Nerdy Special List for October 2012

I’m finally getting this list up because we’ve all been super busy, but it didn’t stop us from reading some good books. Here are our recommendations for this month:

From Jen at Jen’s Book Thoughts:

I decided on a book I don’t think you’ll hear a lot about because it’s from a new author at a smaller publisher: The Aden Effect by Claude Berube (October 15th, the Naval Institute Press).

It’s a military thriller set primarily in Yemen. Former naval officer Connor Stark is railroaded back into active duty as the attaché to the US Ambassador to Yemen. Damien Golzari is a diplomatic security agent who winds up in Yemen while investigating a murder. The three find their political interests intertwined, even if their personalities aren’t quite so amicable.

Berube’s obvious understanding of both the Middle East and the military adds authenticity to a tight, suspenseful, action-filled plot. The interactions between characters is both fun and genuine. I raced through The Aden Effect and I think fans of Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, etc., will find a refreshing new voice in Claude Berube.

From Jenn at The Picky Girl:

If, like me, you enjoy American family sagas but tire of the pretension that oozes from the pen of one J. Franzen, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg (Grand Central Publishing, Oct. 23) is a no-less-literary look at family, obsession, and the decades-old resentments that can build between husband and wife, father and son, mother and daughter.

Edie Middlestein is eating herself to death. As a child, she’s taught that food equals love, and 30 years later, Edie is over 300 pounds and diabetic and still can’t stop eating. At the breaking point, her husband leaves, and suddenly, the couple’s adult children Benny and Robin aren’t quite sure who their parents are and why they should care, except that they do, enough to stand guard in their mother’s kitchen to stop the relentless cycle. The Middlesteins embodies the idea that we don’t choose our families, but the novel also takes it a step further saying that, if anything, that lack of choice stains our relationships, causing us to constantly question and reevaluate who we are to one another and why we love those we call family.

From Danielle at There’s a Book:

A.S. King’s newest YA novel, Ask the Passengers (Little, Brown for Young Readers, Oct. 23), centers around the life of one very ordinary girl with a few very real questions about who she is and why it matters. Astrid Jones thinks there’s a chance she could be in love with a girl. The only problem is she just isn’t sure and she’s not certain it’s something she needs to know, despite the pressure she feels from everyone around her.

King approaches the theme of self-discovery and coming of age in a completely different way than ever before. This was my third book by A.S. King and again she impressed me with her ability to understand how teens truly think, act, and behave; and how those things change depending on who they are around or if they’re alone. Ask the Passengers is one of the most powerful contemporary GLBT young adult novels I’ve read in a long time, and I’ll likely be recommending it for years to come, along with all of A.S. King’s other books.

PCN’s recommendation:

Michael Robotham’s latest installment in the Joseph O’Loughlin series, Say You’re Sorry (Mulholland Books, Oct. 2), has the psychologist racing against time to rescue a young girl in peril. Three years after teenagers Tasha and Piper were kidnapped, Tash’s body surfaces, leading O’Loughlin to suspect Piper is still alive but possibly not for long. O’Loughlin, who suffers from Parkinson’s, has a sharp mind and big heart, making him one of the most empathic and sympathetic protagonists in a crime fiction series. Robotham can describe even mundane things beautifully, and the chapters written in Piper’s teenage voice are utterly convincing.


Many, many thanks to Jen, Jenn, and Danielle for their contributions. I really like how varied this list is.

I hope this helps you find some interesting books this month. What are you reading now? Anything specific you’re looking forward to? Happy weekend!



  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I have to admit both Jen’s (Forbus) and your suggestions grab my attention.

    BTW. Yes, I’m back… Don’t let me go away again!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 13, 2012 at 12:43 am

      Ohmygosh, welcome back, Poncho! I’m chaining you to PCN HQ so you can’t escape again!

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