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Here are five great choices for your book club in October 2022!
Whew, September is really flying by. I’m currently reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, which is fantastic! That one will for sure make a future list post but until then, I had to make sure and get this list up before the end of the month.
Each month, I pick three new releases and two previously released titles that are all offer something great for book clubs. I know it can be difficult to narrow down which books to read, so hopefully these lists give you some inspiration and help fill out your TBR.
There are a lot of buzzy books coming out early October so let’s get to it!
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
The bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere is back with a new novel—Our Missing Hearts. I so enjoy Celeste Ng’s novels and her latest is one of my most anticipated reads of the year.
The story is about a twelve-year-old boy who embarks on a big journey in order to find out the truth about his missing mother. It is set in a version of America that sounds quite haunting and yet also familiar. I do have an ARC and hope to read it in the next couple of days. I’ve heard it’s an incredible story that will leave a lasting impact.
Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.
Our Missing Hearts releases on Oct. 4.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
Another high-profile new release is Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan. I have the ARC and also plan to get to this one ASAP. I love Jodi Picoult novels.
I’m so intrigued by the premise—a son is accused of murder and a mother is adamant that he is innocent. However, as more is revealed, she begins to question everything. I imagine there will be plenty of twists and turns in this story.
Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . .
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.
Mad Honey publishes on Oct. 4.
The Night Ship by Jess Kidd
Another book I’m hearing a lot of buzz about is The Night Ship by Jess Kidd. It features a dual timeline but in extremely different time periods: 1629 and 1989. The story follows the lives of two characters: a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island. I’m curious about this one.
1629: A newly orphaned young girl named Mayken is bound for the Dutch East Indies on the Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age. Curious and mischievous, Mayken spends the long journey going on misadventures above and below the deck, searching for a mythical monster. But the true monsters might be closer than she thinks.
1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…
With her trademark “thrilling, mysterious, twisted, but more than anything, beautifully written” (Graham Norton, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Jess Kidd weaves a unputdownable and charming tale of friendship and sacrifice, brutality and forgiveness.
The Night Ship releases on Oct. 4.
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
So far, Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid is my favorite read of 2022—so definitely go read it! Ever the competitor, all-star tennis player Carrie decides to come out of retirement and be coached by her father once again in order to reclaim her record. But between battling unfair media stereotypes to training with an ex-fling Bowe Huntley, Carrie has her work cut out for her.
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.
At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.
Check out my book club questions here.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
I don’t read spooky stories often but I’m so glad I read The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. It’s such a compelling murder mystery that yes, does feature some supernatural activity! So if your book club is looking for a spooky pick for Halloween, this is a great selection.
Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.
Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.
Check out my book club questions here.