Book Chat

Reading Life: September 2017

Fall is officially here! Even though this time of year is always busy, I’ve been making more time to read during the day and it feels so good to be back in the habit. I don’t have many books in the “Finished” column but just fitting in a few minutes during breakfast and naps instead of endlessly scrolling through social media has made such a difference. Is it the back-to-school rhythm or the longer nights or the promise of cooler weather that inspired a change in habits? I’m not sure, but I’ll take it!

Sidenote: After several years of “reading logs” I’ve decided to change the title of these posts to “reading life.” Not that it matters much, but it sounds less like homework this way, right? (Maybe I’ll make a new graphic to match someday… but not today.)


September 2017 Thoughts


Love Letters, by Katie Fforde

Start date: 8/13/2017
Finish date: 9/25/2017
Source: Emily C.
Genre: Romance
Format: Hardback
3 stars

This book falls in the “Book in a genre you usually avoid” category of my 2017 Reading Challenge: romance! I asked a friend to recommend one of her favorites, and although it started out slow, it really grew on me. It basically plays out every book-lover’s dream of branching out from a quiet life in a bookshop to becoming the muse for a famous Irish writer. Some parts dragged a bit, which slowed down the momentum, and the author added in a few too many digs at serious literature – authors too full of themselves to write popular fiction, snooty women in book clubs, etc. – which is entertaining, sure, but it was a little heavy-handed. But overall, this was a really sweet and fun read if you’re looking for a bookish romance!

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story, written by Marie Kondo and illustrated by Yuko Uramoto

Start date: 9/3/2017
Finish date: 9/5/2017
Source: Blogging for Books
Genre: Self-Help
Format: Paperback
4 stars

At first, the manga version of Marie Kondo’s iconic tidying book seemed like a gimmick to me, but I was pleasantly surprised by how useful, informative, and charming I found this little book! The story of one person’s tidying experience is a great fit for manga. Each step of the (very particular) KonMari method is illustrated in short chapters as we follow our main character Chiaki’s tidying lessons with Marie Kondo to rescue both her home and her life. I already knew the gist of the KonMari method, and I knew ahead of time that some of her ideas are kooky, but I have to admit: I love it. Yes, thanking your clothing for keeping you warm before letting it go is kind of weird, but it really helped me get rid of some things I’d been holding onto for far too long.

I’ve read plenty of self help books that I never put into practice, but this manga inspired me to take action; now I see what all the fuss is about!

Full review here!

Little Sleepyhead, by Elizabeth McPike and illustrated by Patrice Barton

Start date: 9/15/2017
Finish date: 9/15/2017
Source: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Genre: Children’s Lit
Format: Hardback

Such a sweet book to end the day, by saying goodnight to each body part with gentle rhymes and dreamy watercolor illustrations. Amelia isn’t quite ready to handle a non-board book, but this one is a keeper so it will wait with the picture books until she’s a bit less destructive!

Wise Craft Quilts: A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork, by Blair Stocker

Start date: 9/25/2017
Finish date: 9/25/2017
Source: Library
Genre: Craft
Format: Library book

As a quilter, I often get sucked into the never-ending cycle of new fabric lines releasing each season, and never venture beyond the quilting cotton fabrics made specifically for my craft. But when it comes to sentimental fabric, there are so many unconventional fabrics out there – from clothing to tablecloths to upholstery samples. Blair Stocker showcases quilts utilizing non-traditional fabric choices and gives tips for working with each unique type of fabric. She sums it up best in this line: “I will show you how to be inspired, not inhibited, by the limits of your own special collection of fabric.”

I might not be ready to cut up my wedding dress, but I love Stocker’s aesthetic and willingness to think beyond traditional quilt “rules.” I reluctantly returned this book to the library, but I’m glad it’s waiting for me when I’m ready to attempt one of the projects.

Full review here!

Stitched in Time: Memory-Keeping Projects to Sew and Share from the Creator of Posie Gets Cozy, by Alicia Paulson

Start date: 9/25/2017
Finish date: 9/25/2017
Source: Posie Gets Cozy blog
Genre: Craft
Format: Paperback

Sadly, this book is out of print now, but when I was searching online for a way to make silhouettes, the “Silhouette Stack” project came up, and I had to have it. Thank goodness for third party sellers on Amazon! Now I want to make all the things. I definitely have a sentimental streak a mile wide, but making practical things to honor memories really appeals to me. Or, as Paulson puts it: “Celebrate the everyday, with items you will use every day.”

Full review here!

Still Reading:

A Court of Wings and Ruin, by Sarah J. Maas

Start date: 7/18/2017
Source: Sommer W.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: eBook

Yes, I’m still reading this, but this month I’ve actually made some progress! I still love all the characters and political machinations in this world of fairy warriors. While trying to cut down on my mindless scrolling of social media, I’ve actually been reading on my Kindle app more often, and it works. Who knew?

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too), by Gretchen Rubin

Start date: 9/27/2017
Source: Blogging for Books
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Hardcover

I’m a longtime fan of Gretchen Rubin, so I’m excited to read her latest book which looks deeper into the personality framework she created while writing her previous book on habits, Better than Before (my review here!). I’m 100% an Obliger (with Upholder leanings) and just identifying my tendency has made a difference since I read her last book, so I’m already intrigued to find out more. It’s been so interesting to watch her research on happiness evolve from The Happiness Project to each successive book.

Books read in September: 5
Books read in 2017: 57
Still reading: 2

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of September, the ninth month of 2017. I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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3 thoughts on “Reading Life: September 2017

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