Saturday, October 1, 2022

Goodbye September - October Reading Plans


September was not the best of months for me for a number of reasons and, although I managed to read or listen to (9) books, September was also my slowest reading month of 2022.  I did enjoy several of the books I read though so let's look at those.

                                                        Favorite Books of SEPTEMBER


Forsaken Country; Allen Eskens
Mulholland Books - Macmillan Audio - 2022
(audio purchase and NetGalley (eBook)
(11 hours 10 min - Brian Troxell - narrator - very good 

Allen Eskens is one of my favorite authors and, I've read everything he has written since his first book, The Life We Bury (2013).  Forsaken Country is his latest release and, the story held me captive even though at times I had wished for a different outcome.  I thought it was truly deserving of a 5 star rating.

Max Rupert is a former homicide detective in Minneapolis, MN. He is mourning the loss of his wife and, he is also haunted by an incident triggered by her loss.  Lyle Voight is the former sheriff who is desperate to find his daughter, Sandy, and his six year old grandson, Pip, who have gone missing. Lyle believes his former son-in-law, Reed, is responsible  for their disappearance and, he pleads with Max to help him investigate and locate them.  What follows is an intense thrill ride with both nail-biting and tender moments.  

Esken's characters have so much depth and, even some of the bad guys, men  who have done terrible things show us that they have a soft side in this story.  I love the way the author has a way of drawing you in and making you feel invested in the characters and their outcomes.  While reading this one, I quickly. forgot everything I had planned to do as I just had to keeping reading/listening.  

BTW - For readers new to Allen Eskens, Max Rupert is a character that has appeared in other novels yet this book can be easily read as a standalone.

Rating - 5/5 stars

We Spread; Iain Reid
Simon ^ Schuster Audio - 2022
(5 hours 58 minutes)
Narrator - Robin Miles - very good)
(audio download sent by publisher)

Penny is an elderly artist who has lived in the same apartment with her long term partner for years and years.  After her partner passed away, she felt comfort in the sameness of her days, surrounded by the things she loved and which brought her comfort. She felt happy and at peace despite the fact her partner had died.

After a few incidents at the apartment, she finds herself uprooted from her apartment and the things that she loves to a strange but beautiful home occupied by several elderly residents her age and some kind staff.  The group dines together, continues with hobbies and socializes. They are supervised by a caring staff who monitors their daily activities but, for Penny it is not the same as her apartment.

This was quick, well-written novel that I very much enjoyed.  It was one of those stories that as a senior myself, made me pause and reflect. It was hard to see many of Penny's prized possessions of her former life packed away as she was moved to her new residence.  Her new life was often clouded by confusion yet it felt quite realistic.

RATING - 4.5/5 stars

                                                            SEPTEMBER Reads

  1. The Left-Handed Twin; Thomas Perry - 4/5 stars -  (September)
  2. The Woman in the Library; Sulari Gentill - 2.5/5 stars
  3. Killers of a Certain Age; Deanna Raybourn - 3/5 stars
  4. Dark Tales: Stories; Shirley Jackson - 4/5 stars
  5. The Lost Girls of Willowbrook; Ellen Marie Wiseman - 4/5 stars
  6. We Spread; Iain Reid - 4.5/5 stars
  7. Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six; Lisa Unger  - 3.5/5 stars
  8. Forsaken Country; Allen Eskens - 5/5 stars
  9. Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir of Friendship  (NF) ; Nina Totenberg - 3/5 stars (no review yet)
 (YTD - 127)

September Book Group - I was able to make my book group lunch and meeting which was fun as always. We had several new members thia month who offered some interesting perspective on Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.  You can read my review here. While more than half of us were non-SF fans, we enjoyed the story anyways.  Others, a few with a physics background enjoyed the SF aspects yet wanted more depth. 

Current Reads
  1. Fellowship Point;  Alice Elliot Dark - almost done
  2. Quartet in Autumn; Barbara Pym - almost done - Bucket List Book
October Reading Plans
  1. The Old Place; Bobby Finger
  2. The Maze; Nelson DeMille
  3. The Last Chairlift; John Irving
  4. The Good Sister; Sally Hepworth (book group read)
  5. Demon Copperfield; Barbara Kingsolver
  6. Because I Could Not Stop for Death; Amanda Flower
                                             How was your month? Any exciting plans for October?


  1. I loved Eskens' book and I have Reid's book on my TBR list for (hopefully) later this month. Also "Demon Copperfield" because I never miss a Kingsolver book!

    1. I am also looking forward to Demon Copperfield. Hope it's as good as it sounds.

  2. You still had a great month and I'm glad you're feeling better. I like Eskens too so I'm glad this one did not disappoint ... as well as I have the We Spread book coming up too. There's much to read this October! I'm already behind, LOL. Enjoy your weekend & happy fall. Thx for your reviews!

    1. Allen Eskens is so talented IMO, I loved his latest. I do hope you like We Spread.

  3. I think you did a great job for someone who had a rough month. :-) Happy spooky season!

    1. Thanks Freda; I hope October is a great month for you as well.

  4. Forsaken Country does look really good! I have a stack of library books I hope to read this month. Hope October ends up being a good one for all of us. :D

  5. I usually get too many library books at the same time and have to end up returning some unread. I always feel bad when that happens. Have a great October.

  6. I always enjoy seeing your lists. Even on a slow month you read so much more that I do.

  7. I seem to remember reading an Allen Eskins and enjoying it. I'll have to check out his books again.

    1. Helen, Allen Eskens is such a great author. This latest book would work as a standalone.

  8. Good luck with your October month! You have some great looking books. September was just a crazy month I think. My reading was down and a bit chaotic. Happy October!

  9. You had such a rough September so I really hope October is a much better month for you, Diane.

    I like the sound of Forgotten Country. Allen Eskins is not an author I'm familiar with at all.

  10. Haven't heard of this author but enjoy the books!

    1. I'm surprised that you haven't tried Eskens as I know you enjoy good thrillers/mysteries.

  11. Hi Diane,
    I thought, I thought, for sure I commented on this post, but I guess not! Funny how the mind works! I hope this one works out. As I think of it now, I, too, am looking forward to We Spread. I'll be intrigued to learn what you thought of Fellowship Point. I really liked it very much--I think it spoke to me on many levels, especially the aging aspect and all the things one needs to think about as the later decades speed by. I have also put The Last Chairlift on hold from the library, but what I'm expecting, (since I can't expect myself to read a 900+ page novel in 2 weeks), is to get a good sense of it so I know if I should purchase it. The plot sounds very interesting.
    I am sorry your September might be classifed possibly as a "mucktember," but I'm glad October is looking good for you. October is an energizing month for me, too. (But I will confess to you, Diane, that I am a sorry customer if life throws wrenches into my beloved Septembers, so I sympathize.)

    1. Judith, I loved We Spread even though the overall story is a bit sad. Fellowship Point was a very good story (again I liked the older women like in We Spread. Fellowship Point took me quite a while to get through as I didn't want to rush through it. I started The Last Chairlift a few days ago on audio and the narration and story has me very invested in the story thus far so I highly recommend it. Here's to a great month for both os us.

  12. You did much better this past month than I did! I only finished one book! I've only read (on audio) one book by Eskens, so I'll probably catch up on the rest one I finish with my Deborah Crombie marathon. I've downloaded Reid's book and can't wait to start listening. Like you, I enjoy books about aging women. I have Kingsolver's book (ARC) on my nightstand, ready to go. It's huge!

  13. Les, there are a lot of hefty new releases. I started The Last Chairlift, very good. 900+ pages and 34 hours on audio. The audio is great. Demon Copperfield is another must read. Hope you find more reading time in October.


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