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.

PHOTO CREDIT: ROB WARDE VIA FLICKR

{ 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…

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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.

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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!
Donna
mylifeonestoryatatime.com

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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!

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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: http://wordsandpeace.com/2013/10/03/2013-september-wrap-up/

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Kim,

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

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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.

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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.

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Kim October 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm

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

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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!

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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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