Today I thought I’d share some books that I’ve really enjoyed reading over the last few months. Now that the weather is changing and it’s getting to feel like fall, it’s the perfect time to spend some time on the couch under a blanket reading a good book. Be sure to share a book or two that you’ve enjoyed in the comments at the end of this post. I love hearing what other people are reading. You can find all of the books I’ve read on my books page.

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

I don’t know why I don’t read mysteries more often because I really do enjoy them when I read them. That was especially true of The Herd (affiliate link) by Andrea Bartz. I always try to figure out the ending before I read it. Sometimes I’m able to, but I wasn’t with The Herd. I didn’t see the ending coming at all. If you’re looking for a mystery with lots of female characters, be sure to check out The Herd.

Here’s the synopsis from Good Reads:

The name of the elite, women-only coworking space stretches across the wall behind the check-in desk: THE HERD, the H-E-R always in purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over each other to apply for membership to this community that prides itself on mentorship and empowerment. Among the hopefuls is Katie Bradley, who’s just returned from the Midwest after a stint of book research blew up in her face. Luckily, Katie has an in, thanks to her sister Hana, an original Herder and the best friend of Eleanor Walsh, its charismatic founder.

As head of PR, Hana is working around the clock in preparation for a huge announcement from Eleanor—one that would change the trajectory of The Herd forever.

Then, on the night of the glitzy Herd news conference, Eleanor vanishes without a trace. Everybody has a theory about what made Eleanor run, but when the police suggest foul play, everyone is a suspect.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

I’m a big fan of Jennifer Weiner’s books. I think Mrs. Everything (affiliate link) is one of my favorites of hers. It follows the story of one family – specifically two sisters are they grow up, lose family members, deal with some really tough situations as teens, and even start families and businesses of their own. I really enjoyed getting to know J and Bethie throughout their lives, how they changed as life threw different things in their paths. If you also enjoy Jennifer Weiner’s books I think you’ll really like this one too.

Below is the description of Mrs. Everything:

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

The Institute by Stephen King

I’m a huge fan of Stephen King. I’ve been reading his books for nearly 20 years now. I had The Institute (affiliate link) on hold at the library for a long time before I was able to borrow it. It was so worth the wait! It was a long book, even for me, but I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning. To be completely honest I was a bit skeptical when I realized that quite a few of the main characters were kids. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a book that had a bunch of kids as main characters, but I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up really enjoying their characters the most out of all of them.

Here’s the description of The Institute:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

If you’re a fan of Stephen King books and the world’s that he creates, I highly recommend The Institute. It’s one of those books that stays with you. I’m still thinking about it months after I finished reading it.

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics (affiliate link) is the only non-fiction book that made it onto my list of favorites this time around. While I definitely enjoy fiction books for the most part, every once in awhile I like to pick up non-fiction. Since I started meditating regularly a few years ago, I’ve been wanting to learn more of the science behind why it works. If you’re on the fence about starting to meditate – or even a meditation pro – I’m willing to bed that you’ll learn something from reading Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

Dan Harris provides a lot of the science behind why meditation works as well as practical tips and exercises to try. It’s easy for a topic like meditation to get very “woo woo”, but Dan doesn’t get like that at all. I think he’s very similar to me and avoids the woo woo stuff as much as I do. He explains mediation in a very straight forward way that made a lot of sense to me.

What’s the last book you read that you really enjoyed? Leave it in the comments below.

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Books I’m Loving: October 2020
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