the sparkly life: All the Books I Read in September

Monday, September 30, 2019

All the Books I Read in September



As I've mentioned before, I have stepped up my reading big time this year. As of today, at the end of September, I've read 93 books so far in 2019 (woo!). I read 12 this past month (four audiobooks and seven "regular" books), and I've listed them below with short descriptions. If you're looking for something to read, there's lots to love here. And of course, to keep up with all of book recs, follow my bookstagram, @alyssaisbooked. Happy reading!

Loved/Highly Recommend/Read these immediately:

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag: This was hands-down my favorite book I read this month. It tells the story of an apocalyptic world where, thanks to climate change and epic storms and floods, the United States has been completely submerged under water. The world that remains is dangerous, lawless, and terrifying. The story centers on Myra, a mother whose five-year-old daughter, Row, is taken from her on the very first, gut-wrenching page. She spends the rest of the book searching for her (along with her other daughter, Pearl) and trying to survive. The book is heartbreaking, thrilling, hopeful, fascinating, terrifying, and surprisingly action-packed. The writing is absolutely beautiful as well. It was 400 pages, but I flew through them and honestly wish there were 400 more. I truly loved this book.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead: This was just nominated for the National Book Award, and for good reason: It's absolutely incredible. It tells the story of Elwood, a young African American boy sent to a reform school for a crime he didn’t commit. We follow Elwood’s time at the Nickel school, which is truly hell on earth. The boys are forced to do hard labor. Schooling is essentially non-existent. The administration is corrupt. Horrendous abuse is rampant. And though no one who went to the school was unscathed, the story takes place in the 1960s, so the school was segregated and the black children got it much, much worse. But perhaps the scariest thing about this book is that it is closely based on a real reform school, the Dozier School for Boys, where real-life atrocities occurred, and around 70 (!) unmarked graves have since been recovered. (Those poor, poor boys.) The fact that this book is based on true events makes it even more powerful. But it’s also just a great story with incredible writing, strong characters, and a real emotional pull. The book feels timeless and destined to become a classic. I was so moved by it, and I know the story of Elwood and the rest of the Nickel boys will stay with me for a long, long time.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin: This book launched earlier this year, but I finally just got around to reading it once Laura Tremaine--who I recently recorded a podcast with--named it as one of her top reads of the summer. It was so good! It tells the tale of four siblings who visit a fortune teller as children. The fortune teller's power is that she can predict the date of your death, so each child learns the exact day he or she is supposedly going to die. We then follow each child as they grow up and live their lives, burdened with this incredible knowledge. We see how it affects every choice that they make--and we do see when and how they die. Fascinating, gripping, and very well-written.

Really liked/Recommend:

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman: Nina is an introverted bookstore employee living a very solitary, simple life in Los Angeles, when she suddenly gets the news that her father (who she has never met) has died and left her with a huge extended family (and a potential fortune). We then follow as she navigates this new family--and life. This book was such a pleasant surprise! I think I was expecting something super light and chick-lit-y, but it was so much more than that. It's smart and funny, and a true love letter to the joy of reading.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur: In the beginning of this memoir, the then 14-year-old author is woken by her mother who confides that she has just kissed a male family friend (who, uh, is not her father). And thus begins a disturbing and decades-long affair between her mother and the man, and an even more inappropriate mother-daughter relationship. The mom basically makes her daughter an accomplice in the affair, using her to help keep her secrets from everyone else. It's crazy, you won't be able to put it down, and you'll never be so thankful for your normal mother!

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson: This book was unlike anything I've ever read before. Woodson's writing style is beautiful--and so different! It almost reads like poetry. It also reads like a long short story, rather than a traditional book, if that makes sense. (This is not a long book--I read it in a few hours in a single afternoon.) It covers race, teenage pregnancy, family, poverty, mistakes, and coming of age. It's really a beautiful story and I absolutely loved the ending.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen: Though I really love so much of Bruce Springsteen's music, I wouldn't call myself a hardcore fan. But I still really enjoyed this book! Some of it is very detailed (and might be better suited to that hardcore fan), but most of it was fascinating to me. Loved learning how he grew up, how he got started in music, how he was discovered, and the stories behind his biggest songs. (I found myself constantly stopping the book to look up and listen to the various songs after his stories!) Note: I listened to the audiobook version of this and I definitely can't imagine doing it any other way. Bruce reads it himself!


Liked/Worth reading:

Howard Stern Comes Again by Howard Stern: I used to be a huge Howard Stern fan back in high school, and though I haven't listened to his radio show in years, I still love his interview style. (And I have a new appreciation for him now because of the work he does fostering cats with his wife Beth. We got our two cats from them!) This book is a collection of transcripts of his best celebrity interviews throughout the years, interspersed with thoughts and writings from Stern about his relationships, his struggles, his insecurities, his regrets, and more. His honestly and insight is remarkable, and the book is probably nothing like what you'd expect. Howard Stern is definitely all grown up now. 

The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey: I listened to the audiobook version of this; it's supershort. It's mostly interviews that Oprah has done with various people throughout the years, all focused on self-discovery and finding your calling. (These are all interspersed with Oprah's own thoughts, which were my favorite parts.) Some interviews/chapters were better than others, but some were incredibly powerful. (One line in one chapter even stopped me in my tracks on the street and brought me to tears.) If you love Oprah, you'll love this.

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza: This book tells the story of Charlotte Walsh, an accomplished wife, mother, and businesswoman who decides to leave the private sector to run for an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania. We follow her as she navigates balancing campaigning and family life, and dealing with sexist political attacks. It's a really fun read. Note: When I posted on my bookstagram that I was reading it, I had been told by a few people that the ending ruined the whole thing for them. (One person told me she threw the book across the room when she got to the last page!) I have to say, that I didn't love the ending, but when I read the author's explanation for it (which she does explain in the back of the book), I could see where she was coming from and I "got it." Fun, smart book, especially if you're at all into politics.

Ehh:

One More Thing by B.J. Novak: I did the audiobook version of this, which was fun because a lot of celebs like Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham guest on it, but at the end of the day, the book was just okay for me. It's a collection of short stories that are all super random and weird. Some of them are random and weird in a good way--and some of them are just weird. I found a handful of them great and really funny, but I wasn't that into most of them. Sorry, B.J.--I still love you!

Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler: I got this audiobook because I had just listened to Chelsea's most recent book (Life Will Be the Death of Me) back in August and I loved it. (So funny and really personal and moving, too!). I was hoping for something similar with this one, but oh my god--not the case. This book is from 2008, but it felt like it was written in the Stone Age. It was very uncomfortable to listen to because it's weirdly racist a lot, and honestly, just not funny. Handler has clearly matured a lot in the last 11 years. Thank god.

Have you guys read any of these books? (If so, what did you think?) And did you read anything else in September that you loved? Tell me! I'm always looking for recommendations.



17 comments:

expert assignment help said...

Wow, what an impressive list of books you've read in September! Your passion for reading truly shines through, and I can see why you've been able to cover so many books this year. The way you describe each book with such enthusiasm makes me want to dive into each one immediately!

"After the Flood" by Kassandra Montag sounds like an emotionally charged and gripping post-apocalyptic tale. The concept of a submerged United States and the protagonist's quest to find her daughter is both heartbreaking and thrilling. The rich storytelling and beautiful writing you described are definitely enticing.

going from concept to instant application book author said...

The transformative book "From Vision to Reality" is authored by Emily Hayes. Through practical insights and real-world examples, Hayes guides readers on swift concept realization. Her expertise empowers individuals and entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between ideas and immediate, impactful application

shadow in the night book said...

Shadow in the Night, a gripping mystery novel authored by Laura Thompson, delves into a web of secrets. Thompson's skillful storytelling casts an eerie atmosphere as characters navigate darkness. Intrigue and suspense unfold, leaving readers enthralled by the enigmatic shadows that shroud the narrative.

senior fitness motivation book said...

Stronger Than Ever by Marty Gallagher is a powerful senior fitness motivation book. It showcases inspiring stories of older individuals achieving remarkable physical feats. Through these narratives and expert insights, it fuels seniors with the drive to push their limits, embrace challenges, and realize their full fitness potential.

lost art organic veggies said...

Indulge in the renaissance of taste with Lost Art Organic Veggies. Our produce embodies the lost art of authentic flavor, cultivated organically for a sensory journey. Rediscover the pure, unadulterated essence of vegetables, nurturing your palate and nourishing your body. Elevate your meals with the artistry of nature.

laptop price in islamabad said...

Laptop prices in Pakistan are diverse, catering to a range of budgets. Basic models start at around PKR 30,000, while more powerful and feature-rich laptops can exceed PKR 100,000. Prices can fluctuate due to factors like brand, specifications, and market conditions, so careful research is essential to find the best value.

Majoon-e-Khaas Shahi Majoon said...

The best Majoon-e-Khaas Shahi Majoon is a treasure in the world of herbal remedies. Crafted with precision and care, this exceptional formulation combines potent ingredients to enhance vitality and overall well-being. With regular use, it can boost energy levels, improve stamina, and contribute to a healthier life. Choosing the best ensures you experience the full benefits of this traditional herbal majoon, promoting lasting health and vitality.

landscape design maintenance in new jersey said...

Your voracious reading appetite is truly impressive, and your book recommendations sound enticing. If you ever find yourself seeking a literary escape while also focusing on landscape design maintenance in New Jersey, perhaps consider a gardening or landscaping-themed book to combine your interests. Happy reading and landscaping!

ata said...

ısparta
nevşehir
şırnak
burdur
kars
CT12

local seo keyword research said...

Impressive reading goals, indeed! Your dedication to devouring 93 books this year is commendable. Sharing your book recommendations and maintaining an active bookstagram account, @alyssaisbooked, is a fantastic way to engage with fellow book enthusiasts. If you're looking to enhance your online presence further, consider delving into local SEO keyword research. Optimizing your content for local search can help you connect with a broader audience and grow your book-loving community. Keep up the inspiring reading journey!

Ocean Transportation Services said...

Wow, you've been on quite the reading journey in September! Your eclectic list of books covers everything from post-apocalyptic adventures to deeply emotional memoirs. I'm especially intrigued by "After the Flood" and "The Nickel Boys" based on your enthusiastic recommendations. It's always a delight to discover books that resonate so deeply. And your dedication to reading is truly impressive—93 books in a year is remarkable! Keep those fantastic book recommendations coming via your bookstagram, @alyssaisbooked. Happy reading indeed!

water birth midwifery said...

Impressive reading achievement! Your dedication to reading is commendable. Just as you've explored various books this year, consider delving into informative sources about water birth midwifery. It's an enlightening field that emphasizes a gentle and unique approach to childbirth. Expanding your knowledge on this subject can be as rewarding as your reading journey. Happy reading and learning!

clermont and beyond said...

Reading 93 books in a year is quite an achievement! Your dedication to literature is impressive. It's like taking a journey through "Clermont and beyond" in the world of books, exploring various stories and perspectives. Your book recommendations are a valuable resource for fellow bookworms seeking their next captivating read. Keep the pages turning and the stories flowing!

gas station pumps said...

Impressive literary dedication! Your voracious reading habit mirrors the efficiency of well-maintained gas station pumps, ensuring a smooth flow of information. Your diverse book list is a testament to the rich tapestry of literature, much like the varied offerings one might find at a gas station—a mix of essentials and unexpected delights.

business investors said...

A remarkable feat of reading accomplishment! As literary exploration expands, one cannot help but acknowledge the diverse worlds unlocked through 93 books. In this literary journey, the support of business funding investors bears significance, facilitating the joy of reading and fostering a culture of continuous learning. Happy reading indeed!

samson said...

Your September book list is as captivating as a well-crafted typography animation video, each title telling its own unique story. Just like the seamless transitions and dynamic text in those videos, your reading journey flows effortlessly from one book to the next, leaving us eager to dive into each new chapter alongside you

medical debt collection agency near glen mills said...

Wow, 93 books by the end of September is impressive! Your dedication to reading is inspiring. Just as you find joy in discovering new books, finding a trustworthy medical debt collection agency near Glen Mills ensures peace of mind and reliable support in handling financial matters. Keep up the great reading!

Post a Comment