Friday, September 30, 2022

September Books

Can you believe that reading wasn't my jam growing up?! Clif Notes were my best friends in high school - I'd "read enough" to get by for a paper or test, but other than that I did not enjoy the act of reading so never did it... like ever. Maybe I wasn't reading things that held my interest or maybe it was because it was "required" so I didn't find it enjoyable, but whatever the reason, I'm glad I challenged myself to add the goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (which turned into 88 books in 201777 books in 201867 books in 201966 books in 2020 and 67 books in 2021). In the last year or so, especially since going back to work outside of the house full-time, the majority of my "reading" has been through audiobooks since I don't have as much time to sit and read physical books (not to mention I walk to work and walk on my lunch break so have two-ish hours a day I can listen to something). Even still, holding a physical book is the bomb diggity and I hope to get back to adding more reading vs listening. Just like in years past, writing a monthly recap of the books I get through is a great way for me to both record what I'm reading and to stay accountable. So here are the books I finished in September:

  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman - Okay, so it has been a HOT minute since I have actually finished a book (or even started one). I haven't been inspired by any of the audiobooks I had seen on my Hoopla app and I hadn't made reading a physical book a priority (I could use the excuse that I haven't had time, but if I had time to scroll through social media I have time to read a chapter or two). Anywho, the hubby and I went to Hawaii to meet up with his dad so I had about six hours of uninterrupted time to just read on the plane (which was LOVELY!) so I was able to grab a couple books off my "to read" pile to pack for the flights. I have read a few of Backman's books and always enjoy them, so figured that would be the case with this one - and it was. This is a sweet story about a seven year old and her wacky grandmother. I thought it was a very creative storyline and loved how imagination tied in with reality throughout the adventures Elsa went on. I wasn't able to finish the whole book on the flight, but thankfully with jetlag the hubby and I stayed up a little later that first night and I was able to find out how the story ended. I would say that this wasn't my favorite of his books, but it still kept me interested the entire time. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Nowhere Near First by Cory Reese - I read this one on the flight back from Hawaii. I love following Cory on social media and have been needing to "get around to" reading some of his books, so finally made it happen. He's a "back of the pack" ultra runner who always seems to be tackling super zany adventures. As I'm sure you can guess, not only do I love running and talking about running, but I love reading about it too and this book is no exception. I assumed the book would be amusing, but I didn't expect it to be so real/ raw. Although, if I really was to think about it, runners often are "oversharers," especially while running, so I guess it makes sense (please don't hear this and think it is a bad thing - I just know that a lot of runners talk about how while running a lot of the pretense is wiped away and will talk about everything and anything without a second thought). I appreciate all of the insights Cory shared and am already looking forward to reading the next book of his I have on my shelf (Stronger Than the Dark). I originally grabbed the book for the entertainment value, but stuck around for the vulnerability and positivity through struggle and adversity. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Flash Fire by TJ Klune - After remembering how much I enjoy reading, I decided to scope out my Hoopla app to see if any good audiobooks had been added recently. I noticed that there was a sequel to TJ Klune's The Extraordinaires, so I thought I'd give it a go since I enjoyed the first one when I listened to it last year. I'll be honest, I didn't love it as much as some of TJ's other books (The House in the Cerulean Sea is in my top ten favorite books), but this was entertaining and kept me smiling. Normally superhero storylines aren't my go-to, but I love how down-to-earth and real the kids (and adults) seem. Also, I absolutely believe that representation matters, so I appreciate that this series has LGBTQIA+ heroes. (I also didn't realize there was a third story in the series, so hopefully it becomes available on my Hoopla app soon!) I would give it an 8 out of 10. 

With that, September has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list! 

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What's the best book you've read lately? 

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