Sandy’s Book Selections: October Reading List

Let this October reading list carry you out of your home and into new parts of the world, both real and imagined.
October reading list

As chilly fall weather settles in, our instinct is to hunker down and stay in. However, there are no limits to where beloved books can take us. So, this “trick or treat” season, grab a bag of candy corn and settle in to devour some fiction, nonfiction,  murder mystery, and biographies by some stellar authors. Let this October reading list carry you out of your home and into new parts of the world – both real and imagined – and escape from this one for a little while. 

Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon | Mystery

Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simons

Mother-Daughter Murder Night combines a murder mystery with a story of family love and complex relationships, centered around the three strong Rubicon women: grandmother, mother, and granddaughter, a trio of amateur detectives. As their snooping becomes ever more dangerous, the headstrong women must learn to do the one thing they’ve always resisted: depend on each other.

A Beautiful Rival by Gill Paul | Historical Fiction

A Beautiful Rival by Gill Paul

In A Beautiful Rival, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein are the two beauty industry giants responsible for creating today’s cosmetics industry. With scandals, spies, and relentless ambition, these women stop at nothing to reign supreme, proving that the world of beauty is anything but a pretty face. Chapters alternate between the two women, each telling the story of how they kept their businesses afloat during two world wars and the Great Depression.

The Six by Loren Grush | Nonfiction

The Six by Loren Grush

The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts tells the journey of the extraordinary women who crewed aboard NASA’s Space Shuttles and achieved historic milestones. From a candidate pool of eight thousand, these six elite women were selected in 1978. These women prove that the sky is no limit when it comes to determination, bravery, and breaking barriers, from enduring media frenzy and survival training to making groundbreaking contributions to the space program,

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff | Literary Fiction

Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff

The Vaster Wilds explores themes of faith, nature, what it means to be a woman in the world— and the ingenuity it takes to survive there. It is set in the Jamestown colony around the winter of 1609–1610, a period known as the “starving time” when over 80% of the colonists died. To escape the disease and famine at the primitive fort, a young servant girl climbs out into the great and terrible wilderness and runs without knowing if there is any place to run to.

Build the Life You Want by Arthur Brooks and Oprah Winfrey | Life Skills

Build the Life You Want by Arthur Brooks and Oprah Winfrey

Build the Life You Want guides readers on a journey toward greater happiness. Using inspiring anecdotes and scientific research, Brooks and Winfrey show you how to use emotional self-management to improve your family, friendships, work, and faith, regardless of the hardships and setbacks life throws at you. They draw on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action; their aim is to show how to improve our lives right now,

Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson | Biography

Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson spent two years shadowing Elon Musk for this biography in both his private and public worlds. The result is a revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, as well as what it takes to drive innovation and progress. Musk is described as the controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence.

Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood | Contemporary British Fiction

Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood Contemporary

Amazing Grace Adams captures the experience of middle-aged Grace: her marriage in a death slide, the promising career of her youth now lost, the sweet, innocent daughter who morphs, seemingly out of nowhere, into a sullen teen who wants nothing to do with her. This debut novel takes place over the course of one hilariously chaotic day, with glimpses into her past and the moments that brought her here. Funny, moving, and at times absolutely heartbreaking.

In Case You Missed It: Here’s Sandy’s summer reading list from October 2022!

The Rise of Women and Wealth by Cindy Couyoumjian | Nonfiction

The Rise of Women and Wealth by Cindy Couyoumjia

The Rise of Women and Wealth shows women are powerful agents of change with boundless potential in the financial realm. Today in the U.S., women are making gains in higher education, hold corporate positions, and are successful leaders; men still control most of the household wealth. Through intuition, passion, and knowledge, Couyoumjian educates and empowers women to join her in claiming their financial independence.

Girl Forgotten by Karin Slaughter | Murder Mystery

Girl Forgotten by Karin Slaughter

The Girl, Forgotten is Emily Vaughn, a teenager who is murdered in Longbill Beach, Delaware, in 1982. 40 years later, her murderer still remains free, the murder unsolved as her former tight-knit friendship group closed ranks. Girl, Forgotten is the second book in the series featuring Andrea Oliver, with the first book, Pieces of Her, now on Netflix.

Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley | Biography


Agatha Christie is a fresh take on one of the most influential authors of all time. Christie was a prolific writer, having completed nearly 70 novels and sold over 2 billion copies. With access to personal letters and papers never seen before, this biography is both authoritative and entertaining, making us realize that Christie was an extraordinary pioneer.

The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh | Fiction

The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

The Fortunes of Jaded Women follows a family of estranged Vietnamese-American women who experience mishaps and unexpected joy after a psychic makes a startling prediction about their lives: the family will witness a marriage, a funeral, and the birth of a son. This prophecy brings celebrating and healing together as a family.

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell | Historical Fiction

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Set in the mid-1500s, The Marriage Portrait tells the story of Lucrezia’s short marriage to the Duke of Ferrara through her own eyes and perceptions. Married at 15, and dead by 16, Lucrezia’s life, set in Renaissance Italy, the atmosphere and depictions in this story are intense and emotionally charged and are skillfully written with intrigue and suspense.

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves | Mystery

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves

For fifty years, a group of friends has been meeting regularly for reunions on Holy Island, celebrating the high school trip where they met. On the first morning, one of the group is found hanging from the rafters, and a detective is called to investigate when evidence suggests a suspicious death. The Rising Tide is a powerful novel about guilt, betrayal, and the long-held secrets people keep.

CLASSIC:  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo, written in 1844, is an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. The story centers on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about exacting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. Important: Read the unabridged version for all subplots, intricate character relationships, and conflicts.

In Case You Missed It: Here’s Sandy’s summer reading list from October 2020!

The Evening And The Morning by Ken Follett (NYT Best Seller!) | FICTION

October Reading List

The Evening And The Morning is the prequel to Pillars Of The Earth, written by Ken Follett thirty years ago. The lives of the three main characters are intertwined as each one comes into dangerous conflict with ambition and rivalry, birth and death, and love and hate.

Readers Recommend: 

Blackout by Candace Owens (NYT Best Seller) | NONFICTION

October Reading List

Political activist Candace Owens lays bare the myth that all Black people are expected to vote for Democratic candidates. Blackout is well-researched and intelligently addresses the many ways that Democratic Party policies hurt rather than help the African American community.*

Readers Recommend

Fifty Words For Rain by Asha Lemmie (NYT Best Seller) | FICTION

October Reading List

Fifty Words For Rain is a heartwarming and beautifully written novel about Japanese culture and the Imperial Dynasty inheritance that links a family together. This is the story of a young girl’s struggle and evolution from victim to survivor, and what it means to be free.

Readers Recommend

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (NYT Best Seller) | MYSTERY

October Reading List

Troubled Blood is written by the Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. This fifth book in the detective series is a story of a 40-year-old “cold case” of a person missing under curious circumstances. The case stretches over a year and has all the mystery, heart, and character dynamics of the series, and the actual killer is totally unexpected!

Readers Recommend

The Daughters Of Yalta by Catherine Katz | HISTORY

October Reading List

The Daughters Of Yalta tells the story through the eyes of Sarah Churchill, Anna Roosevelt, and Kathleen Harriman, the daughter of W. Averell Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Skillfully written and meticulously researched, it’s an extraordinary work that reveals the human side underlying the politics of Yalta and three remarkable daughters!

Readers Recommend

The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab | FANTASY

October Reading List

In a moment of desperation, Addie LaRue makes a bargain to live forever — and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. This is the beginning of the extraordinary life and dazzling adventure that plays out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

Readers Recommend

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you get a free Prime Read each month. Right now, our favorite is the suspenseful thriller The Asset by Saul Herzog.

*Prime Women does not endorse any political view.

Read Next:

Sandy’s Selections: New Books to Read in September

Sandy’s Book Selections For August

Books by Women Authors that All Women Should Read


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