Books I Read in September 2017

September was a fantastic month of nonfiction! It wasn’t a bad month in fiction either, but the nonfiction is what really stood out for me.

    Fiction

  1. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

    Book #2 in the Temeraire series, and I enjoyed this one almost as much as the first. What I especially enjoyed was the setup this one provides for future books in the series, and I’m eager to read more and see where Novik takes the characters.

  2. The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd

    So many coincidences to help Bess figure out the mystery, and too little of some secondary characters, but I’m still glad I read this entry in the Bess Crawford series. I’m both curious and concerned to know how Todd handles the end of the war – Bess serving as a nurse at the front is such a big part of the series, so what will happen with it once the war ends? If you’ve read later books in the series and know the answer to this question, don’t tell me; I’ll get there eventually.

  3. A Matter of Justice by Charles Todd

    I do imagine Bess meeting up with Ian Rutledge, and Todd having his two series collide in a sense. Hey, J. A. Jance did it once with her two series. This entry in the Rutledge series was less a complete whodunnit and a bit more of a howdunnit, but I always enjoy following along as he solves his cases, and rooting for him as he clashes with his boss at Scotland Yard.

  4. Final Account by Peter Robinson

    A re-read as I continue on with the Inspector Banks series, and get closer to catching up to where I left off with it pre-kids. It’s fun seeing the hints of events that happen in future books being dropped in these earlier titles, and it’s striking how much Robinson improved as a mystery author. In other words, read the early entries in the Banks series to get to know the characters, but realize that the later ones are much better.

  5. Just Killing Time by Julianne Holmes

    A cute cozy mystery. I was in the mood for something more in the light-and-fluffy mystery realm and this fit the bill. I may read the second one when I’m looking for another title of that sort. If those are your preferred mysteries, I think you might enjoy this one as well.

  6. Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson

    Listened to this one, as I continue to re-read the earlier ones in the series to get caught up with where I left off reading them.

  7. Nonfiction

  8. Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table by Bri McKoy

    (Review title) Thought-provoking, and with some tasty sounding recipes as well. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and recommend it.

  9. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas

    Entertaining account and I hope it works well as a discussion title.

  10. Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

    LOVED this as an audiobook, so if you’re on the fence as far as which format to get, GET THE AUDIO. Hatmaker is funny and friendly, and so thought-provoking. I thought it connected well with Come and Eat, which I’d just finished right around when I was listening to Mess and Moxie.

  11. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

    Fascinating, both the modern story, and the earlier story that forms the basis for the search. I love reading about people doing things where I have ZERO desire to do that as well (see: Walking the Amazon) and this is another perfect example of that. I’m tempted to watch the movie that’s based on this book, to see how they adapted the two storylines.

  12. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

    SO. GOOD. I’m not entirely sure how to put some of the idas into practice in my life as a mom though, but it gave me so much to think about and consider.

  13. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

    Also loved this one, and the research behind it, and the stories Dweck uses to support her conclusions. It gave me so much to think about, both looking back on my life, but especially looking ahead. How can I keep a growth mindset for myself (in all areas; I’ve always done well at having one in some areas, but not at all in others), but especially now, how do I help cultivate one in my kids?

  14. Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

    Loved this summary of what research shows about success, and how to achieve it. Even more, I loved the stories Barker includes that illustrate his points about success and the ways people have achieved it, both in expected and unexpected ways. My only disappointment was when I finished it and discovered that it’s Barker’s only book; I was hoping to find that he had a half dozen other titles to enjoy. If you like Malcolm Gladwell, try this for a similar feel.

  15. Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

    Interesting summary look at various personality typing systems, and how to use them to make improvements in your own life. Reading it, and then reading the Gretchen Rubin book The Four Tendencies, I wish Bogel’s book had come out later (or Rubin’s earlier), so Bogel could also have included a chapter on the four tendencies – I’d be interested in how she condensed it down and put her own spin on it.

  16. The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin

    A fascinating look into the four tendencies, and great ideas about how to work with your own tendency, and the tendencies of people around you. I got slightly sidetracked from the book itself by one story about an obliger because their way of approaching life is so completely different than mine (questioner here).

  17. Kid Lit

  18. Ride on, Will Cody! by Caroline Starr Rose, illustrated by Joe Lillington

    Beautifully illustrated, nicely told. I’m such a fangirl for Rose’s work.

  19. Baby by Patricia Maclachlan

    Sweet middle-grade story, but not a must-read for adults.

  20. Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright

    Fun conclusion to the story begun in Gone-Away Lake. I look forward to letting my kids read these books in the near(ish) future.

  21. Prairie School by Lois Lenski

    One of the books in Lenski’s Regional America series. I like the look at American life in very specific times and places, although it also includes some of the drawbacks to that as well.

  22. Nothing by Annie Barrows

    I so wanted to love this book, but found it disappointing overall. It’s really easy to read, and the two main characters are appealing. But there is so much casual profanity, and drug use mentioned, and some (slight) sexual content, that isn’t balanced by anything beneficial in the book. I get that the book is trying to show how much is happening during years teens say nothing is happening, but ultimately, I didn’t find it offered enough of anything to justify the reading time.

  23. The Grave of Lainey Grace by Aaron Galvin

    Love the magical touches in the story (leprechauns!) but the character development is weak to the point of unbelievability. As a younger reader, I doubt I’d have noticed though, and would have just enjoyed the story.

  24. Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
  25. Like Bug Juice on a Burger
  26. Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake by Julie Sternberg, illustrated by Matthew Cordell

    Cute novels in verse. They all can stand alone, but there is a bit of progression between them, so there’s a slight advantage to reading them in order. The illustrations are sweet as well, and fit the book nicely.

Never Finished

  • Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

    I thought, yes! I’ll read another Jane Eyre-inspired book! And I started it and the writing is engaging and I was caring about Rochester and I realized that no, I did not want to read the book. I was expecting him to get his heart stomped on by life (and his awful father and lousy brother) and no, I didn’t want to put myself through it. So I sent it back to the library after only a couple of chapters.


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    Comments

    1. This is SO impressive….and excited to check out so many of these non-fiction reads. I need to get back in a non-fiction rotation!

    2. I’ll have to look for Come and Eat. Sounds like it would one I would enjoy as well.

    3. I have got to start the Temeraire series soon. They sound so good!

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