The October Book Reviews

Today's post is the second in the monthly book review series. At the end of every month, I write short reviews of the books I read in the previous month. I hope you find a new book to read through this series and will share what you've read lately. Also, read to the bottom to learn about the book giveaway!

I read 6 books in October, one less than my September count.

1. The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo - This is the fourth and my favorite book in the Harry Hole crime thriller series by Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian author. The Redeemer has a perfect mix of clues, twists, and turns to keep you guessing on who hired the hit man and why. I also enjoyed this book because we see growth of Harry's character. Harry learns he can fight his alcoholism and survive. If you like Steig Larsson's writing, pick up this series and start with the first book- The Redbreast.

2. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau - I've been a follower of Chris Guillebeau's blog, The Art of Nonconformity, for the past few years. The $100 Startup is his second book. He uses his own experience and case studies to outline a plan for you to start a small business. Many of the ideas in the book were not new or revolutionary. However, the book was helpful and encouraged me to start brainstorming. I wish he included more practical information and numbers. Overall, it's a great read for someone who is looking to start a small business or recently started one and needs some pointers.

3. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard - Since I write young adult novels, I try to read at least one young adult novel. This month, I read Pretty Little Liars, the first in a very popular series. I read the book after seeing the first two seasons of the television show (not sure I should admit that). I definitely liked the book better than the television show. Pretty Little Liars has an element of mystery that kept me reading and it's a very quick read. Plus, the book tackles teen issues such as bullying, lying, homosexuality, drugs, and cutting. It's worth a read if you are interested in the contemporary young adult genre.

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth - I loved this book!!  Divergent is the first of a dystopian young adult trilogy (think Hunger Games). The novel has all the elements of a great story- intriguing characters, suspense, mystery and conflict. Roth's novel isn't perfect though. At times, I disliked the main character Tris. I wanted more backstory to the factions and more character development for the secondary characters. But, I finished the book wanting more. And for me, that means the story was a great one.

5. Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers by Carol Henderson -I picked up this book knowing I am not the target audience for the book. But I have a personal connection to one of the mother's featured in the book. I made my way through the book and enjoyed reading the stories and learning about these brave women. In addition, the writing prompts are a great resources for writers and writing groups. If you know someone who has lost a child, share this book with them.

6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - As I write this post, I'm halfway through this collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories. I've enjoyed the stories much more than the first two novels. I find myself paying closer attention when I read which is a nice change of pace for me. I also enjoy reading the short story format. I can sit down for fifteen minutes and read a story and save the next one till later. With a good novel, I become engrossed and don't want to stop reading which can have unfortunate side effects. Overall, I'm loving the Sherlock stories.

The Book Giveaway

I am giving away a free book of your choice to one lucky winner!!!

Here's how you can win.

1. The first qualification is to be an email subscriber. You can sign up here. If you decide you don't like this blog a month later, you can unsubscribe at any time.

2. Leave a comment below or send me an email (kristenotte1 @ telling me a book you are looking forward to reading and why. All responses must be in by 6:00pm on Halloween. (eastern standard time).

I will pick a winner from the responses. The winner will have the "most compelling" response. The winner will receive a copy of the book he or she is looking forward to reading in kindle or paperback form.

For example, I am looking forward to reading Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, because the protagonist is a courageous and intelligent young woman.

Spread the word and tell your friends they can win a free book!

What are you looking forward to reading and why?