodReads Plot & Quotes
(In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work–from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.)
― Patti Smith,