Whatcha Reading? Team OwlCrate Reads For October 2023

By: Cheryl Long

Hey readers! Spooky reading season has wrapped (unless you read spooky all year, you do you!) and the holiday season is quickly approaching. I (Cheryl here 👋) am a major seasonal reader and am excitedly preparing all my holiday romances to tackle this year, but let’s take a look back and highlight some of Team OwlCrate’s favorite reads for October 2023!

Crystal's Reads For October 2023

Laughter on the 23rd Floor by Neil Simon

I always seem to read things connected to something else. Last year, I read Mel Books’ autobiography where he spoke about being friends with and working with Sid Caesar. Laughter on the 23rd Floor is inspired by Neil Simon’s time working as a junior writer on Caesar's Hour and Your Show of Shows. So, of course, I wanted to read it. This was my first introduction to Simon’s plays and it delivered. It was laugh-out-laugh funny. Set in the ’50s, it’s a peek behind the curtain of show business, focusing on the camaraderie and antics of the writing team of a comedy variety show. The banter is excellent. And like all good things of its time, there is a peppering of social commentary. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be reading more of Simon’s plays.

Book Laughter on the 23rd Floor by Neil Simon

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson

A re-read, but I was in need of a warm hug book. A Shakespeare retelling with all the fall vibes, good banter, and a dash of Halloween was just what I needed for the spirit of the season. The Only Things Worse Than Me is You is a YA retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. Trixie and Ben are high-achieving high schoolers with a shared social circle. Tricked into thinking the other has a crush on them, their snippiness is soon replaced by genuine feelings. With all the easter eggs and subplots, this has long been one of my favorite YA reads as Much Ado is my favorite Shakespeare play. It is an excellent retelling with all the warm feels of a YA romance.

Book The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson

Cori's Reads For October 2023

Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

This book has been on my TBR for ages (because that cover though!) and I finally picked it up in October and WOW, did it pack a punch. In Promise Boys we follow J.B., Ramón, and Trey as they find themselves the core suspects for the murder of the principal of their very strict, discipline based school. Each boy is steadfast in his innocence, but who is telling the truth, and who has secrets? I listened to the audiobook which has a full cast and excellent sound design. Highly recommend it!

Book Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Care Of by Ivan Coyote

During the early days of the pandemic author and speaker Ivan Coyote found themselves with more time on their hands, and decided it was high time they replied to messages/letters/emails/waterlogged notes tucked under their windshield wipers that had been accumulating. In this book featuring 20 letters and responses you really get to see the heart of Ivan Coyote and their readers. This book is one I will cherish and is definitely going to be one of my top books of 2023.

Book Care Of by Ivan Coyote

Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu

It’s spooky season so I thought it was high time to read Carmilla, arguably one of the first depictions of vampires in western fiction (it predates Dracula by 26 years!). This short, creepy tale of a friendship turned nightmare is a perfect fall read.

Book Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu

Christianne's Reads For October 2023

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I finally read this after hearing so many good things about it. I was avoiding it a bit at first because usually popular books fall flat for me, but this one did not. The amount of annotations I have for this novel is a little ridiculous, it was so quotable and so relatable. I also loved following the story of two Latino main characters. This was the second book I've ever met that made me cry; I was that invested!

Book They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber

The world of Caraval and the Magnificent North are both favorites for me so I read this in record time. I was so excited (and scared) to see how the story would end. Let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed. It was a true rollercoaster of a story. My emotions were EVERYWHERE but I genuinely enjoyed the ride. If you believe in second chances and taking control of your own life but haven't given this series a chance, this is your sign to take the plunge!

Book A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber

Cheryl's Reads For October 2023

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

For whatever reason I just wasn’t feeling the Halloween/Spooky season vibes this year, but still wanted something “witchy”, enter this delightfully oddball, Pride & Prejudice retelling that gives everyone's least favorite Bennet sister a redemptive arc. Turns out we’ve misunderstood her along - she is a powerful witch, Kitty is actually her cat companion familiar she spelled into being, there’s an evil society of Witches stealing magic and Darcy’s sister has been hexed … trust me it all works! Told in journal-style entries, this is such an entertaining read.

Book The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

The Arsonists’ City by Hala Alyan

I’m a sucker for family dramas and after hearing members of my online book club rave about this story, I finally took it off my TBR shelf and dug in. A few days later the war and horrors in the Middle East broke and this book provided some enlightenment to the history of the violence and conflict of the region. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father who escaped the violence in Beirut in the 1970s start a life in America, The Arsonists’ City follows their three adult children who are sprawled across the world - Texas, Brooklyn, and Beirut - but also flashes back in time to the parents’ days of youth. It is a powerful family story, a look into the legacy of war and the impacts, tragedies, burdens and responsibilities of keeping secrets

Book The Arsonists’ City by Hala Alyan

Maggie's Reads For October 2023

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

I have a lot of friends who read and loved this book so I thought I should give it a try, and it was my favorite read in October! Boulley’s writing style crafts beautifully rich scenes and wonderfully complex characters. It deals with some difficult and challenging topics, but I absolutely recommend picking this up!

Book Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons

Horror is probably my favorite genre, and I was so excited to pick this up in October! It’s a YA horror about a group of friends in their senior year of high school who have to go back to the place where one of their group disappeared four years previously while playing a game. I had the joy of interviewing Kristen about this book, and it was a lot of fun to hear about her inspiration for the book and the process of writing it!

Book Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

I decided to finally pick this one up with the film adaptation coming out soon, since I always have to read the book before watching the movie. I spent probably 95% of the book completely confused as to what was going on, but it has really interesting commentary on race, class, and what it means to be a parent. I’ve thought about this book a lot since I finished it, and I can’t wait to see how it is done in a movie!

Book Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

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