Book Chat

Reading Log: September 2013

I guess it’s officially Fall now.  September seemed to come and go particularly fast… but I know I say that every month.  I had high hopes for indulging in new books while I travelled to see family, but as usual I didn’t read as much as I thought I would.  The books I did read were pretty satisfying, especially after a trip to the library.

Below is my Reading Log for September 2013, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

September 2013

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft]

Title Start Finish Grade/
Format
Genre

 

The End of Your Life Book Club,
by Will Schwalbe
8/28/13 9/2/13

A

M/Bio

The Host,
by Stephanie Meyer
9/1/13 9/12/13

B

YA

The Annotated Emma,
edited by David Shappard
9/2/13 Still Reading

TBD

F

The Summer Girls,
by Mary Alice Monroe
9/13/13 9/24/13

C-

F

Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices,
edited by Leonard S. Marcus
9/15/13 Still Reading

 

TBD

M/Bio

Fangirl,
by Rainbow Rowell
9/24/13 9/28/13

A+

F

Sunday Morning Quilts: Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics,
by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison
9/27/13 9/28/13

A

Craft

The Moon by Night,
by Madeleine L’Engle
9/30/13 Still Reading

TBD

YA

Thoughts:

The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe – A

The Amateur Librarian // August 2013 Reading Log

Memoir about the unofficial two-person book club between mother and son that formed when the author’s mother is diagnosed with a terminal cancer.  Lovely ode to a mother and a lifetime of reading – you really got a good sense of how passionate and animated Mary Anne was throughout her life.  I loved the book recommendations, and how their conversations during chemo treatments led to reminiscing about his mother’s past accomplishments, coping with illness in the present, and hopes for the future.  The family is undeniably wealthy, and at times it seemed like the author felt like he had to justify their wealth by listing all the great things his mother did for refugees.  But I suppose if all the wealthy people of the world were such hands-on humanitarians, then it would be a much better place.  I felt a bit adrift when it was all over – the ending is obvious, but I’m always affected by the finality of death.  Wrote down lots of good book recommendations.

The Host, by Stephanie Meyer – B

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

I saw the movie first, which was a mistake… the whole alien parasite/human host personalities communicating internally was just really hard to portray and came off as forced and laughable on film.  But the idea is so interesting… an alien species that inhabits host bodies, peacefully taking over one planet at a time.  Until they get to Earth, where the human hosts start to resist the invasion.  It started off slow, and  I wasn’t really engrossed until about halfway through.  I think Meyer did a really good job of exploring all sides  of the equation… the human host, the “soul” who has inhabited many different species, the humans who managed to escape the invasion and live in hidden caves, the love interests who fell in love with both the human body and the alien within… it was just fun to see how it all played out.  I liked the ending especially, with a hint at sequels to come but not an obvious cliffhanger.  It wasn’t perfect of course, and I still have some qualms… it was a couple hundred pages too long in the middle where nothing happened, the secondary characters were never fleshed out, I didn’t like how the teenaged girls “belonged” to their older boyfriends, she had a weird aversion to short people, etc.  But it was a fun read, and I’ll probably tune in for the rest of the trilogy!

 …

The Annotated Emma, edited by David Shappard – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

Still reading.  I love David Shappard’s annotations – and Emma is the latest after coming out with the annotated versions of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility.  I have to admit that Emma has never been my favorite Austen novel, mostly because of how embarrassing the picnic scene is when she mocks Miss Bates.  But with all the extra notes and pictures, I’ve been savoring this edition during small snatches of time at the kitchen table.

 …

The Summer Girls, by Mary Alice Monroe – C-

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

Book club pick for October.  One deadbeat dad has three daughters from three different mothers, all united at his mother’s beach house every summer while they were growing up.  Now the half-sisters are grown, and their grandmother wants one last summer together to reveal “family secrets” and help them get their lives together.  In a nutshell… I wasn’t impressed.  The writing was overdone, the characters were more like caricatures, and the whole dolphin thing felt very forced.  It was also really annoying that this book is the first in a trilogy, so we didn’t even get the whole story before it was over.  All 400-something pages only covered one month of the summer… count me out for the sequels.

 …

Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices, edited by Leonard S. Marcus – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

Still reading.  Library book that I’ve wanted to read for a long time.  I love Madeleine L’Engle, and this is such an interesting type of biography.  Instead of one person writing, her influence is explored in many chapters by different people who knew her throughout her life.  It’s an interesting look at how multi-faceted L’Engle was as a writer, religious person, mother, colleague, mentor, etc.  I’m loving it so far.

 …

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell – A+

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

I loved this book!  Rainbow Rowell is officially my new favorite contemporary author (move over, Emily Giffen).  I think this is my first foray into “New Adult” lit –  written for an audience a bit older than YA, but not quite adult fiction.  Cath is a twin about to start her first year of college… her other half is excited to start a new chapter away from their dysfunctional family, but Cath has major anxiety teetering on the edge of hermit behavior.  Cath is also immersed in the fanfic world of a Harry Potter-esque book series, and her online writing has quite a following.  I’ve never had the patience to explore fanfic much myself, but it was an interesting element to the story.  I enjoyed the excerpts both from the fictional canon and the fanfic that Cath writes; and of course it’s easy to conjure up the memories of HP fever, which was fun too.  It’s hard to explain exactly what makes Rowell’s writing so great… the characters are just such real, likeable people (maybe the boyfriend was too likeable… his “flaws” weren’t really flaws.  But that’s my only complaint).  Their conversations and emotions and thoughts are realistic, and she’s not afraid to tackle more serious subjects without feeling like an “issues” story.  I’m a fan.

Sunday Morning Quilts: Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics, by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison – A

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

Library book.  I’m a big fan of the Crazy Mom Quilts blog, and I’ve wanted to read her book for a while now.  I loved the organizational tips and the focus on using up scraps.  Especially the approximate amount of fabric needed for each project, instead of very specific requirements.  The projects were great too, and I took notes on a few to try in the future.  I’m not looking for another huge commitment right now, but it was great inspiration, so who knows… mini quilts are always fun.  My only complaint was that there weren’t enough process pictures.  I didn’t make any of the quilts, but I like reading through the instructions and some steps were a little vague.  But overall, I really liked the modern, colorful aesthetic.

The Moon by Night, by Madeleine L’Engle

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

Just started reading yesterday.  I’m on a L’Engle kick and I’ve always wanted to read the entire Austin Family series… so since I read Meet the Austins a couple years ago when I was working in a library, I’m starting with #2 in the series.  Already enjoying immensely.

 …

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of September.  Anyone reading a good book?

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One thought on “Reading Log: September 2013

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