Aurelien’s October reading wrap-up

Catrina and I love to read. We’re constantly reading books in between or even at the same time as book club picks BUT we can only pick so many to discuss on the podcast.

So let’s talk about what I read just for fun this month!

Classy Crooks Club Cover courtesy of S&S/Aladdin

The Classy Crooks Club by Alison Cherry

Twelve-year-old AJ dreads spending an entire month living with her strict Grandma Jo. Not only does her grandmother dictate how she walks, what she eats, and which rooms she can enter, she fills all AJ’s free time with boring sewing lessons. But AJ’s dull summer takes a sharp turn when she discovers that her grandmother’s “bridge group” is actually a heist club.

This was a random library pickup, based on the cover and the clever premise. Secret heist team! It’s a dream come true. Except not really, in this case: AJ’s grandmother is harsh and the heist secret becomes a huge problem with her friends. (Though I am super jealous she learns lockpicking from an expert!) The third-act twist is surprisingly serious, but it works to tether the story to reality and remind AJ that she’s 12, not a superspy. This is a stand-alone middle grade, so everything wraps up nicely at the end.

The Interrupted Tale cover courtesy Balzer + Bray, illustrated by Jon Klassen

The Interrupted Tale (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #4) by Maryrose Wood

You leave your home in Constantinople; by the time you return, all the signs read ISTANBUL, and there is no going back to the way things were before.

You know we love The Incorrigible Children series here at SSBC. After we read The Mysterious Howling earlier this year for book club, I kept reading; I need to know the answers to the mysteries! If you listened to our episode, you know I’m obsessed. Maryrose Wood sets up Lost-level world mysteries in these books, potentially tying together all of our characters in a multi-generational, supernatural story. And I’m happy to report that the 4th book spills SO. MUCH. INFORMATION. We visit the Swanburne school, battle with the evil Judge Quinzy (… or is it?) again, and Penny is reunited with a friend from London. Plus, more Agatha tidbits!

City of Ghosts cover courtesy of Scholastic

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

“Ninth rule of friendship,” he says, “ghost-watching is a two-person sport.”

I put this on my hold list after reading Vicious, Vengeful, and A Darker Shade of Magic series. Why not try everything Schwab writes? (And there’s a lot to choose from!) City of Ghosts is middle grade, while those books are adult fiction, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a place to start! It’s also pure supernatural: the main character can pass in between the veil between the living and the dead. When her family travels to Edinburgh for work, she finds more ghosts than ever — and a dangerous figure who is looking back out the veil for her. This was a good story, and a solid spooky premise, but I wasn’t gripped. I’ll probably make my way to the next one eventually.

And in general media: I just started listening to the Let’s Talk About Myths, baby! podcast. The host, Liv, retells Greek and Roman myths, through a modern woman’s eyes. It’s funny and well-done. I recommend her series on The Odyssey.

And I have a couple more podcasts on my list to check out: Ologies, the Cryptid Keeper, History Goes Bump. Halloween may be over, but there are still tons of spooky mysteries out there..

For book club, we just finished reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (look for that episode next week!)

What was your favorite read (or listen) in October?

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