Thoughts on my September 2021 Reading

estimated 5 min read

September was an interesting month to read through, this year I found I was easily distracted by the Jewish holidays. I started and set aside many different books during the month since I wasn’t hooked deep into any series and the weeks were broken up by yontif.

It also means I didn’t finish as many books as I normally do. Maybe that’s the point, and I need to slow down and savor what I read.

Why do I feel the need to read like I’m running out of time? On Tuesday NYPL announced they eliminated late fines, which made my day. Hopefully my local system will do so officially – many libraries waved fines during the pandemic. I spent my childhood in fear of owing a fee, for various reasons both economic and emotional; I know that worry often make me think twice about checking out a book from the library. This is a positive shift in policy. I hope more patrons can now comfortably use the resources public libraries, especially NYPL, offer.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to change how I write this post. I like reading Jo Walton’s Reading List, so let’s see if I can try to use some aspects of that format? Let’s see how it goes.

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (2020), 192 pages. Fiction.

I knew nothing about this book other than what is on the cover. I’ve avoided all publicity about it. It’s a quick read, with twists I didn’t expect and found interesting. If you’ve not yet read it, you should.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (2021), 461 pages. Fiction.

This one took me a while to get into, but once hooked, I stayed up late to finish. I’ve been reading Lo’s newsletter for a while now, the research undertaken to write an accurate history made it that much richer a story.

Invisible Sun by Charlie Stross (2021), 400 pages. Fiction.

This was a NetGalley review. It’s a conclusion to a series I enjoyed immersing myself into and one that has evolved and changed over the years since the first book was published. Is it the best? No, but it’s a conclusion and sometimes we all (authors and readers) need that. You can find my complete review at netgalley.com.

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (2021), 288 pages. Non-Fiction.

I wrote about this book at PSG Studio. It’s a book that shares the secret of time management. This book also makes it possible to gain a better understanding of how the current productivity culture came to be and understand your place in it. My complete review can be found at psgstudio.us.

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers (2021), 336 pages. Fiction.

While this is set in the Wayfarers Universe, you don’t have to read the other books to enjoy it. This story is lovely, the moment I finished I immediately wanted to reread it. Now I need to acquire a copy so I can reread it whenever I want.

Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum (2020), 224 pages. Non-Fiction.

A while ago, I read “A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come” in the Atlantic. I don’t know if the article crossed my path in 2018 or not. That’s not important. A friend recommended it–“You must read this”—I was told. They were right. Why? It shows how easily the situation can change and how that happens due to choices made by me, by you, and by those in the elite circles. Still unsure? Tonight, the PBS NewsHour reported on the continued debate surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

Passages by Mercedes Lackey (2020), 336 pages. Fiction, short stories.

Yes, I’m a Valdemar fangirl. This is one of the better collections.

In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu (2021), 192 pages. Fiction.

This is a very interesting tale. I picked it up on a whim when I stopped by the library to pick up some holds, because it was slim, and I needed what I thought would be a quick read. I found it took me a while as I kept going back to reread sections and enjoy them again. I’m still thinking about the story weeks later, and I think that means I need a copy of my own for a more savory reread.

Strickmich! Knitting Inventions by Martina Behm (2019), 104 pages. Non-Fiction.

I was delighted to see this book in the library catalog and enjoy knitting Behm’s patterns. I’m not sure if it means I’ve been following her work more than I realized; I have a few designs nearing completion that bear some similarities in construction. It was something I was unaware of until I read through this pattern collection. I’m working through two knits of this collection that I’ve had my eyes on for a while – Berry Skies and Loops.

Clever Crochet Squares by Maria Gullberg (2019), 112 pages. Non-Fiction.

I love those that take the traditional and find ways to make it new. I can’t say I want to make all these granny squares, but they are clever and interesting.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (2017), 320 pages. Fiction.

This book was one I’d started and set aside many times, as an eBook. Then I borrowed it from my library and quickly devoured the story. It’s a common trope — kids meet, are separated by an adult, then get back together as adults. There’s also a secret school in there somewhere – either for magic or science or both. This was an enjoyable debut novel, once I sat with the physical book.

October Reading Plan

I would love to focus and finish reading Never Say You Can’t Survive, as well as reading the new edition of We so I can write their now neglected reviews. I borrowed a pile of books from the library when I was there the other day. Hmm. I wish they’d abolish parking fees if you stay less than a half hour in the closest lot or (and?) offer a free transit pass if you borrow a book. That would make help make the library more accessible! However, I started in on Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files Tuesday night, so who knows what I’ll finish.

Black cat curled up on a multi-color crochet blanket on a light blue couch.

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