September Reading Wrap Up: Insomnia, Ghosts, and Stew

Books Bought:

  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • Maximum Ride #1-9 by James Patterson
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
  • The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Little Bee by Christ Cleave
  • The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis

Books Read:

September was a long, draining month. I wrestled with heavy insomnia since the middle of August, which left me dreary around 8pm. I was fortunate to rediscover the joy my library card brought to me and how easy it was to place holds on line, and it rendered buying books almost unnecessary!

Or so I thought, until I walked into two used book stores. In the same afternoon. I was doomed.

I read two really incredible works this month: Meddling Kids and The House of the Spirits. I juggled reading both at the same time only because they were so vastly different but equally enjoyable.

I don’t want to go too in depth on Sleepaway Girls since I already reviewed it, but it was one of the books those books that broke up my hefty dense nightstand. I was in the middle of reading both The House of the Spirits and Meddling Kids, and it was the nice break of YA trash that I needed. It was nice to feel sixteen again.

Brian’s Return was probably my favorite installment of the Hatchet series. It also may have had to do with my love for canoeing, but this book was instilled with lovely details and important prose that held my attention.

It took me almost two days to finish The Bridges of Madison County. It was a mediocre read for me; the writing was simple and beautiful at the same time but the characters and story didn’t hold much of my attention. It was definitely a work of literary fiction and I enjoyed reading about the main character’s photography career, but I’m not sure if I could even tell you the main character’s names.

I started fall off with a slew of ghost stories that weren’t really ghost stories. I’ve never been a horror fan, but somehow I was drawn to two magical realism stories and Edgar Cantero’s sci-fi horror novel. Meddling Kids easily sits at one of my favorite books of the year and I’ve been raving about it to anyone who will listen. I also reviewed it a few weeks ago, but the review is probably just more of me gushing.

Shortly after I read the other two books from my NYT Bestseller’s Challenge, Like Water for Chocolate and Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. I wrote a more descriptive review of Like Water for Chocolate, but it was my favorite book of the four I chose. Much like Sleepaway Girls, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as much if I read it back in high school at the age it’s directed towards. However, unlike Sleepaway Girls I appreciated it more now as an adult because I read it using my English major detective skills and enjoyed picking out small details of symbolism or characterization.

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories was a disappointing read. I was expected something funny and satirical, but after the first few stories they started to get repetitive and trite. The joke wore down on me and I although it was only about 80 pages long, I really had to force myself to read it.

Perhaps my month can really be encapsulated by The House of the Spirits which I started on the 1st and ended on the 30th. It took me about a chapter to really commit to the book, but after I slowly started to fall in love. The House of the Spirits is the perfect fall book; it reminded me of a hearty stew with colorful root vegetables and a dense broth that simmers over the stove for hours. The book was solid but not one word was out of place.




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