How are we already into October?! I feel like I think that every time I write my monthly reading wrap-up, but truly, 2021 is flying by. It feels like I have also been flying through books lately, and I love it! Eleven books were wrapped up in September. It almost feels as though I’m moving so quickly from one to the next that I can hardly remember what I read to write the wrap up, but I think life is just like that right now. So without further ado, here’s what I read in September!
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS BY H.G. BISSINGER – 3 STARS
For a girl who literally does not care about sports, it is astonishing that I picked this up in the first place. But I love the show Friday Night Lights and I love historical nonfiction, so I was interested. There is so much more to this book than a story of 1980s high school football – history, scandal, politics, and everything in between. It can get a little dull at times, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. And I now know far more about small town Texas football than I ever care to admit.
LAYLA BY COLLEEN HOOVER – 4 STARS
What did I just read?! Layla is so different from anything else I’ve ever read, especially from anything else I’ve ever read from Colleen Hoover. A boy and a girl meet in the middle of nowhere at her sister’s wedding, and they fall in love. What follows their romance, however, takes a turn that you’ll never expect. I can’t say much without giving away the plot, but if you’re willing to give it a chance, you will be thoroughly entertained.
COLD SASSY TREE BY OLIVE ANN BURNS – 5 STARS
I read this book for the first time in 10th grade AP Literature class as required reading, and I remember crying at certain parts because it was just so sweet. This time around I listened and that made it even better. Will Tweedy is a young boy stuck in the middle of family drama when his grandmother passed away and three weeks later, his grandpa remarries a much younger woman named Miss Love. We follow Will Tweedy as he grows up in a small town, learning things about class, race, love, and just life in general. Cold Sassy Tree is so wholesome and heartwarming, you can’t help but love it.
MALIBU RISING BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID – 5 STARS
Taylor Jenkins Reid does it again with another historical fiction that sucks you in from the very beginning and keeps you hooked until the end! This book, set in Malibu (duh), chronicles 24 hours in the lives of a set of siblings on the night of their huge end-of-summer party. There is family drama, there is romance, there are secrets and lies. As always, TJR wrote a hit!
THE LAST ROMANTICS BY TARA CONKLIN – 3 STARS
For fans of Ann Patchett, The Last Romantics is a sweeping family novel that spans generations and looks at the complex ways that we experience familial relationships. Following a set of four siblings from childhood, where we meet them following their father’s death, through adulthood as they navigate life together. I had a hard time staying engaged in this book.
EVIDENCE OF THE AFFAIR BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID – 3 STARS
If you’re looking for an interesting, quick read, look no further! This Amazon-exclusive short story by TJR is written in the format of letters back and forth between two people who discover that their partners are having an affair with one another. Although it is a very short story, I found myself quickly reading to find out what happened next. If you love TJR, you should read it!
SEVERAL PEOPLE ARE TYPING BY CALVIN KASULKE – 3 STARS
This book was a trip. If you’ve worked on a team that uses Slack (or Teams, Skype, etc) then you will so appreciate the humor in this strange story of the corporate mishaps of a team, told completely via Slack private and group messages. I never knew that I would feel an emotional connection to #slackbot, but here we are. It’s funny and completely weird, and the perfect random book to pick up when you need a change.
THE COZY MINIMALIST BY MYQUILYN SMITH – 5 STARS
Holy moly, I feel like I learned so much in this book from blogger, The Nester. I’ve always looked at The Cozy Minimalist as more of a “coffee table book”, but when it came available on my Kindle, I grabbed it, and I was taking notes left and right. Myquilyn Smith knows how to make a home feel like home. I related to her so much from the very beginning of the book when she referred to herself as a “stuff manager”, and I can’t wait to read everything else she’s written and apply her methods to our new-ish home.
THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP BY NINA GEORGE – 1 STARS
I really wanted to love this book – about a boat turned bookshop set in Paris?! Swoon. However, this book had very little to do with books and much more to do with the main character, the bookshop owner Perdu, pining after his long lost love, the woman who he had an affair with 20 years ago. For some reason, I also expected this book to be historical fiction (I’m not sure why?) so it was strange to get a modern day story instead. When it comes to books about books, there are many, many other wonderful titles you could pick up instead.
IF YOU TELL BY GREGG OLSEN – 4 STARS
This book is nightmare fuel honestly. I downloaded it on my Kindle on a whim because I was looking for something nonfiction, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This is the story of Shelly Knotek, a mother of three and convicted murderer. Shelly is linked to three deaths of relatives or close friends who were boarding in her home, and this book is a gruesome, detailed account of the events, told in cooperation with her three adult daughters. I was truly horrified by so much of what this woman did and was able to continue getting away with, but I couldn’t stop reading. Please read up on content warnings before diving into this one.
FAME BY KAREN KINGSBURY – 5 STARS
And of course, I am back on the Karen Kingsbury train with the next installment of the Baxter Family series. I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up this next set of books, but I just love these stories so much. I’m hoping to at least finish the Firstborn series before the end of the year. If you’re interested in starting the series, be sure you look up the order in which to read – there are so many Baxter books!
You can follow along with my 2021 reading here!