The 9 Books / Audiobooks I read in October (fiction & non-fiction)

Here are the books (audiobooks) I finished in October. Have you read any of these (or plan on reading certain ones)? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

A few notes: 

Do you love books that center around vibrant, interesting characters and help you expand your perspective of different cultures? Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo was a wonderful read. From Goodreads: “Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood.”

Notes from the Bathroom Line. Hmm. Comedy is so subjective. The parts of this book I enjoyed were when many comedians answered the same question with one-liners. If there was an audiobook sequel that was just that, I would absolutely read it. I wanted to like more of the individual shorts more, but the majority of the comedy shorts weren’t for my sense of humor.

If Easy Crafts for the Insane by Kelley Williams Brown had more crafts in it, I would have read this book while listening to it. While this book didn’t have me rushing to  recommend it immediately to my reader friends, I did enjoy the journey of experiencing the author’s battle with injury and depression and appreciate how this book helps destigmatize mood disorders and encourage people to seek out mental health support. 

Unwinding Anxiety by Dr. Jud Brewer is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I definitely have incorporated Brewer’s teaching into my work as a Hypnotherapist that works with clients online. I felt this book was longer than necessary for the amount of strategies it shared, but perhaps other readers would appreciate the length more. I certainly LOVE Jud Brewer’s contributions to the field and so appreciate his research and teaching. 

I haven’t read any Bill Bryson books before – The Body: A Guide for Occupants was a great one to start with! So much fascinating content – it was easy to geek out over how strange and remarkable our bodies are. If you’ve read other books by this author, which ones did you enjoy?

It took me a few tries restarting Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro before I got into it (sometimes there is a right time to read a book and a not-yet-right time, I suppose). I’m so glad I revisited this book and stuck with it. It was a lovely, unique narrative from the perspective of a sentient A.I. who was designed to be a household helper for a family. I found this book to be lyrical and relaxing to listen to (and really enjoyed the audiobook reader’s voice – great casting). 

The Labrador Pact by Matt Haig. I am (was?) reading through all the books by this author. I am not a huge fan of the way this story wrapped up and am not a dog person. For Haig’s fiction, I DO highly recommend The Midnight Library, The Humans, How to Stop Time. I also recommend his Non Fiction books: The Comfort Book, Reasons to Stay Alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet.

The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman. I really enjoyed this series. It was a lovely journey through time, had some themes of death and loss, but overall it felt just wonderful to get to know the characters. Magic and Witches (when done light-heartedly, outside a horror genre) are just delightful to read about. You can read these books in chronological order or in the order written. I recommend the latter. This is the last of the series. I may try more books by this author. If you’ve read Hoffman, any you recommend? 

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb. You can’t help but fall in love with the author’s grandmother and the relationship between the two of them. I had actual out-loud laughs, real tears, all the emotions. I am really glad I discovered this book, it came at just the right time.

–Added note: I finished Passing by Nella Larsen before writing this blog post and wanted to mention it now for a reason: I read it as part of the Netflix Book Club. I love the host, Uzo Aduba, and look forward to seeing how those videos shape up. This will be a Netflix film soon, so wanted to mention the book club in this roundup. It’s a short novella written in 1929 about a black woman who passes as a white woman. This is a theme that appears in the wonderful 2020 book The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I recommend both books. Netflix Book Club starts Nov 16, and I’ll mention the club again in a later post if I recommend it!

Have you read / listened to any of the above? Are any of these books on your “to-read” list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And, as always, if you have a book you recommend, share it in the comments!

Happy reading,

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