September Reading Wrap-Up and a Look to October

by Kim on October 4, 2013 · 18 comments

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Friends, I can’t seem to write a book review to save my life. I’m not sure what the deal is, but in the spirit of low-stress blogging I’m trying to not let it bug me too much and just go with the flow (easier said than done… but whatever).

September felt like a pretty slow reading month, but I ended up finishing six books (only slightly below average for me). I think the reason it felt so slow is that I finished four books* in the first week, then only two books for the entire rest of the month. Here’s how it broke down:

  • Atwood, Margaret: MaddAddam (fiction)
  • Valenti, Jessica: Why Have Kids? (nonfiction)
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (YA fiction)
  • Sandberg, Sheryl: Lean In (nonfiction)
  • Atwood, Margaret: Cat’s Eye (fiction)

Reading a bunch of Margaret Atwood books in a row has been really fun. I decided to read all three books in the Maddaddam Trilogy back-to-back (two were finished in August), and then I did a “book club” style discussion about Cat’s Eye with some friends of mine last weekend. I don’t have any specific plans for more Atwood through the end of the year, but I have a ton of her books on my shelves that I could choose from if the mood strikes.

I also really enjoyed Why Have Kids? and Lean In, which get at a lot of similar issues in two very different ways. I know there’s been some criticism of Lean In, but reading it really made me think harder about my career and the choices I have and will continue to have to make.

A Look to October

I haven’t spent a lot of time looking ahead to October books, but I know that my shelves are really full of galley to choose from (I mentioned a few of them last week). Here are some other reading options:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling — My sister and I have been slowly working our way through the entire Harry Potter series this summer, but we stalled out after book six. I think we’re both just sad the project will be ending, so we’re procrastinating. But procrastinate no more, I want to finish this out in October.
  • Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink — This is cheating a little bit, since I’m about ⅔ of the way done with this book… but if I finish it that will be good. It’s crazy awesome and also crazy infuriating so far.
  • How to Watch Television by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell — This is a NYU Press book looking at different styles of television criticism. The Literary Omnivore had a great review of it this week, which made me excited to give it a whirl.
  • The Preservationist by Justin Kramon — I met Justin Kramon at my first Book Expo America all the way back in 2010. He was really nice to talk with, and I enjoyed reading his first book, Finny. The Preservationist is a shift in style from Finny (from coming-of-age story to psychological thriller), but I’m excited to try it out.

What books are you excited to read this month?

* Finishing four books in a week sounds crazy, but two of them were books I started in August and just got around to finishing at the beginning of September.


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Cecilia October 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thanks for talking about Margaret Atwood. I have never read her before (!) but really want to, and was planning to dive in in October. I recently picked up Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin at a library sale, but then ordered a new copy of The Handmaid’s Tale as so many people have recommended starting with that. What do you think?

I have been debating whether or not I should pick up Lean In…

It’s amazing you can finish 6+ books in a month! 4 is a good number for me. I find myself waiting until the end of the day to read, at which point I’m often a bit brain dead…


Kim October 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

Good question. I love The Blind Assassin (it might be my favorite Atwood) but I think it’s a little more difficult to get into right away than The Handmaid’s Tale. For your first on, I think The Handmaid’s Tale is a great place to start.


Donna McBroom-Theriot October 5, 2013 at 11:25 am

I have had a month like you as well. I’ve read and read and read, but to sit down at the computer and write the book reviews? Well, not so much. I am finally catching up so that’s good. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles with just sitting down and writing!


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

It really is just a matter of sitting down and writing. I need one day of focus to get caught up, I think, I just can’t seem to find it!


Emma @ Words And Peace October 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I have also such a hard time catching up with book reviews!
Wow, reading a bunch of Atwood books in a row makers me think it would be depressing to me, not fun, lol!
here is my recap:


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I think Atwood is so brilliant that her books don’t really depress me. I also got to discuss Cat’s Eye with some friends, which made it more fun to read than really sad.


Laurie C October 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I’m terribly behind on book and audiobook reviews. Most I’m not committed to review (library books, books I bought, etc.) but I just haven’t been able to get myself to work on reviews at all…


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm

When I get stuck on review writing I will try to write about books in a different way (mini-reviews, more personal posts with bookish stories), but I’m feeling a little lethargic about doing that too. But oh well, it’ll pass.


Jennifer October 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

I’d really like to read all three of the MaddAddam books as well. I received the 3rd one but haven’t read the first two! I need to do that…I can’t read books out of order. It makes me OCD senses go bonkers ;)

Congrats on a great Sept!


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

They’re really fun to read in order. I love the way the world she’s creating expands with each book until you get this big picture with many characters in the third of the series.


Athira October 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I have Preservationist to read as well. I’m looking forward to it. Hope you get your blogging mojo back soon.


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I hope it’s wonderful. I like when authors try new things, so I think it’ll be fun in that respect no matter what.


Rebecca @ Love at First Book October 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm


What did you think of the end of Cat’s Eye?? I felt like it kind of just ended, a little anti-climactically.


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I thought there was going to be some sort of dramatic reveal in the end (a big plot twist), so when that didn’t come it seemed a little strange. But I still liked it — it seems sort of appropriate to not have a big ending when so much of the book was small and focused internally with Elaine.


Diane@BibliophilebytheSea October 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Good September. I do want to read Five Days at the Memorial…will watch for your review. Happy Reading.


Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I just finishe that one a few minutes ago — it was remarkable!


Charlie October 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

I’m currently procrastinating on writing a review. Reading those non-fiction books must indeed have made for an interesting comparison, there is so much about motherhood in Lean In (the one I’ve read). Hope you enjoy HP!


Katie @ Doing Dewey October 8, 2013 at 8:03 am

I’ve got a lot of non-fiction I’m excited about this month! I need to read Five Days at Memorial too and am also excited to read Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave :)


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