Take a chance on this grab-bag of titles

Some great and not so great books to peruse this month. Every read is not a guaranteed hit, but don’t dismiss any of these. Read to expand your mind or just for entertainment, it’s all good.
Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce, who also penned The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, is a delight of a book. By turns humorous, inspiring and life affirming, it follows an English spinster and her hilariously resourceful partner on a quest to find an elusive beetle. 
White Ivy by debut novelist Susie Yang follows Ivy Lin as she struggles to become part of the American upper class she so envies. At times, I wanted to shake her for her bad choices, but she eventually learns the terms of her obsession. Good to the very last page. Yang does an excellent job of depicting the moneyed but sometimes shabby upper crust.
The Cold Millions is by Jess Walter who gave us Beautiful Ruins. Very different novels but I find him to be an outstanding writer. This new book follows brothers Rye and Gig as they seek employment in the Northwest in the early 1900s when unions were organizing and wealthy men manipulated the markets and the law.
Dear Child is a thrilling mystery by German author Romy Hausman. This is also a debut novel and Hausman shows her gifts in her pacing and engaging style. 
A long- missing woman is found by the road along with a young girl. But who captured them 14 years ago? 
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans is a novella and short stories. She tackles issues of history, culture and race  – timely and sharp writing. 
The Orchard by David Hopen starts out promisingly but later bored me with pages and pages of teen angst as too smart teens confront the meaning of life. Needed a more stringent edit, but if you skim those parts it is a very readable book. 
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell was a funny, fast-paced tale of a doctor undercover from the Mob. The hospital scenes were on point and mostly accurate save one gruesome, implausible scenario. A good audiobook if you are driving somewhere for the holiday.
Our nonfiction choice this month is Mad and Bad - Real Heroines of the Regency. The author Bea Koch is the owner of a bookstore devoted to romance novels, but this book profiles accomplishments of a variety of women of the Regency Era 1795-1837 and highlights their contributions to economics, science, literature and art. 
Learn more at Beckysbookclub.com.

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