What I Read in September

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September was such a full month y'all. As summer winds down and the fall routines begin, that familiar, cozy feeling is creeping in. The days are getting shorter, the house smells like delicious soup, my wardrobe is full of chunky sweaters again . . . it's all happening.

The beginning of autumn means my schedule is full, too. I'm doing something almost every night of the week. This is kind of unfortunate for my reading life, because autumn is the time of year when I want to read all of the thrillers, all of the mysteries, all of the long fantasy books. But I can only read so many books, and to be honest, I'm happy to have read even one book in September.

Here's what I read this month:

The Diviners by Libba Bray

This is probably the most perfect pre-fall book. It's sufficiently creepy, immersive, and suuuuch a page-turner. The Diviners is a murder mystery/thriller set in 1920s New York City. Need I say more? I've been physically reading and listening to this book (the narrator is phenomenal), which has been helpful in the midst of such a busy season. I cannot wait to pick up the next one!

The story follows Evie O'Neill, who got into some trouble in her "boring" old hometown, so she's shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City to live with her uncle Will, who runs a museum all about the occult. Evie worries he will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But soon, a serial killer in the city leaves the police without answers, and they call Will onto the scene to try to learn more about the murders, all of which focus on a cryptic symbol.

Evie's story isn't the only one we follow, and I found myself deeply invested in all the characters. Each story weaves together and, unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

I'm so thankful Random House gifted me this book! We got to interview Hank for the No Thanks We're Booked podcast, and it was such a delight. This is a sci-fi/spec-fic about a girl named April who happens to stumble upon a giant, transformer-like statue wearing a suit of samurai armor in the streets of New York City late at night.

She and her friend Andy jokingly create a YouTube video showcasing the ominous figure, and when she wakes up the next morning, she discovers her video went viral: partly because 1) she's charming and 2) this very statue has appeared at the same time in cities all over the world. April is the first documentarian, and she finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

This seemingly random, funny book is light at moments, but ultimately covers some heavy themes/topics—all of which are incredibly relevant to our political climate in the United States. Through this incredibly fast-paced, thrilling novel, Hank grapples with a variety of ideas, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and so much more.

I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

I've been a fan of Anne Bogel and her podcast What Should I read Next for a while now, and I've really been looking forward to this new release. How can any devoted reader not like this book?

It's full of essays on the delights and dilemmas of the reading life, and I found it inspirational, warmhearted, fun, funny, and deeply relatable. I was able to listen to Anne's narration of the book while physically reading, which was wonderful.

This book was a nod to every online bookish person, and I loved that she put a voice to how so many bookworms feel.The only issue? I wanted to reorganize my bookshelf immediately after reading it, and there was just no time for that. 

I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

I've never realized how many brushes of death so many of us have in a lifetime, and Maggie's personal near-death experiences were remarkable. I found this book to be fast moving, gorgeously written, captivating, and thought-provoking.

This astonishing memoir was full of near-death encounters that have "punctuated and defined her life." I found her chapters about childhood to be so spot on. Even though I couldn't relate to so many of her experiences, those childlike moments and reflections still hit close to home.

Maggie is keenly aware of how life is a gift, and she sees the dangers lurking around every corner. Because of this insight, this book was "scary" in many ways and charged with emotion.

If you're the kind of person who can spend too much time considering all that could go wrong, you will find many of Maggie's stories to be absolutely horrifying. But her zest for life, and the idea that she's one of the "lucky ones" despite what she's gone through, was a perspective I appreciate so much.

Passing for Human by Liana Finck

This. graphic. memoir. I could cry it was so beautiful. There were definitely parts I liked more than others, but as a whole, I was blown away by this moving "neurological coming-of-age story." Liana's illustrations, the stories weaving together . . . it was so, so lovely. Intimate as a diary entry, poignant as a long lost memory, and so creative.

She explores the idea of "otherness" and "weirdness" and how being different can affect the psyche, relationships, how you live out and tell your own story. It's about shadowy fear. It's about losing and finding yourself again. Definitely my favorite graphic memoir to date.

What did you read in September? What are you planning to pick up in October? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading! x