I had a really good reading month in September, mostly because I refocused myself and used reading as a way to immerse myself in well-written and enjoyable stories that would provide motivation for my writing as well.
When the month started I had the goal of reading 8 books in September, and I’m happy to say that as of writing this today (Sept. 29th) I have finished 9 books and am currently reading a tenth, which I may or may not finish before tomorrow night and the beginning of October.
In order of completion here are the 9 books I read in September and what stood out about each of them (from a reader and writer perspective).
LEGENDARY by Stephanie Garber
I love the world of CARAVAL, and I read the first book in the series back in July. I love how character driven the stories feel, and for LEGENDARY in particular I loved getting Tella’s pov. As a protagonist she’s completely unashamed and constantly working to achieve her goals without a care for how “unladylike” it may make her. I’m definitely looking forward to FINALE coming out next May.
ELLA MINNOW PEA by Mark Dunn
This is one I read mostly for the experience of the format. I loved seeing how the construction of the language and story itself evolved as different letters of the alphabet were banned in the story and therefore also disappeared from the text. This was worth the reading experience just for the craft it explored and how it made me rethink the use of language to tell a story and how intentional it can be.
THE SOUL KEEPERS by Devon Taylor
I loved this story for how simple and accessible it made the magic, even more so because it proved to me as a fantasy writer that things don’t always have to expanded on in a 500 page tome in order to get the magic and plot across. That being said, the book was short and fast-paced (which is not a negative, I loved it and felt the story was fully-formed within the 288 pages) which left me admiring the characters by the end but maybe not 100 percent emotionally invested. Would still recommend this as a quick and brilliant fantasy read.
SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Not much to say about this one, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because it’s the third time I’ve read it in as many years and it’s a collection of stories, some I find more enjoyable than others. This was the first time I’ve listened to it on audiobook, and Stephen Fry’s narration and introductions to different stories did offer a new and interesting way of looking at stories I’ve already read.
TIME SHIFTERS by Chris Grind
This is a graphic novel that I read in ARC form after one of the librarians at the library I work for was giving away books and I decided to pick it up. Only the first few pages were in color as it was an arc, but from the little bit I saw it’s a beautiful art style and rich colors I really enjoyed. As for the story it was nothing like I expected but entirely like what I should have expected. From the description alone it’s clear it’s going to be a weird adventure story and that’s exactly what it was, from alien spider creatures to a robot Abe Lincoln, it was funny and wacky the entire way through with unexpected seriousness and angst that left me crying at the last page.
I’ll be honest, this doesn’t really count as a book. It’s a collection of articles from the Dallas Morning News the season that the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup. I loved reading it as I’m a hockey fan and a native north-Texan, and I loved getting to see in “real-time” how the season developed and the sports writers takes on different playing styles and elements of how the game was played back before a lot of rules that exist is today’s hockey. It also helped with my hockey season withdrawals just in time for the season to start on Oct. 3rd!
This book was helpful for me as a writer, though it focuses so heavily on elements of film (which is to be expected) that a lot of what I took from it was more general than other craft books I’ve read. And more than half the book is analyses of different films, which I’ll admit was boring and a struggle to get through as they were repetitive and followed the same format for each one, covering each of the elements discussed earlier in the book. Overall it was helpful though, and if you want to bring more of the excitement and action of film into your writing it’s a good way of recognizing story in a format other than novels.
THE LOST HERO by Rick Riordan
Roughly a year ago I binge-read the Percy Jackson series, and I’ve had the Heroes of Olympus series sitting on my shelf for a long time since. Well I’m finally reading this series, and I’m already hooked from book one. I love that in this series the povs have expanded to more characters, with more diversity in the situations and motivations of those characters. In THE LOST HERO we get the viewpoint of a native american girl and a hispanic boy, and all three pov characters have godly parents that allow us to see those gods in new light. I’m excited to continue the series, with even more new characters and povs to be introduced, and I’m hoping to finish the series before the end of 2018.
NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman
I listened to this on audiobook and I feel I would’ve loved the stories anyway but Neil Gaiman’s narration was amazing and brought the characters to life in a way that had me flying through this. A lot of the stories focused on Thor and Loki, and maybe it’s just how much my sister’s been watching the marvel movies lately, but I really felt their personalities and outright attitude as if it was the Thor and Loki of the Marvel Universe. Overall an amazing read that had me laughing as often as it had me gasping at the antics of the norse gods.
THE SON OF NEPTUNE by Rick Riordan.
For more on what I’ve read and am currently reading, check out Goodreads.