7 Best-Reviewed Books in October 2018

  • November 3, 2018

We came, we read, we gushed. Here’s a recap of the titles that left us especially warm and swoony this past month.











Adrift: A True Story of Tragedy on the Icy Atlantic and the One Who Lived to Tell about It by Brian Murphy with Toula Vlahou (Da Capo Press). Reviewed by Eliza McGraw. “Parts of the narrative make the reader seasick because they're so gutting, while other passages are pleasantly atmospheric. Murphy’s use of nautical terms and imagery situates readers in the boat with boatswains and horseshoe crabs, longboats and buoys and dock riggers.”

The Boy at the Keyhole: A Novel by Stephen Giles (Hanover Square Press). Reviewed by K.L. Romo. “This clever psychological thriller reads like a quiet introspection into the vivid imagination of a young boy. Is he going mad? Or does Ruth expertly skew the facts to make it seem that way? Tension builds as small details are revealed one by one, the story slowly building to a surprise ending that will leave readers saying, ‘Wow, I didn’t see that coming!’”

Baby You’re Gonna Be Mine: Stories by Kevin Wilson (Ecco). Reviewed by Robert Allen Papinchak. “The unnerving stories in Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine, though supersaturated with unhappiness, also examine what it means to be human. The only path to surviving is to keep running and keep breathing. The sad irony of the human comedy is that, more often than not, it is steeped in tragedy.”

Waiting for Eden: A Novel by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf). Reviewed by Julia Tagliere. “Part mystery, part thriller, part unconventional love story, Waiting for Eden explores with gravity and sensitivity the profound questions of love and fidelity, duty and honor, and how one creates a life worth living.”

The Clockmaker’s Daughter: A Novel by Kate Morton (Atria Books). Reviewed by Sara Dahmen. “I rarely discover books worth quoting or memorizing. Such writing typically has strong visual and visceral pulls, and the world within the pages must be so tantalizing and tactile that it sits in a person’s bones for a long time. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is just such a book, unfolding each hidden veil in a delicious, well-choreographed dance.”

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl: A Novel by Jean Thompson (Simon & Schuster). Reviewed by Sally Shivnan. “A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is about many things, including the limitations imposed by women’s roles and class roles. There is much examination, as well, of the realities of aging and the end of life, with writing that is stark, unsentimental, beautiful.”

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster). Reviewed by James A. Percoco. “Given the tenor of our times, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom is a book to be admired and cherished. Blight does not hesitate to compare our current moment to that of Douglass, particularly the price that African Americans (especially in the South) paid after Reconstruction. In so many ways, this book is prescient. The voice of Frederick Douglass needs to be listened too, again, with increasing fervor.”

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