October 2018 Reading List.

October 2018 Reading List

It was another busy month of books! There is a lot to unpack here. I mean first and foremost, The Towering Sky came out and that is worthy of its own post. It’s the end of one of my favorite trilogies and I’m so sad it’s over! Is that weird? Really hoping someone makes it into a show or series of movies. Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win is another favorite. We are talking about it on the podcast in two weeks so definitely pick that up if you haven’t. Somehow this book manages to be both important but also light and fun to read.

Lastly, Love and Other Words was this month’s surprise – it was so sweet and real and romantic; I couldn’t put it down! I switched up the format of this post a little this month to better categorize the books I read – let me know what you think… does this make it easier?

In case you’re new! If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget that you can always check out my Book Club Page. Every month I update it, so it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. (You can also reference September’s reading list – I do these every month!) Lastly, just in case you can’t wait til next month, I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading to my Amazon Shop as I read.

AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my THE BEST… I shop the comments section of these post – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!

October 2018 Reading List

The (Highly Anticipated) Juicy YA Read…

The (Highly Anticipated) Juicy YA Read...The Towering Sky, by Katherine McGee is book 3 of The Thousandth Floor Series. If you read here regularly you know that I am obsessed with The Thousandth Floor. We’ve talked about it on the podcast (ep 6), and it’s one of my favorite YA trilogies. It’s set in 2118 and the premise of the series is that New York is now a futuristic tower, and the plot centers around rich, pretty Avery Fuller who lives on the top floor. It’s basically a futuristic Gossip Girl, which is high praise for me. This is the third and final book. I was simultaneously so excited for it but also sad to see this series wind down. It didn’t let me down. I devoured it.

  • Overall Score: A

A light (patriarchy smashing) read…

A light (patriarchy smashing) read...Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win, by Jo Piazza (one of my favorite authors!) is about a Silicon Valley hotshot who takes a leave from her job, uprooting her family to Pennsylvania to run for senate. Her husband leaves her job to take care of the kids and this is a very real look at what running for office does to their marriage. It also shows the hugely sexist side of politics (especially in a more conservative state like Pennsylvania).

The character development was so good. I kinda imagined Sheryl Sandberg as Charlotte, and her opponent was an almost caricature (in the best sense of the word) of an old school white male politician. I ate this up. Love everything Jo writes and this was no exception. We are talking about it on the podcast in two weeks and I can’t wait for the discussion – Becca told me that this is actually the first fictional book about a woman running for office.

  • Overall Score: A-

If you loved The Devil Wears Prada…

the stylist by rosie nixonThe Stylist, by Rosie Nixon was described to me as The Devil Wears Prada for the red carpet set. And that’s exactly what this was! Amber Green is working for a posh London boutique. A happy accident leads her to getting hired by top celebrity stylistMona Green (think Rachel Zoe)’s new assistant. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, taking her to LA for awards season. But Mona turns out to be a bit of a hot mess. This was a really fun, light read, and I always tend to love these books that give you an inside look at what seems like a very glamorous job!

  • Overall Score: B+

#FashionVictim,#FashionVictim, by Amina Akhtar. I have to admit – at first I really hated this book. It’s a (very) dark comedy where people keep getting killed (think of that TV show, Scream Queens). The main character (Anya, an editor at a top fashion magazine) is completely insane. Like, batshit crazy. Fixated on her perfect, beautiful coworker; she moves through the fashion world documenting her outfits, creating mood boards… and casually murdering anyone who gets in her way. I found myself frustrated with the cliches + how mean the women were to each other, but that’s part of the style of the book. Once I let that go, it was hilarious (and so dark!). This is a fun read.

  • Overall Score: B-

If You Want to Stay Up All Night…

The Girl BeforeThe Girl Before, by JP Delaney. This is book will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s ultra creepy and ultra addicting. It’s the story of two women (the girl before, and the girl after) who move into a beautiful home in London. The architect of the home has all of these crazy rules for people who stay there; and the first girl ends up dead. Did she kill herself? Was she murdered? The plot unfolds. It’s a bit of a whodunnit and a bit creepy/psychologically thrilling. I really, really enjoyed it and stayed up all night to find out the ending!

  • Overall Score: A-

Something Sweet – These books are like warm hugs…

save the date by morgan matsonSave The Date, by Morgan Matson, is not a book I would typically choose for myself but it was for the podcast and this one was Becca’s pick. Charlie Grant is a high school senior with four older siblings. Her mom has a famous comic strip (about their family) and the family is (more or less) very tight knit. Her oldest sister is getting married and all hell breaks loose. Literally anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The wedding planner flees the country, the alarm system breaks, and so on and so forth. Honestly, it all felt very forced to me for a while. I felt like it was just TOO much stuff going wrong. But it grew on me by the end. It’s very sweet and I liked the little love triangle + the dynamic between the siblings.

  • Overall Score: B-

Love and Other WordsLove and Other Words, by Christina Lauren, is one of the sweetest books I’ve read in a while. I absolutely LOVED it. Funny story about this – I had received a press copy but wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it, when Helena put it on her instagram story. I was reading a terrible thriller (I put that down) and picked up this one. I was influenced! This is the story of Macy and Elliot. Macy is in her late twenties and engaged to another man – when she runs into her childhood best friend/high school boyfriend, Elliot.

They’d had a falling out and her entire world is shaken to the core. The book follows their story (in both present day and when they were young). I really loved it. Mostly because I had a best guy friend in high school who was a little bit like that (he’s married with kids now but the book still brought back some nostalgic warm and fuzzy feelings), but also because it made me remember what it was like to be in love (it’s been a while, ha ha). It’s very romantic and very sweet and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend.

  • Overall Score: A

October 2018 Reading List by Grace Atwood

Leave a Comment


  1. The Girl Before sounds really good! Thank you for always introducing me to awesome reads, Grace 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Sharon says 10.2.18

    I am reading ” Us against You” the sequel to “Beartown” and so far it is really good.

    • grace at the stripe says 10.2.18

      Thank you for the suggestions!!!

    • Courtney says 10.3.18

      Oh my gosh, YES!!!! I second. Anything by Fredrik Backman is a winner. If you’ve never read his stuff before, I’d start with A Man Called Ove (and then watch the movie!)

      I just finished Charlotte Walsh as well and loved the ending!

      • grace at the stripe says 10.3.18

        Love everything he’s written!!!! That’s a good reminder – I need to watch the movie.

  3. Karen Weiss says 10.2.18

    I just finished “All We Ever Wanted” by Emily Giffin. I was actually pleasantly surprised that she has a book that was not very chick list-ish; the last books I read of hers was “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue”. This book was OK but the storyline and subject matter is one that people should discuss more of.

    I am now reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. One, I want to watch the HBO series but would like to read the book first. I also didn’t quite like Gone Girl so I am giving Flynn another chance. 🙂

    I have a few one on my shelf that you recommended .. The Dinner List. I can’t wait to get into that soon.
    Thanks for all the recommendations of books. I’m trying to check them all out but I have so many on my shelf that I still need to get to.
    xo Karen

    • grace at the stripe says 10.2.18

      I felt the same way about that one! I liked her more chick-lit ones but this was much deeper!!!

      I loved Sharp Objects and can’t wait for the series!!!

  4. Betsy says 10.2.18

    I was at the beach two weeks ago and recommended The Thousandth Floor series to my 17 year old niece. Her mother overheard me and said, “My cousin wrote that!” I was mildly annoyed that she hadn’t secured me a free copy (haha) but I thought that was so cool. She said the author is a supernice person as well, which is always nice to know. Love suppporting writers who are both talented AND kind.

    I’m reading Bad Blood about the the Theranos scandal. It’s so good! It reads like a novel and I am recommending it to everyone. Just finished Ghosted, which I loved. Next up is Jake Tapper’s The Hellfire Club. Definitely checking out The Stylist for my vacation this weekend! Thanks for all of the great recs!

    • grace at the stripe says 10.2.18

      YES! I have gotten to know Katie a little bit (she did a giveaway with us for the podcast) and she is SO SO nice. It’s great seeing people who are genuinely nice and wonderful succeed!

      Thank you for the recommendations! I loved Ghosted too!

  5. I love the headings! Definitely makes the post easier to digest and jump to books that fit my interests. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win looks great!

  6. Andy says 10.2.18

    You have a very nice looking blog. And I see that you have a great choice of books recommended. Since I’ve been reading I noticed that my writing and spelling has improved greatly. I believe that reading makes us all smarter because it exercises the brain. Plus seeing others style of writing helps us learn to write in more creative ways. Thanks for the great post and keep it up.

  7. Kayla says 10.2.18

    Always look forward to your reading list — and I’m always so impressed with how many books you read in a month! I’m currently reading How Do You Like Me Now? and so far am loving it. Next up for me will be To All The Boys I Loved Before — I’ve heard the movie on Netflix is lovely and want to read it before watching.

  8. Samantha says 10.2.18

    I think it would be helpful if you added a list at the end of the post of the books you couldn’t get through!

    • grace at the stripe says 10.2.18

      Hi Samantha! That’s a great idea (in theory) and I do that on my instagram stories – but in all honesty, it just feels a little disrespectful and mean to those authors – I can’t imagine how much work goes into writing a novel, I’d feel really awful doing that here! (Stories feels okay since they’re more temporary!!!)

  9. Ashley says 10.2.18

    Thank you for sharing another reading list! While I’m not a daily reader of your blog, I ALWAYS come back at least once a month for your insightful book recommendations.

    I recently finished “Girls in White Dresses” and found it to be an easy and enjoyable read. However, my current book is “Into the Water” and I’m not loving it as much as other thrillers, such as “All the Missing Girls”. Since I do want to find out the ending though I’m going to finish reading. A few other books on my reading list this fall include “Crazy Rich Asians”, “The Wife Between Us” and “Lilac Girls”, which I’m borrowing from my sister and mom. I love that our reading tastes overlap so we can swap books sometimes when we see each other.

  10. Regina says 10.2.18

    I just finished JP Delaney’s newest book Believe Me and it was as suspenseful as The Girl Before! So good.

  11. Beth says 10.2.18

    Thank you for the recs! Just placed a bunch on hold at the library 🙂 I just finished “The Dry” by Jane Harper. It’s a mystery book set in rural Australia and keeps you guessing until the end! I highly recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries/thrillers.

  12. Sam says 10.2.18

    I felt the same way about the Towering Sky trilogy! I almost didn’t want to finish it because then it would be over. Hope she writes more soon!


  13. Sam says 10.2.18

    I felt the same way about The Thousandth Floor trilogy! I almost didn’t want to finish it because then it would be over! Can’t wait to see what she writes next.


  14. Kate says 10.2.18

    I am reading Charlotte Walsh right now and love it! It marries my love of reading and feminist politics so well!

    I recently read the memoir “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding”, about solo travel in your 20s and 30s while single, ABSOLUTELY LOVED! If you’re looking for a short memoir to mix things up, I definitely think you’d like!

  15. Phoebe says 10.2.18

    Grace I always look forward to your book recommendations each month! Just added a bunch of these to my hold list at the library.

  16. Katherine says 10.2.18

    I am currently reading The Last Time I Lied bc of your rec! Next on my list is The Witch Elm by Tana French, which comes out in about a week. If you have never read Tana French, stop everything you’re doing and pick up one of her books. Absolutely riveting books and the most beautiful writing you’ll ever read.

  17. Melissa says 10.2.18

    Just want to say that I look forward to this post every month. So far I have really enjoyed the two books I’ve read from your recommendations. The Great Alone is probably one of my favorite books ever. I am just finishing From the Corner of the Oval and have really enjoyed it as well. Thanks for the reviews!

    • grace at the stripe says 10.2.18

      Aw I am so happy to hear that! Thank you for letting me know – loved both of those books!!!

  18. Olga says 10.2.18

    Completely agree with Love and Other Words! One of my favorite books of the year!


  19. Zain says 10.2.18

    Waiting at Hayden’s by @rileycostello! It’s the best love story & you can shop the characters’ clothes! Its one of those read-it-in-one-day! It’s totally up your alley, Grace 🙂

  20. Jada says 10.2.18

    Loving this months book recommendations! I just finished An American Marriage, and now started The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo.


  21. Anne says 10.2.18

    I don’t know how I came across Love and Other Words a few months ago, but I found it delightful as well. My latest surprise favorite (I picked it pretty much just for the cover) was Goodbye, Vitamin. Highly recommend!

  22. Maureen says 10.3.18

    Hi Grace,

    Have you ever read This Is How it Always Is? I had and am re-reading for my book club. I also really loved The Kitchen House and Cutting for Stone.

    Happy reading!

  23. Paige says 10.3.18

    Thank you so much for your recommendation of Love and Other Words. I started it last night and stayed up until 12:30 to finish it in one sitting! Sooooo good that I had to pop on and say thank you!

  24. Sam says 10.3.18

    If you haven’t read The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne stop everything and read it immediately. One of the best books I’ve read in ages, it quickly jumped to my list of all-time faves! It’s beautiful, funny, and heart-wrenching, but be warned: don’t finish it in public because you will be a blubbering mess.

  25. Andrea says 10.3.18

    Love hearing your recommendations! I’m currently reading Christine by Stephen King!

  26. I loved “Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren! They are one of my favorite set of authors! I really want to read Save the Date! Thanks for the awesome heads up!

  27. Shelley says 10.4.18

    I’m almost done Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge right now and it’s so amazing. What a great book! I’ve read a lot of great books recently and I plan to dive into Circe after I’m done this one.

  28. Teal Lindsay says 10.7.18

    You HAVE to read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Every person I’ve recommended it to, thanks me. After reading this you won’t want to pick up another for awhile just to absorb what you just finished. THE BEST!

  29. Allyson says 10.8.18

    I just started the Circle, which I see you’ve already read – it’s a little jarring to read because like you mentioned, it feels like it could so easily be real. Definitely a good reminder to disconnect and enjoy things without sharing sometimes.

    • grace at the stripe says 10.8.18

      Ugh I know. Sometimes Instagram stories feels a little like going transparent (or clear, I can’t remember what they called it)!!!

  30. Emily says 10.8.18

    Thanks for your reviews! I recently read Party Girls Die in Pearls based on your list.

    Also, on your podcast you and Becca asked about favorite books read this year, so far for me, it’s likely been Born a Crime, Trevor Noah’s memoir of his early life.

    In terms of books I’ve read recently, I don’t normally read YA but I was traveling and read The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (sort of a twisted fairy tale) and Exit, Pursued by a Bear by EK Johnston (also good but serious–deals with the main character being drugged and raped).

    Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann–interesting history of mysterious killings of Osage Indian tribe members in Oklahoma in the 1920s.

    Nigh Film by Marisha Pessl–Interesting plot but her characters can be pretty frustrating–very full of themselves, a lot of other characters just saying how beautiful, brilliant they are. I sort of felt the same way about her Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

    Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany–sort of cozy mystery set in a Cape Cod Sherlock Holmes bookshop, so a nice fantasy!

    The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty–set in Australia, I liked it!

  31. Lacey says 10.9.18

    I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen King lately. I read The Stand, Misery and I’m currently reading The Shining. I also read The Book Essie and The Dinner List last month. I think you have read both – both were great books in my opinion. I also read The Perfect Mother and it was a pass for me.

    • grace at the stripe says 10.9.18

      I love Stephen King – love that you’re reading The Shining! One of my favorite movies but I’ve actually never read the book.

  32. Jenny says 10.23.18

    Hi! Loving your book recommendations. I am new here. I stumbled on you blog via bloglovin. I recently read YA contemporary with a romance series The to All the Boys I Loved by Jenny Han. They are really good read and I highly recommend them. I read all 3 books in one weekend. The first book was recently turned into a Netflix movie. I personally loved the book version more. It’s all about family, relationships and getting out of your comfort zone. It wasn’t cringy and yes there’s a love triangle but I enjoyed the book. The story is well-told. The characters lived up to their descriptions. The conversations in this book had an amazing flow that made me laugh, giggle to myself, tear a bit, and gave me butterflies. I honestly couldn’t stop turning pages even though I tried to so it wouldn’t end.