October 6, 2015

September Books

I'm going to start calling it a success if I can read three books a month. Which, if you recall, was my original goal back in January 2014.  This post is technically a week early but, since I do things by the month, I'm well into October's tasks, so here is a wrap of what I read in September.

To start with, I re-read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  A student gave it to me in Alaska back in 2010 and I read it to my class this year. I almost started crying at the end as I was reading out loud.  It is THAT good. If you are looking for a book for your 3rd-5th grader, please try it. The kids clapped at the end (and I have a class this year. If you're a teacher, you know what "a class" means). We've moved onto a Goosebumps book in preparation for Halloween and then it'll be onto one of my favorite books ever: Bunnicula.

Now for new books I've read:

#59 The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson B

I found this on the library's website and I liked the cover. I liked the title too.  This story was very interesting to me and I did just plain enjoy it.  The story had a few different layers and, while it lacked the true depth of greatness, it was very good.  If you're looking for a pleasant read that will keep you wondering (not guessing really, just wondering), this is a good option.

#60 Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple B+

"Evolution" is the theme of this book.  You think it's going to be about one thing, then it's about something else, then it's actually about this other thing, and then you find out something from an email written by a random character that tells you the whole point of the book.

I liked it. I enjoyed the multiple points of view. It had shades of Liane Moriarity in it.  If you hate Seattle, this is the book for you.

#61 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky B

This was on sale at Audible for $4.95 so it seemed like a worthwhile investment. I'll pay $5 to read a book that's supposed to be good.
This reminded me very much of a Judy Blume book. A classic school story beginning at one point in the school year and coming full circle to the next year.  It's probably the surefire way for an author to show character growth and change.  Did the characters adapt in this book though?  It's kind of hard to tell.  Since everything is told from Charlie's point of view, I'm not sure what happens to the other characters.  And Charlie comes across as an unreliable narrator because he alludes to having serious mental health issues and seems to go through major highs and lows. Obviously this wouldn't hinder him from telling a cohesive story, but which is the real Charlie? He also admits to oh, I shouldn't have sent that letter because I don't know where my mind was or I don't remember what happened. We all have those moments of course, but it was hard to tell which was Charlie being a human being and which might've been Charlie going through some sort of breakdown. He seemed to have a lot of breakdowns. It's only at the very end that we learn a possible cause of the breakdowns, but I would pay to read that psychiatrist's file.

I found myself very curious about what the other characters would say about Charlie; maybe the story told from Sam's point of view, or Charlie's sister's or mom's. When Charlie says that his dad told him to "stop hanging on him like a monkey", I got flashes of maybe-this-kid-is-on-Ridelin-?.  He mentions being on meds but not what kind (that I can remember).  His social awkwardness and lack of a filter and lack of awareness made me think he might be on the autism spectrum.  I basically spent a lot of time trying to nail down a diagnosis since he never mentions one.

I suppose I was very caught up in "What's Charlie's deal?" and the rest of it kind of floated on by.  Important topics for teens, yes, but I'm not sure that any lessons were actually taught through this book.  I'm glad I read it as an adult. I'd like to see the movie.


I attempted: The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes. I found the audiobook and, two hours in, it hadn't really caught my attention so I moved on.  I was able to return it to Audible for a refund, which was nice. Such is life, I suppose. Maybe some other time.
Also, I started Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein but didn't finish it before the library snatched it back from my Kindle app.  Again, such is life. Maybe I can add it to my October books. I have three other books sitting on my Kindle app from the library and I can guarantee you I'll never read them because I simply don't have the time.

Truthfully, I've been so busy grading papers and I can't read while I grade papers.  I can watch t.v. but I can't read.  Multi-tasking has its limits.  Also, I like podcasts and those took precedent over books this month.  Oh well.

Linking up with Jana and Steph for the anniversary edition of Show Us Your Books!

AND...if you're interested in The 4th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap, sign-ups are running until Friday Night!


  1. were you enjoying code name verity before the library snatched it away? if so, i'd be happy to send you the kindle version if you want!
    i haven't read where'd you go bernadette, the synopsis never grabbed me, though i've seen it recommended a thousand and one times!

  2. I wish I would've read Perks in high school or junior high. I think I would have appreciated it more. I liked it when I read it as an adult, but I think it would've been more timely then?

    Same ?? as Kristen - were you liking Code Name Verity?

  3. I totally failed at reading for September. This whole going to work thing really has its drawbacks.

  4. I think I liked a little bit of the ambiguity about Charlie in Perks. It allowed me to draw some of my own conclusions and work out some things from my own perspective. Bernadette has been on my tbr for a while. Someday, I'll get there.

  5. I loved Bernadette, once I got the hang of reading it. Confusing AF for the first 50 pages or so. But I'm glad I worked through it.

    I haven't read Perks yet. Plan to.

  6. Did you see the new Rainbow Rowell book came out?

  7. A lot of people appear to be reading Perks this month, I really liked it and wish I read it back in high school. Bernadette as been on my TBR pile for too long.

  8. I'm going to plan on reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with my daughter! I didn't like Where'd You Go Bernadette but enjoyed The Perks.

  9. I totally agree, my ability to read goes completely hand in hand with my work situation. Which means sometimes I read absolutely zero for quite a long time! Code Name Verity sounds good though. I might see if I can find it.

  10. Your review of Perks sounds exactly like mine from last month. I seriously felt like Charlie had Asperger's or something going on.
    I'm not even ashamed to say I added the book you read to your class with the long title that I'm too lazy to scroll to the top to copy/paste (even though this took longer to type) to my TBR list.


Comments make my day!