What I Read This Month: September

This was a slow month.  The library is in some kind of slow down and not a lot of new books have come out and I was on vacation for some of it, and The Son was nine thousand pages long.  Annoying.

99.  Navigating Early

navigating early

I really liked Moon Over Manifest but this didn’t do it for me.

100.  Getting Mother’s Body

getting mother's body

I was led to believe that this was the best book in the history of recorded time. It was fine, and I’m glad I read it, but it wasn’t any kind of life changing read for me.

101.  Reconstructing Amelia

reconstructing amelia

Meh. I read it out of sheer desperation. It was fine.


102.  Escape From Camp 14

escape from camp 14

A tidge weird, but fascinating and terrifying and I learned a lot about North Korea, none of which I had any idea about before.  You’ll never complain about a bad meal again, I’ll tell you that.

103.  The Son

the son

I loved the first couple of hundred pages, despite the fact that it was really violent.  Fair warning: REALLY violent, much of it towards women.  It’s divided into chapters told by three alternating narrators though, and one of the narrators is a Grade A Dud.  And it’s at least 200 pages two long.  People are talking Pulitzer Prize, but I think not. Sorry.

104.  Fangirl


It’s so hard to talk about this book.  First of all, I was nervous in the first fifty pages that I wouldn’t like it at all, it takes some time to get going and Eleanor & Park was so wonderful and this is very different.  It’s older and it’s longer and less innocent feeling.  But it’s still one of the best books I’ve read in a long long time. And Rainbow Rowell pulled off some things that I didn’t think she was going to be able to pull off and she sold it.   The way she writes her secondary characters – slowly, interestingly, lovingly, and with so much fun and friendliness – reminds me of old school Sarah Dessen.  Approve. But with the caveat that it didn’t become a part of my heart the way that Eleanor & Park always will be.  It’s a really good book.  Not sure it’s a GREAT book, but that just might because I believe Ms. Rowell really does have TRULY great in her and I’m just waiting and watching to see it happen again.

105.  Spirit and Dust

spirit and dust

I liked the main character in this book, but the plot was the stuff of absolute nonsense.  People on Goodreads gave this book FIVE STARS! My hope for humanity is lost.

106. Transatlantic.


Very well written, very boring.


107. Visitation Street.

Meh.  I had to skim the last half.

visitation street

108.  Lost Girls

lost girls

I found it extremely odd that a person would write a book about an unsolved mystery and not at least postulate a few theories about what happened.  Do some detective work, maybe? I really don’t understand what this book adds to the story except a ton of backstory about the victims.


10 Responses

  1. I totally agree with you re: Fangirl. Which you knew already.

  2. Your review is exactly why I picked up and then, upon reading the summary, immediately put down Lost Girls at the library. Just seemed like literary journalistic wallowing.

  3. Nothing to Envy is an excellent nonfiction book about N. Korea. I wasn’t particularly interested but I read it and now I’m fascinated.http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Envy-Ordinary-Lives-North/dp/0385523912

  4. I love how vastly different your concept of “slow month” is compared to mine. I would have to give up youtube, reality tv, and bathing my children to have a slow month like that. Which I’m not prepared to do (except maybe the third one).

    I am now checking your archives to see if you read the ocean at the end of the lane yet, because I LOVED it and will probably force you into a mini book club session at the Blathering if you have read it.

  5. I loved Fangirl and all but clap my hands every time someone else loves it. I want her to write more, MORE.

  6. I hate it when I have to write “well-written, but boring.” Michael Chabon’s Summerland was like that and it hurt my heart. The writing was so good, it really was. But I just wanted to fall asleep every time I had to pay attention to it.

  7. I would like a post on how you choose what to read (am totally serious). Pick them up at random? Researched on goodreads prior to choosing?

    • I think I have written about that ages ago, but it’s a combination of word of mouth, the NYT book reviews, other people’s blog posts, and Amazon’s “best of” lists, plus what my library puts on the “lucky day” shelves.

  8. I am reading The Orphan Master’s Son right now (fiction), and it’s a little strange/sometimes hard to follow, but on the whole it’s very engrossing and has me wanting to read non-fiction on North Korea. I put Escape from Camp 14 on my to-read list, and Nothing to Envy was already there. I can’t decide, though, if I need a break to read something lighter first or if I should just keep driving on the DPRK theme.

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