Saturday, 3 October 2015

SEPTEMBER READING WRAP UP


# of books read: 9.
Genres: 2 Literary Fiction, 2 YA Contemporary, 1 YA Fantasy, 1 YA Paranormal, 1 Non-Fiction, 1 Adult Sci-Fi, 1 Graphic Novel.
Total # pages read: 2,706.

Today I'm back with another monthly reading wrap up. September was another good month for me, with a total of nine books read and 2706 pages! That's pretty good for me. I read everything on my TBR for September except for the Bill Bryson book which I'm only a little way into, so that's really good. I'm also really pleased with the range of genres that I read this month, it feels really good to have some variety. I enjoyed every single book this month and I actually gave most of them top ratings, I've been on a roll lately for picking great books so I hope that continues into this month. So let's have a look at what I read in the month of September...

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli |☆☆☆☆☆
This YA contemporary was my first read of the month and was a recent purchase that I couldn't wait to start. It follows Simon, who is desperately trying to figure out who he is whilst exchanging emails with, and slowly falling for, the anonymous Blue. But when these emails fall into the wrong hands, things get complicated. I'm sorry to say that I haven't read a whole lot of YA featuring prominent LGBTQ+ characters but I can safely say that this is an excellent example. It was just how I like my contemporaries, funny and quirky with a side order of super sweet. I hardly ever cry whilst reading but this one nearly got me. It was a fun, quick read with all the feels and I definitely recommend it.

The Dumb House by John Burnside | ☆☆☆☆☆
I was desperate to read this book after hearing rave reviews from Jen Campbell and Jean of BookishThoughts and I wasn't disappointed. It's a creepy modern classic that follows a young man who is obsessed with the question of whether language is inherent, the age old question of nature or nurture. His obsession is taken to a new level when he decides to conduct an experiment on his own children. In a little over 200 pages, John Burnside manages to deeply explore a disturbed mind and create a haunting narrative that will stay with you long after you put the book down. I absolutely devoured this and you should definitely go and buy it now, October is the perfect month for this creepy novel so get to it!

Being Me by Pete Kalu | ☆☆☆☆
This is a YA contemporary which follows fourteen year old Adele as she navigates family difficulties, friendships and trying to get picked for the England football team. I was kindly sent this book by Hope Road Publishing last month in exchange for an honest review and I kicked off the blog tour on September 21st with a guest post from Pete Kalu about defying gender roles in YA, along with my review of Being Me, you can read that post here. I really enjoyed this book and loved it's realistic portrayal of teenage life.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo | ☆☆☆☆
This is a non-fiction book by Marie Kondo about her 'KonMari' method of tidying, which is basically learning to go through all your posessions, discard what doesn't bring you joy, and organise the rest correctly and efficiently. I mentioned this book briefly in my September favourites, as it inspired me to start a clearout and finally get rid of a whole bunch of stuff and learn to discard and organise properly. I'll be talking more about this book in a post coming on Monday so look out for that!

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler ☆☆☆☆.5
I bought this earlier this month as it was on offer in my local supermarket and I knew that it had been longlisted for the Man Booker prize (it's now shortlisted yay!), and I started reading it straight away. It's a family saga, which is one of my all-time favourite types of books, and follows a family over three generations. It begins the family in the modern day and unwinds back through the previous generations (like a spool of thread, get it, GET IT? HA! ok sorry). I was gripped from page two and by page seventy-five it was past midnight. I reluctantly closed the book and announced to the empty room 'God I want to read this forever.' This is just how I feel about family sagas, they get me in a way that no other kind of book can. It's something about being completely absorbed into the lives of these people, finding out why people are the way they are. Anne Tyler's writing is beautiful, sharp, hilarious and heartbreaking and I can definitely see why this was shortlisted for the Man Booker. The only reason that I didn't give it five stars is because as the book neared the end I began to enjoy it just a little bit less and it left me feeling slightly deflated, like I wanted more, like there was just a little something missing and I didn't know what it was. But it's still an amazing read and I'm still thinking about it weeks after finishing. If you've been thinking about picking this up then I encourage you to just do it, you won't be sorry.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | ☆☆☆☆.75
I can't believe that it's taken me this long to finally read Throne of Glass. I admit that I was a little apprehensive after all the hype that this series has been getting and it did take a few chapters to really draw me in, but after that I was hooked. The story was exciting and fast-paced and I really liked the characters, particularly Celaena. I loved how she was more complex than the usual YA female protagonist; she stood her ground, she was completely badass (never once doubting her strength and talent) but also unashamedly feminine in certain ways and she was open about her sexuality. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this series develops and I've already bought the next two books so I'm sure I'll be finding out soon.

Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld | ☆☆☆☆
This is the third and final book in Westerfeld's Midnighters series, a paranormal trilogy that focuses on a town where there is a secret hour every night at midnight where everyone is frozen except for a group of teenagers with powers, and a whole bunch of dark creatures who want to attack them. It's such a great series, much better than the Uglies series in my opinion, and I'm pretty satisfied with how it ended. I just really like the concept and think that Westerfeld has executed it well with really interesting, well-developed characters. They were such immersive, quick reads and I'm sad that the series is over.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton | ☆☆☆☆☆
This book...THIS BOOK. It was so much more than I expected. I expected it to be pretty good but to ultimately prefer the film because I mean, come on, Spielberg. But I was so wrong, I absolutely LOVED the book, and I'm pretty sure I prefer it to the film. The film is still brilliant, but the book is brilliant in a totally different way. It's just more science, more action, more dinosaurs, more character development, more EVERYTHING. I apologise for the overuse of capitalisation but I can't help it, THIS BOOK. I found the reading experience to be so completely immersive, which I think is due to the excellent descriptions and the wonderful discussions of science and technology. It's definitely still far-fetched, but Crichton goes so in depth into the science and the theory that it just almost becomes believable. If you liked the film, or just like dinosaurs, or science, or just really immersive fiction then I urge you to go and read this now.

Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs | ☆☆☆.75
This is a rather unusual graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, who is most known for his book The Snowman, which you're probably familiar with, at least if you're from the UK. The graphic novel chronicles the lives of Briggs' parents, beginning when they first met in 1928. I love how it depicts the history and culture of twentieth century Britain through the lives of two people; through the war, tumultuous politics, the introduction of television and the swinging sixties. The story is sweet and it's a quick read, I loved poring over Brigg's illustrations to see all the tiny details. It's a graphic novel with a difference and I'm glad I picked it up.

So those are all the books I read in September! It was a really good reading month and I hope to be just as successful in October. My October TBR is coming up tomorrow so stay tuned!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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