Reading Lately ~ September reading

September reading the vanishing half

This book was supposed to be included in my September reading post but … I’m still reading it.

Last month wasn’t so great on the reading front but thank heavens my September reading was much better. And by much better, I mean, it was probably the best reading month for me this year. I unintentionally picked up so many good books this past month and because they were mostly good reads, I read them quickly. If you’ve heard me complaining about my reading slump all year (and I mean all year), then you know this is great news.

Many of the books were read for Erin’s book challenge, but I also had quite a few on my radar for quite some time.

These are the books I’ve been reading lately.

Loved it:

September reading ~ Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other ~ Bernadine Evaristo

This (well deserved) 2019 Booker prize winner took me on a wild ride. This was our book club pick a few months ago but I didn’t complete it then, for some reason I just couldn’t get into it at that time (which is why even though I enjoyed it this time I didn’t give it 5 stars). I’m so sorry I just got around to finishing/reading this. It is brilliant and was one of my favourites in my September reading.

I was drawn in from the first line and it kept me captivated until the end. It’s a multiple voice novel which tells the stories of 12 very different minority characters in England. I don’t even want to give a synopsis I just want whoever reads this review to read this book.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

The Handmaid’s Tale ~ Margaret Atwood

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while. That said I went into this knowing two things 1. it’s a popular book 2. It’s a popular tv series is based on. That’s all I knew. I had no concept of what the story was about until I read the blurb right before starting the book.

My thoughts: It was a trippy dive into the anti-Feminist patriarchal dystopian Republic of Gilead… and it was a fantastic story vivid story. I truly enjoyed it and its at the top of my  September reading list.

I will say, it took me a minute to grasp where it was going, but when I got it, I loved it. Now tell me, is the Testaments a worthy follow up?

4/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Clap when you land ~ Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo is my one of my favourite Caribbean diaspora writers. She’s a master of poetic prose and I always feel like I’m attending a speak easy when I read her words. They have a powerful effect on me. This is my third Acevedo book for the year and at this point I just want to read anything she writes.

Like her other books, this is a YA novel that doesn’t just cater to the young adult. The book is a fictional story based on the very real crash of American Airlines flight 587 on 12 November 2001. It is the second deadliest crash in American history and many of the passengers were Dominican. The story follows the two daughters of a fictional character who died on that flight. Two girls who didn’t know each other existed. One in Dominica, one in the US.

As someone who has experienced grief with the death of my sister, I’m always very curious to read about the moment that grief begins, when people learn of their loss and that their lives have changed. This book did it so well. A couple things: As a Caribbean woman I’ve absolutely heard stories of men with families in the US and at home that don’t have a clue about each other. That was accurately portrayed. I also loved the insertion of the clapping when the plane landed as It’s an old Caribbean tradition.

My only critique is that Camino and Yahaira were almost interchangeable to me. I wish they were more distinguishable personality wise so that I knew immediately whose story I was reading. For this, its a 4 not a 5 for me.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

A very large expanse of sea ~ Tahereh Mafi

‘I could no longer distinguish people from monsters’.

My second YA for the month that wasn’t only catered to young adult readers. The kind of YA I don’t mind reading. Its 2002, a year after 9/11 and Shirin is a 16 year old Muslim, daughter of Iranian immigrants, a student in a new high school enduring relentless bullying because of her race, religion and culture.

I liked that I related to the technology references in the early 2000s (it’s remarkable how fast technology changed in the last few years).

What I really liked though was that the story felt so personal. I honestly got so angry at the discrimination at points that I had to put it down. Tahereh Mafi spared no feelings in her writing and I loved it. A heartbreaking but beautiful teen love story.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Kristin Hannah ~ Night Road

Well I wasn’t exactly expecting this heart wrecking yet beautiful book. What a whirlwind.

Three friends. One summer that changed everything. I know I know, the thrope has been done, but not like this. I can’t believe so much was packed into this 400 page book. To put it frankly, there was a whole lot of sad. I was actually quite emotional reading this.

A tale about longing for family, friendship, love and loss. There were characters I loved and characters I didn’t care for, but empathized with. Truly a deep tale of grief and overcoming. Of love and loss and moving forward.

It was a 5 star for me until the very end which was maybe a bit to nicely wrapped up. Still. Read it.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

The subtweet: a novel ~ Vivek Shraya

Two musicians, one beautiful friendship until a subtweet by one of the friends causes and internet firestorm and the implosion of the friendship.

I love the discussion of race and how brown women must present themselves to be famous. I love the portrayal of jealousy and friendship.

Definitely recommend.

4/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Liked it:

september reading

The Switch ~ Beth O’Leary

received an audio copy from Netgalley for honest review

Although the audio quality wasn’t the best, I enjoyed it.

The story follows namesakes Lena (short for Eileen)and her grandmother Eileen. Cute book. Fast paced. Enjoyed it.

Love the relationship the characters had with each other. I loved the characters full stop. A cute book that I didn’t expect to like as much as I did.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

The two lives of Lydia Bird ~ Josie Silver

In 2018 Lydia’s fiancé Freddie died. Together for 10 years when he died, Lydia struggles to lead her new life until she finds a way to have Freddie in her life again.

Lydia’s grief was written so well. It was palpable. It’s a wonderful, yet heartbreaking, romance. I also loved her development throughout the novel.

That said, I did have a few issues. I’m not sure I love what the author did with Freddie’s memory. In fact I know I didn’t like it (but I’m glad she explained it and acknowledged that the memories were trampling the reality of Freddie). I also got the point. I guess. Still… I also didn’t like some of the relationships that developed in the latter half of the story. It is what it is, but some problematic things were wrapped up too easily.

Finally, I also thought it was probably a bit longer than it needed to be. There were a couple of times I thought, this is a good place to end what more could come?

Still a solid enjoyable read and I’d recommend.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Not my vibe:

N/A

 

Since I was on a YA kick this month (mostly due to the book challenge, I’m still not the hugest fan of YA), I also re-read one of my favourite YA books, Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the Universe. It wasn’t originally on my September reading list but I opened it and fell down the rabbit hole. Loved it. Again. A few years ago when I co-ran an online book club, that was one of the book club picks and you can read my last review here.

And that’s it for my September reading.

Linking up with Steph and Jana

Have a great on guys!!

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