Friday, September 29, 2023

September 2023 reads

The annual Girls Weekend with my BFFs of over 30 years is upon us, so I am quite certain I will not start and finish another book today or tomorrow. 

What I read in September

Engrossing Reads

The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year by Margaret Renkl - I've read VERY few nonfiction books this year. Here's one! This was beautiful. I pre-ordered a copy to own before I even finished and plan to read it as in like read that season as we enter the season: it has 52 chapters that follow the natural world through the year. Free advanced copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out Oct 24

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll - This was powerful, smart, and very well done. Very different reading experience than her first novel for me. Good writing and characters. A surface good story, and deeper a social commentary on so much! Lots to unpack on feminism and sexuality and violence against women and what is acceptable to society through the arc of the book. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
 I bought the book to own and saw the author in conversation with Kate Baer in September! 

I also saw Jennifer Weiner in September on tour for her latest - The Breakaway - which I had an advance copy of and read in July. Check it out! 

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange - A very passable family drama, quite messy and across the line in some spots, but a good reading experience overall. OCNJ library hardcover

The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey - I'm not sure exactly what I thought this book was going to be, but it wasn't this LOL. I ended up liking it, as I do most books about friendship even when one of the friends is possibly in line for several punches. And you romance lovers will surely like it I think. OCNJ library hardcover

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff - Do you ever read an author and recognize their mastery of their craft but consistently do not actually enjoy the books they put out? I think that is me and Lauren Groff - cannot say a bad thing of her writing, but damn I do not enjoy reading her books. This book in particular was hard to swallow - the pain of surviving, the agony of existing is a main character throughout. It is quite compelling, but that comes at a cost. OCNJ library hardcover

Not For Me

The Last Exchange by Charles Martin - I know a lot of you are fans, but his books are not really for me. I was bored throughout, everything was so obvious, and I think I'm the outlier here. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book comes out 10/3

Athena's Child (The Grecian Women Trilogy #1) by Hannah M. Lynn - This was an engrossing read, then a passed the time just fine read, then a not for me read. How far things can fall in one book read within a few hours. Lots of promise, an abrupt change of direction in the middle with literally zero connectors, and a super abrupt ending, like one was needed as an afterthought versus part of the novel, make me not want to read anymore which I assume there will be since this labels itself as #1. This was courtesy of Netgalley, apparently originally published in 2020 and is now out again as a reworking?

Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena - I need to stop reading her books. I feel like she has carte blanche to put out stories that aren't even good. OCNJ library hardcover 

Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney - I need to stop reading her books. I feel like she has carte blanche to put out stories that aren't even good. OCNJ library hardcover 

One Last Kill (Tracy Crosswhite #10) by Robert Dugoni - I've read all the Tracy books and usually enjoy them, albeit less so once she moved to cold cases. They're typically subtle on the political bend of people. Dugoni doesn't need to introduce talk of wokeness and defunding police, but he leans on it more in this latest. This is the only standard police procedural series that I read that's gone that way, and I hate it. We can have differences in opinion on police funding versus all other community funding, but if you use the term woke like it's an insult the chasm is too wide. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review, publishes 10/3

Did Not Finish

Family Lore by  Elizabeth Acevedo - Whew, I wanted to but this was just a no for me. Free advanced copy from Netgalley 

Cities of Women by Kathleen B. Jones - Super pumped by this title. Actual experience, not so pumped. Free advanced copy from Netgalley 

The Lost Girls of Penzance (Cornwall Murder Mystery #1) by Sally Rigby - I tried to give this a lot of leeway to settle itself as what appears to be the first in a series and the interactions between the characters were grating to me Free advanced copy from Netgalley 


What have you been reading?

Happy birthday to my cousin Tyler today!

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