Book of the Month October 2019 Selections: What Book Should You Choose?

Book of the Month October 2019
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Welcome to my monthly feature “Book of the Month July 2019 Selections: What Book Should You Choose?”! Every month, I provide commentary on the books that are chosen as that month’s Book of the Month selections that will hopefully help you choose your pick, and tell you which book(s) I’m going to choose. AND, I provide you with the most up to date version of my Ultimate Guide to the Book of the Month Judges with free, downloadable template (below).

I’ve already read one of this month’s picks and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Plus, a bit of a surprise with this month’s judges! 

Choose the best Book of the Month selection for you every time!

I’ve just updated my Ultimate Guide to the Book of the Month Judges to reflect the February 2018 structural changes that significantly changed the judges that appeared regularly. Here’s a free, downloadable template to help you find your go-to BOTM judge!

Book of the Month October 2019 Selections

Fate of the FallenFate of the Fallen by Kel Kade
Fiction – Fantasy (Release Date: November 5, 2019)
352 Pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.02 on 55 ratings
Selected By: Liberty Hardy (co-host of Book Riot‘s All the Books podcast)

Not all stories have happy endings.

Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive. 

My Thoughts:
The author of The King’s Dark Tidings series kicks off a new series: The Shroud of Prophecy. Fate of the Fallen is said to be genre-bending and adventurous. Goodreads reviewers said it turns the classic fantasy trope of the Chosen One trying to fulfill a prophecy by saving the world from evil on its head, it questions the nature of prophecies (I don’t actually know what this means, but I’m guessing fantasy readers do?!), it’s a fun read, and has some funny moments. Some reviewers thought the plot meandered without a clear destination beyond the vague “saving the world” and they recommended you go in blind. There were a number of 5 star reviews mixed in with some 1 star reviews.

Nothing to See HereNothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Fiction – Brain Candy (Release Date: October 29, 2019)

272 Pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.27 on 194 ratings
Selected By: ME!

A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities.

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But, […] they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. 

My Thoughts:
The premise of Wilson’s fourth novel (others are The Family Fang, Perfect Little World, and Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine) is outrageous, but somehow feels like a normal part of these kids’ lives as you’re reading. And, Lillian’s snarky commentary balances out the overall sweet, heart-warming nature of the story. For more details about “Why I Liked It”, check out my essay for Book of the Month!  In addition to me, Liberty Hardy, Tyler Goodson and Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy (she shared it on a Patrons-Only episode of One Great Book) both liked it.

Fountains of SilenceThe Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Young Adult Historical Fiction (Release Date: October 1, 2019)
512 Pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.49 on 442 ratings
Selected By: Danielle McNalley (Features Editor of

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

My Thoughts:
The author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray is back with a YA historical novel. Though this book is being categorized as YA, it’s said to have crossover appeal. Goodreads reviewers said it’s a character-driven story, she exposes a dark part of history, she captures the fear under Franco well, and it has some romance. The main criticisms were a slow pace, lots of points-of-view (POVs) to keep track of (she’s apparently known for doing this in all of her novels), and a few people didn’t like the open ending. 

Water DancerThe Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Fiction –  Literary (Release Date: September 24, 2019)
432 Pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.16 on 390 ratings
Selected By: Casey Gerald (Author of There Will Be No Miracles Here)

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

My Thoughts:
The Water Dancer is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ (author of National Book Award winner, Between the World and Me) debut novel. According to the publisher, it’s an adventurous, speculative take on slavery and is family saga and a love story mixed with some magical realism. To me, it sounds similar to The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. No one I know personally has read this one yet, but many are planning to. Goodreads reviewers talked about the gorgeous writing (almost every review I read mentioned this!) and said it was imaginative, a vivid portrayal of brutality towards slaves, and is a book that’s meant to be savored, not flown through. They said you have to suspend belief for some of the magical realism and the magical realism element overall got mixed reviews. They also said there is some hope to balance out the heavy topic. P.S. – The Water Dancer was just announced as the latest Oprah Book Club pick!

What Happens in Paradise What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
Fiction – Brain Candy (Release Date: October 8, 2019)
336 Pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.32 on 124 ratings
Selected By: Siobhan Jones (Book of the Month Editorial Director)

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a plane crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -and death – of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

My Thoughts:
What Happens in Paradise is the sequel to Winter in Paradise (and the second book of this trilogy). Goodreads reviewers said it picks up right where book #1 left off without much of a recap, so readers should definitely read book #1 first. They said get new perspective from Rosie and that you’ll fly through it. And, a number of reviews talked about the cliffhanger ending. A few thought this book wasn’t quite as good as book #1 and that it felt a little like filler, 

What Book of the Month October 2019 selection(s) will I choose?

I’m obviously picking Nothing to See Here…I need a copy for my shelves!

Make your Book of the Month selections by Sunday, October 6th.

What book will you choose this month?

This Month’s Special Deals

NEW MEMBER DEAL: New members can get a free book when they join. Use code CHASE.

ANNUAL PAYMENT DEAL: BOTM is now a monthly subscription service. However, given that some members preferred paying upfront, they are now offering a 12-month option. Members who sign up for 12 months will pay $149.99/year. That’s $12.50/book, instead of the standard price of $14.99/month.

How to Join Book of the Month…

Book of the Month is a subscription service for people who like to try new books from a curated selection and like to read in hardcover format. Through Book of the Month, you can get a hardcover book for generally significantly less than you’d pay in a bookstore or through Amazon. And, you get to try something new that has been vetted by one of Book of the Month’s well-read judges!

Sign up for any of the subscription plans below and you get to choose one of five books selected by Book of the Month’s panel of judges (including a surprise guest judge). Book of the Month will then mail your chosen book to your house with a cute note. You also have the option to purchase additional books for $9.99 each and to skip a month if you want.

Sign up for a Book of the Month membership (NEW pricing below)!

New members will sign up for a membership that renews monthly:

A book of your choice for $14.99 / month
Add extra books to your shipment for $9.99 each
Skip any month you want
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Book of the Month October 2019



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  1. Carol wrote:

    I’m picking Nothing to see here and The Water Dancer.

    Posted 9.30.19 Reply
  2. I’m looking forward to Nothing to See Here but would choose The Fountains of Silence because I love Sepetys.

    Posted 9.30.19 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I’m disappointed to see Hilderbrand again so soon. I believe this is 3 of her books offered in a little over a year. At least 2-3 options each month lately seem to be by established authors or are books already getting significant attention. How exciting that you’ve had an opportunity to choose a book this month – congrats! Your pick does appear to be the most unique of the 5.

    Posted 9.30.19 Reply
  4. Margo wrote:

    I was hoping Nothing to See Here would be an October choice. It sounds kind of bizarre but interesting!

    Posted 9.30.19 Reply
  5. Valerie S. wrote:

    CONGRATULATIONS on being a BOTM judge for October! Hopefully you’ll tell us all about the experience in a future podcast episode.

    I’ve read The Fountains of Silence and thought it was powerful, and I’m not usually a fan of YA. The novel tackles heavy subjects in a well-researched manner, and the short chapters propel the story through all 500 pages. I had no issue tracking the multiple characters.

    Posted 10.1.19 Reply
  6. Elle wrote:

    I skipped this month and plan on catching up on my previous BOTM selections. All in all, I’m surprised a Elin Hilderbrand beach novel was picked over a horror or thriller…heck, even suspense (hello, it’s October!) That was a swing and a miss for BOTM, in my opinion. Also, I saw that The Fountains of Silence was a selection for both the “regular” and YA subscriptions. Do they normally do this? If I had subscriptions to both, I think I’d be disappointed to see the same book on both lists.

    Posted 10.1.19 Reply
  7. Anita wrote:

    I admit I wasn’t overly impressed when I first looked at this list, I have an ARC of the Hilderbrand. Then I read your take on NOTHING TO SEE HERE, and I’m taking a risk and getting it. I regularly agree with your reviews and book choices, plus I read the little snippet and I want more. We all need a light read from time to time. Congratulations on being a judge….I’m very happy for you!

    Posted 10.1.19 Reply
  8. Emily wrote:

    It still says July 2019 in the intro blurb of this blog post I noticed it last month but figured i should say something now haha

    Posted 10.2.19 Reply
  9. Britany wrote:

    I love Ruta Sepetys, so this was a no-brainer pick for me this month. I’m thrilled to see you as a BOTM judge and looking forward to you talking about it a bit at some point.

    Posted 10.6.19 Reply
  10. Cami wrote:

    Picking Nothing To See Here. I will probably pick up Fate of the Fallen at some point as well.

    Posted 10.6.19 Reply

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