Remember how sulky I was last month about having only read three books? Well, I made up for it this month!

A major reason for this is that my daughter and I went to a Friends of the Library book sale and I bought so many books at rock bottom prices that I needed a cart to get them to my car. Most of these books were light reading that I breezed right through and it was so fun!

First up: Caring for His Baby by Caroline Anderson which is almost just what you would expect from the title except that the hunky love interest is actually an investigative journalist and the baby is only legally his because he married her young mother to save her from a desperate situation in her own country. What can I say, I am a sucker for love stories with babies in them, especially ones I can read in a couple of hours.

pink book cover for Caring for His Baby picturing a mom and dad smiling down at a baby

Deception by Jonathan Kellerman is one of a series about Alec Delaware, a psychologist who consults with the police on deadly crimes. I always enjoy these and someday I will collect them all.

book cover with author's name in red letters on a yellow orange background with a woman seen as through glass in need of defrosting

Identical by Scott Turow, of Presumed Innocent fame, was a fun page-turner about identical twins and a crime that happened 25 years ago. Turow’s books are reliably excellent and I did not figure out the twist until pretty close to the end.

Orange-yellow book cover with author's name in large letters at the top, and showing partial fingerprints at the bottom

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline is another book involving a crime from the past. Because it begins in the present and then flashes back many years, the hardest part about reading this was knowing in advance about the terrible thing that was going to happen and dreading it. The solution came as a complete surprise to me.

Book Cover in blues and purplease--it's an aerial view of a neighborhood at night. Author's name at top on white, title below in yellow.

Feared by Lisa Scottloline is one of her legal thrillers about the all-female law firm of Rosatto and DiNunzio. These were the first of Scottoline’s books that I discovered years ago, and it’s always a treat to come across one I have not yet read. This time around the firm is being sued for reverse discrimination–and of course murder and mayhem are sprinkled in as well. The characters are all like old friends at this point. Again, this one kept me guessing right up to the last chapters.

Woman with reddish hair is looking downward toward author's name in white and title of book in red

My Sister’s Keeper by Jody Picoult was hard to put down. It’s the story of a child who was specifically conceived to be a donor for her sister who is suffering from cancer. It’s been made into a movie, and apparently they changed the ending of the movie because I will go right ahead and say that I hated the ending of the book and think it negates the whole message, or at least the message I was getting out of it. I would love to hear your thoughts if you have read it–I won’t spoil it here with an indignant rant.

Blue book cover with two young gils standing back to back, whrouded in shadow, the face of only one visible, with the author's name prominently displayed in the center, the title below in much smaller letters

Don’t Fall Asleep by Marissa Finch was this month’s book club read. We always try to do something a little spooky for October. This wasn’t as scary as its billing suggested but it was definitely sinister and surprising. It’s the story of a woman who is afraid she cannot trust her own memories of a tragic accident in her past, and the details are doled out to us little by little to keep us guessing. I feel like the first big twist was kind of cheating. Let me know what you think if you read it.

Blue book cover mostly covered with the title just above a young woman sleeping above author's name in small letters

And now we get to the good stuff.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer will definitely be on my best books of the year list. It’s hard to know how to explain this unique book, with its blend of science and native wisdom. I was introduced to it as a book club read for a Facebook group to educate those of us who would like to be allies of those who are indigenous to this country. It is a beautiful book and I think everyone should read it.

Book cover for Braiding Sweetgrass, off white and with a braid of sweetgrass below the title

Pray for Us by Meg Hunter-Kilmer is a lovely collection of saints with whom you will probably be unfamiliar. Many of these were everyday folk, people who struggled with sin and brokenness just like we do. If you sometimes feel like sanctity is unattainable, this book will encourage you.

book cover with Pray for Us title at top with drawings of saints at the bottom, looking like ordinary folks but with haloes

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb was a Georgetown Book Club read. It is amazing first novel that combines mystery with music against the backdrop of ongoing racism and one family’s history. I loved it!

Cover of the Violin Conspiracy, red background with violin imagery

Honor by Thrity Umrigar is another Georgetown Book Club selection, which I was expecting to read in November. However, I picked it up on Halloween, when I happened to have time on my hands, and could not put it down. I read it all in one day! It’s the story of an American journalist who was born in India but never expected to go back there–until a colleague needs her help to cover the story of Meena, a Hindu girl whose marriage to a Muslim outraged her community and resulted in tragedy. This is not an easy read, but it’s an important one.

Book Cover for Honor, red with yellow lettering above and below two mangoes on twigs with green leaves

This post is part of An Open Book linkup, hosted by Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom. Click below to see what other folks are reading this month.

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