September was a weird reading month for me. I read eight books, so it’s not like I didn’t read, but everything felt like a slog. I don’t know if I read a single book that was an unputdownable, this-is-why-I-love-reading book. I read some good books, but nothing that will make my top ten list at the end of the year.
Maybe I need a break from reading? But I don’t even know what that would look like in my life. Not reading? What am I supposed to do with my free time?!
Or maybe I could just slow down the pace that I read. I tend to read at a breakneck speed, wanting to mark one book off my list, so I can get to the next one. Rush, rush, rush, too many books, so little time. At 90 books read so far this year, I’m easily going to make my goal of reading 100 books, even if I slow down to one book a week.
I don’t know… I’m just thinking here. Life feels a little weird right now, and I’m not really sure what it means. I’ll just keep pushing through and doing the best I can. That’s all anyone can do, right?
In any event, with that depressing introduction, let’s talk about some of the more notable reads from September.
Top Read of the Month
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read Between the World and Me, but I’m glad I finally picked this book up. It’s a book that is bound to make you feel uncomfortable, if you’re a white person reading it. At least it did for me. It’s a short book (under 200 pages) and Coates writes it as a letter to his son, describing how he grew up, the injustices he faced, and the state of black people today. He talks about the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and how racial oppression is a systematic problem in our society that seems to be getting worse – not better. Coates’ writing is impactful and blunt and he doesn’t hold back. It’s not a hopeful read, but neither is what we see happening in the news. Unarmed black men are still being killed by police and these police officers are still not being charged for their crimes. This book is a fantastic primer on what the state of the world is like for black people, and I hope to read more books like this to keep opening my eyes to the injustices black people face. (Add to Goodreads.)
Top Romance of the Month
Sarah Morgan has been such a delightful discovery this year! I read the first novel in this series (Sleepless in Manhattan) last month and liked it well enough to request the second novel through my library. I was pleased at how much more I enjoyed this novel, mostly because I truly have a soft spot for Frankie and understand her so well. She’s introverted, lived through a tough childhood, and has an obsession with plants. She’s also sworn off dating and sex altogether after watching her mom go through boyfriends like they were candy. She wants to be nothing like her mom, but then her best friend Paige’s brother Matt decides he’s going to be the one to break her out of her shell and get her to start living life again. It’s a sweet love story that had none of the annoying miscommunication or will-they-won’t-they push/pull that so many romances seem to have. If you love sweet romances, give Sarah Morgan a try! (Add to Goodreads.)
Other Notable Reads
The Red Hunter begins when Claudia, a single mother who went through a horrific tragedy a decade and a half ago, buys a home that is in desperate need of renovation as part of a project for her blog. What she doesn’t know is that ten years ago, this house was the scene of a brutal murder and the people involved in the crime may not be done with the house just yet. It’s one of those stories that has different plot lines happening simultaneously, each chapter featuring a different character. It usually took me a few paragraphs to figure out who was talking in the chapter, so it wasn’t as seamless as I would have liked. I found the ending to be a bit disappointing, but I still gave this book 4 stars because the writing was so phenomenal and I thought the buildup to the final act to be well-thought-out. (Add to Goodreads.)
Crazy Rich Asians is a light-hearted look on Singaporean culture and what it means to be born into opulent wealth. It’s about Nick and Rachel, who have been dating for two years when Nick invites her to come with him to Singapore for the wedding of his best friend. What Rachel doesn’t know, however, is that Nick’s family is rich. And not just “we-can-afford-to-send-our-child-to-a-private-college” rich, but massively, crazily wealthy. The kind of wealthy that people can only dream of. The kind of wealthy that is, frankly, sickening. (I’m talking, “I got a $238,000 bonus check and it wasn’t enough!” type of wealthy. The “I bought a $750,000 bracelet because I was sad” type of wealthy.) Throughout the novel, we follow Nick and Rachel, as well as all of the crazy family members, like his mom who is not too keen on Rachel and all of his cousins who have their own issues they’re dealing with. I’ll be honest – I didn’t totally enjoy this novel. I thought it was too long, and there were all of these plot lines that didn’t seem to move the story forward and were never resolved. I also never got to a point where I couldn’t put it down; it was super easy to just read a chapter or two and then move on to doing something else. I think I only finished it because I was reading it for book club. So, it’s probably not a book I’d recommend, but I do think it’s a fascinating look into the lives of rich people and Asian culture. Also, it has a pretty great rating on Goodreads (3.7 with 58,000+ reviews), so I think I’m in the minority on this one! (Add to Goodreads.)
What was the best book you read in September?