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It feels like every month has been just an ok reading month this year but I can finally say September was a good reading month.
I read 14 books and had multiple five stars. There were a couple of duds in there too but nothing that was really awful. I’ve also been working my way through the Pretty Little Liars series and knocked a few more of those out.
I’ve been alternating between series books and other ones so I don’t get sick of PLL. It was also a memoir heavy month for me. I read one and figured I’d keep the momentum going and ended up reading four!
That’s a lot for me at once, I’m rarely in a memoir mood and haven’t been in a huge non-fiction mood in general lately. I’m hoping I can keep this going in October but we’ll see! So, here is everything I read in September!
- If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free. Get that Audible deal here.
- If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd! You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
- Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
- If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
- Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
- Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
- Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
- Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!
I’m Glad My Mom Died
Author: Jennette McCurdy
About the book: Jennette had her first audition at six years old. It was her mother’s dream for her only daughter to be a star. She recounts everything she would do to make her mom happy from restricting food and even being showered by her until she was sixteen and more in this heartbreaking memoir.
Final thoughts: This was very good but it could definitely be hard to read at times. It was a fast read for me, I think I finished it in two days. The chapters are super short which I loved. Like I said, it’s a hard read but it was very good and very well written.
Author: Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger
Genre: Nordic Noir
About the book: Sofia Kovic has uncovered a connection between several deaths in Oslo over the last year and a half. She tries calling Alexander Bliix for help but before he can return her call, she is shot and killed in her home. Her roommate, Blix’s daughter is in the apartment below and narrowly escapes.
Four days later Blix and Emma are locked in interrogation rooms recalling the events to investigators. They don’t know who they can trust and no ones life is certain anymore.
Final thoughts: This was the third book in the Alexander Blix and Emma Ramm series and definitely my favorite of the three. I was a lot more invested in this story and glad it wasn’t all sunshine and roses.
Author: Evette Davis
About the book: Jennifer “River” Petersen is a truck driver in Energy Territory No. 1, formerly North Dakota. She is weeks away from being done with the job when she saves a man from the middle of the road and her life is upended. Finn knows he has to conceal his identity or he’ll be left for dead but now they need to learn to trust not just each other, but themselves as well if they want to make it out alive.
Final thoughts: I really liked this. It’s not my top dystopian but it is different than the typical YA dystopians I usually read. The story and some of the characters strike pretty close to home and it’s something that I could actually see happening. Maybe not as soon as 2042 but I could see it.
Two Truths and a Lie
Author: April Henry
Genre: YA thriller
About the book: On the way to a drama competition, a group of students are caught in a blizzard. They stop at the first motel they see for the night. Another group shows up later, a robotics team, and they all decide to play two truths and a lie. It’s all fun and games until Nell pulls a slip of paper that says:
I like to watch people die.
I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.
Final thoughts: This was definitely my least favorite of the five or six April Henry books I’ve read so far, which is a bummer because I liked the others a lot and was very intrigued by the description on the cover.
From Good Reads: This was entertaining but it was definitely not good. And unlike the blurb on the back says, it is definitely not a worthy successor to Agatha Christie
Dewey the Library Cat
Author: Vicki Myron and Brett Witter
Genre: Memoir? Cats?
About the book: On one of the coldest days of the year in Spencer, Iowa, a kitten is left in the library drop box to freeze, but he miraculously survived and was taken in by the library staff, becoming the official library cat. He quickly wins over not just the library patrons, but the whole world.
Final thoughts: So, in case you didn’t know, we got two cats over the summer and I’ve made the full transition to cat lady. Picking this book from a Little Free Library sealed that deal.
This is a perfectly cute book about a cat that lives in a library. The writing is simple, the cat is cute, and it’s sad when it dies (not a spoiler because this is an old book).
The author talks about her life a little bit but it didn’t ruin the book for me like a lot of people said. A lot of people also complained that it’s just a regular cat, anyone could write this, and they’re not wrong, but this isn’t shown as a book about a cat that can read or something. It’s a regular cat but it lives in a library.
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: YA mystery
About the book: Not putting a description since it’s book six in the series.
Final thoughts: I don’t have much to say about these. I enjoy them. They’re fun, nostalgic teen mysteries and part of what really got me into reading so I have a soft spot for them.
You’d Be Home Now
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Contemporary mental health
About the book: Emory has always been known as hot Maddie’s sister or as stoner Joey’s babysitter, the good child. Everything changed after the car accident that killed Candy MontClair and revealed how bad Joey’s drug habit really was.
Four months later, school is starting and Joey is back from rehab, but the town is still reeling from the accident. Mill Haven wants everyone to live one story but Emory is starting to see that people are more than they appear.
Final thoughts: This was SO GOOD. It was a tough read at times but so good. And sad. I don’t really know what to say about this but you should definitely read it. It’s out of my normal wheelhouse but I loved it.
Author: Mikel Jollett
About the book: One morning after growing up in basically an orphanage in Synanon, Mikel and his brother escape with the woman who they are told is their mom.
This is his memoir of life growing up in poverty, facing drugs and alcohol, being raised by a clinically depressed mother, unpredictable step-fathers, and the long-term effects of the cult they left behind.
Final thoughts: This was really good. Like a lot of others on this months list, it was tough to read at times but definitely worth it. I will say though, I wouldn’t call this a cult book. Yes, they spent a few years in one, but this starts when they escape and he’s four years old (I think it was four.)
It does come up throughout the book and probably led to a lot of their life development and everything, but if you want to read about someone in a cult, just know this is all after and about struggles growing up and with family. A cult is still involved but I wouldn’t consider it a cult book.
Man, Fuck This House
Author: Brian Asman
Genre: Horror comedy
About the book: Sabrina and her family just moved into their dream home in Jackson Hill but things aren’t quite as they seem. She hears odd noises and sees weird things. Worst of all, her already difficult relationship with her son will really be tested here. The Haskins family may be the newest owners, but they’re not the only residents.
Final thoughts: From Good Reads: This wasn’t funny or scary but it was entertaining. I didn’t hate it by any means but I wasn’t expecting this to be the best ever either. It was weird that there was no swearing in the entire thing except when someone says the title of the book. And there were an EXCESSIVE number of fully capitalized words in this. I counted 9 on one page. 9!
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: YA mystery
About the book: Not putting a description since it’s book five in the series.
Final thoughts: Not specifically for this book, but the series, Hanna is so annoying. That’s it. Sort of spoilers but sort of not, I do appreciate the lack of fake deaths and the fact that sort of main people are killed off.
Author: Mike Nappa
About the book: Annabel Lee Truckson is a secret fourteen miiles outside of Peachtree, Alabama. Her mysterious uncle stowed her away in a bunker with a terrifying dog with the directions of not opening the door unless she hears the safe code.
Two people know about the girl, the Mute and “Dr. Smith,” and the race is on to find her but will Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill put the pieces together and get to her first?
Final thoughts: I got this at a library book sale probably before 2019 and this ENTIRE TIME I thought it was YA horror. I mean, look at the cover! Only about 10% in did I realize it is, in fact, a regular adult thriller.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this one a lot. It was very different than a lot of thrillers I normally choose but I like the topic this is about, I just didn’t know it was about it because that might give some things away.
Author: Elena and Clare Dunkle
About the book: Elena is seventeen and vanishing as she battles anorexia. This is a look at five years of fighting through school, treatment centers, and more.
Final thoughts: Finally, another difficult read, mental health-wise. It was very good though and I liked the writing style, how it’s choppy in the parts that are probably less clear in her memory but more put together as it goes on. I am always interested in reading about eating disorders though, so I figured I would like it.
Nowhere for Very Long
Author: Brianna Madia
About the book: Ok, this is a little different. You can read the offiicial description here, but I agree with this reviewer and her rewritten description a lot more.
Final thoughts: I used to love following Brianna. I found her Instagram shortly after moving to Utah and loved seeing her and Keith take the dogs canyoneering. I mean, who takes dogs canyoneering? So cool. I was SO excited when I found out she was writing a book.
And then they got divorced and canyoneering with dogs became drinking at the river. I Googled her at one point and found the “hate blog” about her (this isn’t a secret, she always complains about it) but I was already quickly losing interest in her content and that really sealed the deal. But I really wanted to know how the book was anyway so I listened to it anyway.
Save yourself the time and money and just read all of her Instagram captions instead. Or just get it from the library. I know, it’s a book, of course they’re like long Instagram captions, but like, most of this wasn’t new information, just slightly expanded.
I think everyone should be able to tell their story but I don’t think everyones story needs to be an entire memoir, this included. If the whole thing was like part three or the slot canyon chapter, it would have been a lot better.
From Good Reads: This was just fine. I’m glad I didn’t pay $30 for it, that’s for sure. I listened to it and in the beginning, she sounded so bored and annoyed reading it. I don’t think parts 1 and 2 were really all that necessary. The slot canyon chapter was definitely the best.
Perhaps it would have been better if all of it was like part 3.
Perhaps it would have been better with shorter chapters because these felt disjointed.
Perhaps it would have been better in chronological order.
Perhaps it would have been better if perhaps was used less
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: YA mystery
About the book: Not putting a description since it’s book four in the series.
Final thoughts: It’s fun. I like it. I enjoyed the big reveal. I don’t remember this at all from my first read-through of these but I liked it a lot.
Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in September?