The theme of October’s to-be-read list is going to be library books. I currently have 7 books checked out from the library with 2 more waiting to be picked up, and deadlines are looming! I am very lucky in that I usually don’t have to wait very long for new releases (maybe because I request them so far in advance?), but with all the amazing new books coming out this time of year, they’re piling up on each other fast.
Here’s a look at what I’ll be (hopefully) devouring this month… wish me luck in my race to beat the due dates!
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
This was recommended by a friend of mine on her Instagram, and when I read the description, I figured it was something I’d like too. This is one of the first ones due back at the library, so I’m picking it up next.
In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements had seen enough of the world to know that it was unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the copper-mining town of Calumet, Michigan where men risk their lives for meager salaries—and had barely enough to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. The women labor in the houses of the elite, and send their husbands and sons deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren’t coming home. When Annie decides to stand up for herself, and the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle.
In Annie’s hands lie the miners’ fortunes and their health, her husband’s wrath over her growing independence, and her own reputation as she faces the threat of prison and discovers a forbidden love. On her fierce quest for justice, Annie will discover just how much she is willing to sacrifice for her own independence and the families of Calumet.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
I’ve only read Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and I have to say, I wasn’t exactly a fan. However, I’ve heard great things about her fiction, and this one has gotten a lot of hype. I’m a little nervous about it given the hype and the length (almost 500 pages!), but the synopsis sounds promising.
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves-and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.
Now ninety-five years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time, she muses. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is. Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.
The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine
This novel is one I’ve really been looking forward to, even making my list of most anticipated fall reads. I was surprised to get it from the library so quickly after I requested it, but I’m looking forward to diving into it.
"The Grammarians" are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable redheaded twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret “twin” tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults making their way in 1980s Manhattan, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins instead to push them apart. Daphne, copy editor and grammar columnist, devotes herself to preserving the dignity and elegance of Standard English. Laurel, who gives up teaching kindergarten to write poetry, is drawn, instead, to the polymorphous, chameleon nature of the written and spoken word. Their fraying twin-ship finally shreds completely when the sisters go to war, absurdly but passionately, over custody of their most prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
This memoir was recommended recently on the Currently Reading podcast (Parenting Books edition), and since I’m about to be a parent, I thought I’d give it a go. It seemed a little less daunting than some more hardcore, how-to parenting books, so it felt like a good place to start.
When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn't aspire to become a "French parent." But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old. They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped coffee. And yet French kids were still boisterous, curious, and creative. Why? How?
With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman set out to investigate—and wound up sparking a national debate on parenting. Researched over three years and written in her warm, funny voice, Bringing Up Bébé is deeply wise, charmingly told, and destined to become a classic resource for American parents.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
I feel a little bit like burying the lead by putting this one at the bottom because it’s the book I’ve been looking forward to the longest. I’m trying to wait to read it until Deanna can get her hands on a copy as well, but I’m not sure it will line up with my due date being only a few weeks away. I’m going to hold off as long as I can (it’s not like I don’t have enough to read…), and let’s keep our fingers crossed that the fates align.
Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
"Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." --Margaret Atwood
Which books are you most looking forward to this month? Share in the comments below and/or add your blog links to our TBR Mix ‘n’ Mingle linkup!
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TBR Mix ‘n’ Mingle is hosted by Rachel at Never Enough Novels, Allison at My Novel Life, the other wonderful bloggers at Literary Quicksand, and myself. In the bookish community, TBR stands for “To Be Read,” but it can mean different things to different people; in fact, Book Riot has a wonderful post exploring all the possible definitions. To me, it just means a book I haven’t read but want to read eventually. We share our TBR Lists on the 1st of every month. We'd love for you to join us!
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The Testament is also on my TBR! Great minds think alike! When I was pregnant I loved reading Emily Oster (even when I'm not pregnant!). She wrote Expecting Better and Cribsheet. Parenting advice based on data and written by an economist. I loved those books.
I already read Expecting Better and recently bought Cribsheet too! I really like her point of view, so I think you and I are on the same page there 🙂 I'm just planning to read Bebe first since it's due back at the library and Cribsheet's on my shelf for anytime.
I was just about to comment about Emily Oster! I found Cribsheet on Scribd, so I'm planning to read it soon. Also, I'm excited to see what you think about City of Girls. It wasn't a five star read for me, but a solid four stars!
Allison | Mind Joggle says
I wasn't a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love either, but I really liked City of Girls. I don't even remember when I read Bringing Up Bebe, but I *think* that's the one that discusses "the pause" when responding to a baby's nighttime noises. I wish I had read that (or paid attention to it, I guess) with my first. I think I would have slept a lot more 🙂 I do remember feeling jealous of all the social support that parents in France get.
Congrats on the baby!!
Jolissa Skow says
I've heard good things about City of Girls - I'm going to wait for your review to decide whether it should go on my TBR 😀