What I read in September with mini reviews

September rushed by so quickly and I can’t believe that I’m already here writing up a wrap-up post!

In September I started my masters degree in psychological research. It has been really fun so far and I’m enjoying it. BUT it definitely is hard to balance life, exercise, university, blogging, friends, family and still getting a decent amount of sleep! But I’m still so in love with blogging that no university stress can stop me, haha.

September was a pretty amazing reading month as well. In my September TBR clouds I forecasted (pun intended) that my 8-10 reads a month would take a drastic drop to 3-4 when university term starts. I’m happy to say that at least for now that wasn’t the case and I managed to read 8 books! Although many of them were pretty short. But still, 8 books!

How, in reality, I found time to read:

throw lake GIF by BuzzFeed Animation

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How I did with my TBR

In September I tried a new kind of TBR: To-be-read clouds. Basically I’m setting myself challenges that encourage me to diversify my reading rather than listing any pre-selected books to read in the following month. In the beginning of September I decided that I need to read all ARCs that are due and I also set myself three challenges. Here’s how I did:

ARCs to read in September

September arcs

Prompt 1: A book published in 2018

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Prompt 2: a book from a genre I don’t read enough

35235302 15796700

Prompt 3: A book I’m very excited for

36389267 32802595

A Thousand Perfect Notes and Record of a Spaceborn Few could double up with the first one too.

I’m really glad with how I did!

Below are my mini reviews for all of the above books. Click on the title for the Goodreads page!

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September Reads with Mini Reviews

32802595Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

#3 in the Wayfarer series

Sci-fi, 359 pages

The Wayfarer series is a very character-driven series with a splash of contemplation of race, sexuality, identity and tradition. The 1st and 2nd book are BEAUTIFUL. Go read them.

But Record of a Spaceborn Few did not eat my heart like I expected it to. The beautiful message was there again, the writing was perfect and the setting was interesting. But I found no conflict in this book. We follow a couple different humans in the Fleet and their everyday life. I found it difficult to connect with the characters, and their story was not as interesting because these individuals were … well, humans. All the other books have included loads of new species to learn about but Record of a Spaceborn Few largely tells about humans in space, who act very human-like even though they are in space. In fact, this could have been a decent contemporary if the setting was just a bit different.

It took me a long time to read this book because very little happened overall. The different POVs don’t really interact and, in my opinion, the stories remain as snippets of everyday life from a couple different families. Families that I actually didn’t care much for.
Nevertheless, the beautiful message always hidden in Becky Chambers’ books is there and the writing flows. It wasn’t a bad book, but a decent one when I expected something amazing.

36482829Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Graphic novel, 96 pages

A mesmeraisingly beautiful art style? Soft, squishy sea-creatures? A passionate young girl? Some awesome LGBT+ rep? YES PLEASE. Aquicorn Cove had it all.

This a very sweet graphic novel about Lana who returns to a little sea-side village with her father to help out in cleaning the village after a storm. This a heart-warming story with gorgeous, playful illustrations. I really loved it. You can read my thoughts in full in my review.

35235302This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

Nonfiction, 256 pages

This is Going to Hurt is a humorously written diary of Adam Kay from his time as a doctor. The book is currently really popular especially here in the UK because it criticises the politics making cuts on the British healthcare system. I thought that it was fiiine. I wasn’t a big fan of the author’s humour and I felt like the book could have had a better structure than it did. There was also another aspect which led me to go on a rant in my Goodreads review: the book was addressed to British born natives. I was so annoyed at this (as an immigrant in Britain) that it definitely skewed my rating towards the lower scale. You can read my rant filled thoughts here.

27366528Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

#3 in the Wayward Children series

5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars

YA fantasy, 174 pages

This series is such a hit/miss for me. I love the concept; Eleanor is the owner of a school meant for children who found magical lands and were kicked out of them back to our reality. These children desperately want to go back to their version of paradise but it is not easy to find a magical doorway for the second time around. Beneath the Sugar Sky is about a nonsensical magical land, filled with sweets and lack of logic. The land sounds exciting but the story jumps too much between different worlds and overall it felt silly and childish instead of whimsical.

36389267
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

YA contemporary, 282 pages

Oh my god I loved this book. It’s about Beck who is abused by his mother to play the piano for hours and hours everyday. It is also about August who can save Beck with delicious vegan vegetable cake and wet kisses from her gazillion rescue-dogs. I was expecting to like this because I’m a huge fan of the author, aka PaperFury, but I didn’t expect to be completely torn apart by this story. In fact, here’s my reaction to finishing it:

40683521The Pirate’s Stowaway Bride by Anne Stryker

5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

Romance, 49 pages

I received this short story from the author in exchange for review. I really loved how it was written but the story itself didn’t work for me. It is about a girl who decides to run away on the day of her wedding and hides in the cargo of a ship only to discover later on that she didn’t hop into a merchanary ship but a pirate ship. I have a full review up here.

39072210A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

Literary fiction, 352 pages

I was lucky enough to get an advance reader copy of Jodi Picoult’s new book that will be published on the 2nd of October. It is a contemporary about a hostage situation in Mississippi’s only health care centre that provides abortions. The book is entertaining and intense but also very educative as its main theme is the debate surrounding abortion. Here’s my full review on it.

15796700Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars

Literary Fiction, 477 pages

Another very impactful read! Americanah is about Obinze and Ifemelu who are young and in love. Obinze dreams about moving to America but visas are hard to come by for a Nigerian in the post 9/11 world where politics are driven by senseless racism. Suddenly an opportunity shows itself, but for Ifemelu instead of Obinze.

Americanah is a brilliantly written book full of important debates surrounding race, immigrancy and passion. I loved this book so much and as an immigrant myself, I was deeply impacted by the exploration of what it means to leave and what is it like to come back. The book is also rich in beautiful cultural detail, and learning about Nigerian culture was pretty amazing. I made a review on the book in Goodreads, you can check it out here.

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Some Delicious Statistics

8 books read in September out of which

  • 2 were physical copies
  • 2 were audiobooks
  • 4 were ebooks

Genres September

I’m pretty happy with how many different genres my September reads included! I’m a fantasy-aholic which means that a colourful pie chart in my genres always makes me proud of myself.

lengthSeptember

Most of the books I read in September were pretty short! Oh well, it’s difficult to read multiple tomes in the middle of a university term.

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How was September for you? Did you finish loads of books? Any new favourites?

I think A Thousand Perfect Notes and Aquicorn Cove are pretty much new favourites!

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them in your TBR?

Thank you so much for reading!

– Pauliina

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13 thoughts on “What I read in September with mini reviews”

  1. Nice post! I was interested to read about the issues you had with Adam Kay’s book. I really liked it and never picked up at all that it was aimed at British born natives (but then I am one, so I wouldn’t notice?) – and I liked the fact that he specialised in obstetrics but yes it was a little surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And thank you for going through the trouble of reading my Goodreads review as well 😊 It was a long one! Yeah I think Adam Kay’s style of writing just wasn’t really for me. Also I tend to easily get annoyed when a book is intended for a very set population haha, so I must have hyper-focused on it!

      Like

    1. Ooh you have to go and read the first two books too!! My absolutely favourite is the second one, A Common and Closed Orbit, but I recommend reading the first book before it if you want to read them both because the second book spoils a bit of the first book. I strongly recommend them, Record of the Spaceborn Few was actually my least favourite of the series, I love the first and second a lot more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aquicorn Cove is one of the cutest reads!! Looks like you had a great month, and I loved how you added stats. Awesome wrap up 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohh I’m so glad you enjoyed Americanah, I still have to read this book, and I’m SO excited you loved ATPN! I’ve been meaning to read it for forever, but I’m too scared I won’t love it, haha. You read so many different genres, I’m so impressed! 🙂

    Lovely wrap-up!! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was actually feeling the same before I started ATPN! I was really worried that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations, but the story really did crush me. It’s a beautiful story, I hope you get to it soon!

      Like

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