By readers, for readers. October 2013.
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October. It’s a month that represents the best that fall has to offer: cooling, breezy temperatures; turning leaves; cider and pumpkins; and most of all, Halloween! It’s the time of all things spooky and creepy. But don’t worry; whether chilling reads are your absolute favorite or you give them as wide a berth as possible, we have plenty of great titles to recommend for you this month. —Swapna

Longbourn by Jo Baker (October 8, Knopf) Clever, moving and insightful, Baker's diverting narrative explores the dreams and working lives of the servants at Longbourn, the fictional estate of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Charming in its own right, it's a must read for Austen fans. â€”Nicole Bonía

EDITOR'S PICK: I love historical fiction, so this rich, enchanting dose is just what the doctor ordered. —Nicole

Parasite by Mira Grant (October 29, Orbit) Grant creates a world in which everyone has an implanted tapeworm to manage their immune systems. Sally is the most successful patient, but things are starting to go wrong and no one knows why. Heart-pounding suspense and breathtaking horror will keep readers turning the pages and salivating for the next installment. —Amy Riley

EDITOR'S PICK: Once again Grant creates and absolutely amazing sci-fi future based on current medical technology. I can't wait for the rest of the series! —Jen

The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America’s Most Famous Residence by Robert Klara (October 22, Thomas Dunne) The reconstruction of the White House during the presidency of Harry Truman is the subject of this meticulously crafted work of nonfiction. The White House was literally falling down around the Trumans; Klara explores the politics behind the project, writing in an absorbing narrative style, and chronicles what was saved and what history, in the end, was tragically thrown away. —Swapna Krishna

At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcớn (October 31, Riverhead) A young man is touring a South American country with a political theater group when he gets caught up in his own personal drama. Readers will get caught up in this gripping story, which features a great plot with beautiful writing and astute observations. —Jessica DeLeon
More Love From: Jennifer Karsbaek

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (October 22, Little, Brown & Co.) Thirteen year-old Theo has a singular reminder of the moments he shared with his mother before she was killed in a horrific accident: a mysterious painting by a famous Dutch artist. The painting both guides and haunts Theo, from his aimless adolescence to his misguided adulthood. Tartt's ambitious new novel is a welcome treat for fans and new readers alike. —Shannon Nemer

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (October 8, Sourcebooks Landmark) A unique, dark approach to World War II fiction, The Paris Architect is unforgettable. Lucien has been asked to design clever hiding places for Jews in occupied France. Initially, the profits draw him in, especially at a time when people acted out of desperation, but the work becomes personal as Lucien dances the fine line between good and evil. —Alison Skap
More Love From: Jennifer Smeth

We Are Water by Wally Lamb (October 22, Harper) Lamb offers an intricate glimpse into a thoroughly modern family during the very dynamic recent past, proving how complex our lives have become and the toll that complexity plays on the family as an organism. The characters are rich in detail and vibrate with vitality. We Are Water is a beautifully wrought story of the ties that bind and break. —Michelle Shannon

This House Is Haunted by John Boyne (October 8, Other Press) This House Is Haunted tells the tale of a governess gone to work on an English estate, where adults are never present and a mysterious presence seems to haunt the halls. The novel is subtle and well crafted, thoroughly steeped in the Dickensian tradition—from time period to setting to prose. —Kerry McHugh
More Love From: Jenn Lawrence

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire (October 1, Atria) McGuire brilliantly captures the emotional trauma of a world in chaos and the everlasting bonds of love. Read this unusual but supremely fascinating novel with the lights on and curtains drawn and box of tissue nearbys. Red Hill is absolutely terrifying, yet it's also a heartfelt love story, one that adds a sense of hope to the bleakest of situations. —Michelle Shannon

Leaving Haven by Kathleen McCleary (October 1, William Morrow Paperbacks) After repeated miscarriages, Georgia is finally able to become pregnant. She's thrilled that her dreams are coming true. When a devastating secret destroys all her hopes, Georgia is forced rethink her choice to become a mother. An emotional novel of self-discovery and the weight of the choices we make in life. —Jenn Lawrence

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (October 15, Little, Brown, & Co.) Catton explores Hokitika, New Zealand, in the 1860s, where the resident's murky relationships clear as a dozen men attempt to solve a mystery involving a prostitute, a dead hermit, a disappearance, and a disputed fortune in gold. With a Dickensian feel, this novel is an investment of time that pays off in highlight-worthy passages. —Jennifer Conner

A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Fiction by Suzette Field (October 15, Harper Perennial) Field's breezy, trivia-filled collection dissects 40 of literature’s wildest parties.  From Gatsby's notorious bashes to the nightmarish prom in Carrie, each entry details the party from the guests to the menu.  The laser focus provides a unique way for readers to return to old favorites and discover new reads. —Audra Friend

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen (October 1, Gallery) A fictional account of the relationship between Edgar Allen Poe and fellow poet Frances Osgood, Mrs. Poe is a fascinating look into the life of one of America’s most influential literary stars.  Both disturbing and illuminating, Cullen’s riveting novel brings 19th-century New York literati to life. —Michele Jacobsen
The Mountain of Light by Indu Sundaresan (October 8, Washington Square Press) The Kohinoor diamond: It's been an object of obsession and love and has had the power to prop up certain rulers and bring down others. Sundaresan weaves a tale about the takeover of India by the British, telling the story through the prism of the infamous gemstone. Historical and cultural fiction fans should take note of this absorbing, detailed novel. —Swapna Krishna

The Other Room by Kim Triedman (October 8, Owl Canyon Press) Kim Triedman's The Other Room is a moving, often painful depiction of how a baby's death sends a couple spiraling away from each other. The author's at-times poetic descriptions of grief and lack of emotional connection between these aching characters are detailed, but do not slow down this sad but ultimately redemptive story.  â€” Gayle Weiswasser

Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hillburn (October 29, Little, Brown & Co.) Lyrical and intimate, Hillburn's detailed and unflinching narrative chronicles the breathtaking highs and lows of this celebrated music legend. Lifelong fans, and readers of biographies, will enjoy this well-crafted analysis of a man who was as talented as he was troubled.  â€”Nicole Bonía

How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman (October 15, St. Martin's Press) How to Be a Good Wife is a fascinating, superbly written study on perception. The is-she-or-isn’t-she elements of Marta’s visions lead readers down tricky paths that have no definitive answers, and the surprising ending will have readers questioning everything. The nuanced characters and scenes belie the fact that this is a debut novel. It's destined to generate well-deserved buzz. —Michelle Shannon

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh (Oct. 29, Touchstone) Based on a blog of the same name, this book is an illustrated memoir about dogs, cake, childhood, self-discipline, self-loathing, and depression. The collection is a little uneven, but when Brosch’s deliberately crude Paintbrush essays hit their darkly comic sweet spot, they’ll make you laugh so hard, you’ll cry.  â€”Kim Ukura

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly (October 1, William Morrow)  Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter) and his award-winning poet wife, Fennelly, join forces to produce a beautifully written historical thriller set in 1927, the year of one of the worst recorded floods of the Mississippi River. A moving tale of murder, mystery, and moonshine along a raging river.  —Jenn Lawrence

Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo (October 1, Skirt!) In her newest biography, Karbo focuses on Julia Child. More inspired by Child’s always positive outlook than on her cooking skills, Karbo shares the fascinating facts of the chef's life. This inspiring story is told with humor, mixed with details about Karbo’s own life and lessons from the cooking legend. This unique biography is perfect for foodies and nonfoodies alike. - Natasha Vasillis

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P. D. Viner (October 8, Crown) Dani was murdered 20 years ago, but she’s still at the center of three lives: that of her father, her mother, and the man who loves her. This complex literary mystery keeps readers guessing, as the narrative moves back and forward through time at an almost capricious pace, presenting a full, if devastating, picture of Dani’s death and its aftermath. —Swapna Krishna

Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson (October 8, St. Martin's Griffin) Ben charges into a prestigious event to accuse remarkable citizen Elliot Rosenzweig (a Holocaust survivor) of being a former Nazi. Is Elliot really a Nazi?  And if so, can anyone prove it? Once We Were Brothers is a moving tale about obtaining justice no matter how distant the crime. —Rebecca Scaglione

The Abominable by Dan Simmons (October 22, Little, Brown & Co.) Set in the mid-1920s amid the race to conquer Mt. Everest, a team of three climbers joins the competition to the top.  Their journey, funded by the mother of a climber lost on Everest, quickly becomes terrifying as they discover something is pursuing them.  A spine-chilling story of terror and suspense as only Simmons can do it. — Jenn Lawrence

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (October 1, Viking Adult) Victorian literature lovers rejoice! In a departure from memoir, Gilbert treats readers to an intimately told 19th-century story. Filled with incredible writing, strongly realized characters, and seamless research, this is a marvel of a book. A magnificent blend of science, religion, duty, and desire, this is possibly Gilbert's magnum opus. - Kelly Massry

Just One Year by Gayle Forman (October 10, Dutton Juvenile) A most dazzling and satisfying accompaniment, Just One Year bridges the gap between Allyson and Willem's life-changing day and the heart stopping conclusion of Just One Day, all from Willem's point of view. Romantic, emotional, and with flawless execution—everything one comes to expect from Forman. —Jamie Miller

One Hundred and Four Horses: A Memoir of Farm, Family, Africa and Exile by Mandy Retzlaff (October 8, William Morrow) Being born in Africa provided no immunity for Mandy and Pat Retzlaff during Zimbabwe's violent months of government-sanctioned land reclamation. Fighting weather, politics, the economy, and the flora, the couple suffered almost unbearable terror and loss to save their family and horses. A heartbreaking, yet inspiring story of perseverance and courage in the face of almost unbeatable odds. —Candace B. Levy

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (October 8, Disney Hyperion) Sequel to last year's inventive and romantic Time Between Us, Time After Time is told from time traveler Bennett's point of view as he attempts to navigate the ultimate long distance relationship across time. Contemplative and lovely. —Lenore Appelhans

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Book bloggers can submit any titles appearing in print for the first time in hard back or paperback at this page. Selections are due by the 20th of the month prior to the month of the newsletter they are submitting for (e.g., October titles must be submitted by September 20th).

Bloggers needing more information should contact Jennifer Karsbaek (

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Contact Jennifer Lawrence ( to receive Bloggers Recommend at your bookstore or library.

Bloggers Recommend 
Nicole Bonía, Executive Editor  Jennifer Karsbaek, Executive Editor  Candace B. Levy, Editor  Jennifer Lawrence, Community Outreach Director  Michelle Shannon, Media Director  Swapna Krishna, Communications Director  Gayle Weiswasser, Facebook Community Manager
Bloggers Recommend is available by subscription on the last weekday of each month.

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