Note: This post contains affiliate links. Complimentary copies of some of the books I talk about in this post were provided to me by Book of the Month. The book synopses below are from the book jackets, but I have paraphrased and reworded them as I see fit.
It’s October (already?!), which means it’s time for you to get your Book of the Month selections in ASAP so they can be shipped out. (I know, I’m a little late with this… But remember, if you miss this month’s deadline, you can always sign up for next month.)
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this month’s selections.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.
That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow overnight, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best, and at worst a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Wince Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with I’m isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.
Pick if you like: magical realism, uplifting reads, stories about “wild children”
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Investment: 400 Pages
The Reviews: 3.95 Goodreads Average
The Judge: Laia Garcia, Deputy Editor at Lenny
In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool, a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature, an ambitious American politician, a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power–with a flick of their fingers, they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, everything drastically changes.
A personal note: I’m currently about halfway through The Power and…I’m not feeling it. The concept is amazing but the execution leaves much to be desired. Everyone is different and I’ve read a lot of positive reviews too though, so it’s worth a shot if you like the synopsis.
Pick if you like: feminism, the dystopian genre, an emphasis on style over characters
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
The Investment: 448 Pages
The Reviews: 3.76 Goodreads Average
The Judge: Kristen Iversen, Award-Winning Author
Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.
Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.
Pick if you like: noir mysteries, WWII historical fiction, progressive female protagonists
After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry
When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom.
The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction—all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah’s questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother’s life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the abiding darkness of a small American town.
Pick if you like: heart-wrenching memoirs, true crime, books about grief
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
The Investment: 400 Pages
The Reviews: 3.75 Goodreads Average
The Judge: Nina Sankovitch, Bestselling Author
The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.
As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?
Pick if you like: engrossing murder mysteries, small-town secrets, novels set in Australia
Join today and get an extra book TOTALLY FREE. You can choose between John Green’s new book, Turtles All the Way Down, or Stephen King’s latest thriller, Sleeping Beauties. Just enter the promo code FREEBIE at checkout.
Let me know which books you chose in the comments below!