A bit late September Reading Wrap Up, but the last few days have been crazy, and between work, birthday, a friend’s visit and a day trip to London, I haven’t had much time for anything. But it has been a lovely week!
I read 21 books in September, but a few of those were quite short guides. As I result, I had a problem (yet again) with choosing my top five books of this month, so there may be more recommendations coming later!
My Top 5 Books in September
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I absolutely loved The Starless Sea, and while I wasn’t convinced by a few tiny details, on the overall, this book was amazing. Very different to the book in Erin Morgenstern’s earlier novel, The Night Circus – one of my all-time favourites – The Starless Sea is equally aesthetically pleasing, so to speak. And for me personally, stories within stories (to the extreme here) is a great device that framed the whole narrative in The Starless Sea absolutely beautifully. It took me a while (a nearly a year) to pick up this book from the shelf, especially as I had it since the book event last year in London with Erin Morgenstern, but when I finally did, I loved following Zachary’s journey. Zachary’s story starts with him discovering a strange book in his university library, except his story could have started earlier if only he opened the doors years earlier. The Starless Sea is a great book full of stories and choices, and interesting (and quirky) characters. I will definitely be writing a full review of it soon(ish).
The Diviners by Libba Bray (and the 2nd part of the series)
The Diviners series took me by surprise, recommended by a friend but not exactly my usual type of the book. But I absolutely loved it, and especially the second book, Lair of Dreams, which added the depth into many characters and their stories as well as introduced the reader to some new faces. Set in New York, The Diviners series is full of mystery, the atmosphere of the 1920s, and paranormal activities. While usually, I like each of those elements separately, it was the combination of all of that (and more) that made me enjoy the book so much. What I like the most about the series so far is that despite the focus on the paranormal/fantasy elements, you can clearly see how much of research has been done by the author to make the historical element of The Diviners work – to make this book feel so real, and so alive. I listened toThe Diviners and Lair of Dreams, and I would definitely recommend the audiobook format for this series.
How It All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi
I was really looking forward to reading this book ever since I first heard about it. 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘐𝘵 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘉𝘭𝘦𝘸 𝘜𝘱 is such a fun and at the same important book touching on some important topics – such as racism, islamophobia and homophobia. In Arvin Ahmadi’s book, we meet Amir, 18-year-old who faced with blackmail and forced to come out not on his terms, decides to run away, and hide in Rome. I really enjoyed this book, and I think it has found me at the right moment. But if you like contemporary YA, then you will enjoy this fast-paced story. The link to my full review of How It All Blew Up is above.
Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold by Daisy Johnson et al.
Hag is a collection curated by Professor Carolyne Larrington, and written by numerous authors. Each story is a particular and unique retelling of a folklore tale originating from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Most of the stories featured in the collection have been previously available as a podcast, and I definitely think it would be interesting to listen to them in the audio format, especially as many of them were written specifically for a speaking performance. I found the whole collection incredibly interesting, with each story being quite distinctive.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
I haven’t read any books by Kerri Maniscalco prior to this one, but I definitely will in the future. Kingdom of the Wicked is another book that found me at the right moment, and with its publication date so close to Halloween, I would definitely recommend reading it in this spooky season. Kingdom of the Wicked follows Emilia as she tries to find a person responsible for her twin sister’s death. Set against the background of the 19th century Italy, the book has a great atmosphere. And it leaves you wanting more, I’m already looking forward to the next instalment.
What books have you loved recently?