I read fourteen books in September. Not bad, considering I’m back to work and grad school full-time.
The Long Ride Home, by Tawni Waters. (Read to review.) I enjoyed this novel that dealt with some difficult topics: the loss of a parent, and unexpected pregnancy and the decisions to be made concerning it. Harley hasn’t dealt with the death of her mother and her resulting cross-country move, but it’s summer now, so she decides to take a trip to scatter her mother’s ashes. With Dean, her only friend, and the boy she slept with one night while drunk. But soon Harley realizes she’s pregnant, throwing her feelings for Dean into more turmoil, and she must decide what to do with the choices before her. Excellent read.
The End of the World Running Club, by Adrian Walker. (Read to review.) After the sky fell, Edgar’s whole world—the entire world—changed, but he’s still not the greatest father. Until he’s separated from his wife and kids, and must make it all the way across the country to them before the rescuers leave him behind forever. Running is the only answer. This is not your typical dystopian thriller. It has shades of literary fiction, and the characters are complex and troubled, with overwhelming problems. I enjoyed it very much.
Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. (Classic book of the month.) I know this is supposed to be really inspiring, but I was not a fan.
Power Thoughts, by Joyce Meyer. (Spiritual book of the month.) Good, solid read.
Blindness, by Jose Saramago. (Cultural book of the month.) Eh. I’m not even sure what the point of this book was. Possibly something was lost in translation?
Full Dark, No Stars, by Stephen King. (From the TBR pile.) I used to read everything King wrote. Not sure why I stopped. I’m not a fan of short stories, just because I like longer tales, but this is standard King fare: by “standard” I mean solid writing, creepiness, and compelling stories. That’s standard for King, because he’s a talented writer.
A Few Minor Adjustments, by Cherie Kephart. (Read to review.) A memoir of healing from an unidentified illness. Cherie has been sick for a long time, and no one has been able to tell her why. From her days in Africa in the Peace Corps, to her struggles in the American medical system, this is her story.
On the Spectrum, by Jennifer Gold. (Read to review.) I really enjoyed this read, about autism and eating disorders and Paris. This wasn’t the typical “she never eats” eating disorder, either, and it was an intriguing look into the mindset of a girl obsessed with healthy eating (No bread? No carbs…ever?!). The addition of a bit romance made it appealing, and her efforts to help her autistic brother were heartwarming.
Murder, Magic, and What We Wore, by Kelly Jones. (Read to review.) A Regency-era mystery/coming-of-age tale with a light, witty tone as a girl tries out her spying skills in an effort to find who killed her father and earn a job in her father’s footsteps.
The Blackbird Season, by Kate Moretti. (Read to review.) Okay, this book sucked me in from the very beginning, and I couldn’t put it down! The setting had a very Southern/small-town feel (complete with everyone knowing everybody’s business, and “I always knew there was something funny about him!” statements.).
Hanna Who Fell from the Sky, by Christopher Meades. (Read to review.) The setting of this novel was disturbing to me: an isolated settlement where the teenage girls become fourth or fifth wives to men old enough to be their fathers and the teenage boys are run out of town. Hanna herself was a fantastic character, conflicted about wanting to leave her family and sacrificing herself (to becoming a fifth wife) to save her family. The family relationships are complex, and there’s a lot going on here emotionally. A very good read!
A Short History of the Girl Next Door, by Jared Reck. (Read to review.) Not what I was expecting. At all. Loved the voice of the story, but it made me cry.
The Goblins of Bellwater, by Molly Ringle (Review forthcoming.) This book was magical. I love the premise of a hidden world that only a few are aware of, and the goblins were creepy. Very evocative of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin market,” which inspired it. Fantastic read! (And the cover is beautiful!)
Sea of Doubt, by Jeremy D. Holden (Review forthcoming.) Apart from the very concept of someone pretending to be the Second Coming of Jesus, which appalled me, there are so many levels of deceit in this book that it made me sad: because people really are that evil (some people). Loved the concept of the Hug Challenge, though.