Book Nook: October 2019

I got into a bit of self-help slump last month and decided to stick with fiction for a while, so that's mostly what you'll see below. Also, as I mentioned in last month's book nook, I've just managed to pull myself out of burnout so, for October, reading took a bit of a backseat while I got back into a good work groove.

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I've added links to where you can find each book on Amazon US if you want to purchase it or read more reviews, as well as links to free trials on Kindle Unlimited and Audible. All of them are affiliate links meaning that, if you purchase through them, I'll make a small commission. Thank you! (For more info, read my disclosure.)

October 2019 Book Nook | Book reviews | Goodreads reading challenge 2019

I read every single day, sometimes just for a few minutes and sometimes for hours. I’m regularly asked for recommendations, so I thought I’d start sharing what I’m reading each month.

My hope is that I can encourage you to bring more books into your life, and to make it easier to find books you’ll enjoy. Check back every month for more reviews.

Rating System

1 book: Well, I won't be getting that time back

2 books: Not my cup of tea

3 books: Yup, that'll do nicely

4 books: Thoroughly enjoyed

5 books: One of the best things I've ever read

Disclaimer

I think anyone who writes a book is a damn hero. My personal opinions of the content are just that – personal opinions. If something didn't float my boat, I still applaud the author. Their discipline and determination amazes me.

OK, on with the show.

Reviews

For the month of October 2019, I curled up in my book nook with 5 different books. Here they are.

Book #78 of 2019: "The Hypnotist's Love Story"  by Liane Moriarty

Started: 1/10/2019     Finished: 6/10/2019

I don't know if you've ever had a stalker but it's not a fun experience. Thankfully my own wasn't anywhere near as extreme as the one in this story, but it made it a lot easier to empathise.

Ellen is a professional hypnotherapist who finds herself falling in love with Patrick. Unfortunately, he comes with baggage – his ex-girlfriend has been stalking him ever since they split. Patrick is also a widower and has a young son. Before long, Ellen finds herself failing in the step-mother department, trying to live up to the legacy of a dead wife, and wondering if she'll ever love Patrick as much as his ex-girlfriend does.

And she's pretty sure the stalker has been in her home.

A slightly silly story with a trite and anti-climatic ending, but it was exactly what I needed to read at the time.

Rating: 3 books.   A decent palette cleanser if your reading has been a little "deep" of late



Book #79 of 2019: "The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

Started: 7/10/2019     Finished: 12/10/2019

Agoraphobic Anna is confined to her NYC residence. For entertainment, she watches old movies, drinks wine, and takes photos of her unsuspecting neighbours.

One day she witnesses a stabbing in the house across the street, but when its occupants deny all knowledge and police officers become aware of Anna's many issues, the matter is dropped. It's up to her to prove that the murder was real and the woman who's taken the place of the victim is a fraud.

Not an easy feat when you can't even step outside your own front door.

Still, if she can pull herself together long enough, she may be able to crack the case, overcome her personal struggles, and convince her family to come back to her.

That is, if she didn't imagine the entire thing...

Rating: 3 books.   Enough twists to keep you guessing, but not entirely riveting



Book #80 of 2019: "On The Come Up"  by Angie Thomas

Started: 14/10/2019     Finished: 17/10/2019

16-year-old Bri is ready to follow in her late father's footsteps and become a rapper. And with racial tensions high at school, a mother who's struggling to put food on the table, and a family member who runs in one of the local gangs, suddenly success is no longer an option, it's a necessity if she hopes to survive.

But will Bri's first taste of stardom be her family's ticket out of the food bank, or will it tear them apart?

This one not only references but also draws many parallels to the previous offering, "The Hate U Give". While both are, on their surface, coming-of-age stories, at their heart they reveal some of the reality of growing up in an area populated primarily with poor and working-class black families.

Rating: 4 books.   Beautifully written with believable characters facing immense struggles



Book #81 of 2019: "You Are A Writer"  by Jeff Goins

Started: 18/10/2019     Finished: 18/10/2019

At this stage I felt I'd gotten my fiction fix and was ready to return to non-fiction. (Plus, my free trial of Kindle Unlimited was coming to an end and I needed to read the books I'd borrowed before they disappeared.)

I'm going to be perfectly honest here and say that I remember very little of this book. The main thrust of it is that if you write anything at all, you should feel confident in calling yourself a writer. In a fake-it-till-you-make-it way, you'll then feel you have to justify your claims and you'll start pursuing the career a little more seriously.

There's also some helpful advice in here about getting into a good writing routine and pitching your ideas to publishers.

Rating: 3 books.   Will give you a boot up the backside if you've been doubting your writing abilities

Pro tip: I’m often asked how I manage to read so much. One of my tricks is to include shorter books like this that can be read in one or two sittings.



Book #82 of 2019: "The ONE Thing"  by Gary Keller

Started: 21/10/2019     Finished: 26/10/2019

Based on the premise that you should only focus on one thing at a time, when I first started reading it felt simplistic and repetitive. But the more I read, the more I enjoyed it.

Between this and "Deep Work", I've been convinced to give up multi-tasking and starting giving priority and focus to one task until it's done. (In fact, it's my NOvember challenge.)

I went back and forth on a rating for this one. I was leaning towards a 3 but the fact that it's spurred me into taking action pushed it to a 4. But just about.

Rating: 4 books.   Read it if you find your focus is easily scattered



A slightly slower reading month for me so I'll have to pick back up the pace if I want to achieve my Goodreads challenge of 100 books for the year.

I do want to get back into more fiction though so tell me...

What’s the best novel you’ve read recently?

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2 Comments

  1. I mostly read fantasy or sci-fi which most people don’t but I think Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal can be enjoyed by anyone. I also loved The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. I hope one of these is up your alley! And thanks for all the non-fiction book reviews too. I enjoy looking at them to figure out which ones are worth my time. 🙂

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