What I Read in October

October isn’t quite over, but I’m bumping up my recap of what I read because I’m posting a Halloween costume tomorrow.

An amazing thing happened this month… I hit my yearly reading goal of 52 books! This has been my favorite year of reading. So many incredible books. I know my life is better for it and just wish there were more hours in the day to read!!

Evvie Drake Starts Over

THE BLUE BISTRO by Elin Hilderbrand

3/5 Stars

I love me a good Elin Hilderbrand book. I was on the waiting list at my library for this one for a while. I was super excited to start it because it’s based on The Galley restaurant on Nantucket (one of my favorite “sceney” spots) and there’s going to be a Hulu mini-series based on the book. This book takes place in a restaurant and follows the trials and tribulations of the staff (and some of the patrons, too). I liked the idea of the book, but it just fell flat for me. Can’t quite put my finger on it. It felt dated in a way and there was just a lot of drama and poor decisions that made it hard for me to connect to the characters. The best part was the food descriptions– yum. I do think the premise will make for a great show though, so I can’t wait for that.

HOW COULD SHE by Lauren Mechling

3.75 Stars

This is the book I read for my Bad on Paper guest appearance. I go into more detail in discussion with Grace and Becca, so if you want to hear all my thoughts (and I had many), definitely give that a listen. Although, spoiler alert– we talk in-depth about the book.

Ultimately, I liked this book because it made me think about careers, friendships, and NYC. The plot felt pretty irrelevant though, which was strange. It follows three women who have been friends for years as they adjust to their late 30s, not-so-delicately dealing with changing friend dynamics all while they face varying degrees of success– and failure– in their careers. I kind of equated it to the characters from the television show GIRLS if they were in their late 30s.

THE DUTCH HOUSE by Ann Patchett

4.5/5 Stars

I love Ann Patchett. She’s such a talented storyteller and I think I’d enjoy anything she wrote. I listened to this audiobook and Tom Hanks narrates it!!! At first, it’s a little jarring because it sounds so much like a book narrated by Woody and I also watched You’ve Got Mail while listening to it so that threw me for a loop too. But he does an amazing job and soon you get sucked into his performance and forget about all of his other characters!

It’s not the most riveting story, though I loved the telling of it. It’s essentially a modern telling of a fairytale, complete with evil stepmother! The story is told over five decades, following the main character from childhood through adulthood with the main focus on his childhood home. “The Dutch House” has almost mythical qualities right down to the third-floor ballroom. I loved the ending especially.

THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

2.75 Stars

Don’t hate me. I realize this is a favorite book of many people, including my sister. It just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t get it into. The book tells kind of the “secret of life,” if you will, through a short story of a shepherd in search of buried treasure. There are nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout the story as the boy moves along his journey and encounters different characters.


4.5/5 Stars

This was a book recommended to me by one of my friends who is a therapist herself. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, mostly based on the cover 😂 It’s fantastic though and I have already been recommending it like CRAZY. It’s a memoir of a therapist who seeks out her own therapist. It details both her relationships with a handful of clients and her own experience seeing a therapist to help her get over a particularly devastating breakup. It’s more than a memoir though. She really talks ABOUT therapy and why it’s important. I completely believe in therapy (I don’t think there’s a single person who couldn’t benefit from it) and want to, like, scream from rooftops to tell skeptics to read this!! If you’re not sure if therapy is for you or what you could glean from sessions, but you’re curious? Give this book a try!


4/5 Stars

I originally picked this up because I was invited to a book club where this book was being discussed. It didn’t seem like my kind of book. (Cheesy rom-coms rarely do it for me anymore.) I had low hopes, friends. However, it’s SO GOOD. It ended up being completely different than I expected. There is romance (with a hot baseball player no less), but all the characters and the plot felt so…. real. The text and dialogue are completely normal. Like these people could be your actual friends, not just characters in a book with trite flaws and skills written in to move the plot along. They’re normal.

If you’re in need of a good book to read over the course of a weekend (or in one cozy sitting), do this!!!

SIGNS by Laura Lynne Jackson

4/5 Stars

Let me just come right out and say, if you’re super skeptical of psychics, don’t read this. If you’re curious or already a believer, you’ll love it. Essentially, Laura Lynn Jackson is a medium and wrote this book to be a guide for anyone to channel the “language of the universe” aka signs. I can’t lie, I do believe in signs so I really enjoyed this book. Some chapters’ stories are more powerful than others. One seemed fishy and I googled the people (that’s how fishy it felt) and sure enough the guy had been arrested for having a Ponzi scheme (seriously). And there’s one chapter that I thought was veering into the anti-vax territory and I was ~this close~ to stopping completely and destroying the book, but then it wasn’t anti-vax at all. So if you read this and start to panic, don’t. It’s not anti-vax. (I think the chapter should have started with a disclaimer that she’s all for vaccinations from the start, ha.)

The craziest thing happened when I finished though. One of the “signs” in the book is having weird, unexplained electrical/technology issues like with your phone/radios/etc. Immediately after I finished the book, I got in my car and I never have my consol set to anything other than the Bluetooth connection… and when I turned my car on, the AM radio was BLARING. I was covered in goosebumps!!! Not exactly sure who or what was communicating with me, but I got the message, ha!

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I always love reading your book recaps. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone is one of my top non-fiction books of the year, so glad you loved it too.


I always get so excited for these posts because I love your book recommendations for myself, but this time I think you recommended something one of my 10 year olds might like too! He flies through every book and series he can get his hands on so The Alchemist sounds like something worth looking at for him! Thank you!

Brigid Devney-Rye

I loved Evie Drake Starts Over also. I am currently reading a book called The Flatshare that I heard about on the Bad on Paper Podcast.


I’m reading “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone” right now and I’m already hooked!

Definitely adding “Evvie Drake Starts Over” to my list.


I feel like The Alchemist is #omglifechanging for high school students or people who don’t read that much

Kitty Cetola

Thanks for the 411 on Dutch House as audio book! I love Tom Hanks’ voice and I’m defiantly going to add this to my “commuter reading list”

Jules Buono

So many thoughts on these as a 100+ book/year reader and book blogger! First, I also do not really like the Alchemist. Second, I bought my mom Signs this month but I think when she hands it down to me I will have the same feelings as you. My mom did tell me it has a lot of grammatical errors too! Loved Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and totally felt the plights of the “characters.” Lastly, The Dutch House – fave read of the year and also listened to Tom Hanks! I actually had chills at the end which has never happened, and I loved the cover art so much I photoshopped it into my living room on an Instagram pic. 🙂 Need to pick up Evvie Drake. Thanks for all the reviews!!


Congrats on the reading goal! Do you think you could make a page on the blog with a list/compilation of all the books you have read, or read in the past and enjoy? If this is a thing already, and I missed it, I would love to see it! 🙂

xx Libby


I can’t believe you didn’t like the Alchemist — it’s such a classic! Maybe not the easiest to get into but is that really the measure of a good book? I’m so curious what else about it made you dislike it.

Kristen Woolsey

Your recommendations hold so much weight with me! I always look forward to hearing your reviews. Bookmarking: Evvie Drake Starts Over and The Dutch House!


Definitely adding these to my reading list! I’m a long time reader and just listened to your bonus appearance on Bad on Paper which was so great. I would love it if you did an article on financial tips, maybe even an article with your financial advisor. I’m 26 and still trying to figure out my finances. I tried looking into working with an advisor but unfortunately I can’t afford the fees on my entry level nonprofit salary.


I was wholly unprepared for the corona-virus house arrest and didn’t have any library ebooks in queue. I was scouring GoodReads and coming up empty. Finally remembered my fav voracious reader instagrammer! Thank you for the tips! Downloaded Evvie Drake. Happy reading! xoxo, Maura