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September Monthly Recap

pile-of-books

It is finally time for our September Monthly recap! Find out which books were favorites and which were duds. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out in October and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading next month.

Jen: Two months ago we mentioned an informal challenge to “read different.” You can read about that challenge here. Hopefully  you join us! I did decently this month in terms of reading diversity. I read 10 books in September. Here are my read different stats for the month:
books by women: 4
translated works: 3
POC author: 3
featured LGBTQ characters: 2

Favorite book read in September: I finally got around to reading Anna Karenina and that was by far my favorite book in the month of September. Other than that book, I most enjoyed Coetzee’s new book, The Schooldays of Jesus. Admittedly, I was sick for a good two weeks in September and therefore read lots more popular/commercial fiction or YA/children’s books than I typically read. So overall, September was a lighter reading month for me.

Least favorite book read in September: I liked most of hte books I read in September. My least favorite was probably Everything I Never told you which I still liked quite a bit. I’ll probably get some grief for listing this as my least favorite but I found it rather formulaic. I understand why people loved it and I liked it, it just didn’t live up to expectations for me.

Future Goals: My TBR has gotten out of control once again. I have various tiers of TBR books shelves but my top tier is located in a three-shelf bookcase in my bedroom. My goal is to try and clear out at least half of that bookcase before buying any more books. Some books on there include: The Underground Railroad, The Nix, Everybody’s Fool, Night Film, Purity, The Turner House, The Sympathizer, and a few Margaret Atwood books.

Book Worm: 

Favorite book read in September:  There are 2 books that stand out for me in September the first was The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church a book I was expecting to enjoy and which didn’t let me down and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Kidnapped considering its really a boys adventure story, I am putting it down to the fact that it let me escape real life for a while and at the moment that is something I really need.

Least favorite book read in September: Well the Booker judges and I disagree big time on this one…All That Man Is by David Szalay I found this to be depressing and a poor reflection on 50% of the human race, if this really is all that man is then I fear for our future.

Future Goals: Well I managed to achieve my goal of reading all the Booker long list before the short list was announced (just) and now I feel I have earned the opportunity to sit back and relax…unfortunately I am too competitive and instead I will be catching up on my 1001 books to read before you die challenge so I will be aiming to read Anna Karenina and 2 volumes of the Story of the Stone. I also need to read Zero K and I will once again aim to clear some unread books from my book shelf.

What can you look forward to on our blog in October? We will be back to our usual blogging schedule in October which will include Read Around the World, Feature author, Terrible Reviews of Great Books, Love it or Hate it, and our regular 1001 list and non-list books. We’ll also be announcing the winners of our Summer Olympics Reading challenge (in the next week) and announcing our next reading challenge coming up over the winter.

In addition we’ll be participating in Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. We hope you join us. You can sign up here: Dewey’s 24 hour readathon.

October 2016 book releases. Quite a few books are coming out this month. Here are some of the ones that interest us the most:
Nicotine by Nell Zink. Release date: October 4th
The Trespasser by Tana French. Release date: October 4th
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. Release date: October 11th
The Mothers by Brit Bennett. Release date: October 11th
The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle. Release date: October 25th

We want to hear from you. So what are your plans for October? Which books were your favorites and least favorites in September? Those participating in the Read Different Challenge – What books did you read this month and how did they represent your read different goals?

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gail #

    I have The Sympathizer, the Underground Railroad, and The Turner House on my TBR shelf also. I am now going to find Kipnapped. I could use some escape. Thank you for the odd addition.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2016
  2. there’s a new Chabon coming out in October as well

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2016
    • I think that one is slated to come out in late November now.

      Like

      October 4, 2016
  3. My favorites for September were Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi; In the Miso Soup, by Ryu Murakami; and Monstress, by Marjorie Liu—all just stunning. I think my least favorite was A Quiet Life, by Kenzaburo Oe, which was sad because it’s the first of his books I haven’t loved. But it also has a protagonist with a disability, which is the only element of “read different” I achieved this month. Not a single LGBT protagonist or author, as far as I can tell. Hopefully I’ll do better in October, but mostly I’ll be trying to get through the stacks of books I’ve kept bringing home over the last few weeks . . . I don’t know why I’m doing it, because I already have too many to get through and most of these don’t even fit the reading themes I try to focus on, but I can’t seem to stop myself.

    Like

    October 1, 2016
  4. JoLene R #

    My Aug and Sept reading has been a bit atypical because of busy period at work and my mom is having health issues which has kept me pre-occupied. The Summer Olympic challenge guiding many of my reading selections, but I would say that I chose “lighter” fare. In fact I started about 5 books and had to put them down because I either didn’t have the braid capacity or they weren’t grabbing my attention.

    I had two favorites: Throne of Jade (historical fantasy –> dragons are real!!) and The Seven Sisters (historical fiction). My least favorite was Dear Mr Knightley — mash-up of classics Daddy Long-legs and P&P — you’re much better off reading the originals.

    For diversity in Sept:
    Woman writers: 6 out 7 — pretty good
    Translated: 0
    Non US/European Settings: 5 out of 7 (partly due to Olympic challenge)
    Non US/UK authors – 2 (one was New Zealand so that is borderline diverse 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2016
  5. Tracy S #

    I got 24 books in this month, trying to get through the NBA long list. Only fifteen could be considered diverse, sixteen if you count John Updike’s crippling misogyny as a disability.
    Miss Jane by Watson, Hot Milk by Levy and The Association of Small Bombs by Mahajan were my favorites this month. Rabbit, Run by Updike and The Last September by Bowen were my least favorites.
    I’m hoping to get Do Not Say We Have Nothing read this weekend, and to get back on track in the diverse categories. Waiting on the Paulette Jiles book to come, and I’ll have the long list done!

    Liked by 2 people

    October 1, 2016
    • “sixteen if you count John Updike’s crippling misogyny as a disability.” nah he chose to be a misogynist, he wasn’t born that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 1, 2016
      • Neither one of you is making me eager to read it 😦

        Like

        October 1, 2016
  6. Charisma #

    Jen, I’m so happy you liked Anna Karenina, I also liked it, but I seem to like most Russian books these days 🙂 so not sure if it’s because I am biased, or they’re just great 🙂

    BW, I’m looking forward to you reading it, wanna know what you’ll think 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2016
    • Charisma I am really looking forward to Anna I also really enjoy Russian literature and their is no bias in my opinion 🙂

      Like

      October 3, 2016
  7. I would also say avoid Rabbit until its the last book (2 books in fact) that you need to read to complete the 1001 list.

    Like

    October 3, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      That one and the Bataille books!

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2016
      • Ugh. The most disgusting book I have ever had the displeasure of reading

        Like

        October 4, 2016
  8. I can’t wait for “Everybody’s Fool, but why oh why can’t I get this book either in Kindle or Audible overseas? Hello guys, there are a few of us who don’t live in the States!!

    Like

    October 4, 2016
  9. I had another 9 book month, despite struggling to get through a couple of books I felt I should have read more quickly than I did! Top three were Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The Glass Kingdom by Chris Flynn, and By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart. I also read a really interesting sociology field guide about shyness and social anxiety called Shrinking Violets. Highly recommended.

    I had my first proper author request to review a book – and it was from the author that I made contact with through the Winter Reading Challenge. Interesting! I like her writing – she writes both biography and historical fiction set in Japan. I’m going to read more of the books in her fiction series now.

    My worst read was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume 1. Really disappointing.

    Half of what I read was by women writers (one book was an anthology), but I did badly on my read different goal of books by or about differently abled people. I did read a book where the central character was gay.

    I’m trying to read only books by women in October. I have more than enough on my TBR to achieve that goal!

    Like

    October 6, 2016

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