Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What I Read: September

It just dawned on me that I haven't posted my reading list from September so I figured I'd go ahead and do that. It was a good month of reading with some really awesome books and only one I didn't like.
Elise "reading" a chapter book at the library.
My reading buddy.
He doesn't even mind if I rest the book on his back.
  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson- My mom recommended this book to me. Whenever she suggests a book it is always amazing. Her most recent home runs were A Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, two of my favorite books I've read in the past year or so. I put it on hold right away and when I got it, I dug right in. I read it in a couple days. It was one of those you just couldn't put down. I was really impressed that Jackson totally tricked me multiple times and threw me for a loop. I've read good reviews on her writing and am now excited to read more of her books.
  • Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou- Maya Angelou is one of my all-time favorite writers. She is up there with Jane Austen for me, which is saying a lot! When I first discovered her back in college I asked for all of her autobiographical books for Christmas. Thomas got me her complete works in one book and I devoured them. Years later when Letter to My Daughter came out, it was given to me as a present. I was in the throws of my first year of teaching and didn't get around to reading it at the time. Just recently I was cleaning out a cabinet and came across the book. I read it within a couple days and really enjoyed it. She referred to stories that were also included in different autobiographies she had written. I enjoyed re-reading the stories as well as reading her insights and poems she included. After reading this book I realized she wrote one more autobiography which I haven't read yet Mom & Me & Mom. Now that's on my to be read list!

  • I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn- This was a book I grabbed at the library's book sale over Labor Day weekend. I was excited about it because I found it in the historical fiction section which is a loved book category for me. The premise of the book sounded interesting, it was the fictional life of Earhart after her plane crashed. I was really disappointed. It ended up being really weird and was written really strangely. One paragraph would be written in the third person and then the next would be first person. There was even a random section thrown in from the perspective of her navigator. I told Ty if it had been a 200 page book I wouldn't have bothered to finish it. It was only 145 pages and I was waiting on a book to come in at the library so I went ahead and finished it although I didn't enjoy it. It was probably the worst book I've read in a very long time!
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie- My mom recommended this book to me when we were talking about Native Americans and life on reservations. I was really excited to read it and then as I was checking it out our librarian saw the book and told me she really liked him until the sexual harassment stories came out about him. I was really disappointed and almost just left the book at the library but decided to go ahead and read it. Unfortunately that tainted the book for me and I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have. It did bring forth some very important points about life on a reservation and how terrible of a situation that can be. In case you are wondering, my mom had not heard about the sexual harassment when she read the book or when she recommended it to me
  • Lady Susan by Jane Austen- I was a little hesitant about reading this one because I tend to not like short stories or novellas very much. Even though I adore Jane Austen I didn't enjoy Love and Friendship very much. But I loved this one! I liked how the entire novella was letters to and from different parties. It gave a different perspective and I felt like it allowed Austen to show Susan's true side rather than her fake social side in a way she wouldn't have been able to if she'd written the story a different way. With all short stories and novellas I finished the book wishing for more!
  • The Taster by V.S. Alexander- I found this one in the Book Page magazine I pick up at the library. I was looking for something fictional to read after finishing Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment. When I first starting looking through my book list to choose a new book to download I thought I wanted something fun. When I scrolled past this title, I realized I really wanted historical fiction. The book was inspired by the story of a woman who was a taster for Adolf Hitler during World War II. Alexander used some actual stories of hers within the book and then researched Hitler and the Third Reich to fill in the gaps. The book was incredibly good. It was hard to feel upset about things going wrong in my life when I had the backdrop of what ordinary citizens endured during World War II for perspective. This was another ebook that was so good, it took over the time I was devoting to my regular book and I actually lost the book I was reading at the same time as this ebook, luckily it was one I got for 50 cents at the used book sale I went to over Labor Day weekend!
  • An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland by H. Paul Jeffers- I was interested in reading about Cleveland because I had heard a story while listening to a different audiobook about how he had a child out of wedlock before becoming president and rather than skirt the issue or attempt to lie, he admitted to it. There was a lot to respect about a man who would do that. As I've learned more about lesser known presidents, I've come to realize that the presidents we idolize the most are the presidents who helped us through difficult times. Other presidents who lead us through less dire circumstances are often overlooked even though they were great presidents. So far I feel like Grover Cleveland may be one of our most underappreciated presidents. I think presidents are also remembered based on the legacy they or those close to them choose to pursue. When JFK was assassinated Jackie worked tirelessly to assure his legacy was remembered a certain way. John Adams saved all his letters and journals and preserved everything very carefully. Cleveland had no cares about his legacy and left things in a hodge podge mess, even giving away important documents. I found something very endearing in the fact that he wasn't concerned with the preservation of his life in history.
  • This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell- I randomly picked up a book by Jill Mansell at the library back in December when I walked by a display and saw the pretty cover. I couldn't decide what I wanted to start as my next audiobook but knew I didn't want another nonfiction book when I finished An Honest President. I was searching Hoopla and came across this title by Mansell. It was even better than her other book I had read. I love how she takes the stories of multiple different characters and intertwines them in such a rich and interesting way. Plus the books are just fun reading. They are perfect for when you want something light and fun that will have a happy ending.
  • I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel- I read Bogel's blog, The Modern Mrs. Darcy, I'm sure you can figure out why I started reading her blog. I've really enjoyed it and have come across some really amazing reads through her blog. I'd say my favorite book I've read because she recommended it was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. There have been others but that was my most favorite. Since I enjoy her blog (which I discovered after reading her first book) I decided to listen to this audiobook when I came across it while searching for a short audiobook on Hoopla. I wasn't sure what to expect but enjoyed it and the cute stories it included.
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer- One of my running buddies read this book and loved it so she recommended it to me. It was a very interesting book. The story follows Chris who decided to go on an adventure in Alaska and was later found dead from starvation. It was sad to hear the mistakes he made that had something gone differently, he would have survived. It was an interesting story but such a senseless death.


  1. I keep forgetting to add The Taster to my reading list. I just added it. And, I read Sherman Alexie about ten years ago. Here is the information on him.

    Sexual harassment allegations
    On February 28, 2018, Alexie published a statement regarding accusations of sexual harassment against him by several women, including author Litsa Dremousis, with whom he'd had a consensual affair in the past and who claimed numerous women had spoken to her about Alexie's behavior.[17] Dremousis' response initially appeared on her Facebook page and was subsequently reprinted in The Stranger on March 1, 2018.[18] The fallout from these accusations includes the Institute of American Indian Arts renaming its Sherman Alexie Scholarship as the MFA Alumni Scholarship. The blog Native Americans in Children's Literature has deleted or modified all references to Alexie.[19] In February 2018 it was reported that the American Library Association, which had just awarded Alexie its Carnegie Medal for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir,[20] was reconsidering, and in March it was confirmed that Alexie had declined the award and was postponing the publication of a paperback version of the memoir [21] The American Indian Library Association rescinded its 2008 Best Young Adult Book Award from Alexie for The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian, “to send an unequivocal message that Alexie’s actions are unacceptable.”[22]

    1. The information I read said he used his influence to pressure women hoping to become published authors into sexual situations they were uncomfortable with.