Tuesday, October 1, 2019

What I Read: September

September was a bit of a slow book month for me with school starting back up. Often times I was too tired to read for very long at night. I also had less time to listen to audiobooks doing chores. So this month was a little slimmer than other months, but I still ended up with some really good books. There were a few regular books that were meh, but all of my audiobooks were awesome!

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman- This book was so good. There were some very unexpected twists. When I first started the book I thought it was about a character on the spectrum. As the book unfolded I realized all the complexities of Eleanor's life which impacted her personality and attitude toward others. It also really made my heart hurt for children in the foster care system and made me wish we were in a position where we could help in some way. After reading this I saw a list of Reese Witherspoon's book club picks (which I didn't even realize was a thing). Every book on the list I've read, I loved, so I think I need to read the rest of the books on the list!
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake- At the beginning of the summer the library had a little reading survey you could fill out and a librarian would e-mail you a list of titles they thought you would like. They called it "Your next great read." I participated because I always love a good recommendation. They recommended Sarah Blake as an author for me to read and specifically this book because I enjoy historical fiction. I wasn't super enthused about this one because it was set in WWII. They ended up recommending multiple books about WWII probably because I listed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as one of my favorite recent reads. Lots of the other books listed were books I had already read and loved so I was hopeful they were on the mark with this one. It was pretty slow going and I just didn't get too interested in any of the main characters outside of Frankie Bard. I didn't really enjoy the book until I got over 200 pages into it. If it hadn't been a librarian recommendation I would have scrapped it, but I was glad I finished it because I did end up enjoying it. It isn't one I would recommend or would have even finished in different circumstances though. Not sure I'll give this author another try, maybe I'll see what other historical events she has written about.
  • Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson- I saw this at Goodwill and grabbed it because I love Joshilyn Jackson! She never fails me and this was no exception. This wasn't one that I just couldn't put down like all her others, but I still really liked it. It was an interesting concept with plenty of surprises thrown into the mix! I always love the first line of her books too. She starts them off so intriguing!
  • Poems by Maya Angelou- This is a book I've had for a very long time and have never read all the way through. I thought it was about time so I started it and would read a little bit here and there. I looked on Goodreads and I started it June 16th and finished it September 16th which I thought was an interesting coincidence! There were some poems I absolutely loved and others I wasn't sure I fully understood.
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss- I picked this one up at Goodwill because I liked the title. It was not what I expected but it was interesting. It wasn't one I would recommend but I did enjoy it. It followed Jewish characters, one who escaped Europe during WWII and one who lost her father at a young age. It was odd and slightly depressing at times.
  • The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle- This book started out so good and I had a hard time putting it down for the first half. Then I felt like it kind of fizzled out a little at the end. It was a really interesting concept that she got to have dinner with 5 people she chose years ago as the 5 people living or dead she would like to have dinner with. I liked that it never explained how it happened or what made it work. It was up to interpretation and your imagination.
  • Lemons by Melissa Savage- I kept seeing this book on display in the Children's Chapter Book Section of the library. I thought the cover was cute and then I noticed it was Bigfoot on the cover. I love stories about Bigfoot and find it very entertaining so I thought this would be a fun one and likely perfect as an ebook since children's books are quicker reads. I really enjoyed this. I like to read children's chapter books so I can steer Carter toward books he will love in the coming years. I hated a little bit the fact that parents were lost and/or dead. It seems so many children's books involve characters who have lost a parent. So as far as recommending it to Carter, I'd hate to a little bit because of that. There's only so much parental death a child can take and maybe we have that covered with Harry Potter and Disney movies, haha!
  • Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan- This was listed as a great audiobook. I've loved all of Munoz Ryan's books I've read so I decided to listen to it. It was so good. It was set in WWII but that didn't even matter because it was so good and well written (I've gotten a little tired of WWII books, there are sooooo many!). There were 3 parts following 3 different characters, all woven together through a shared harmonica. Each part ended abruptly and you didn't find out what happened with the characters until the end of the book when everything came together which was hard to wait for. This was a wonderful book to listen to as an audiobook. They actually had musicians play different parts of the book and had narrators with the appropriate accents. You know my love for different storylines and then having everyone come together for you to see how they are all interconnected, so I loved that about this book.
  • The Huntress by Kate Quinn- When I saw Quinn (the author of The Alice Network) was coming out with a new book, it went on my to-read list right away. I decided on this one as an audiobook because that was the format I enjoyed The Alice Network in. It was so good that I was actually excited when my plans to run with friends for a long run fell through so I could listen to my audiobook during my run! I love the way she moves back and forth between characters and periods of time. It was also really interesting to read about the Russian women fighter pilots called The Night Witches. I love how Quinn brings such amazing and strong real women from history into her novels as characters, bringing to light their place in history through her stories. I had never heard of the Night Witches before just like I had never heard of the network of female spies used during WWI until I read The Alice Network. She is definitely a very talented writer.
  • Calypso by David Sedaris- I tried 2 different audiobooks before this one that were listed as good books to listen to as audiobooks but I just couldn't get into them. I know it's bad when I'd rather run without an audiobook just because I don't want to listen to it. I'm usually not one to give up on books, but about 1.5 hours into The Goldfinch I turned it back in and only 30 minutes into Room, I also returned that one. I decided to just get on Hoopla and pick something. I usually have good luck that way. It worked for me this time too because I loved this one and laughed so hard even while running and listening to it. It was my favorite of his books I've read so far. Usually he has an essay or two or few that I think are weird or odd or not that funny, but I loved all of them in this book.


  1. Since I use your hoopla when I run out of books on mine, I'm listening to Echo and really enjoying the music too. I saw you had Calypso and wasn't sure if I'd listen to it, but now I think I will. Dad needed a book, and they didn't have it on our hoopla, so I put him on yours so he could hear it since he has so much driving to do. We found out if two people try to listen at the same time, it throws the first person off. I couldn't tell what was going on since I was working and didn't have my reading glasses, but after a couple of times, he looked and saw the message. haha I'd set him up with the Kansas State one, but that library didn't have the audio book either.

    1. I'm glad we're getting so much use out of it! It's an awesome app. I loved Calypso, I think you would too.