Ten October Book Releases

As winter draws in, and we all turn to curling up with a good book to get through the cold evenings, here are 10 of the new releases that are hitting the shelves in October.  This month is also the month, I usually start looking for books to give as Christmas gifts, a tradition in our home, and some of these may appear under our tree this year; if they do you can be sure a review will follow.

The Signature of All ThingsTitle – The Signature of All Things: A Novel
Author – Elizabeth Gilbert
ISBN – 978-1408841907
Pub Date – October 1 2013
Publisher – Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Description – Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Comments – Author of Eat, Pray Love and Committed

 

The Rosie ProjectTitle – The Rosie Project: A Novel
Author – Graeme Simsion
ISBN – 978-1408841907
Pub Date – October 1 2013
Publisher – Simon & Schuster

Description – MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

 

Bellman & BlackTitle – Bellman & Black
Author – Diane Setterfield
ISBN – 978-1476711959
Pub Date – October 8 2013
Publisher – Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Description – Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . .

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.

Comments – Author of The Thirteenth Tale

 

Hitler's FuriesTitle – Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
Author – Wendy Lower
ISBN – 9780547863382
Pub Date – October 8 2013
Publisher – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Description – Wendy Lower’s stunning account of the role of German women on the Nazi eastern front—not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers—powerfully revises history. Many young nurses, teachers, secretaries, and wives saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of “wild east” of opportunity—and yet could not have imagined what they would do there. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents compelling evidence that these women went on “shopping sprees” and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus; that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking part in the shooting of Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose female brutality is as chilling as any in history.

Hitler’s Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.

Comments – A book review based on an ARC will be posted shortly.

 

Dr. KateTitle – The Trial of Dr. Kate
Author – Michael E. Glasscock III
ISBN – 9781626340138
Pub Date – October 8 2013
Publisher – Green Leaf Book Group Press

Description – In the summer of 1952, Lillian Johnson was found dead in her home, slumped in the wheelchair that had become her cage due to multiple sclerosis. An overdose of barbiturate had triggered a heart attack, but the scene was not quite right. It looked as though someone other than Lillian herself had injected the fatal dose.

Dr. Kate Marlow, Lillian’s physician and best friend, now sits in the Round Rock city jail. The only country doctor for miles, Kate cannot remember her whereabouts at the time of Lillian’s death, and the small Tennessee town buzzes with judgment.

As Dr. Kate’s trial approaches, another woman is determined to uncover the truth about the night of Lillian’s death. Memphis reporter Shenandoah Coleman grew up in Round Rock on the wrong side of the tracks, but unlike the rest of her unsavory clan, escaped her destiny. Now, back in the town she grew up in, she’ll have to turn every stone to keep Kate from a guilty verdict.

The Trial of Dr. Kate is the second novel in a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee. Though each story stands alone, readers who enjoyed Glasscock’s first Round Rock tale, Little Joe, will delight in the cameo appearances in this one.

Comments – A book review based on an ARC will be posted shortly.

 

AllegiantTitle – Allegiant
Author – Veronica Roth
ISBN – 978-0062024060
Pub Date – October 8 2013
Publisher – Katherine Tegen Books

Description – 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?

Comments – Conclusion of the Divergent trilogy.

 

Lost andTitle – Lost and
Author – Jeff Griffin
ISBN – 9781609381998
Pub Date – October 15 2013
Publisher – University of Iowa Press; Kuhl House poets series

Description – Lost and is both a chronicle of Griffin’s obsessive journeying and a portal into a world of dispossessed people and enduring desires. Comprised entirely of unaltered reproductions of extraordinary found materials—drawings, charts, questionnaires, compulsively detailed letters, legal documents, jottings, journal entries, stunningly vivid and mysterious photographs—this is a work of sociological and literary daring that defies categorization. Part documentary history, part literary adventure, part mystical detective story, Griffin’s immersion in extremity has yielded wrenching annals of the modes and manners in which lost people inscribe their psychic, sexual, religious, and economic yearnings.

 

Mad about the BoyTitle – Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy
Author – Helen Fielding
ISBN – 978-0385350860
Pub Date – October 15 2013
Publisher – Knopf

Description – What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?

Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?

Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

 

UndertowTitle – Undertow
Author – K. R. Conway
ISBN – 9780989776301
Pub Date – October 18 2013
Publisher – Kathleen Conway

Description – Luckless Eila is unknowingly the last of her kind: Rare.  Gifted.  Breakable.  Stunning Raef is her kind’s historic enemy: Soulless.  Lethal.  Lost.  A legendary death 160 years before would set their lives to collide, forcing a beautiful killer to become a savior, a simple wallflower to become a warrior, and ruthless destiny to become a death sentence.

Comments – First in a trilogy for teens and YA

 

Beyond the Firefly FieldTitle – Beyond the Firefly Field: Book One of the Last Elfairian Series
Author – R.E. Munzing
ISBN – 9780983169932
Pub Date – October 20 2013
Publisher – BQB Publishing

Description – By the time he was fourteen, Clayton Curtis realized his whole life would be boring. Living in a middle-of-nowhere piece of the country would have been boring enough, but it was also the land that time forgot. Due to inherit the family home passed down through many generations, Clayton felt doomed to a life in the stone age.

Everything changed when a new subdivision was built a mile from his house. With scrap wood, he and his friends built a large tree house complex. From high in the tree, they saw a glowing faraway field one night and were determined to find out what it was. What they discovered there was beyond epically wonderful, and the boys knew it must be kept secret. They quickly became obsessed with going to see it often, even though being there was changing them and herding them toward a decision they didn’t want to make. They would soon either have to be willing to do whatever was necessary to keep the secret or never go there again.

Comments – Fantasy novel for 9-14 year-olds

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