Month in Review: September 2020

Another month, another wrap-up of the previous month. At the beginning of the month I sped through 5 books, all of which were 4-star reads or higher. Then a reading slump/mental slump hit and I only read two more books for the rest of the month. The last two books I read – The Book of Not and Transcendent Kingdom – both disappointed me in some ways, but were still overall enjoyable reads for me. Reviews for those will be up in a week or so.

Books read:

  • Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich – 4 stars out of 5
  • Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday – 4 stars out of 5
  • Chemistry by Weike Wang – 4.5 stars out of 5
  • Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward – 5 stars out of 5
  • Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 4 stars out of 5
  • The Book of Not by Tsitsi Dangarembga – 3 stars out of 5
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – 3.5 stars out of 5

Books in progress/October TBR:

I’m currently finishing up We Want Our Bodies Back by Jessica Care Moore and Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. I had wanted to finish these by the end of September…but my reading slump made that goal pretty unattainable.

I’m not sure if it’s realistic to finish 8 books on top of the two that I’m currently wrapping up – we will see. The books that I want to read this month are:

  • This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga. I have been working through the Nervous Conditions series in anticipation of this novel, and am really looking forward to it! I’ve heard good things about this one so far, and am encouraged by the fact that it advanced to the Booker Prize short list.
  • Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. This seems like a perfect spooky read for October. I get scared REALLY EASILY, but this novel just sounds too good to pass up.
  • The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante. I’ve heard wonderful things about this coming-of-age novel, and am really looking forward to it.
  • Luster by Raven Leilani. This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, and while the reviews I’ve read so far would suggest that this book didn’t quite live up to its hype…it’s still a must-read for me.
  • Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi. I don’t know too much about this book, but based on the title it seems like a perfect audiobook/commuting-read for me.
  • The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste. One of my Booker Prize reads! I love historical fiction that shows history from a non-whitewashed point of view, so I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy this Booker-shortlisted novel.
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. Also reading this one because of the Booker Prize, even though it didn’t advance to the shortlist. Because my October TBR is unrealistically ambitious, there is a good chance that I actually won’t end up reading this one.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. This has been on my TBR for SO LONG and it also seems like a great Halloween read. So excited about this one!!

Some blog posts I enjoyed:

September photos:

Month in review: September 2019

Hello and HAPPY AUTUMN! I’m glad to be writing this wrap-up, because I’m quite ready for September to be over. The month started out with a cold that knocked me out for a few days, but things were busy and stressful even after I recovered. I didn’t read or bake as much as I had hoped to, but I still got a little bit done!

Books read:

So…I only finished reading one book in September. Luckily, it was a really good book! Lost Children Archive is about a family of four that embarks on a summer road trip to “Apacheria” during the “immigration crisis” at the United States’ southern border. It is a touching book that strikes a great balance between somber, heart-breaking, sweet, and funny.

Bakes inspired by the books:

I baked two things this month. Inspired by The Truffle Underground, I made fungus-filled pizza…which is disgusting phrasing but delicious eating (it was a pizza that had baker’s yeast, bleu cheese, and porcini mushrooms).

For Lost Children Archive, I made banana-ginger cheesecake bars. Both of my bakes this month were pretty experimental, and I am happy to be taking more risks in my baking now. In the case of the banana-ginger cheesecake bars, the risk didn’t result in anything spectacular; but the mushroom pizza was amazingly good!

Books in progress/October reading goals:

I’m currently about halfway through Lab Girl by Hope Jahren; I have mixed, but overall positive feelings about it so far. I am also still working on An Orchestra of Minorities! It is long (~450 pages) and I have been getting through it pretty slowly, but I hope to finish it this month. I also hope to read The Invention of Nature and Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis.

Some great blog posts I came across in September:

  • Katie at Never Not Reading posted a moving piece about the value of reading books about people who are different from you (something I wholeheartedly agree with)
  • Vee at Millenial Life Crisis nicely summarized the essentials of self-esteem
  • Ashley at Mental Health at Home tackled the notion of “drug seeking” – a phrase that is commonly and wrongly used to describe people who use medication – and explained why it is problematic
  • Tess McClure published an amazing article about the dark side of the “healing crystal” trend that is especially popular amongst consumers who practice “alternative” lifestyles

Favorite photos this month: