It's happened again. It's already October and the goals I have set for myself as far as "books I will read this year" have not been reached; not even close. And so, with 2 full months left, I've decided to buckle down and read the following books that recently caught my eye before the end of the year (thank you Hello Giggles for putting this list together!) Who wants to join me in this challenge? 1. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill Marriage and the idea of couples has been a hot one in literature because of the success of Gone Girl, and this is another take on love, and what it can really mean. Dept. of Speculation is also about growing up into your womanhood, what being a mother is like, as well as the desire to write. 2. An Untamed State by Roxane Gay Warning: I've heard that An Untamed State was a hard book to read. Not because it was tedious. It was apparently hard to read because it was so vivid, and so, so heart-wrenching. Mireille, the protagonist, is kidnapped when she returns to Haiti, the country in which she was raised. Her kidnappers abuse her in ways I cannot even fathom because her father refuses to pay her ransom out of pride and dignity. Mireille survives, but she loses a huge part herself, a part which she loved and cherished. 3. No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay A collection of poetry that touches on love, family, fun, history, childhood in an accessible, tender, and weirdly relatable voice. 4. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer The Interestings is a novel primarily about friendship, but it’s also about growing up. Teenagers who meet in a summer camp instantly form a clique that lasts well into their adult lives. These teenagers become adults who have careers, but they soon learn the harsh realities of letting go of their day-dreams and substituting them for more practical realities. How does that progression happen, and how can I live through it? I'm really curious. 5. Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale Books in a letter format (well, a little more tech savvy in this case) have always been a favorite of mine. In this memoir, Jessica and Rachel keep a close correspondence as they figure things out after college. Jessica moves to China on a whim while Rachel tries out New York. I've recently embarked on my own trip across the world, so I'm hoping this book will remind me that everything will be OK. 6. California by Edan Lepucki This is a dystopian novel, so I'll probably like it. As much as I'm "over" the dystopian thing, there's just something really fascinating about exploring a world that could be. This is a dark read, that tells the story of two people, Cal and Frida, who leave their destroyed city of LA for a more desolate place in the wild, where they learn how to live with limited resources. Then what? Gotta read to find out! 7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz Oscar wants to fall in love but an ancient curse might prevent him: oops? This is supposed to be a fun, delightful read, so I think it'll be great for nightly de-stressing. 8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain This historical fiction novel is about Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s wife. If you’re a huge Jazz Age fangirl, you will love this deeply rich and romantic story. I really hate Hemingway (and not just to be pretentious, he's just not my style) so I'm curious of how this view of Hadley and his relationship will affect that view. 9. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham I love Lena Dunham's writing, so I can't wait to get my hands on this book of essays. I've been on my libraries waiting list for months, so any day now I might begin! Dunham’s writing is not only relatable, but it makes me want to be better at life, be better at writing, be better at everything!