Book Banter October 2016

It seriously rained this month. We had one of the biggest October storms since the 60’s mid-month that had me ready to make a ton of soup and curl up with a good book. So I did just that. Below you will find what I read this month. If you feel compelled to buy the paperback books click the links in the post and a small commission will come my way at no extra cost to you! I will link the audible version below the post as well. Thanks in advance for your support!

Here is what I read this month:

1. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

2277378This is the third book in the Inspector Gamache Three Pines series that I have been working my way through. I like a good crime novel. Throw in an adorable Canadian setting with scenes that take place in cafe where everything, including the furniture, is for sale, and I am sold. While these books aren’t always surprising, they are surprisingly comforting for a crime series. The characters are well written and feel like friends. The murders are always creative and there is usually more than one mystery afoot. The Cruelest Month is set in the month of April right around Easter and the murder happens during a seance where the characters are trying to raise the dead. Along with the murder, this book finally advances a plot line that had been moving at a glacial pace since the first book and I am exited to see where this aspect of the series goes. I have heard from other readers that this series gets better and better so I will definitely keep reading.

2. Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

3388I chose this as my book for the letter “C” as I read my way through this book-list. I had never heard of it, or the movie, but was drawn to the setting; Greece during WWII. I have read a lot of  WWII books, but none set in Greece while it was under Italian/Nazi occupation. This book started out slow, as it took me about 80 pages to really get into it. But after that I was hooked. I began to really like the characters and they way their lives intersect as the story unfolds. The relationships were very touching and seemed like honest interpretations of war-time relationships. They reminded me of some in Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Even with the slow start and predictable plot twists, this book is one of my favorites of the year. Disclaimer: this book gets pretty graphic and I cried for about the last 100-150 pages.

3. The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester 

17349092This book is all about how technology changed the United States. From the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the internet. This book has fascinating historical tidbits about the people behind the growth of the U.S. I really loved the section on the U.S. Highway system and the little bit on the radio. While there were sections in the book that I found to be a bit dry, this book was full of things I did not know. The author has obviously done his research and has personal anecdotes from many of the sites mentioned in the book. I read this on my kindle, which I would not recommend. There are quite a few illustrations I would have loved to see in print. If you like history and are interested in the progress of the United States, you should read this.

4. Dracula by Bram Stoker

588495You guys, this book is SO good! I brought it with me everywhere until I finished it, even church. Is that allowed? Vampires in church before the sermon? Whatever, I couldn’t put this book down. I have never been into vampires. I couldn’t even read past the first Twilight book (I know, they are not real vampires). But decided to pick this up since Halloween was around the corner and it worked for letter “D” on this book list. The first part is very, very creepy. Dracula is no joke. There is nothing romantic about him. But the love between Jonathan and Mina Harker is so sweet. I absolutely loved how Stoker wrote Mina. She was a strong woman, but wasn’t trying to be a man, like so many modern heroines. Her relationships with the other Dracula fighters is perfect. If you have seen the movie with my man Sirius Bla…I mean Gary Oldman then you will surprised by the book. They are very, very different. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

5. No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

114817Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? Or #NaNoWriMo as it is referred to on twitter? If not, let me fill you in. Every November people everywhere sit down at their computer and begin the somewhat scary task of writing a novel in a month. I had heard about this last year and never thought I’d be interested. But lately I have been feeling the itch to start writing some fiction again. I picked up this book hoping it would give me insight into the process and to see if this was something I was really interested in putting time into. It was full of great tips and was a quick read. If you feel like you might have a novel in you (the author says everyone does) you should read this book and participate. This November is not the best month for me to undertake a whole novel because Anthony and I will be traveling to to AZ to see our friends (can’t wait!!) but I know I have some ideas knocking around in my head and I like to have a self imposed deadline to help me get it done. Plus, the point is to write a novel, not publish one, which is a good place to start!

6. The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl, Agnete Friis

10776592This book is the first in a crime series that follows Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse with a soft spot for refugees (get the whole series here). I picked this up at the library on a recommendation from a blogger I follow. In this book, Nina finds herself picking up a suitcase from a locker for a friend. When she opens the suitcase there is a live little boy inside. From that moment on, Nina finds her life in danger as she tries to figure out where the boy came from. The story is told from different points of view so you can see how the mystery comes together. I thought this book was entertaining, and it was a very quick read. But I wasn’t really drawn in by the characters, in fact I did not like Nina at all, and the plot was a little predictable for me. Dracula was definitely better.

This month I didn’t finish any audiobooks and went back to reading more books from the library. I am dying to buy a pretty copy of Dracula to add to my ever growing classics collection. What did you read this month? Have you read any of these titles? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

I love you more than U.S. History and undead mysteries,


Audible Audiobook links:

  1. The Cruelest Month
  2. Corelli’s Mandolin
  3. The Men Who United the States
  4. Dracula
  5. The Boy in the Suitcase 

There is not an audbile recording of No Plot? No Problem! at this time.





One thought on “Book Banter October 2016

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Reads of 2016 | I Love You More Than Golden Retrievers and Stars

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