Books read in September 2016

Holy schnikies, Batman, I read books in every category this month! That’s unusual, especially the three grownup nonfiction books. Though two of them I had been reading for a while and just happened to finish them in September.recommended

Picture books: Best Frients in the Whole Universe
Middle grade: Full of Beans
Young adult: First & Then (even though was a re-read)
Young nonfiction: Tiny Stitches
Adult fiction: Leave Me
Adult nonfiction: Maud Hart Lovelace’s Deep Valley (admittedly, a niche book)
Smart smut: Say it Louder


Best Frients in the Whole Universe
Antoniette Portis
Read for Librarian Book Group
I giggled through this book and enjoyed its general exuberance.

Coyote Moon
Read for Librarian Book Group
Travel with a mother coyote as she searches for food for her family.

The Sound of Silence
Katrina Goldsaito
Read for Librarian Book Group
Yoshio looks for the sound of silence in Tokyo, Japan.

The Storyteller
Evan Turk
Read for Librarian Book Group
Fantastically illustrated tale about the importance of listening to the storytellers.

Randy Cecil
Read for Librarian Book Group
I remember liking this, but I can’t remember why.


Full of Beans
Jennifer Holm
Read for Librarian Book Group
Probably my favorite character voice of the year.  It was fun to be transported back to 1930’s Key West, Florida.

The Inn Between
Marina Cohen
Read for Librarian Book Group
Clever book that is slightly too obvious about showing its hand.


First & Then
Emma Mills
Read Aloud with Matt.
I really enjoyed hearing this the second time; the first time through I was enjoying it so much I skimmed.  Matt liked it too.

William Ritter
Good historical fiction/fantasy where the young Miss Abigail Rook, having fled her family’s Victorian expectations, arrives in New Fiddleham, New England. There she encounters R.F. Jackaby, a sort of Sherlockian character. Gaining work as his assistant, she helps investigate a serial killer in this fantastical mystery.


Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivian Thomas
Read for Librarian Book Group
Illuminating nonfiction about the man who developed a procedure to help blue babies survive.  It does not shy away from the racism Thomas faced in his quest to be a doctor.


My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante
When friends on Goodreads give books five stars, I notice.  So I was very interested to read this book, the first in the Neapolitan Novels  I found it rough going.  Though I had been warned to power through until the main characters hit 13, I found I had to power through the entire book.

I found the fierce, stark, angry prose too confessional for me. The plot was meandering.  This is a good read for those interested in the frenemy relationships between girls, or those who would like to be transported to a poor neighborhood in 1950s Italy.  Be warned though, that this book ends abruptly.  Almost as if someone needed to make a very long book into two very long books.

Leave Me
Gayle Forman
Can a woman who is a mother leave her children to save her own health?  My observations of the current climate say the answer is no.  And thus, I’m guessing Gayle Forman will get a lot of aggro about her main character, Maribeth, who suffers a heart attack in her early forties and flees her young twins and husband so she can mend.

I happen to think women have completely overextended themselves trying to fulfill today’s version of “mother” and so I was interested in Maribeth’s journey which involved the city of Pittsburgh, a rouge heart doctor, a search for her birth mother and (my favorite) healing through swimming.

As I have with Forman’s other books I  devoured this and enjoyed the way she plays with alternate paths that lead to greater understanding.


Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
Sarah Vowell
I enjoy Sarah Vowell books with a lot of Sarah Vowell in them.  When she weaves herself into the story while telling us about the history she’s interested in.  This book had a lot of history and not as much Sarah Vowell.  Thus, it was slow going.

The Tiredness Cure
Sohere Roked
I was feeling tired and this book offered a range of potential fixes, all from an English naturopath’s perspective.

Maud Hart Lovelace’s Deep Valley
For those who want to know the inspirations of Mankato people and locations from Lovelace’s many Deep Valley books.  This well-researched book includes photos, biographies and clippings of Mankato/Deep Valley’s people and places.  It’s good to read before taking a Betsy/Tacy visit.


Say it Louder

Heidi Joy Trethaway
Finally we have Book Four in the Tattoo Thief Series.  I’ve waited a long time to see what happens with drummer Dave, who has just discovered how terrible his longtime girlfriend is.  In kicking her to the curb (a kick that was quite well-deserved) he finds himself interested in Willa, a scruffy tattoo artist by day and graffiti artist by night.  Can Dave, with his not-quite-professional drumming skills–keep himself in the band and convince Willa to trust him?  Many complexities ensue, and the path is laid for a fifth book (hooray!) in the Tattoo Thief series.  Bring on the babysitter drummer!


2 thoughts on “Books read in September 2016”

  1. That Jackaby book sounds pretty interesting! No love interest, I hope?

    I’ve only read a memoir book by Forman and found her so unlikeable that I don’t know if I could ever read one of her fiction books. Note to self: never write a memoir.

    1. I think _Jackaby_ might just hit the Jan sweet spot, for a variety of reasons, one of which is that there is no love interest.

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