Monday, October 3, 2022

September 2022 Book Review

I had a great month of reading! I read 13 books and my average rating was 3.9, not surprising I'm sure. {grin} My total for 2022 is 97 books, I'm about 22 books ahead of schedule for my goal of 100 books...might revise it to 125!

I had a good collection for the month, although leaned a little heavy to chick lit {another shocker}. 

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero - This book interested me for 2 reasons: I loved Diane on Orange is the New Black and after reading American Dirt I made it a goal to read more 'own voices' stories. Diane described growing up as an American citizen while her parents and brother were undocumented and eventually deported. It was heartbreaking, but not shocking, to read her story and the impact being separated from her family had on her. She also covered how she got into acting and eventually on OITNB. It was enjoyable, I learned from it, but it also felt a little long at times.

The Wedding Season by Katy Birchall - Gosh I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It was a pleasant surprise how much more substance it had than I expected. Freya is dumped by her fiancĂ© the day before her wedding - can you imagine!! - yet has A LOT of weddings to attend the summer after getting dumped. I loved watching her heal and grow. I thought this would be a more typical chicklit story and while elements of it were, I also loved that the story was more about her own healing and growth. It was fantastic!

Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman/How to Fake It in Hollywood by Ava Wilder/The Bodyguard by Katherine Center - I didn't intend to read 3 books in a row that had similar elements, but I did, so here they are...lumped together. These 3 all had stories involving celebrities and fake dating. While they had similar themes, they were all different and all enjoyable! These were right up my alley!

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty - The first 5 books of Liane Moriarty's were all great. Then we've had some stumbles and I've been on the fence about whether I wanted to keep reading her books. A friend of mine bought this one and let me borrow. It was a little bit of a thriller/who done it {a retired mom of 4 has gone missing} and a little bit a story about a family. The timeline alternates from the present {when the mom, Joy, is missing} and the past {to what precipitated her disappearance}. I was invested in the story to find out what happened to her, but it was also VERY, VERY long. 

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - Continuing to read these with the girls. The girls are really enjoying hearing how the Ingalls family lived in the pioneer days, and it's led to a lot of interesting conversations, but it's also cringey in its blatant racism...which is factual...but still yuck. Upside is that has led to good discussions with the girls too.

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig - This book is a historical fiction look at a group of women who graduated from Smith College and go help rebuild parts of France during WW1. I love that no matter how many books I read about WW1 or WW2, there are always new stories I've never heard of! This was a fascinating fictionalized look at what a group of real women did, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee [audiobook] - This was a great look at numerous aspects of racism and how the continued narrative hurts us all. I really enjoyed the way the author took a specific theory and broke down why it was wrong, how it damaged everyone, and how we could do better. A most excellent read!

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter - Gosh this was CUTE! A YA love story that followed Liz whose childhood crush has moved back to town and she uses her annoying next-door neighbor to help her get close to him...but she ends up getting close to her neighbor! It was adorable and I looooooved it! There's also a little short POV from the neighbor, Max, on the publisher's website that was fun to read too.

A Shoe Story by Jane L. Rosen - This is the 3rd book I've read of this author's, and she is becoming a favorite! This one follows Esme who put her life on hold to care for her injured father and after he passes she spends a month dog-sitting in NYC. Along the way, she makes friends, reconnects with her ex, heals from her past trauma...all while having a love affair with shoes. Highly enjoyable - it was a great mix of fun and fluff but also really enjoyed the growth of Esme.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Our BFBC selection of the month! This story mixed a present day story about a baker, Sage, who is hiding from her life and meets a man, Josef, who claims to be a Nazi SS officer, with said Nazi SS officer's story and also that of Sage's grandmother who was a Concentration Camp survivor. While I liked elements of this book, it felt like too many stories were crammed into it. The book was long yet each story felt like a short story that didn't fully get its legs.

Last Book Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia [audiobook] - I have figured out that I really enjoy narrative nonfiction! This was a very interesting look at 4 children/teens and their families who grew up during Mao's Revolution in China. It was a fascinating mix of history with persona stories. 

What did you read this month? Any favorites?


Kathryn Bagley said...

You are on a roll! I can't seem to get into Gilded which is our BC book so I may see what October's book is (since it's now that month..ha)

Emily said...

I miss OITNB a lot! It was such a good show. I never considered "Apples Never Fall" to be a little bit of a thriller, but I guess so? Intrigued by the shoe story one - how much is romance versus personal growth?