Well Read: 5 Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down This October

Contributing Food Editor By Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor
Liz Moody is a food editor, recipe developer and green smoothie enthusiast. She received her creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody is the author of two cookbooks: Healthier Together and Glow Pops and the host of the Healthier Together podcast.

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Reading is undeniably a key wellness practice—and one that many of us have ignored for far too long. It's proven to build empathy, reduce stress, and even lessen sugar cravings (yes, really!). With that in mind, we're excited to share Well Read, a column that curates the absolute best fiction and nonfiction picks of the month. Here's what you should read this October. (Want more Well Read? You can find our past picks here.)

Radical: The Science, Culture, and History of Breast Cancer in America by Kate Pickert

At age 35, Kate Pickert was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. A longtime health care journalist, she confronted her treatment not just as a patient but as an investigator and writer—and what she found shocked her. This book is half-memoir, half reported piece. Pickert tells her own story but also the history of breast cancer, and the political, social, and cultural biases involved with the treatment of the disease today. It's a must-read if you or anyone you know has breast cancer (which will touch one in eight women in their lifetime!), but also for anyone interested in the less-discussed factors that influence our perception and care for cancer today. Radical: The Science, Culture, and History of Breast Cancer in America by Kate Pickert (October 1)

The Speed of Falling Objects by Nancy Richardson Fischer

A modern adventure novel, the lead character in this book is literally named Danger—although she goes by Danny and keeps her head down and her life subdued and people-pleasing after losing an eye in a childhood accident. Her father hosts a survivalist TV show with celebrities and invites Danny to come along. When their plane crashes in the Amazon, they're forced into a real survival situation, and Danny quickly finds out that she's made of far more than she thinks. A coming-of-age story about overcoming bullying, lack of self-worth, and disabilities, this tale will inspire anyone to believe in themselves more. The Speed of Falling Objects by Nancy Richardson Fischer (October 1)

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes, the author of the mega-bestseller Me Before You, is well versed in the art of earned tears. In her new book, set during the Great Depression in the U.S., she draws on the true story of the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. The program was started by Eleanor Roosevelt to help deliver books to people who wouldn't otherwise have access to them in the Appalachian Mountains. It's a tribute to the healing, world-expanding power of reading (which we clearly believe in here, hence this column!), but it's also starkly feminist, a tribute to the power of willful females, even in a world where everyone tells them their goals are impossible. You'll cry, yes, but you'll also come away uplifted and inspired. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (October 8)

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

This buzzy book has already been optioned to be turned into a film by Elizabeth Banks—and once you find yourself immersed in its page-turning story, you'll see why. In this alternative world, girls are banished to the wild for a year when they're 16, told that the aphrodisiacs that their bodies emit are too much for the men they're around to deal with. It's a survival tale, a mix of The Handmaid's Tale and The Hunger Games that questions the power of female sexuality and the ownership women are allowed over it (like The Hunger Games, it's marketed as a young adult novel but will appeal to a much wider audience). It's also about female friendship and the power to subvert the expectations of society. A gripping and important read. The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (October 8)

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones

This memoir tells the story of a young gay black man growing up in the South. Told as a series of interconnected vignettes, it tackles a number of themes—queerness, racial identity, grief, love—in intimate, affecting prose that takes as much from poetry as from memoir (the author's first book was a collection of poems). At its core, it tackles the concept of how we treat one another and how quick we are to label each other "not normal," or "different." It's short, gorgeous, and eminently readable, and you'll be left spellbound and wanting more from this talented writer. How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (October 8)

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