Book Haul & Reading Update- September 2020

Yep, you are seeing that right, I didn’t read enough books to do a whole separate blog post on them. September reading challenge kinda failed.

Honestly though, I underestimated how much I would be doing during my 3 weeks off work, and I overestimated how much I would be reading during my week away. And I don’t really mind all that much as I did do a lot of other lovely things, I’ll just try to get to a few more of my half read books in the next few months I guess.

And so I did also buy a few books. Not too many, but just a few that I am really happy with and that I am very excited to read soon.

What I read

Let’s first have a look at how much (or little) reading I got done.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Starr Carter’s world is shattered when she is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

As I mentioned in last month’s reading update, I kind of struggled getting into this book. I didn’t really connect with the writing style all that well. It was very much written out of a teenagers perspective, which of course is very good as it is a YA book so I can totally imagine teenagers connecting with the main character a lot because of how she thinks, speaks and sees things. For me though, I didn’t connect with it all that much. That being said though, holy shit this book made me feel things and it was so so good. This book is so heartbreaking and frustrating and felt very real and raw and I think everyone needs to read this. It is of course very relevant for the time that we live in and the things that are happening in the world, and experiencing a piece of that through this book was, for me at least, very eye opening and like I said before, frustrating as well. I am so glad I read this book, and I am certain it is a book that will stick with me and that I will remember this book for a long time to come.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Rules Of Magic – Alice Hoffman

From the beginning, Susanna Owens knew her three children were unique. Franny, with her blood red hair, who can commune with birds. Jet, shy and beautiful, who knows what others are thinking. And Vincent, too charismatic for his own good. Susanna needed to set some rules of magic: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes… and certainly, absolutely, no books about magic. And yet, despite the warning handed down through the family for centuries, that love will be their undoing, the Owens siblings will break every one of these rules and discover who they truly are.

I managed to finish this book right before the end of the month. I took me quite some time, but I am glad I ultimately finished this. I think I feel the same way about The Rules Of Magic as I did about Practical Magic, the first book in this sort of series, but that is actually set later than this one. I had a really hard time getting into the book and like I said it took me a pretty long time to finish as well, but now that I finished it I am glad I did. Towards the halfway point of the book I really got into the story, I liked the characters a lot and I liked how the story was set up. Alice Hoffman has a sort of magical way of writing, in the way the story flows and kind of is set up. I liked that it follows the characters for a long time, and it was nice to get a bit of background for events that happen in Practical Magic. Was it my favourite book of the year? No, but it is entertaining, and beautifully written and I definitely connected with the characters in a way.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

So obviously my September reading challenge kind of failed. I only read two books of the 4 I was hoping to read, and I still have a bunch of books on my Currently Reading shelf. I will definitely try to get to a few more of those books before the end of the year, and otherwise I might do this challenge again in a few months when I don’t have any holiday plans, so I can devote all my time to reading and working my way through that shelf. I am glad at least that I managed to read these two.

What I bought

Now on to the new additions to my book collection. I mentioned one of these in my TBR update last week already, but another one was a very last minute, but also very exciting, purchase.

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

After the Great War, life can never be the same again. Wounds need healing, and the horror of violent death banished into memory.
Captain Arthur Hastings is invited to the rolling country estate of Styles to recuperate from injuries sustained at the Front. It is the last place he expects to encounter murder. Fortunately he knows a former detective, a Belgian refugee, who has grown bored of retirement…

I have been on an Agatha Christie kick this year, I have just been loving her books. For a little while there I managed to stop myself from buying any more of them and instead work my way through some different books in my collection. But when I visited one of my favourite bookstores this past month (which has had a total revamp, so I just had to check it out), I spotted that they had a pretty good selection of her books and I just couldn’t help myself, I had to pick up two. The first one here is the very first Poirot book. I have read quite a few of the earlier Poirots, but never the very first one, and since I love all those books so far I figured I couldn’t miss this one. I am very curious to see how this small Belgian man with the mustache gets his very first introduction. It sounds like a great story, it reminds me a little bit of The Moving Finger which was my very first Miss Marple story and I absolutely loved that one. Whether this really is a little like that one or not, I am very sure I will love reading this, I cannot wait to dive in!

The Pale Horse – Agatha Christie

When an elderly priest is murdered, the killer searches the victim so roughly that his already ragged cassock is torn in the process. What was the killer looking for? And what had a dying woman confided to the priest on her death bed only hours before?
Mark Easterbrook and his sidekick Ginger Corrigan are determined to find out. Maybe the three women who run The Pale Horse public house, and who are rumoured to practice the ‘Dark Arts’, can provide some answers?

The second Agatha Christie book I picked up is not one in a series I believe, but one of her standalone stories. I haven’t read many of those, only one I think, so I am excited to read more of them and this sounds like a really good one to start with. It apparently has a touch of dark magic, which sounds very very exciting, and of course there is murder, and apparently a detective duo or something? I haven’t read it yet, so obviously I don’t really know, but it sounds like yet another book I will love.

Transcendent Kingdom – Yaa Gyasi

As a child Gift would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two – and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.
Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach further than she ever thought. Tracing her family’s story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.

On of my favourite books of this year was Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. It is a book I still think about from time to time, and I have recommended it to pretty much every reader in my life (actually, that’s not true, I need to work on that a little more..). So when I spotted her newest book in my local bookstore I dropped all other books I was trying to decide between and bought this one. The story sounds very different from the last one, and to be honest I don’t really know what to expect because I only just kind of scanned the description before I bought it, but considering how much I just loved her writing style in Homegoing I have high hopes for this one. It sounds like it touches a lot on mental health and religion as well (at least that’s what it sounds like on Goodreads), and I’m very excited to see what beautiful story she has crafted for us this time.

So overall it has not been my best reading month, or at least not what I’d hoped, but my book buying month was very good. I am very very excited about all three books I got and cannot wait to dive into them all. That probably won’t happen in October though, because I got my little list of creepy books to work through, but I will definitely start with all three of these soon.

Thanks for stopping by ❤