Top 5 Books of the Month – October 2020

Hello everyone,

Here we are again. October has passed, and I read some really awesome books that I HAVE to talk about! 

If you have read my previous posts on my books of the month, you will know I have a goal of 75 books this year. I was a bit stressed out because I went into October with only 50 books done! Fortunately, this month ended up being a fantastic reading month! I always love to read but there are times when you just blaze through books. By October 31st, I completed 10 books! That leaves 15 more by the end of 2020. This seems much more reasonable! 

Having read 10 great books, I found it hard to rank this month! 😦

The 5 below aren’t really in a ranked order! They all were amazing! It is truly one of the sweetest joys in life to know you thoroughly enjoyed the books you finished. 

Also, I am sorry if you guys want deeper descriptions. I realllllllyyyy hate spoilers and I am guessing some of you all do too. I try to give descriptions for the spoiler snobs and spoiler lovers. 

  1. Loving Vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel on the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell

Okay, this actually might have been my favorite this month, but the quality of the books below is not lessened by this fact. 

It honestly feels like this Supreme Court case is not talked about enough. I knew of it, but this book really dives into the married couple, the Lovings, who won the right…to be married. Yes, they had to WIN this right. Richard and Mildred Loving were a biracial couple, who lived in Virginia during the 1960s. Interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia at the time. Many stumbling blocks continued to trip them as they moved from their childhood home, raised children, and waited for change. But a simple letter to Robert Kennedy changed everything. 

This book is a documentary novel written mostly in verse. As a reader, you really witness the Lovings’ relationship along with the actual court case and social justice struggles. The Lovings were quiet people, who led peaceful lives. It wasn’t over dramatized. It expressed truth while using poetry to make this couple feel personal. 

It was one eloquent read I would suggest to anyone and everyone.

  1. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 

This was such a creative and heart wrenching story! 

Will’s brother dies and he knows the rules. You don’t cry. You don’t snitch. You take revenge. He believes these rules. Every man around him knows these rules. His brother instilled in him these rules. Will thinks he knows the man who killed his brother and he is about to make that last rule reality. A 60 second ride down the elevator to the lobby changes his life forever. 

This book is written completely in verse. I was just amazed at how well-crafted the emotion and story was. I will definitely be reading this again and again! 

  1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

If you have been reading my other monthly top 5 books posts, you know I have been reading a good amount of Laurie Halse Anderson.

I used to have a hard time getting into contemporary. I also did not want to be that literary snob who only reads two genres and lets everyone know!

I have read 3 of Anderson’s contemporary novels so far, and I enjoyed them all. 

Wintergirls is a novel written in 1st person. It is narrated by a girl struggling with anorexia. 

I did not know very much about anorexia. This is a work of fiction, but it really gave a poignant look at the mind and heart of a person’s struggle with this eating disorder. I understand that everyone’s experience is different, (and the character goes through other huge issues and trauma) but this book helps readers see the reality in mental illness and trauma. 

Anderson wrote a raw novel. She did not paint the idealistic story. She showed the truth behind this mental illness in all its horrors and sadness, but she continues to give hope. She opens our eyes to a reality we tend to want to overlook. 

Anorexia is so much more than “not eating”. I encourage you to reassess your opinions and pray for those suffering eating disorders. 

Anorexia is so much more than “not eating”. I will say it again. Anorexia is so much more than “not eating”.

You are not defined by your struggles. You are beautiful and loved by a God that vastly loves you! You are important and precious. Period.

  1. The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor by Amy Hollingsworth 

Ahhh, Mister Rogers! I am always amazed by his thoughtfulness and kindness!

This was a tribute by a friend of Rogers during his latter years. She goes through the spiritual lessons that Mister Rogers permeated through his life. This book does not just tell us information about Rogers. It challenges us to learn from him and the God he served. She has chapters titled like, “The Importance of Taking Time, The Importance of Silence” and “The Power of Forgiveness”. She goes through how Mister Rogers was a living witness to these lessons in his show and in his life. It is amazing how one man’s life impacted so many others. The legacy he left reaches so many facets. He taught us how to listen, why childhood is important, ways to deal with our feelings, and that we are all special. 

Here is a quote by him I loved in the book,

“I don’t think of myself as somebody who’s famous. I’m just a neighbor who comes and visits children; [I] happen to be on television. But I’ve always been myself. I never took a course in acting. I just figured that the best gift you could offer anybody is your honest self, and that’s what I’ve done for lots of years. And thanks for accepting me exactly as I am.” 

Fred Rogers
  1. Night by Elie Wiesel

This book is one of my favorites of all time. I hadn’t read this book in 4 years.

Wow, I left pondering new lessons learned.

Elie Wiesel was a survivor of the horrifying Holocaust. He was a Jewish teen when he was taken away from his home and went to his first concentration camp: Auschwitz. His life was forever changed.

This time I was really struck by how hard it must’ve been to continue life after the Holocaust. Your friends and family have died. You have watched shootings, hangings, corpses rot all because of your heritage. How does life move on?

It makes me feel hollow but yet full of disbelief. 

It is a brutal and bare account that made me so much more sympathetic and grateful. It left me with questions and thoughts. It pushed me to think about suffering and death. We are disturbed by this part of history, but we can learn and grow from it too. We cannot hide history, but we can learn and understand it.

“Sometimes I am asked if I know “the response to Auschwitz” ; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don’t even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response. What I do know is that there is “response” in responsibility. When we speak of this era of evil and darkness, so close and yet so distant, “responsibility” is the key word. The witness has forced himself to testify. For the youth of today, for the children who will be born tomorrow. He does not want his past to become their future.”

Elie Wiesel

Happy reading!

~ Kenedy M. 

All photos courtesy of Google images.

One thought on “Top 5 Books of the Month – October 2020

  1. Truly loved your choice of books this past month. I had the pleasure of reading NIGHT with you!!! Great read and discussion with your awesome book club!! We were challenged to think spiritually and morally about ourselves and others from Ellie’s life story and survival of the Holocaust.
    Keep up your wonderful selection of great books!💕

    Liked by 1 person

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