30 Sep September Wrap-Up & An October Preview
September and October are two of my favorite months.
It’s still a little warmer than I’d like it to be, but the sky is beautiful and the mornings are beginning to cool, so that’s a start. The older I get, the more I find myself embracing the colder weather. I feel like this is the opposite of how everyone else feels, but oh well. I think it’s mostly because I’m obsessed with sweaters and sweatshirts.
Although I feel like I’ve read a lot this month, I’ve only finished a total of five books. In just the last week and a half, including last night, I received five new books from Overdrive! Three are new releases, so if I don’t get to them this time around I know my wait is going to be crazy long when I put them on hold again-ugh.
The 5 from Overdrive:
1. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
2. The Institute by Stephen King
3. Chances Are by Richard Russo
4. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (I put this book on hold back in the spring- my library only has 1 or 2 digital copies of it, so it took FOREVER.)
5. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (this is the third time I have put this book on hold!!)
I want to read them all right now!
Below is my September wrap-up & ratings:
1. Doctor Broad by Deborah Roberts. Non-fiction. This was a digital ARC from #Netgalley. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Below is the Amazon synopsis:
• For decades, starting in the 1950s, Raymond Patriarca ran the New England Mafia out of a storefront in Providence, Rhode Island. By 1980 he was seventy-two years old, and suffering from diabetes and heart disease. One night in December of that year his life intersected with that of Dr. Barbara Roberts, a thirty-six-year old single mother of three, who was the first female cardiologist to practice in Rhode Island. Asked by Raymond’s family to check on him after he was arrested on capital charges, Barbara—a naive Alice in Wonderland—entered a looking-glass world populated by pitfalls, moral ambiguities and dangers for which her devout upbringing had not prepared her. How did a former Catholic schoolgirl from a working-class family become the physician and defender of one Mafioso, and the mistress of another? How did her children handle these scandalous associations and the resulting hostile publicity—and what were the reactions of their fathers?
Expanding on the story first told in the popular Crimetown podcast, this memoir is a tale of motherhood, political activism, controversy, heartbreak and survival; it traces one woman’s trajectory against the backdrop of America’s 20th century upheavals •
I liked this book and it had a very interesting storyline. The only aspect that got on my nerves was the constant mentioning of Dr. Roberts’ political activism (she is a very staunch feminist). I have no problems with what she chose to get political about, it just seemed like a major portion of the book kept coming back to that. It’s always interesting to read about people who have different beliefs and it did pertain to the story somewhat, but I was more interested in the sections concerning her and her care of Raymond Patriarca.
2. Educated by Tara Westover. Non-Fiction. This was my bookclub September selection. I read a hard copy edition and loaned my copy out, so it didn’t make the picture. We had some interesting discussions about this book at our meeting this past Friday. I was very surprised that it wasn’t unanimously loved-because everyone seems to love this book. I liked it, but enjoyed (books in a similar vein) The Glass Castle by Janette Walls and Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance more so. ⭐️⭐️⭐️& 1/2
3. The Giver by Lois Lowery. Fiction. I read this on my Kindle. This book was assigned reading for my older son. I have wanted to read this for awhile and had bought a really cheap e-copy a few years back. My son and I ended up liking it so well that I ordered us each (and it’s SO pretty) a hardback book that has the entire quartet inside. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
4. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. Fiction. This was an e-copy from Overdrive. It was one of the new ones mentioned above. I read Eileen by this author, which was strange but good. This book was strange and not as good in my opinion. I read it in two days, so it was a fast read, but I’m not sure I recommend it. It was just interesting enough to keep the pages turning, but the premise was strange and not all that believable. I guess because I liked the weirdness of Eileen I stuck with it. ⭐️⭐️& 1/2 .
The Amazon synopsis is below:
• Our narrator should be happy, shouldn’t she? She’s young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers •
5. Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Fiction. This was my favorite of the month and a Pulitzer Prize winner to boot. I started this a few weeks ago, maybe even in August, it’s almost 500 pages, so definitely a longer read. As much as I loved it, I’m not sure I would recommend it to everyone and here’s why. This story follows a small, mostly blue-collar town in Maine that was once centered around a large textile factory. When it closed, the town kind of closed with it. This story follows the people that have lived there before and after the closing. It’s basically a story about life. Small-town, the gossip, not a whole lot going on, yet somebody is always doing something. I think you either like these types of stories or think they are really boring. I just happen to be one that really likes them. Russo also wrote Nobody’s Fool (which is a great movie and I had no idea it was a novel when I watched it), which is another story about small-town life. Russo has such a way of capturing and writing authentic sounding scenes and dialogue. It’s actually incredible how real every character feels and sounds. It sort of reminds me of the movie (if it were a book), Grumpy Old Men. Definitely a similar feel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️&1/2.
Now that September is almost over, I am really excited for a few posts I have in mind for October.
Starting tomorrow and through Friday I am going to be posting some books that fall under a category called:
I don’t think these books will be at all what you think. So, check back tomorrow if I’ve peaked your interest!
“Was anything in the world truer than that intuitive leap of the heart?” -Richard Russo, Empire Falls
(This was a favorite quote I came across while reading).