October Reading List!!

Sorry this post is late — I am SO behind on my reading!  I still haven’t finished the books on last month’s list — have any of you read Doctor Sleep yet?  I’m dying to hear if you loved it!!


Here’s what I’ve planned for this month.  After I finish last month’s.  I’ve got a LOT of reading to do!!




Help for the Haunted: A Novel by John Searles

I actually read this book a few weeks ago and it was REALLY good!!  Scary and kept me guessing until the very end.

The plot, according to Amazon:


John Searles’s Help for the Haunted is an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, their harrowing tragedy, and ultimately, a daughter’s discovery of a dark and unexpected mystery.

Sylvie Mason’s parents have an unusual occupation—helping “haunted souls” find peace. After receiving a strange phone call one winter’s night, they leave the house and are later murdered in an old church in a horrifying act of violence.

A year later, Sylvie is living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened to their parents. Now, the inquisitive teenager pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night—and to the truth about her family’s past and the secrets that have haunted them for years.

Capturing the vivid eeriness of Stephen King’s works with the compelling quirkiness of John Irving’s beloved novels, Help for the Haunted is that rare story that brings to life a richly imagined and wholly original world.



Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I have mixed feelings about this because the reviews are not so great.   But I read the other two, so I HAVE to read this one and see how it ends.  If you like Hunger Games, I really encourage you to check this series out!!


The plot, according to Amazon:

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.



We Are Water by Wally Lamb

I love Wally Lamb and have been looking forward to this one for awhile.  If you haven’t read any of his previous novels, I highly recommend!!


The plot, according to Amazon:

We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True.

After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives.

We Are Water is a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist, Anna; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest. It is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.

With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.




Empty Mansions:  The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman

I always like to include a nonfiction on the list, and this one sounds really interesting and different.  The reviews are great, too!!


The plot, according to Amazon:

When Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money?
Dedman has collaborated with Huguette Clark’s cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Dedman and Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege, who secrets herself away from the outside world.
Huguette was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else.
The Clark family story spans nearly all of American history in three generations, from a log cabin in Pennsylvania to mining camps in the Montana gold rush, from backdoor politics in Washington to a distress call from an elegant Fifth Avenue apartment. The same Huguette who was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11 held a ticket nine decades earlier for a first-class stateroom on the second voyage of the Titanic.
Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette’s copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.



Next month I’m planning on having my list up ON TIME instead of at the tail end of the month…I’d love some suggestions!!

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  1. 1
    Amy says:

    I read Allegiant last week and I have mixed feelings. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

  2. 2
    Erin Maree says:

    I am currently reading Allegiant and are about halfway through it’s not as gripping as the other two but I am enjoying it. I did skip a head to the ending and it ends nicely with all ends wrapped up (unlike some other trilogy’s I finished off looking at you Delirium by Lauren Oliver).

  3. 3
    SC says:

    I was so disappointed in Allegiant. I almost felt like someone else wrote it-it seemed like a different style to me and for awhile I felt like I had gotten an Inception book by mistake. It was really complicated for awhile, and that’s ok sometimes, but it didn’t seem to work. The ending I felt was very abrupt- too much build up for an anticlimactic end.

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    I finished Doctor Sleep yesterday. I should have read the Shining first. I had seen the movie, but never read the book. Doctor Sleep started off slow but I ended up really into it. To the point where my laundry and dishes started to pile up. I’m now reading the Shining. Hopefully it doesn’t scare me as bad as the movie.

  5. 5
    Marie M.C. says:

    I read Empty Mansions a month ago. Poor woman. Well, not financially poor. In fact quite wealthily with lots of empty mansions she never lived in but kept — ready to live in — for her entire life. She wasn’t just a recluse, she was afraid of people. She lived in a hospital for decades, even though it was medically unnecessary. A nurse who took care of her for years became wealthy. Lots of criticism of the nurse, but the nurse never took a day off in three years and worked 12 hour days. The nurse neglected her husband and three children to take care of her. Strange, strange life.

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    I finished Allegiant tonight and I agree with the overall sentiment that the book was a disappointment. I agree with SC’s comment that it was as if another author wrote the third book. My OCD would never let me leave the trilogy unread, but I now wish I could have left the last book untouched. Read it for the sake of completion, but don’t get your hopes up.

  7. 7

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  9. 9
    Steroid says:

    Thanks for finally talking about >October Reading List!!
    <Loved it!

  10. 10

    I’m reading Empty Mansions now and I LOVED the first half but the second half is dragging. I guess I am getting impatient with Huguette’s inability to grow-up, budget or realize that people are taking advantage of her generous nature. I don’t blame the nurse like a lot of people do, but I do find fault with the nurse’s children and the hospital. The nurse knew what the hospital was doing and played along and actually helped them, so she is not entirely blameless.


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