Nerdy Special List October 2014
We have books to recommend this month! So, just sit back with your cider and throw blanket and…oh, who am I kidding? I’m running the A/C right now because it’s hotter than Colin Firth in a Tom Ford suit around here. Hope it’s more fall-ish where you are.
Here are the October books my blogger friends and I found noteworthy.
Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado (Putnam, October 2)
Linda Tirado made waves around the world when she responded to a question one night in an online forum. The question was “why do poor people do things that seem so self-destructive?” As a member of the working poor, she felt qualified to answer. Her response went viral and now she’s telling the world in a full-length book what it’s like to be living near or below the poverty line in the United States.
Tirado pulls no punches in this frank self-portrait. She debunks many myths and stereotypes about the poor, starting with the idea that they are ignorant and lazy. Tirado is extremely intelligent, caustically witty, and very hardworking. Entertaining and informative, Hand to Mouth is likely to make many readers look closely at their own preconceived notions about this ever-growing segment of our nation’s population.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, October 21)
Bryan Stevenson is the director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization in Montgomery, Alabama, that works to provide legal assistance to those who are most in need: poor death-row inmates, children, the mentally ill, etc. Just Mercy is a product of his work with EJI.
Written in the style of a fictional legal thriller, Stevenson tells the true story of Walter McMillian, a young black man wrongly sentenced to die in—of all places—Monroeville, Alabama, the childhood home of Harper Lee. As Stevenson unfolds McMillian’s tragic story, he also highlights other equally horrifying cases he’s encountered.
This is a moving tale, written with superb storytelling skills, about the injustice overwhelming the current American legal system. In the newest book from Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Think Like a Freak, the authors advocate using story as a tool to convince people to change their views. Stevenson has done just that. Just Mercy is a riveting, suspenseful, emotional story readers won’t be able to walk away from without knowing our justice system is horribly and life-threateningly flawed.
From Rory at Fourth Street Review:
Brood by Chase Novak (Mulholland Books, October 7)
I’m happy to admit that I’m the type of person who looks forward to October every year—pumpkins, cooler weather, and ALL the scary books I can read. In this case, it’s the sequel to Chase Novak’s Breed, a disturbing and gruesome tale of a couple who go through great lengths to conceive their twins, Adam and Alice. Brood, the follow-up, is the story of the now adolescent children and what they must go through to live a moderately normal life.Reading this book is like giving yourself permission to tune out of the grim reality of the world. It’s fun, disturbing, and perfect for those looking for an autumnal read that’s not too scary. Brood is not for everyone (squeamish readers beware!), but for those looking for a lighter alternative to Stephen King, this is a good option.
Bestselling Japanese author Keigo Higashino’s latest mystery, Malice, is about a bestselling Japanese author who’s found murdered in his locked home office. Detective Kaga zeroes in on a suspect right away and the suspect surprisingly confesses without much coercion. But the confessed killer refuses to give a motive, and some of his story doesn’t align with the evidence, forcing Kaga to dig deeper to discover the truth. Malice is twisty and psychologically complex, and will keep you guessing about its dark secrets until almost the last page.
Which October books are you looking forward to?