Library staff share their October picks

Catherine Coles
Coles Notes

The staff of the County of L&A Libraries are avid readers and always eager to share their favourite books. Here we bring you a list of some of the reads we’ve enjoyed this month. We have a broad array of reading tastes, so you’ll find Halloween-appropriate reads for both adults and children, a couple thrillers and a work of literary fiction.

Shelby suggests The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Hunger is the perfect mixture of horror and history, with a supernatural twist. This novel is very loosely based on the Donner Party, and their perilous journey from Missouri to California in 1846. Many members of the wagon train died, and the rest are said to have turned to gut-churning measures in order to survive.

The Hunger describes the brutal realities of life on the trail for the Donner Party, from unfortunate weather and rough terrain to something much more deadly than even the bitter cold. The horrific attacks start out few and far between, when children in the wagon party start disappearing in the middle of the night. As the journey progresses, things only get worse for the wagon party.

Disappearances are more frequent, sickness spreads like wildfire, food is slowly running out, and minor disagreements turn into lethal arguments. As hunger rises, so does the death count. This book is a moderately-paced read with an ending you won’t see coming. Well-written characters and realistic setting add depth to a compelling plot.

Kelly suggests Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky

There is no shortage of people telling us how to live but not all recommendations are appropriate for us. Our character navigates friendships and growth, self-discovery, and social media in this charming, funny, debut novel. Despite having “connections” and “friends” online, the value of true and in-person friendships are key here.

The authenticity and depth of these friendships is explored. The improvement in our character’s life comes at a cost as she questions her experiences and finds her own way. I was reminded of Miriam Toews’ All my Puny Sorrows as the characters here have their own jealousies and desires while not fully appreciating their own strengths.

Jennifer suggests If I Die Tonight by Alison Gayle

One of the great things about facilitating the Amherstview Branch book club is that I get to try genres I would not otherwise imagine myself reading!

While I have generally shied away from thrillers, our monthly focus on suspenseful reads got me to dip my toes into darker waters! To my delight, I discovered that there is an incredible array of options within the genre.

Since I have yet to set my compass for what appeals to me I chose a new release called If I Die Tonight by Alison Gayle. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and well-developed characters. The intricate plot kept me guessing as to who did what and compelled me to finish the book.

If you have not yet ventured into thriller territory, you will likely enjoy the detective’s prowess coupled with the detailed insights into the family’s characters, not to mention its commentary on contemporary social issues like digital dangers for teens, as exemplary of the versatility this genre offers.

Marg suggests The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

The Other Woman is a compulsively addictive, disturbing domestic thriller that reeled me in from the very beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Emily is over the moon happy with her new boyfriend Adam. Emily and Adam have a seemingly idyllic life together.

There is only one obstacle to their everlasting happiness: his mother! Pammie is the epitome of a controlling, manipulative mother-in-law-to-be who is desperate to keep Emily and Adam apart. She will do anything (including faking being seriously ill and inviting Adam’s ex to Emily’s bachelorette party) to keep the relationship from going to the next level. As the story progresses we discover the shocking truth of why this is the case!

Kristin suggests Go to Sleep, Little Creep by David Quinn

The moon is disappearing and the sun is rising which means for little creeps everywhere it’s time to go to bed but the baby monsters in this story want just one more treat, one more story and one more cuddle! Go to Sleep, Little Creep by David Quinn is ridiculously cute and delightfully charming making it a perfect bedtime story for the little one in your life!

The author spins an imaginative tale by using clever rhymes that will amuse young readers with some silly humor and enchanting surprises.

Halloween is fast approaching so I suggest you grab this one on your next trip into the library because it makes a wonderful bedtime story for all children who are anxiously awaiting the spookiest night of the year.

You can reserve these titles from your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Libraries or online at

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