This is my monthly roundup of books that I added to my shelves in the last month. Some of the books came directly from authors or publishers, others were a purchase or a gift. You’ll find books from all kinds of genres including adult and children’s books. I’ll even share a few things from our family’s life in the last month as well.

Family and Life Update

You may have noticed a new look at the top of this post. I finally had new headshots taken (thanks to my photographer cousin, Melanie) after several years. I’m really thrilled with the photos and hope to be using them more in my online spaces.

Both my husband and I had birthdays this month and we celebrated mine with a fun Iowa road trip day. I learned about this Ice Cave through my Atlas Obscura calendar, so we checked it out. It is actually quite a cool (literally) place. You can learn more about it, HERE.

We also hiked through Effigy Mound National Monument. It was the perfect fall day and I was in awe of the peacefulness and beauty of Iowa.

I also took a trip to visit family in Northern Minnesota. We took this fun pick while we were checking the deer stands.

My mom was able to finally give Patrick and Bekah their wedding quilt. It is so special they will also have this beautiful gift handmade by her.

Finally, we celebrated my sister-in-law’s new book, RIGHT NOW MATTERS. I’ve shared quite a bit about it on social media and here on the book on release day, HERE. I’m so proud of Julie and how she persevered to get this important message out to women.

Phew! October was a FULL month and held so many great dinners out with friends and family, birthday celebrations, and beautiful fall days.

Now on to the books! 

In October, I read 7 books! Two books were on audio, four of the books were eBooks, and I also read one physical book. I’ve been watching the newest season of The Great British Baking Show as well as Lessons in Chemistry. Even though there are some differences between the show versus the book, I’m still really enjoying it.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, HERE to see snippets of what I’m reading or what’s going on in my daily life.

If you have missed any of my recent book reviews, you can see all of them by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.

If you choose to make a purchase through any of the links I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction

New Adult Books October 2023


By: Jane Smiley

Published: April 23, 2024

Publisher: Knopf


Format: eBook for Review

I’ve loved Jane Smiley’s books including A THOUSAND ACRES and SOME LUCK as well as her children’s book, TWENTY YAWNS. I was thrilled to see she had a new book coming this Spring.

Before Jodie Rattler became a star, she was a girl growing up in St. Louis. One day in 1955, when she was just six years old, her uncle Drew took her to the racetrack, where she got lucky—and that roll of two-dollar bills she won has never since left her side. Jodie thrived in the warmth of her extended family, and then—through a combination of hard work and serendipity—she started a singing career, which catapulted her from St. Louis to New York City, from the English countryside to the tropical beaches of St. Thomas, from Cleveland to Los Angeles, and back again. Jodie comes of age in recording studios, backstage, and on tour, and she tries to hold her own in the wake of Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell. Yet it feels like something is missing. Could it be true love? Or is that not actually what Jodie is looking for?

Full of atmosphere, shot through with longing and exuberance, romance and rock ‘n’ roll, Lucky is a story of chance and grit and the glitter of real talent, a colorful portrait of one woman’s journey in search of herself.


By: Karen Kingsbury

Published: November 14, 2023

Publisher: Atria

Christian Historical Fiction

Format: eBook for Review

I know Karen Kingsbury is a beloved author and I thought this WWII story sounded like something I would enjoy reading.

In 1941, beautiful Irvel Ellis is too focused on her secret to take much notice of the war raging overseas. She’s dating Sam but in love with his brother, Hank, and Irvel has no idea how to break the news when the unthinkable happens—Pearl Harbor is attacked. With their lives turned upside down overnight, Sam is drafted, and Hank wants to enlist. But Sam insists Hank stay home, where he and Irvel take up the battle on the home front.

While Sam fights in Europe, an undeniable chemistry builds between Irvel and Hank but neither would dare cross that line. Then a telegram comes, and the news is devastating. Hank enlists the next day and has just two weeks until he ships out. Will either brother make it home alive? Or will Irvel lose everything?

And can love find a way, even from the ashes of the greatest heartbreak?


By: Christy Lefteri

Published: January 2, 2024

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: eBook for Review

This book has been praised by Kristin Hannah. It gave me vibes of what happened in Maui and I think it will be a gripping story.

An epic, stunning novel about one family’s search for the true meaning of home in the wake of disaster, from the prize-winning author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

In present-day Greece, deep in an ancient forest, lives a Irini, a musician, who teaches children to read and play music; her husband, Tasso, who paints the forest, his greatest muse; and Chara, their young daughter, whose name means joy. On the fateful day that will forever alter the trajectory of their lives, flames chase fleeing birds across the sky. The wildfire that will consume their home, and their lives as they know it, races toward them.  

In the smoldering aftermath, Irini stumbles upon the body of the man who started the fire, a land speculator who had intended only a small, controlled burn to clear forestland to build on and instead ignited a catastrophe. He is dead, although the cause is unclear, and in her anger at all he took from them, Irini makes a split-second decision that will haunt her. 

As the local police investigate the mysterious death, Tasso mourns his father, who has not been seen since before the fire. His hands were burnt in the flames, leaving him unable to paint, and he struggles to cope with the overwhelming loss of his artistic voice and his beloved forest. Only his young daughter, who wants to repair the damage that’s been done, gives him hope for the future. 

Gorgeously written, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Book of Fire is a masterful work about the search for meaning in the wake of tragedy, as well as the universal ties that bind people to each other, and to the land that they call home.


By: Jilly Gagnon

Published: April 30, 2024

Publisher: Dell


Format: eBook for Review

I don’t read a lot of romance, but sometimes it is just the palate cleanser I need…especially during the winter months.

A playful romantic comedy featuring dueling delis, fake dating, a shockingly awesome ex, and just the right amount of amnesia.

Ellie Greco wishes she weren’t stuck in Milborough. For a few brief, shining years, she escaped her hometown to pursue her dream career—designing beautiful, elaborate costumes for theater—until her father’s death five years ago called her home to run the family’s decades-old deli. Yes, she loves the place, but she’d always thought she was meant for more exciting things than stocking the right tinned fish. But when Ellie hears that a local landlord is planning to rent to Mangia, the glitzy gourmet food department store, Greco’s Deli’s very existence is suddenly in jeopardy.

She tries to plead her case to Theo Taylor, scion of the property management firm about to put her out of business, but their meeting goes from bad (it’s not her fault he’s infuriating) to worse (no one expects the ceiling to literally fall in).

With Theo out cold, Ellie panics and claims to be his fiancée… and almost passes out herself when amnesia means Theo seems to actually believe her. Soon, the effects of the head injury wear off, but Theo proposes that their “engagement” stick around. If they manage to convince enough people they might both get what they an end to the Mangia deal. Ellie doesn’t trust him (after all, if Theo Taylor wants it, how can it be good for her?) but seeing no other option, reluctantly agrees.

And miraculously, the fake engagement seems to be working—even Ted, Theo’s shrewd, cold father seems convinced—that is until Sam, Theo’s ex-fiance, reappears on the scene. Not only does she see through their ruse, she proposes an arrangement of her own, forcing Ellie to decide between blossoming friendship, her family legacy, and the burgeoning romance she frankly never asked for.


By: Hisashi Kashiwai

Published: February 13, 2024

Publisher: GP Putnam’s Sons

Fiction – Japanese Translation

Format: eBook for Review

This best-selling book in Japan is now being published here, the first in a new series. I can’t link to it yet but should be available to pre-order soon. I typically love Japanese novels so I’m excited to check this one out.

What’s the one dish you’d do anything to taste just one more time?

Down a quiet backstreet in Kyoto exists a very special restaurant. Run by Koishi Kamogawa and her father Nagare, the Kamogawa Diner serves up deliciously extravagant meals. But that’s not the main reason customers stop by . . .

The father-daughter duo are ‘food detectives’. Through ingenious investigations, they are able to recreate dishes from a person’s treasured memories – dishes that may well hold the keys to their forgotten past and future happiness. The Restaurant of Lost Recipes provides a link to vanished moments, creating a present full of possibility.

A bestseller in Japan, The Kamogawa Food Detectives is a celebration of good company and the power of a delicious meal.


By: Noelle Salazar

Published: October 3, 2023

Publisher: MIRA

Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

This was my Aardvark Book Club choice. I haven’t been thrilled with their book club choices, so I have dropped this book subscription. But, this one sounds like something I would like.

The discovery of a hidden label on a famous gown unearths the story of a talented young seamstress in this glittering novel of family, love, ambition, and self discovery by the USA Today bestselling author of The Flight Girls.

2023, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American A costume conservator is preparing an exhibition featuring movie costumes from the 1920s to present day. As she gingerly places a gown once worn by Greta Garbo on a mannequin, she discovers another name hidden beneath the designer’s label, leaving her to wonder—who is Zora Lily?

1924, Poverty-stricken Zora Hough spends her days looking after her younger siblings while sewing up holes and fixing hems for clients to bring in extra money, working her fingers to the bone just to survive. But at night, as she lies in the bed she shares with one of her three sisters, she secretly dreams of becoming a designer like Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin.

When her best friend gets a job dancing in a club downtown, Zora is lured in by her stories of music, glittering dresses and boys. She follows her friend to the underground speakeasies that are at once exciting and frightening—with smoke hanging in the air, alcohol flowing despite Prohibition, couples dancing in a way that makes Zora blush and a handsome businessman named Harley. It’s a world she has only ever imagined, and one with connections that could lead her to the life she’s always dreamed of. But as Zora’s ambition is challenged by tragedy and duty to her family, she’ll learn that dreams come with a cost.


By: Richard Osman

Published: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books


Format: Paperback

This was a birthday gift from my husband. I chose it for our book club read for November! it’s the 1st in a 4 book series so if I love it, there is more to look forward to.

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?


A Novel

By: Ann Patchett

Published: August 1, 2023

Publisher: Harper


Format: Hardcover

After reading OUR TOWN, I wanted to read this one and was thrilled to receive it as a gift from my BFF, Tammy. Since she lives in Nashville, she treated me to an autographed version. I also noticed that Patchett dedicates the book to Kate DiCamillo, whose anniversary edition of her popular book is on my children’s list below.

In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake.

As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.

Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.


By: Tracey Lange

Published: August 3, 2021

Publisher: Celedon Books


Format: Hardcover

I chose this as my free birthday choice from Book of the Month because I’ve heard good things and like a family drama. Plus, I also have Lange’s newest book THE CONNELLYS OF COUNTY DOWN on my shelf too.

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all―and her high school sweetheart―five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets―secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes―and ultimately find a way forward, together.


A Novel

By: Jean Kwok

Published: October 10, 2023

Publisher: William Morrow


Format: Hardcover

This was my Book of the Month choice. It’s a family drama and mystery set in NYC so I’m sure I’ll love it.

Jasmine Yang arrives in New York City from her rural Chinese village without money or family support, fleeing a controlling husband, on a desperate search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth–another female casualty of China’s controversial One Child Policy. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she’s forced to make increasingly desperate decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her daughter.

Meanwhile, publishing executive Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a prestigious family name and the wealth that comes with it, a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband, and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. She’s even hired a Chinese nanny to help her balance the demands of being a working wife and mother. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardize not only Rebecca’s job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble and her role in her own family is called into question.

The Leftover Woman finds these two unforgettable women on a shocking collision course. Twisting and suspenseful and surprisingly poignant, it’s a profound exploration of identity and belonging, motherhood and family. It is a story of two women in a divided city–separated by severe economic and cultural differences yet bound by a deep emotional connection to a child.


Young, Unhoused, and Alone in America

By: Vicki Sokolik

Published: February 13, 2024

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau


Format: eBook for Review

Back in the 90s, I worked with the homeless population, mostly women and children. Now, living in rural Iowa and working at a school, I see so many kids struggling with food insecurity and even kids who are homeless, sleeping on friend’s couches. You would never know it looking at these kids, but this book shines a light on this invisible population that are in every town/school district.

A moving exploration of the crisis of homeless youth—told through the inspiring stories of a woman on the frontlines and the kids themselves.
They hide in plain sight. They survive on free school breakfasts and lunches, join school sports teams in order to shower, sleep on friends’ couches, in parks, or on the streets. Their official designation is “unaccompanied homeless youth”—they are not “runaways” breaking free from strict parenting; these are kids seeking safety.  They have escaped abusive parents, have been abandoned, or have never had a home to begin with. When Vicki Sokolik’s son brought home a classmate who was living on her own and was dropping out of school to support herself, Vicki stepped in to help. As she learned more about the invisible population of young people navigating life alone, she discovered the countless ways they are overlooked and impeded by the system. She founded a nonprofit and worked to change legislation in her home state of Florida to give these kids agency over their lives.  If You See Them wakes us up to the issue of youth homelessness in America, through Sokolik’s own story of advocacy and through the voices of the kids themselves. Her grassroots action demonstrates the world-shifting power of compassion, acceptance, belonging, and self-determination, and the capacity each of us has to change our communities for the better.


By: Amy Tan

Published: April 23, 2024

Publisher: Knopf


Format: eBook for Review

I love birds. I have a feeling I’m going to want the physical copy of this one.

A gorgeous, witty account of birding, nature, and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight, written and illustrated by the best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club . • With a Foreword by David Allen Sibley

Tracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches. With boundless charm and wit, author Amy Tan charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world.

In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the Hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, and the country felt more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater—an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired.


Empowering Right-Now Women in a Culture of Distraction

By: Julie Lefebure

Published: October 17, 2023

Publisher: Julie Lefebure

Christian Non-Fiction

Format: Paperback

I read this when it was an early Google doc for my sister-in-law. But, now I have the real version in my hands. I’m looking forward to reading the finished copy! Check out my review, HERE.

If you’ve ever felt like life is passing you by as you juggle endless to-do lists, relentless notifications, and unexpected interruptions, you’re not alone. In a world plagued by distracted living, we often miss the extraordinary moments unfolding right before our eyes. Right Now Empowering Right-Now Women in a Culture of Distraction is for women who are living distracted, overloaded lives, and are missing the priceless daily moments happening right in front of them. Drawing from a Harvard study revealing that nearly half of our waking hours are spent lost in thought, Right Now Matters sheds light on the insidious grip of distracted living. In an era where constant demands and digital detours pull us away, this transformative book offers a beacon of hope for women seeking a more meaningful, fulfilling life. Right Now Matters addresses this discouraging, sometimes unrealized manner of living. Through hope, understanding, and timeless biblical truths, it offers a path toward reclaiming every precious moment. It’s time to embrace a life free from distraction and immerse yourself in God’s gift of the present moment. Experience the liberating power of Right Now Matters, and watch as your life transforms into one of abundance and peace.


Happy-Making Things in a Difficult World

By: Todd Doughty

Illustrated by: Josie Portillo

Published: October 12, 2021

Publisher: Penguin Life


Format: Paperback

I received this fun book from my BFF, Tammy for my birthday. She knows the way to my bookish heart. This looks like a fun, happy read.

On March 11, 2020, the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and all of our lives began to change in unprecedented ways, Todd Doughty knew he needed to do something to help him stay connected to the everyday joys of daily life. So he wrote down a list of things that make him happy: The musical intro to “All Things Considered.” Someone forgiving you. Someone believing in you. Your foot sticking out from under a blanket in order to find the cool spot. Freshly cut yellow tulips. A really good burger.

Many, many lists later, Little Pieces of Hope pulls together the best of Doughty’s lists along with never-before-seen entries, essays, musings, prompts, quotes, and playlists that offer solace, connection, and a daily touchstone of joy in a difficult world.

A beautiful keepsafe full of glorious illustrations, Little Pieces of Hope is brimming with the pleasures of life, inspiring readers to look for and celebrate the good things that surround us.


Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots

By: Reba McEntire

Published: October 10, 2021

Publisher: Harper Celebrate


Format: Audiobook for Review and Hardcover

I’ve already shared my thoughts on this one HERE, but spoiler alert, I LOVED IT! I listened to an early audio version and immediately pre-ordered my own hardcover copy.

The best things in life are really not that fancy. This photo-driven book featuring all-things-Reba invites you to get back to the basics of fun, food, friends, and family. In her first book in over two decades, actress and country music legend Reba McEntire takes you behind the scenes and shares the stories, recipes, and Oklahoma-style truths that guide her life.

“To me, there’s nothing better than sitting on the back porch looking out at the land that goes on for miles. A beautiful sunset and then me, just sipping on a glass of iced tea (or whiskey and Sprite) with my friends and family. I don’t know what heaven’s going to look like, but I hope it feels like Oklahoma. Throw in some beans and cornbread, and I’m all set. “Okies know that the secret to a good life is to keep things simple and be thankful for what the good Lord’s given you. That’s what I want to get back to. Simple fun, hard work, good food, and laughing with those you love. Everything I’m doing in my life from here on out—personal or professional, doesn’t matter—I’m going to have fun. “That’s what I’m sharing in this book—some simple, not-that-fancy truths I live by and a bunch of good stories, photos, and recipes that go along with them. So if you’re looking to slow down, get back to basics, and have a heckuva lot of fun, I think we’re going to have a good time together in these pages. Come on in, kick off your boots (or leave them on, I don’t care), and learn how to bring a little bit of my downhome-inspired life into your own.”

Not That Fancy is the perfect deluxe gift for Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and special occasions. This keepsake book is ideal for Reba fans, country music lovers, or anyone who enjoys an easygoing Western lifestyle.

Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction

New Children's Books October 2023


By: Orit Bergman

Translated by: Annette Appel

Published: December 1, 2023

Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Books

A fun, imaginative bedtime story!

Simon didn’t say go to sleep…did he? After he’s tucked into bed, Simon and his favorite toys get ready to play…Simon Says! The nighttime comes alive, and imaginations run free as Simon issues his commands to his little friends. There’s just one you’d better make sure he said “Simon says,” or else it’s your turn to go to sleep! One by one, Simon’s toys get all cozy for sleep…until it’s Simon’s turn! Join Simon and his toy friends in this charming and playful bedtime romp.


A Hiccupotamus and Friends Book

By: Aaron Zenz

Published: November 14, 2023

Publisher: Two Lions


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books, “STAND BACK,” SAID THE ELEPHANT, “I’M GOING TO SNEEZE!”

A chimp’s big sneeze wreaks hilarious havoc in this delightful companion book to the Amazon bestseller The Hiccupotamus . A chimpanzee and a kinkajou took a walk one day through the wild. The kinkajou spotted buttercups, so he plucked them up and smiled. But when the chimp takes a big sniff of those buttercups… Ahhh-CHOO! The giant ChimpanSNEEZE sends the kinkajou flying, causing a chain of disasters for all their animal buddies. Can the kinkajou find his way back to his chimpanzee friend? Author-illustrator Aaron Zenz has done it again with this zany, rhyming read-aloud that’s perfect for family story time. Revised This edition of The Chimpansneeze includes editorial revisions.


The Infinity Rainbow Club #1

By: Jen Malia

Illustrated by: Peter Francis

Published: September 26, 2023

Publisher: Beaming Books

Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Hardcover Chapter Book

This new series features neurodivergent children and fills a void in the middle-grade book world.

When the Infinity Rainbow Club at school competes in a brick builder challenge, Nick can’t wait to participate! Until he learns he must have a partner–the new girl. Nick wants to work alone. But to win, he’ll have to figure out how to be part of a team. A story about the universal struggle of learning to work together on a team, told from the perspective of an autistic child. The Infinity Rainbow Club is a chapter book series featuring five neurodivergent children in a club at their elementary school. The club provides a safe space for stims and different communication styles to be accepted and celebrated.


The Infinity Rainbow Club #2

By: Jen Malia

Illustrated by: Peter Francis

Published: October 24, 2023

Publisher: Beaming Books

Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Hardcover Chapter Book

The Infinity Rainbow Club is volunteering at the local natural history museum where Violet’s parents work. Violet loves setting up the new augmented reality exhibit, but she worries that something will go wrong. Her OCD has her repeatedly checking for errors. Can Violet find a way to trust her work and enjoy the exhibit? The Infinity Rainbow Club is a chapter book series featuring five neurodivergent children in a club at their elementary school. The club provides a safe space for stims and different communication styles to be accepted and celebrated.


Emily Windsnap #1

By: Liz Kessler

Published: September 12, 2023, originally published April 10, 2012

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Middle-Grade Fantasy Fiction

Format: Hardcover Chapter Book

This is the new Deluxe Anniversary Edition of this popular 9-book series.

For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep her away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery – about her own identity, the mysterious father she’s never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water’s surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, first-time author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident – an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.


By: Kate DiCamillo

Illustrated by: Timothy Basil Ering

Published: September 19, 2023, originally published August 25, 2003

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Hardcover Chapter Book

This is a new Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition and a signed copy of the much-loved childhood novel.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.


How One Girl Started Tate’s Bake Shop®

By: Kathleen King and Lowey Bundy Sichol

Illustrated by: Ramona Kaulitzki

Published: July 18, 2023

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I love biography stories for kids and King’s story of starting her bakery is an inspiration for kids!

Perfect for dessert lovers and budding bakers, this is the true story of a girl who followed her dream to make the perfect chocolate-chip cookie–and, one day, founded world-renowned TATE’S BAKE SHOP®. Original cookie recipe included!

Eleven-year-old Kathleen King was positively obsessed with baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie. She experimented over and over and over with different recipes–less flour, more butter, longer baking time–until she got it just right.

Customers flocked to her family’s farm stand on Long Island for Kathleen’s enormous, buttery chocolate chip cookies. And when she grew up, Kathleen started a cookie company called TATE’S BAKE SHOP®. TATE’S grew into a multi-million-dollar empire and, today, they are a household name and their cookies are sold all over the country!

Cookie Queen is the delicious true story of how a little girl’s dream turned into an enormous cookie empire.


An Illustrated Q&A Book for Kids

By: Romain Gallissot and Baptiste Massa

Illustrated by: Pascal Lemaître

Published: October 17, 2023

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I’ve shared previous books in the WHAT ABOUT series and the books are full of such great information written just for kids.

A kid-friendly introduction to the digital Who invented the Internet? What is virtual reality? How does 3-D printing work? Curious kids want to know, and they will get the answers to these questions and many more in this illustrated Q&A book. Questions about digital tech are answered in a fun, kid-friendly way and accompanied by quirky cartoon illustrations that will entertain readers and help them remember important facts.


By: Pascale Hédelin

Illustrated by: Didier Balicevic, Maëlle Cheval, Yating Hung, and Yi-Hsuan Wu

Published: October 17, 2023

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I’ve also loved this DO YOU KNOW series, written for younger elementary readers.

What type of animals live in the cold regions? How do they survive in extreme temperatures? The Do You Know?™ series provides in-depth looks at a wide range of popular subjects. Appealing to children who want to know everything, each thought-provoking book features
• 96 pages of engaging and educational answers to many popular questions
• Hundreds of labeled full-color illustrations
• Educational content reviewed by experts

New Books October 2023

Which one (or two or three) of these books that came my way in September 2023 will you be adding to your list?

Click HERE to see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves.

So many books, so little time!

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