There was a time, long ago, when I felt I’m not reading enough books to warrant any sort of wrap-up post. And now, here we are, 2nd month of this tag!
September passed by so fast, or… maybe I was just too busy with work and life. But, I found through the years, sneaking some precious reading time has been crucial for me to enjoy my day-to-day life. And so it is nice to look back on my progress. Also, since I already finished my 2021 Reading Challenge (to read 20 books for the year), the pressure of counting read-books was already lifted off my shoulders and reading became a more relaxed activity for me since. I debated quitting the yearly challenge entirely (ala Chia) because I share the same sentiment: that sometimes it veered more towards numbers rather than enjoying and savoring each book. But I just can’t do it.
Call me a creature of habit or maybe this is just an obvious crutch for an anxious mind… but I can’t quit something I’ve been doing since 2011 (I’m breaking an essential tenet I’ve learned from Essentialism, I know) and also can’t go on ahead of a year without a plan. So the compromise I was able to reach is: put in fewer numbers in the yearly challenge (a number I am confident I can reach in the early months of a year). So yeah, here we are.
Anyway, I kept rambling on rambling again. For September 2021, I read 5 books:
- Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo – 5/5☕ [short review]
- Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor – 3.5/5☕ [review]
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – 4/5☕ [short review]
- The Bronzed Beasts (Gilded Wolves, #3) by Roshani Chokshi – 4/5☕
- Eat a Peach by David Chang – 3.5/5☕
I feel like compared to my August reading log, this month is significantly better but when I looked at the ratings, it almost felt the same. There were a couple of memorable reads, though, so maybe that made a huge difference.
My highest rating went to Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I delayed reading it so much even though I got the physical copy as early as the release date. But it did surprise me. And in terms of plot, writing, and just general feel – I really did enjoy it so much. I finally finished Eat a Peach, which is a David Chang memoir but it ironically sent me into an Anthony Bourdain content wormhole once again. I just finished watching Roadrunner (which was bittersweet) and just got the Kitchen Confidential audiobook. There is also the much anticipated (and dreaded) conclusion of a series I love, the 3rd book of the Gilded Wolves series, The Bronzed Beasts. I still haven’t written a review because I’m still trying to process everything… but thinking about its Epilogue still makes me cry. Roshani’s writing is, as always, a thing of beauty for me.
But one book really stood out for me this month (even though I rated it just 4 stars). It was 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. It was an old, obscure (by today’s standard, I guess) book that I found while I was scrolling through bookstagram. And it was such a charming read and a memorable one to boot. It catapulted straight to my 2021 and all-time favorites (I’d like to think). It has a movie adaptation in the 80s starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, and seeing such a simple premise brought to life so perfectly just made my heart soar. You can read my short review here.
On another note, I have a couple of books I’m currently (actively) reading right now:
- The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman and Dirk Maggs – the second installment of this brilliant audio adaptation (!!!) which I listen to whenever I do house chores.
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami – a reread, inspired by an episode of Fiction Friends, where I would try to check if my love for this book still stands after almost 10 years since I first read it.
- Dune by Frank Herbert – I’m still adamant about not DNFing this book but I hope I could finally finish this so I can cross this off my list lol 😂. I really wanna finish this before I watch the movie.
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – I suspect another low coming, so I guess this is just me pre-empting stuff 💪.
I don’t wanna go and add to that list anymore for my TBR this October but I’m hoping that I could at least finish 2 from the list above. That would really make me happy. 💛