September Reads

Banned Books Week

A few banned books from my shelf!

Hello my most beauteous bloggers! I hope you all had a lovely September! It’s one of my favorite months; the weather cools off but there are still plenty of warm days, and the trees start to change color. I spent many chilly mornings snuggled under the softest blanket on earth with a cup of coffee and a book, and it was glorious.

Tom and I continued settling into our new apartment. We had the basics covered when we moved in, and now we’re starting to get some art up on the walls and buying a few seasonal decorations. It’s starting to feel a bit cozier now that we have an adorable Home Sweet Home print in a rustic wooden frame, chrysanthemums, and an owl candle holder. (Because how can you not buy a candle holder shaped like an owl?)

I guess you could say September was pretty sweet. Now on to the reading recap!

Books read
The Round House — Louise Erdrich
The Age of Innocence — Edith Wharton
Songs of Willow Frost — Jamie Ford
Beloved — Toni Morrison

Pages read
– This month: 1,455
– Year to date: 14,814

Books reviewed
Burial Rites Hannah KentBurial Rites by Hannah Kent. Set in 1828, Burial Rites reimagines the last months in the life of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be executed in Iceland. Because Iceland did not have its own prisons at this time, Agnes is sent to live with the family of a district officer to await her execution after she is convicted of murdering two men. In gorgeous, lyrical pose, Kent tells the story of a complex, compelling character. I can’t contain my love for this book.

The Returned Jason MottThe Returned by Jason Mott. At some point, we all wish our lost loved ones could return to us — but what would happen if they actually did? Jason Mott explores this idea in his debut novel, in which the dead return to life, not as zombies, but as living, breathing people.  Mott brings to life a community struggling with the return of people it had long ago mourned and the tensions they bring with them. Great premise, but I was left with too many questions.

The Glass Castle Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. In this striking memoir, Jeannette Walls recounts her unusual childhood growing up with a wildly loving but destructively drunk father, a free-spirited mother who hated the burden of parenthood, and her three siblings. I really admired Walls’ unflinching narration and honest, nuanced portrayals of her family with all of their glory, chaos, and hardship.

The Age of Innocence Edith WhartonThe Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. Newland Archer is a bookish dilettante of Old New York’s moneyed set. Life flies by in a blur of parties, and he is newly engaged to May Newland, a sweet, beautiful, and conventional girl. However, everything goes awry when May’s cousin Ellen arrives in town. Newland falls for Ellen, who flouts the conventions Archer feels stifled by. Although an interesting piece of social criticism, I had a hard time loving this book.

Packing for Mars Mary RoachPacking for Mars by Mary Roach. My favorite Mary Roach so far, this book explores the history and science of space exploration. It’s a fascinating topic, and Roach does an excellent job of making complex topics accessible in a really fun, engaging way. This is the kind of book that makes you constantly turn to your companion and say things like, “Hey, did you know how astronauts poop in space?”

Other posts
Ten Books I Wish I Was Taught in School (Top Ten Tuesday)
Ten Books I Would Love to See Adapted for the Screen (Top Ten Tuesday)
Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List (Top Ten Tuesday)

Ten Things Every Book Blog Needs. I had a lot of fun putting this post together, thinking of what I look for when I visit a new blog and what keeps me from following a blog. You guys seemed to like it too; it quickly became my most-commented-on post and my second-most-viewed post ever! Thanks to everyone who joined the discussion

Bloggiesta. This was my first time participating in Bloggiesta, and although Friday was the only day I was able to participate, I’m happy with how much I got done! I was able to do some much-needed maintenance, and although I didn’t officially complete any challenges, I learned a lot from reading people’s posts!

Pick Up a Banned Book This Week. Banned Book Week is my favorite bookish week of the year; I love watching everyone get so impassioned about the freedom to read. I did my own little post about BBW and challenged myself to read Beloved by Toni Morrison — which I did, review to come!

Books added to my collection

Okay, I kind of failed at reigning in my book buying this month. I swung by my local indie bookstore to pick up a copy of Brewster by Mark Slouka before going to the author’s reading, and I impulse purchased a beautiful copy of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft. And THEN, a few weeks later, I decided to go for a walk on a lovely day, and OOPS, I live half a mile from a used book store. I walked out with This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, The View from Castle Rock and Open Secrets by Alice Munro, and Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.

I also received a beautiful galley of We are Water by Wally Lamb, and I won a copy of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt from Bloggers Recommend!

October plans

I’m going to finish Mind Without a Home by Kristina Morgan, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling, and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Because I had the antsy reading pants this month and couldn’t settle on one book at a time. I will also be reading We Are Water and a book called Mountainfit for review! I think that’s actually all I have planned?

What about you, readers? What did you read in September? Any plans for October?


10 thoughts on “September Reads

  1. I had some good September reads, which were better than most my summer reading turned out to be! Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Grace Filled Marriage, and Life After Life were the best. For October I have planned We Are Water (I have a signed copy coming!), One Summer: America, 1927 (also a signed copy), and The Light Between Oceans. Then for one last pick I’m trying to decide between The World’s Strongest Librarian or The Book of Secrets. Since these are all big titles I’ve been hearing or big authors, I want to try to review each one I read!

  2. I love these round-up posts! I just picked “Packing for Mars” up off the shelf this morning — I’ve never read anything by Mary Roach, but it sounds like a fun one. 🙂 Happy October!

  3. wow, you have read/done a lot during this month!!
    For me it was a slow month: I started a lot of books but I didn’t finished all of them; I was reading very little. But we’ll see what happens in October 😉

  4. It looks like you had a stellar month! The Glass Castle is a recent favorite of mine, and I really should try to read more of Mary Roach’s work. I loved Stiff but haven’t finished any more of her books since then (years ago).

    • Hah! Back when I started doing these little summaries, I just picked an image size to use for all the covers, and I edit the html. Some of them probably get slightly distorted, but not enough to notice!

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