Sunday, November 22, 2015

September Reads #BEDN

Next in the book reads catch up is what I read in September.

September Reads

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Queen of Shadows is book 4 in the Throne of Glass series. I bought this the day it came out and started it but it took me 2 weeks to read. I don't know why, I loved it when reading it and couldn't wait to find out what happened. I think I just lost my reading mojo and was feeling down. The book is awesome though, my favourite in the series so far and I can't wait for the next one!

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen

After finishing Queen of Shadows, I went to library and flew through the next few books. I've wanted to read this book for a while. Maya feels like she's at the bottom of the popularity ladder in school and decides to use this 1950s popularity book by Betty Cornell to see if it can change things for her. Each month she focused on a different chapter and doing things from that chapter (so one was to do with clothes, another was exercise etc). I LOVED this book! Maya's family were so supportive and it was nice to see their dynamic, they seem like such a lovely family. Maya learns so much in this book and she's such a clued-in, smart girl. A definite feel good read.

A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee 

Set in Victorian London, 12 year old Mary Quinn is sentenced to hang for being a thief but is rescued from the gallows. She ends up in Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls and gets a good education. At ages 17, she finds out the academy is a cover for The Agency, an all female investigation unit. For her first case, she goes to the house of a rich merchant posed as his daughter's new companion. She's sent there to find out more information about cargo missing from the merchant's ships. I enjoyed this book, I love Victorian London and I enjoyed Mary as a main character. I already have the second book out of the library and will read it soon. It was a quick read and no I didn't guess who did it!

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Prior to this, the only John Green I'd read was The Fault in Our Stars. This is his first book and it's a coming of age story. Miles is a misfit and decides to leave his Florida home to go to boarding school in Alabama. Miles is given Chip as his roommate and becomes friends with him and his friends, including the wild and beautiful Alaska. The book was ok, I wasn't blown away by it. I can see why teenagers might enjoy it, Green writes convincing enough teenage characters. It hasn't put me off trying other Green books, but while I would possibly reread TFIOS, I wouldn't pick this one up again.

Broken Harbour by Tana French

It's no surprise that I love Tana French! This book follows Scorcher Kennedy, who is sent to the ghost estate in Broken Harbour with his rookie partner, Richie, to investigate the murder of 2 children and their father, with the mother in intensive care. The case seems pretty obvious, the father has snapped and killed his family due to losing his job in the recession. But there are other small details that throw this case off so Scorcher sets about trying to find out the truth. However Broken Harbour brings back lots of bad memories for him and this, along with his sister Dina going off the rails, means life is breaking down a bit of Scorcher. I love how French writes the characters and I never know exactly who's done what until close to the end. There's just one more French book to read and I've been holding off because I love reading them and don't want to have none to look forward to!

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

When I saw this on NetGalley I requested it straight away. Gillian certainly knows how to write an opening sentence that captures your attention! The narrator of the short story is faking being a psychic (with a 'handy' male only customer service role on the side) and does a good job at what she does, mainly because she is able to read people well and tell them what they want. Until Susan Burke arrives and tells her that she has problems with her house and her stepson. The narrator, seeing a side business of 'cleansing' houses offers to go to the house and help Susan. But when she arrives she feels as if the house is watching her, especially when she meets Susan's stepson Miles waiting too.

This is a quick read, I had it read in about half an hour but I really enjoyed it. It had me guessing, even at the end when all is revealed (or not revealed, depending on who you believe is being truthful!). I've seen other reviews of people saying they didn't particularly like any of the characters but I did like the narrator. Sure, she didn't hesitate to try scam people out of people but she was resourceful. 

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I made a full review post here, but Furiously Happy is Jenny Lawson's account of dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health worries. It's funny, it's sad and it's quirky! Furiously Happy is Lawson's mantra, that while there are times when she doesn't want to do anything because her mental health is bad, there are up times too, when she not only wants to be happy but she wants to be furiously so. To grab life by the balls and enjoy it for that it's worth. Because there will always be bad times around the corner but it doesn't mean that you can't full enjoy the good times when you feel good.

September Reads

Number of books read- 7
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 5:2
Male to Female authors- 6:1
Number of eBooks- 2 (The Grownup and Furiously Happy
Number of books borrowed from library- 4 (Popular, A Spy in the House, Looking for Alaska and Broken Harbour)

Reading Challenge Completed

A Book with More than 500 Pages- Queen of Shadows
A Popular's Author First Book- Looking for Alaska
A Book with Antonyms in the Title- Furiously Happy

And that's September! Slowly getting more through the reading challenge, I still have a good amount more before the year is out but I have most planned and I hope I can finish it!


  1. I don't think I'm going to finish the Popsugar challenge this year, I've too many obscure ones left! I loved Popular too. Haven't read any John Green apart from TFIOS so I'd definitely be interested in reading more by him.

    1. Sharon, I have NINE books left for PopSugar thing, which is grand in terms of getting it done but I think trying to finish it has just made me feel 'blah' about reading! There's one I don't think I can even finish (something you were supposed to read in school but didn't) because I read everything in school and then some! The only thing I can think of for that is a book of John Donne poetry as I was supposed to do a project on him summer of 5th year but didn't bother!

      The new categories for next year are out! Now, I don't know if it's 'official' Pop Sugar picks or if the Goodreads Group for the challenge decided on the new categories as they were voting on ideas the other week. Not sure I'll do it next year though. I might do the Book Riot one, they had a lot of similar themes to PopSugar one this year but there's less categories and some of them were more interesting. I'll see what they bring out for next year.

      I think the next John Green I read will be Paper Towns.


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