There’s just something about reading in the fall. I love curling up on the sofa with a blanket on my lap and a book in my hand.
Maybe that vibe is why October was such a productive reading month. I read 15 books in October. Of those, I gave three perfect grades.
Best Books of October 2022
I gave one nonfiction and two fiction books perfect grades in October. Here are my reviews.
Ask for Andrea
Readers in one of the thriller book groups I’m part of on Facebook were raving about Ask for Andrea by Noelle West Ihli. They weren’t wrong in their praise.
The book is told from the perspective of three victims of a serial killer. James Carson, or whatever name he used at the time, met them through an online dating app. Then he drugged them and murdered them.
The woman are now caught in some kind of justice purgatory, and they refuse to let James kill again. But how can they save the women he’s going after, including his wife and two daughters, when no one can see or hear them? And how can they help police solve their murders and catch James before it’s too late.
The Family Outing
I’m a little biased when it comes to books written by journalists. I just always think they’re better. Jessi Hempel’s memoir, The Family Outing, gives you a lot to think about. One thing is clear — Jessi’s family wasn’t living authentically, and they were all better off when they let their truths be known.
Jessi is gay. Her sister is bisexual. Her brother is transgender. And her father is gay. He didn’t come out until she was an adult and after years of suppressing who he was because of his religious beliefs.
What looked like a regular middle-class upbringing on the outside was really a house of secrets and shame. And now that everyone in the family is living as they truly are, they allowed Jessi to share their story.
You’d Be Home Now
A friend once told me, “If you could love someone out of addiction, there would be no addiction.” The truth of the statement made a profound impact on me. I kept thinking about it as I read Kathleen Glasgow’s book, You’d Be Home Now.
If Emory Ward could love her brother, Joey, out of addiction, she would. She certainly tries. But it seems nothing can help Joey. Rehab certainly didn’t. He comes home a shell of himself and ends up stealing for drugs and leaving the family home to live on the streets. His choice leaves his family searching for him, hoping they can find him and get him help again before it’s too late. In the process, they uncover many people like Joey who don’t have the support they provide.
What I love about this book is the raw truth to it. The characters aren’t perfect, but they’re wealthy, successful, and beautiful… not the kind of family we associate with addiction. That’s because our understanding of addiction is flawed. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. Kathleen, who is in recovery, clearly knows this all too well.
There they are, my favorite books of October. I didn’t realize how heavy the subjects were until I went to write these reviews. Still, I hope you find something here to read and love. And, as always, happy reading!