September was a nice balance of fiction and non-fiction, with two books about creativity I’d been interested in reading for some time. I’m currently sitting at 40 books read this year, without counting the Harry Potter books I enjoyed over the summer, so I’m only 35 from my goal for the year. I’ll need to pick up the pace a bit to finish, but I’m not worried. The point of the goal was to increase my reading and I’ve certainly done that.
I’ll also say that something I’ve enjoyed lately — while traveling or enjoying Harry snuggles on the couch — is reading magazines. This is nothing crazy or new of course, but several years ago you’d never see me finding time to sit, let alone enjoy a magazine.
This month, I enjoyed my monthly subscription of Real Simple twice because I read September and October’s issues. Then I almost always pick up Women’s Health while at Target or something. My mother-in-law also shared a copy of Magnolia Journal, and I borrowed a friend’s Glamour on a business flight.
Obviously I don’t count magazines in my monthly reads, but I did thought it was important to share that long form isn’t the type of writing I enjoy. Anyway, here’s my recap of books I read in September:
I’ve heard rave reviews of The Hate U Give since it premiered last year, and I was not disappointed. Angie Thomas tells a heartbreaking and all-too-true story that my former students live out every day. It is based around an event that marks Star’s life in the first few chapters and I cried basically the whole time. I loved how well she captured the personality of today’s teenagers (I truly felt like I was back in the classroom talking to my students!) and portrayed the reality of their lives – even if it breaks my heart. The film adaptation releases on October 19 and I’m very excited to see it.
Next up, I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which was a quick and enjoyable read. I thoroughly enjoyed Eat Pray Love when I was younger and I’ve had this on my Want to Read list for a long time. I loved her discussion about fear and how it works really hard to hold us back creatively. Her call to action was simple, but strong: “So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” I hope you’ll give it a read.
I also finished a collection of essays called Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. It highlighted some great best practices for creatives in the workplace and was a very manageable read. I read it over a course of several months in a book club with several other creatives at work, and it’s easy to read in small chunks or all at once. We found it fun that it was mentioned as a recommendation from one of Charlotte Agenda’s 30 Under 30. Check it out if you’re interested in making your work day work for you.
A book I enjoyed much more than I expected was Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. It is meant to be a young adult novel, but I’m still a sucker for those. In the first few chapters it reminded me very much of Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl (does anyone else remember that one??), but those elements lessened as the story continued. I loved that the main characters bonded over comics and music, and overall the story just felt very true to teenage life. Narration switches between the main characters throughout, which made several scenes adorable.
My last book of the month was The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, which only just came out in May. The cover instantly grabbed my attention, and the story was interesting. It follows a variety of characters, all linked together, through their experiences with feminism. It surprised me a bit by switching perspectives several chapters in, and then doing it several times more — but it ended up not being a bad thing. I was also happy to find that the audiobook used the same female narrator as Eleanor & Park, so it was a nice transition.
Looking ahead to October, I’m excited for several books I already know I want to read — and they’re all physical books after several months of only listening to audiobooks. It’ll be a challenge to make that a priority, but I want to see it through.
What books have you been reading? What do you look forwarding to reading this month? I’d love to hear from you!