What I Read in September 2019
September was a really slow reading month! I can’t speak to why…just wasn’t in the groove, I suppose. Although the return of my favorite television shows certainly didn’t help my reading time! You would think that with only four books, a recap post should be quick to write. There’s one book that I struggled to know what to say without infuriating people. You’ll see. Let’s get to what I read last month, shall we?
Three Powerful Stories
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
This nonfiction tells the stories of the sex lives of three women across America. In Indiana, Lina feels trapped in her marriage as she rekindles a connection with a former flame. In North Dakota, Maggie developed a romantic relationship with one of her teachers while she’s a high school student. Years later, after he wins a teaching award, she comes forward with her story to make an accusation against him. Finally, in the Northeast, Sloane and her husband appear to have a successful marriage and business, as they run a restaurant together. Behind closed doors, he enjoys watching her have sex with other people and participating in threesomes.
Taddeo’s narrative skills are impeccable, as these stories read like fiction. While I found each story absolutely compelling, I couldn’t help but wonder what was the point of it all? For almost a decade, Taddeo spend time with these women and their stories. I would love to see something more come from it, such as deeper analysis or some broader conclusions. It felt like a lot of research for very little more than stories.
I Laughed Out Loud So Much
Nothing Good Can Come From This by Kristi Coulter
Theodora recommended this one to me and I am so grateful because I absolutely loved it! This book of short essays is honest, vulnerable, and at many points, truly laugh out loud funny as Coulter shares her journey from alcoholism toward sobriety. Because, when you think of those two sobering (pun intended) topics, you often think hilarious. Yet, she pulls it off with astonishing aplomb, tackling broader topics such as feminism and the struggles of being an adult because we all know it’s not as easy as its cracked up to me.
The essays are very short, often only a few pages, which makes this an easy book to read when you have a spare moment. Yet, I had a hard time putting it down as reading one essay often turned into six. If you’re a fan of David Sedaris, you will enjoy Coulter’s debut effort. I started reading her blog after I finished the book and its a great continuation. Even if you’re not sober or even sober curious, this is certainly worth the read.
I Don’t Get The Hype (Sorry, Not Sorry)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I may be one of the few remaining who has not yet read the Harry Potter series. Despite everyone I know raving about these books, it just never interested me. They still don’t, to be completely honest, but I got sick of not understanding references to the story. So, I caved and bought book one a few months ago.
I debated not even including this book because of my unpopular opinion: I don’t get the hype. I didn’t particularly enjoy The Sorcerer’s Stone. Put your wands down. It’s okay, I swear.
I found the characters very flat and the plot utterly predictable for a book that is so successful. That said, I know that it’s a children’s book and the first in the series (and Rowling’s first published effort). I think this could stand alone as a one-off book, as it wrapped up nicely. While I didn’t love it enough to necessarily want to continue reading the series, I also have a hard time not finishing what I started. Plus, many have said the books get better. I’ll at least give the second book a shot in the coming months.
A Good Beach Read
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
I know that summer is done, but this would make for a perfect beach read. I’ve read Kinsella’s books for years, since the first in the Shopaholic series. By and large, I know what I’m going to get when I start. A British woman in her twenties or thirties with some crazy shenanigans happening in her life. A broad stroke look at Kinsella’s effort, sure, but sometimes the predictability is exactly what draws me to her writing.
I Owe You One revolves around Fixie Farr and her family as they attempt to keep their family store successful after her father’s death. Fixie puts herself at the forefront of this effort to make up for the lack of such from her siblings. Complicating matters are two love interests: Sebastian, an investment manager with whom she has a meet cute in a coffee shop, and Ryan, her longtime crush and one-time romance.
The Farr matriarch complicates family matters when she decides to take a holiday for her own health, traveling to spend time with her sister. This leaves Fixie and her siblings in charge of the store and the three have extraordinarily different thoughts on the future of the store. Chaos, inevitably, ensues. While this was a cute story and an easy read, I feel like Kinsella is relying far too much on her tried and true.
You can find my other book reviews here.