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The Book Scoop: October Edition and Horror Writing Playlist

It is now officially sweater weather. Who else is planning their winter reading list, for cozy days of escape into the pages of literature? Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by winter. On a lighter note, I came across this beautiful author quote:

Now, onto new releases that have caused a stir this month, bestsellers, and top-rated titles on Kobo!

War of Hearts by S. Young

Paranormal Romance ~ Thea Quinn has no idea what she is. After years of suffering at the hands of a megalomaniac, Thea escaped and has been on the run ever since. The leadership and protection of his pack are of the utmost importance to Conall MacLennan, Alpha and Chief of Clan MacLennan, the last werewolf pack in Scotland. Which is why watching his sister slowly die of a lycanthropic disease is emotional torture. When Conall is approached by a businessman who offers a cure for his sister in exchange for the use of Conall’s rare tracking ability, Conall forges an unbreakable contract with him. He has to find and retrieve the key to the cure: dangerous murderer, Thea Quinn. Thea’s attempts to evade the ruthless werewolf are not only thwarted by the Alpha, but by outside dangers. With no choice but to rely on one another for survival, truths are revealed, intensifying a passionate connection they both fight to resist.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror ~ Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her? Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.

The Last Wife by Nicola Marsh

Psychological Fiction ~ All Ria ever wanted was a family. Growing up alone in foster care, she imagined just how it would be. So when she fell in love with Grayson and had their daughter Shelley, she was determined to make his family love her too. She knew she’d never fit in with her glamorous sisters-in-law, or at the exclusive picture-perfect Chicago parties her mother-in-law threw, but with Grayson’s arm around her waist she tried her best to be a Parker. Until one morning, Grayson leaves the house for work and never comes home. Left to raise Shelley alone, Ria is forced to turn to her husband’s family. But Ria is about to learn that every Parker wife has secrets. And protecting her daughter might come at a terrible price… Utterly compelling, The Last Wife is an emotionally-charged novel about what one woman will do to survive. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Kerry Fisher and The Other Woman.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

YA, Historical ~ From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship. Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Domestic Fiction ~ Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium. Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. A call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library. The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. What happens to them—and to the men they love—becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job—bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

Memoir ~ Winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction: Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir. Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves. An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that’s as beautiful as it is powerful—a voice that’s by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.

Grand Union by Zadie Smith

Fiction, Short Stories ~ The first ever collection of stories from the bestselling and beloved author of Swing Time and White Teeth. In the summer of 1959, an Antiguan immigrant in north west London lives the last day of his life, unknowingly caught in someone else’s story of hate and division, resistance and revolt. A mother looks back on her early forays into matters of the human heart–and other parts of the human body–considering the ways in which desire is always an act of negotiation, destruction, and self-invention. A teenage scion of the technocratic elite chases spectres through a premium virtual reality, trailed by a little girl with a runny nose and no surviving family. Interleaving ten completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, Zadie Smith presents a rich and varied collection of fiction. Moving exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian, Grand Union is a sharply alert and prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Literary Fiction ~ New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.

Wolf’s Bane by Kelley Armstrong

YA, Paranormal ~ Summer camp is a traditional teenage rite of passage, but when you add supernatural powers – you get an even more combustible mix. Sixteen-year-old werewolf twins Kate and Logan Danvers are none too thrilled at being shipped off to a supernatural youth leadership conference in West Virginia. Kate and Logan quickly ascertain that most of the conference attendees have already formed hostile factions, leaving the twins and a few other misfits to band together. What seems like teen hormones in overdrive becomes something much more dangerous, even deadly. Add in a strange magic-warded cabin in the woods and a local history rife with curses and macabre legends, and it becomes clear this was a really, really bad place to build a camp for teenage supernaturals.

Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney

Thriller, police procedural ~ ‘She shivered, though the kitchen was warm. Icicles of foreboding trickled down her spine. With trembling hands she whipped back her hair at the nape of her neck. As she turned away from the window, she missed the shadow passing by.’ One dark winter’s morning, bride-to-be Cara Dunne is found hanging in her home, dressed in her wedding dress, with a lock of hair removed. Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. Looking at Cara’s bruised and battered body, she wonders who could have hated her enough to kill her at the happiest time of her life. The case takes a darker turn that afternoon with another shocking discovery – the broken body of a second young woman, pushed from the roof of the hospital where she worked.

October Book News

Major Literary Awards

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded for the last two years:

Olga Tokarczuk, 2018: “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.

Peter Handke, 2019: “for influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the preiphery and the specificity of the human experience.”

Other News

  • Seahawks player, Tyler Lockett, released a book of poetry on October 15th titled Reflection:

Fueled by faith and powered by a strong work ethic, Tyler Lockett’s debut book of poetry is a reflective and uplifting journey through topics such as identity, sports, race, relationships, and how to live a purposeful life. As an NFL All-Pro wide receiver and return specialist for the Seattle Seahawks, Lockett draws on his unique perspective as a professional athlete to address life’s many challenges, temptations, and rewards. From reminding young people to pursue their dreams, to pleading with a friend not to take his own life, Lockett’s poetry encourages readers to stay positive even when confronting impossible odds. In addition to never-before-published poems, Reflection also includes workshop questions, notes, and inspirational messages that give readers an opportunity to reflect on their own lives as well.

  • Anonymous Trump official who wrote a New York Times op-ed has a book coming out on November 19th. A Warning includes private conversations and quotes from Donald Trump himself. Read the back cover content of the book:

In the spirit of Halloween, this month’s writing playlist is HORROR!

You can access this playlist on Youtube.

3 Responses to “The Book Scoop: October Edition and Horror Writing Playlist”

    • Amy Evans

      I like the Dark Winter Music and Gothic Music mix, perfect for Halloween and horror writing! The mix has Edgar Allen Poe vibes, I’m sure he would have enjoyed it.

      Reply

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