October Reading List.

October Reading List - The Stripe Blog, Grace Atwood

This month, I only read five books. I mean, five books isn’t that bad when you think about it… it’s pretty respectable, actually!! But last month, I read seven. We’ll blame Fall TV. But also, a few of these books (especially The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto) just took a little longer to read. I am one of those people who can sit down on Sunday morning and spend the entire day reading…  but every book here (with the exception of With Malice) needed a little more time to be savored and enjoyed!

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto was so, so good. So good. It’s one of those books that leaves you feeling really good when you finish it. It was definitely a change of pace as I’ve been reading so many thrillers. The plot centers around a famous musician (Frankie Presto) who dies on stage. The story is narrated mostly by “Music” (yes, the gift of Music, personified…) as well as the other people in Frankie’s life (agents, managers, even modern day celebs you may recognize.. like Ingrid Michaelson). The story takes you through Frankie’s childhood + later years, from birth all the way to his death. The author, Mitch Abom (he wrote Tuesdays with Morrie) is one of my faves when it comes to heartfelt, sweet novels. Everything in the story is connected, and I found myself completely enthralled with it! I really, really loved this one.

The Nightingale left me emotionally wrecked and devastated, for lack of better words. SO many of you recommended it (thank you, thank you!!!) Holy crap. It gutted me. I didn’t cry, but I could have. I was up very late two nights in a row reading it and rushed to finish my work this past Monday so that I could sit down and spend Monday night reading. Set during World War II, it chronicles the stories of two sisters, living in a Nazi-inhabited France. One of the sisters is a rebel and the other is more of a rule follower but they both leave their mark and help to save lives in their own ways. Please, please read this. You will laugh and cry and be on the edge of your seat. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in ages and I really truly hope they make a movie out of it.

The Regulars (another reader recommendation, thank you!!) really surprised me. The pink cover leads you to think it’s going to be fluffy chick-lit or a fun beach read. I love a good beach read… but this one turned out to be surprisingly smart + feminist, which was a nice surprise. Three best friends discover a drug called “Pretty”, which makes them absolutely beautiful (think of Limitless, but just for looks). Doors open (and close) based upon their newfound prettiness… but it’s not as predictable as you might think. I really enjoyed it and think that it sends a really nice, empowering message to its readers.

With Malice is one of those fun YA thrillers that you can power through in a single day. There’s a good twist (one that I did not see coming). I am not sure why but the plot line of this one really disturbed me… more than with my usual thrillers. Probably because the characters were so young, and one of them did something really awful and then couldn’t remember it. You really hurt + feel for her. This is worth picking up, especially if you have a long flight. You’ll fly right through it and be entertained the entire time.

The Couple Next Door is another creepy thriller (my favorite!) and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. A young couple goes over to their neighbors’ house for dinner… and something terrible happens. There are several twists and turns (I guessed one, the others I did not). It reminded me a little bit of a mix between Truly Madly Guilty and The Widow. I will say that I did not find any of the characters to be particularly likable (this was done intentionally, I think), but still.. the plot was really, really good – and eerie. Don’t read this one before bed!

Now, the important part! What are you reading right now? I love love love your recommendations… tell me what I should read next in the comments!

PS – If you want more book recommendations… June Reading List // July Reading List // August Reading List // September Reading List

Leave a Comment


  1. Elizabeth says 10.7.16

    I’ve been on the hunt for a new good book recently. Thanks for sharing these!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      You are welcome! Hope you find something you enjoy!!!

  2. Judy Shappley says 10.7.16

    Please read The Devil in the White City if you haven’t already. Normally I am all about fiction but there are a few non-fiction books that I have really loved and this is one of them. Erik Larson is a wonderful writer and this is his best. It’s a true story all about a serial killer involved with the Chicago world’s fair. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

    • Courtney says 10.7.16

      This is on my to-read list. I’m so glad for your glowing review; I’m really looking forward to it now!

      • graceatwood says 10.7.16

        It was amazing! I read it ages and ages ago but want to read it again, now!

    • Jenny Kepler says 10.7.16

      I second Devil in the White City — soo good!

      • graceatwood says 10.7.16

        One of the best books I’ve ever read!

    • Elisse says 10.7.16

      Loved this book. Read it over 10 years ago and it is still one of my favorites. Made me get scared when reading it at night alone but it was so good I had to keep reading!

      • graceatwood says 10.7.16

        Same here!!! Read it so long ago, may need to re-read!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      I read this years ago and you are making me want to re-read it! One of my all time favorite books!!!!

      • Judy Shappley says 10.7.16

        Another good non- fiction book is The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.How this woman made something of herself is beyond inspiring. Her parents should have been arrested fifteen times.

  3. Monica says 10.7.16

    You have to read The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman! (Before you see the movie of course:) ) Thanks for all your book recommendations – I LOVE them!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      I read it last month – AND saw the movie. Both were great but the book was better!!! So sad!!

  4. Ashley J says 10.7.16

    Anything by Kristin Hannah is amazing! I’m currently reading Night Road by her. I didn’t cry from The Nightingale BUT Night Road has made me tear up. I’m looking forward to her next book.
    can’t wait to read The Couple Next Door! Love that we have similar taste 🙂

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      She is so talented! I’ve added Night Road to my list.. thanks! xx

      • Sharona says 10.8.16

        Re: Kristin Hannah books — I absolutely LOVED Firefly Lane. Highly recommend!

        • graceatwood says 10.11.16

          Thanks for the recommendation – I love her books! Adding this to my list 🙂

  5. Angela says 10.7.16

    I have The Regulars on my reading list, and I think you’ve convinced me to add The Nightingale. After this review and all of your snaps, I’m sold!

    I went to Barnes & Noble earlier this month to get a scary/mystery type book and found The Winter People. It is so good, I cannot put it down! You should definitely add it to your list if you haven’t read it already.

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      Oh, please please read it! It was so good!!!

      Adding The Winter People to my list – thank you for the recommendation! x

  6. brittany olander says 10.7.16

    Love Kristin Hannah of the Nightingale- try her book Winter Garden next- its similar in that half of the book is historical fiction. Also “The Perfect neighbors” is super similar to Big Little Lies- I wrote about my last reading binge and featured it here- http://brittanyisablob.blogspot.com/2016/09/what-were-reading.html

    I’ve got some weekend links + steals on my blog-http://brittanyisablob.blogspot.com/
    HAppy Friday Grace!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      Thank you Brittany!! Just added these to my list!

  7. Courtney says 10.7.16

    I read The Nightingale and The Couple Next Door last month, too! I loved The Nightingale and my book club all agreed. the Couple Next Door was somewhat predictable while throwing in a few twists. I also didn’t like any of tb characters, but I found myself reading it very quickly so that I could see what happened. The ending was a shocker to me!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      It sounds like we have similar taste in books!!! Thanks for commenting! xoxo

  8. Sharona says 10.7.16

    Love your monthly reading lists! Adding these to my good reads right now! (ps, do you have a good reads account? might be a cool way for your readers to follow your book recs!)

    • Sharona says 10.7.16

      Also — have you read the Glass Castle yet? I think it’s my favorite book I’ve read this year (so far!)!

      • Elisse says 10.7.16

        LOVED The Glass Castle!

        • graceatwood says 10.7.16

          I have to read it!!

      • graceatwood says 10.7.16

        So it sounds like I need to read the Glass Castle! I do have goodreads but I don’t always remember to update it. I prefer to just do a monthly reading list here… though I do mark all my “want to reads” using Goodreads!



    • Clare says 10.7.16

      I also was wondering if you have Goodreads!

  9. Sarah says 10.7.16

    I’m excited to add these to my list- The Nightingale was already up next for me. I’m glad to hear good things about it, I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile but after All the Light I Cannot See, I wasn’t quite ready for another WW France book…..

    If you’re looking for some other good ‘beach reads’ I’d check out Mary Kay Andrews. Her stuff is all set in the south, and they’re fun easy reads. I also just recently discovered Elin Hilderbrand and have loved pretty much everything. The “Winter Street” series of hers is good and super quick reads.

    4 other more ‘thriller’ recommendations: 1 Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) series? I can never figure out the plot twists on those. 2 Tana French Dublin Murder Squad series, great plot twists I never see coming. 3/4- The Circle by Dave Eggers and Ready Player One by Earnest Cline- they’re both somewhere between thrillers and dystopian futures- both are pretty easy reads, but really make you think about where technology is headed.

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      All the Light We Cannot See is on my list! Dying to read it – maybe this month.

      I love Elin Hilderbrand but will have to check out Mary Kay Andrews AND those thrillers – thank you for the recommendations!!

  10. Sam says 10.7.16

    Felt the same about The Nightingale! Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors, so definitely check out her other books if you haven’t already. Two books I read recently and loved: One True Loves and It Ends With Us. Will definitely check out your recommendations too!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      Thank you so much for the recommendations, Sam! Adding both of these to my list. 🙂

  11. Clare Odom says 10.7.16

    Try We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley or The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner. Two newish releases that I loved!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      Thanks Clare!! I just added both of those to my list! xo

  12. Elishia says 10.7.16

    I adore it when my fav bloggers recommend books and I’m so glad I found yours, these look amazing! I’m so going to read The Nightingale and With Malice. Thanks! I’m going through a little bit of a reading slump at the moment (so unlike me) but the last book I read was The Goldfinch and that was incredible!


    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      I looooved The Goldfinch!!! Happy you like the reading lists! xx

  13. Melinda says 10.7.16

    I just finished up The French War Bride. Definitely a random find, but it was so engaging. Two modern day, elderly women face their past. One confronts the other for stealing the former’s fiancé during WWII. The rational and story that unfold were well-written and I had to stay up quite late to keep reading.

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      Thank you so much for the recommendation – this sounds right up my alley! x

  14. Dori says 10.7.16

    Have you read The Ramblers? I’m reading it now and really enjoying it. I needed a break after reading a few thrillers in a row, and this one is set in NYC about three characters in their mid-30s and is great. Loving it!

    • graceatwood says 10.7.16

      No I have not!! I will add it to my list – thank you for the recommendation 🙂 xx

  15. Lia says 10.8.16

    Since you like YA, I would DEFINITELY suggest An Ember in the Ashes.

    • graceatwood says 10.11.16

      Thank you for the recommendation! Checking it out now!!

  16. Natalie says 10.8.16

    The Girl on the Train is obviously a current read if you haven’t already read it. Definitely a lover of crime/thriller novels aswell so read Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Another thrilling read! I’m currently reading The Widow at the moment.

    • graceatwood says 10.11.16

      I loved The Girl on the Train! Excited to check out the movie.

      I read The Widow – curious to hear your thoughts on it – I reviewed it in a previous reading list and was disappointed! Checking out Pretty Girls!

  17. Britt Montgomery says 10.8.16

    Love your Blog!

    Will definitely pick up some of your books 🙂 Have fun reading everyone

    • graceatwood says 10.11.16

      Thank you so much, Britt! xx

  18. Tasya says 10.9.16

    I’ve read Mitch Albom’s Five People You’ll Meet in Heaven and absolutely enjoyed it, I can’t wait to try his books! I have the Regulars but haven’t been able to get to it, now I really want to read it soon! I’ve enjoyed both The Book Thief and All the Light We Cannot See, which also set during WWII, so I think I’ll enjoy the Nightingale too! (if you haven’t read those 2 books, go read it!) Have an amazing October! <3

    • graceatwood says 10.11.16

      I loved that one too! Such a good one!!! I have heard great things about The Book Thief AND All the Light We Cannot See – both are on my list! xx

  19. Alice D says 10.10.16

    I have a back log of books that I’m waiting to read but these are definitely been added to the list. I’ve heard good things about The Couple Next Door – can’t wait to read it. Alice xx


    • graceatwood says 10.11.16

      Hope you enjoy it! xx

  20. Emily says 10.10.16

    I felt the same way about Nightingale! I’ll have to check out The Regulars 🙂


    • graceatwood says 10.11.16

      Yes!! Hope you enjoy! xx

  21. Julia says 10.18.16

    I just finished “A Tale for Time Being” and it was incredibly well written. Philosophy meets a beautiful narrative across continents and time. Definitely recommend

    • graceatwood says 10.19.16

      Thank you for the recommendation!!! xx