September Reads

Hey book nerds! A librarian friend of mine started doing this thing in January where each month she’d share on Facebook the books she read the month prior. (Note: If you don’t have one, get you a librarian friend. Safely, of course.) I began doing it as well thinking there’s no way I would ever keep it up (remember when we still went places and had busy calendars and such? Honestly, it kind of sucked). Anyway, 2020 happened and here I am, still recording my reads. I thought I’d bring it to the blog and see if there’s any interest (let me know in the comments). I’ve tried to refrain from posting spoilers, but if you want, just read the ratings for my “Read/Skip” assessment. Without further adieu, September reads:

Drums of Autumn, Outlander Series #4: Why in God’s name am I still reading this series? I read book one a few months ago and I feel like I’m stuck in a loveless marriage with it where the sex is no longer good, the arguments go on for way too many pages, but yet I cannot break free. This book was off the rails. Everyone suddenly developed an entirely different personality. It’s like Diana enjoyed a few too many whiskies whilst writing this saga and forgot what traits belonged to which characters. Also, I love a scenery description as much as the next person -I mean you cannot read Jodi Piccolt books and not love a good description of a charming New England town in the fall – but this was too much. Easily 150 pages could have been cut and that’s being generous.

Naturally I’ve already started the fifth.

Rating: Start and stop with the 1st book. Do as I say, not as I do. Skip.

Big Summer: While an enjoyable read, I can’t really tell you what it was about…which is telling. I feel like Jennifer Weiner is like that middle school friend you outgrew. I loved the book “Good in Bed” as a young adult, but they just don’t slap like they used to. Is it the writing that has changed or me?

Rating: Skip and read her earlier works.

Unschooled: What if we stopped looking at school as the end all be all for education? Can learning be separated from school? I’m not sure the book left me ready to completely abandon public school, but it certainly gave me something to chew on when it comes to how I approach this year of homeschooling.

Rating: Read it with a grain of salt.

Magpie Murders: Anthony Horowitz writes some of the most interesting murder mystery novels you’ll ever read. I love how there is a crime within a crime in this book. It’s basically two books in one.

Rating: Definitely read this, but be prepared to stay up all night finishing it.

Another Brooklyn: Jacqueline Wilson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. After reading “Red at the Bone” I had to read more and “Another Brooklyn” did not disappoint. There’s a lyrical quality to her writing that stays with you well after you’re finished. Also, I’m trying to be more intentional at diversifying what authors I read so that I encounter different characters and experiences. Wilson tops that list of newly discovered Black female authors.

Rating: Read it. Read all her work. You will not be disappointed.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family: This book focuses on a family of 12 children growing up in the 60’s & 70’s where half the children develop schizophrenia. I would have preferred more focus on the family and less on the science at the time, but that’s just me.

Rating: If you’re interested in mental health and how we’ve evolved in our thinking of schizophrenia, I definitely recommend.

In conlusion:

Read: Magpie Murders, Another Brooklyn, Unschooled

Skip: Drums of Autumn, Big Summer, Hidden Valley Road* (*unless you’re into that kind of thing)

If you’re going to buy any of the books, try and buy from a Black-owned shop or one owned by a member of a marginalized community. Consider where you spend that coin. I linked to one in the “Read” books but here is a list of online shops you can order from.

Happy Reading!

x Mere

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