Monday, September 30, 2019

What We Read in September

September felt like a slower reading month but I actually read 8 books! I think my reading will likely slow down over the next couple of months as we prepare to move/list our house but I know I'll still find ways to make time for it!

Lighter/Page-Turner Reads:

The Mother-in-Law was a page turner from Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading Guide. In this book, a woman is found dead. It appears to be suicide - but was it? It's a dual-narrative story from the points of view of the women who died and her daughter-in-law.

Evvie Drake Starts Over was a fun read about a woman dealing with the loss of her husband. She takes on a tenant who was a major league pitcher that suddenly just can't pitch.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is about a young woman living in Scotland. She has a very quirky personality. You know that something awful happened when she was young as she was in the foster system and has scarring on her face. It's kind of a belated coming of age story as Eleanor is in her 20s, so older than the usual 'coming of age' stage.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is a middle grade novel set in NYC. The family's lease has been terminated by the landlord. The family loves their home so the children try to change the (cranky) landlord's mind. It's really delightful and something I'd love to read aloud to Paul some day.

The Girl He Used to Know was a page-turning romance that featured a neuro-diverse character. It was set in Chicago, which is a city I'm very familiar with so that added to my enjoyment of the book!

Literary Fiction Reads:

The Most Fun We Ever Had is a very character-driven novel. It reminded me of Anne Patchett's Commonwealth or Ask Again, Yes. It's the story of a couple living in Chicago with 4 daughters. Each daughter faces challenges and those challenges unfold over the course of the book. I really enjoyed this but you need to like character-driven novels (which I LOVE) to enjoy this as there is really no plot whatsoever!

Hum If You Don't Know the Words was a heavy novel set in Apartheid-era South Africa. A young white girl's parents are killed during an uprising so she goes to live with her aunt. Her aunt is unprepared to care for her child so she hires a black woman to move in and care for the child. The novel addresses different socioeconomic statuses and the terrible treatment of blacks in South Africa during Apartheid. For instance, it was illegal for the nanny to live with a white family so she had to hide the fact that she lived there.

Non-Fiction Read:

Everything Happens for a Reason was my only non-fiction read in September. It's a memoir by a young woman who finds out she has stage 4 colon cancer. This book is about processing this diagnosis with a particular focus on how the diagnosis interacts with her faith. She has a section at the end where she lays out things NOT TO SAY to someone in her position, like "everything happens for a reason" or "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" or any statement that starts with "at least..." or "it could be worse...". Actually, no matter what situation a person is in, can we all stop saying "at least... " or "it could be worse... "? Those are not empathetic statements. Have you ever felt better or more understood when someone started a sentence with those phrases? I haven't.

Paul's reads:

His favorite book these days is definitely his "tractor" book. He can now say tractor which sounds like "tack-toe." It's so cute! There are different noises on each page which is why he especially loves this book!

He still loves lift the flap books, too, like "Where is Baby's Belly Button" and "Dear Zoo."

Lately he's enjoyed sitting on the floor by the ottoman, "reading" a book to himself.

At bedtime, one of his favorite books is Moo Baa La La La. He knows all the animal sounds so can kind of 'read along' (it says things like "the cow say moo" and "the sheep says baa" so he'll provide the animal sounds when we read the book) and loves saying "la la la" when we get to that page!

What are you reading these days?


katielookingforward said...

I just finished "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her" it was a little dry, but pretty darn interesting! I would recommend it for people who were Nancy drew fans.

Jeanie said...

I think I should have a baby and get a job and plan a move and maybe I'd read more too! Wow -- I'm impressed with your productivity.

This month I read the newest Louise Penny, two "quick" mysteries written in the 50s by Frances and Richard Lockridge, "Dear Madam President'" by Jennifer Palmieri and now I'm into a delightful book about some of Michael Moore's growing up stories.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I'm reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I just haven't had the focus to read this month which I expected, so it's been taking me awhile to get through it. When I'm in the book, I'm in. But picking it up has been hard.

Marlys said...

You and Phil have done a great job of making books so endearing to Paul! I love that!

Stephany said...

We read two of the same books this month! The Mother-in-Law and The Girl He Used to Know. Loved both of them! My favorite book from September was Bad Blood. Such an INSANE story.

Charbelle said...

I just added Mother In Law to my wishlist! The pictures of Paul are just TOO CUTE!!!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

All I've really been reading in the past month is student work, but I plan on starting a new book tomorrow. I have quite a few around the house that I haven't read, so I'll choose one of those likely.

Very good message regarding "Everything Happens for a Reason." It is definitely not helpful, nor comforting to hear those things.

Amber said...

I love that Paul can say Tractor!! So cute and adorable. Olivia was OBSESSED with the Pout Pout Fish for a lot of September. I must have read it 50 times. I finally had to hide the book as I was so sick of it lol

San said...

Great reading month! So many good books.