What I Read in September

I read eight books in September. Three were audiobooks, five were hardcover, three were library books. All but two of the books were by new-to-me authors. Unfortunately, none of my September reads were particular hits. I’d say that even my favorite books of the month were in the three-star range. 

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📚Best Books of the Month📚

📖 Verity by Colleen Hoover — I am so glad to have FINALLY read this book, which gets so much hype on Bookstagram. It wasn’t my favorite book or the most surprising book, but it was a fun read. Reminded me of The Wife Upstairs by Freida McFadden, if you want to read another version of this kind of story.

📖 Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie — This wasn’t my typical thriller (it’s more about a cult with legal-thriller undertones), but I enjoyed it. The voice/protagonist was matter-of-fact and methodical in a way I liked and it was pleasing to watch her figure out what was going on.

🎧 A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson — Predictable but satisfying. If you enjoyed the original Serial podcast, I think you’ll like this one.

📚Okay Books📚

📖 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls — I’ve been reading this to my kid for a few months because it is one of those classics that everyone’s “supposed” to read… and my daughter and I both felt it was just okay. Some nice imagery, beautiful characterization. But sad, and gory in needless ways, and I didn’t feel like it left with me with anything resonant. 

🎧 The Inmate by Freida McFadden — This was a decent listen, but very predictable and I didn’t feel like the characterization was particularly strong. I questioned a lot of the protagonist’s motivations and actions. I would recommend Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier instead.

🎧 The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf — This is the second time I gave this book a go, and I’m glad I revisited it. It was fine. The plot was extremely predictable, but I liked the writing and the slow reveal of all the twists. I think Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica (mini review here) was a much better and more interesting version of this type of book, but this wasn’t unenjoyable.

📚Other Books📚

📖 The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager — This book took a turn somewhere into the absolutely wild, which made it both more interesting to me and also confirmed that Sager is, sadly, not an author for me.

📖 First Born by Will Dean — The characterization felt a little slapdash, the pacing felt very strange to me (sometimes skipping rapidly over things, other times dwelling on details that made no impact whatsoever on the story), and the twist was completely unearned. I read this as part of a buddy read and I was so thankful that most of the other participants thought this was as unsatisfying and poorly crafted as I did. One small, random thing that added to my dislike of this book was that there were so many instances of scene setting based on where the protagonist was in the city. Like, “She walked down Main Street and turned onto First Avenue, passing X store and Y landmark and Z park.” It was so frequent and so unimportant to the story, I found it really annoying.

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2 thoughts on “What I Read in September

  1. I feel like I must have read Where The Red Fern Grows, but on reading the description, maybe I haven’t? I was completely uninterested in books that didn’t have a female protagonist, when I was a child. Well, kind of still now.

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  2. All I remember about Where the Red Fern Grows is my sister sobbing hysterically. Poor sister. She took it hard! What a nice month of reading for you – lots of good stuff!

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