September was an exciting month, from our two weeks in Hawaii to our search for a pair of cats to join our family. We’re going through a trial adoption right now, so until that’s official I won’t say more. But I will share a few pics of our vacation (none of Mr.CG, though, because I keep pictures of him off the blog). It was such a great recharge for the two of us, even with COVID limitations and the stresses of travel. And I realize how very fortunate I am to be able to take a vacation like this, especially at a time that’s difficult for so many.
While traveling, I mostly read versus listened to books. So my audiobooks are way down this month, but I read a lot more (15 hours of travel each way helps!) I also kept my vacation reading on the less-mentally-challenging side. Here’s what I read in September:
- Klara and the Sun by Kazio Ishiguro (audio)
- Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs
- Death in Focus by Anne Perry
- Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune
- Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan
- Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa
- Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
- Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey (audio/text)
My favorite reads: I absolutely loved Klara and the Sun. I also loved Under the Whispering Door and I enjoyed Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come, as I could definitely identify with it. In fact, I found myself deliberately starting conversations on my vacation that I typically wouldn’t. More on that to come.
Most disappointing read: I struggled, yet again, with my book club read for this month (and I was the one who nominated the book). Against the Loveless World had some powerful moments and interesting characters, and I appreciated reading about the history of Israel and Palestine in the 90s and 2000s. But I also found it unevenly paced, I didn’t love the audio narration (by the author) and most importantly for me, it lacked any Israeli characters that had thoughts or feelings. I didn’t mind that this was a story about Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, but I do expect at least some characters of each group to have personalities and not just be villains.
Books for challenges:
- Beat the Backlist: Babylon’s Ashes, Death in Focus, Howl’s Moving Castle
- Nonfiction: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come
- Reading All Around the World: Against the Loveless World (Palestine)
What I’m reading now: I’m currently reading Connie Willis’ Blackout, a time travel book about World War II, and Jasmine Guillory’s Party of Two (which I’m not loving as much as her other books).
What’s coming up: I’ll be reading Three Apples Fell From the Sky for book club, and Alix E. Harrow’s A Spindle Splintered for NetGalley (publishing October 5).
Added to my TBR: This month I added upcoming or new releases from some of my favorite authors, like Elizabeth Strout (O William!), and Jennifer Egan (The Candy House). I also joined one of those book-in-the-mail clubs and now I have two beautiful paper books on my shelf, The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie Liu and The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul.
Things that made me happy this month: Hawaii, and vacation in general, was really helpful as I’m trying to manage my anxiety. What I love about a great vacation is you really feel what it’s like to be relaxed, and then you realize how much you’re not relaxed most of the time. A few people have asked if I “still have that Hawaii vibe” a week or two later, and my answer is, I’m trying!
That’s my September. How was your month?