Book Chat

Reading Life: September 2020

I hit a reading slump in September and my reading slowed way down. I think I started too many new books at once and needed to get back to reading one at a time. ‘Tis the season for lowered expectations!

This year I’m continuing to keep a physical journal chronicling my reads, and you can check out more photos on my Instagram account @ladykatiestitchery

September 2020 Thoughts


The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo

Start Date: 8/24/2020
Finish date: 9/5/2020

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy
Source: Sommer
4 stars

This dark fantasy following a damaged but fierce heroine as she navigates  magical secret societies of Yale is twisty and complex, but grounded in gritty reality. There are ghosts, rituals, and mysteries galore, all set against the backdrop of Ivy League power and privilege. I haven’t read any of the author’s previous YA series, but the intricate plot kept me compulsively reading and I hope she writes more in this world. Perfect Fall reading!

Margaret the First, by Danielle Dutton

Start date: 9/6/2020
Finish date: 9/13/2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Library
3 stars

A weird but wonderful novel about a (real) writer from the 17th century. Margaret Cavendish was considered scandalous for her progressive ideas and unconventional antics, and she wrote several books blending fantastic fictional adventures with philosophical ideas. The narrative wasn’t bogged down by facts or dates, but at times it felt so vague that it was hard to grasp the essence of Margaret as a person. Certainly challenging, innovative, and an interesting reading experience, but I’m glad I checked it out from the library.

Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi

Start date: 9/15/2020
Finish date: 9/29/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book of the Month Club
5 stars

One of my favorite reads of the year! I loved Gifty’s story of growing up as an immigrant in the evangelical church, contrasted with her study of neuroscience as an adult, as she grapples with the tension between religion and science, doubt and faith. Quietly heartbreaking, introspective, and so personal that it felt like a memoir. I only wish that there was more an emotional payoff with Gifty’s relationship with her mother, but the epilogue was a satisfying conclusion.

Currently Reading:

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson

Start date: 8/19/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Blog comment (thanks!)

Absorbing, but heavy. I’ve been listening to this when I have a chunk of time, but if I only have a few minutes of listening time I revert to podcasts, so I haven’t made much progress over the past month.

The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being, by Simone Davies

Start date: 8/28/2020
Genre: Nonfiction/Parenting
Source: Sommer

Oops, I forgot to finish this one. What I wrote in August still holds:

Even though Amelia is at the tail-end of toddlerhood, Jon is just entering this stage, and it’s never too late to get some new ideas… especially since we’re at home all the time now.

Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby

Start date: 9/1/2020
Genre: Nonfiction essays
Source: Libro.FM

Samantha Irby is hilarious, and I enjoyed her previous collection of essays We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, but I forgot how much of her humor is related to her various medical maladies, and sometimes I wish I could skim past some parts… but that’s hard to do with an audiobook. So even though I’m giggling throughout some essays, I’m cringing so much through others that it’s taking me a while to get through this audiobook.

A new addition for 2020:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton has an amazing program that sends a free book to every child in Tennessee every month from birth to five years old. It’s such an incredible concept, and we’ve been enjoying Amelia’s books for three years. So many of our new favorite stories have come from this program, and now that Jon has joined too, I want to highlight the books we receive this year so I can remember the new books added to our library. Three cheers for Dolly Parton!

For Jon:

For Amelia:

Books read in September: 3
Books read in 2020: 36
Currently reading: 3

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the ninth month of 2020!


One thought on “Reading Life: September 2020

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