As I approached the end of August, I was fairly sure that I would reach my goal of 100 books by the end of September. I finished 10 books in September. After finishing book #100 on September 19, I fell into a bit of a reading slump. Most of the year had been such a big push to get to that point and I enjoyed a few weeks off from most reading.
Of the ten books I finished in September, 4 of them were audio books (An Ugly Truth, Plainsong, The 1619 Project, and One Hundred Years of Solitude). I read two books on my Kindle: Search and Shadow and Bone. And the remaining 4 books were hardcopy (including 1 loaned from a family member, 1 new purchase, and 2 books from my shelves).
Book #92 for 2022
An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang
I listened to this audiobook while traveling around Labor Day Weekend. My friend Deirdre Byrne recommended this book to me. I enjoyed learning more about Facebook and the power players in leadership. The authors are New York Times reporters and I think they did an excellent job on their research and reporting. A big focus of the book is Facebook’s role in the 2016 election. I want to keep learning more about social media and online privacy. Tech companies are so big and it seems like our government is not currently prepared to have adequate oversight to protect the safety of individual citizens. My one complaint with this book was that I would have liked more action steps presented at the conclusion of the book. How can the average person protect their privacy online?
#93 Plainsong by Kent Haruf
This book was a complete surprise! I didn’t know much about it going into it. The title was on my radar from my goal to read a book set in every US state. I also listened to this book while traveling around Labor Day Weekend. The writing was captivating. I could vividly picture the characters and the events taking place in Holt, Colorado. This was my first time reading any writing by Kent Haruf and I would definitely read more of his work. I especially recommend this book for fans of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
#94 Search: a novel by Michelle Huneven
I had a few different people recommend this book to me because the focus of the novel is a church searching for a pastor and it is written from the perspective of someone on a search committee. The fictional account is focused on a Unitarian Universalist congregation, but the basics of the storyline would fit in many UCC congregations too. I laughed out loud several times while reading this book. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I will say that I was frustrated by the ending of the book. One other detail that stood out were the fun themed cocktail names/recipes included throughout. It was a fun creative addition which I enjoyed, even as someone who doesn’t drink alcohol anymore.
#95 A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolly
The superlative I would probably give to this book is “least memorable.” My mom loaned me a copy of this book because one of her book clubs had read it. It is told from two different perspectives and I didn’t connect with either character. It was fairly fast paced so I kept reading and finished the book, but the book felt very sad and depressing.
#96 Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo is the author of one of my favorite books, Ninth House. Some of my friends are also fans of Leigh Bardugo and encouraged me to enter into the Grishaverse by reading Shadow and Bone. Personally, I had a hard time connecting with the characters and I didn’t think her writing was as strong as Ninth House. I’ve also recognized this year that I am only an occasional fantasy fan. I am looking forward to the second book in the Ninth House series, Hell Bent, which will be released in January 2023!
#96 The 1619 Project, edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones
I remember reading the initial publications around the 1619 project from the New York Times when it was first launched in 2019. The creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, adapted her original writing for this book project. The book is a compilation of essays and poetry on various themes related to the 1619 project. My favorite parts of this book were the poetry. I loved the creativity and the various forms the poetry took. The essays were well written and researched, Hannah-Jones contributions are stand-out. The whole collection was a bit overwhelming in size and 18 total essays felt like a few too many for the average reader. I listened to this book on audio and enjoyed it.
#97 The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
My September reading life was a wide range of genres all in one month. Ali Hazelwood has quickly become a favorite Romance author among many readers. The Love Hypothesis was published in 2021 and I had noticed many friends add it on Goodreads. I really enjoyed reading this contemporary romance novel. It was a quick read for me, started and finished in one day. Hazelwood has excellent character development. I already ordered book #2 in the series, Love on the Brain, and I look forward to reading it soon!
#98 The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Published in October 2019, I selected this book through my membership with Book of the Month. It sat on my shelf for a while until I finally decided to read it in September. It was a slow read for me and I struggled to connect with the characters. It is considered a YA (Young Adult) book and I thought it was way too long at 512 pages. I’d only recommend this if you are a huge fan of historical fiction.
#99 The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Continuing to work through my Book of the Month backlog, I read this book in two days. I don’t think I realized that there were alternating timelines when I ordered the book. I normally don’t like this feature in novels and it didn’t do much to improve the storyline here. I had expected that this book was going to be mystical or fantasy, but the apothecary was basic herbs, not magic. Unfortunately, another not very memorable read for September 2022.
#100 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
As I approached my goal of reading one hundred books, I considered what should be book #100. I considered a few different options, but quickly decided that One Hundred Years of Solitude would be fitting. I made this selection knowing that the book is one of the best examples of magical realism, one of my least favorite genres. I listened to the book on audio and it was entertaining to hear the narrator read the names over and over again. I probably had a bit more patience with the winding roads the characters take because of listening on audio. The one thing that I couldn’t get past was the child sexual abuse that takes place and the incest. I was not aware of those things before reading and haven’t seen many people talk about them in their reviews. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a best-selling and world famous book, but it just wasn’t an enjoyable read for me.
At the end of September 2022, I reached my goal of reading 100 books. But I was very burnt out on reading after this. I read 4 books in October, 3 in November and 3 in December. There are always more books to read!