September Books and Reviews

Fall weather makes me want to read! There’s nothing like snuggling up under a puppy on a drizzly, cool day with an excellent book. As this past month was mostly all a steamer though, but I still managed to sweat and a read a few excellent (and a couple rather mediocre) book.

Thank you to the amazing Instagram community for allowing me to share their photos. Follow these reading ladies! (And me, FarmFreshJessica, if you don’t already!)

The Alice Network–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– Seriously, meet your next favorite book. Raw. emotion, humor, love, betrayal, passion, pain, beauty-this book has everything. Historically accurate and based on real people, some of whom are quoted word for word, and beautifully narrated from two diametrically opposes perspectives, you won’t be able to put it down.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore–⭐️⭐️–Normally, I don’t even finish books that I like so little, but this was an audio book, so I could read while doing laundry, and I wanted to knock off my prompt for the 2018 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, “A book which takes place in a library or bookstore.” Suffice it to say, the premise had potential, but it was boring and pat, and I didn’t even understand what was going on half the time. The setting wasn’t developed and the characters even less so. Find a different book to fulfill that prompt, please.

The Good Daughter–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– An intense book from page one, it just keeps getting deeper. Filled with emotional drama and family trauma, this story isn’t as much psychological thriller as I thought it was, but more a mystery to be solved. The twists and turns are brutal and heartbreaking. You truly feel for even the minor characters in the story, which is a sign of an excellent tale. I was repulsed by the repeated graphic descriptions of the horror Sam and Charlie underwent, but I can see how it was necessary to help you really empathize with what they’d overcome. A fierce novel-one I had to stay up late to finish.

It’s All Under Control–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– This book speaks right to my heart. I was flabbergasted to find the author knows me! As in, she wrote this for herself and for women in general, but it was as if she knows me personally and sees my struggle. She brought tears to my eyes several times with her poignant encouragement. She offered real ideas and solutions and understands how hard this sense of control is to let go of. She never once seemed condescending, but always loving. Highly recommend.

The Giver–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– The Giver fascinated me. I was plopped down in the middle of a world for which I have no understanding or concept for. I am able to make judgements based on my experience and memories, as it were, but the characters in The Giver don’t have that capacity. Jonas eventually does and he realizes that with that knowledge comes understanding and with understanding wisdom and action. I recommend you read this book for you and with your kids. Lots of good conversations to be had and introspection to be done.

Kabul Beauty School–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve read several books similar in nature which were badly written and not at all interesting, even though the story SHOULD have been a winner. Kabul Beauty School is nothing like that. Debbie can tell a story that helps you visualize it and feel what she felt. She helps you understand, as much as any western person could, what these women in Afghanistan are tied to. It’s hard for us to comprehend at all.

She shares her mistakes and is very real with the reader, and at the same time feels proud of what she has helped accomplish. This book is a vital read for all of us in the West to take to heart.

George Muller–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– We read this as a family and LOVED it! Just enough detail to get an excellent idea of this incredible man, but not too much that it didn’t hold the children’s interest. We love learning of all of God’s miracles and pray for George’s faith ourselves!

1984–⭐️⭐️⭐️– Fascinating. Disturbing. Thought provoking. Even haunting. I took quite a while to read this book because my brain just didn’t want to go back inside that world. I didn’t want to give it four stars as I didn’t really like it enjoy it but I think it almost deserves five. That this book was written 70 years ago and is still completely relevant today is awful. I would not want my kids to read Orwell’s “future” but I feel they should. Obviously, I’m conflicted about 1984.

Revolutionary Road–⭐️⭐️⭐️(⭐️)– Truly the writing deserves five stars. As for my personal taste in books though, I can only dole out three. It was a grim and morose tale of two people who thought very highly of themselves and found out they really didn’t have what it took to live their lives unselfishly and freely. They were stuck in so many constraints, in the past, and in doubt of their meaning here on earth. It was beautifully written and aroused compassion and curiosity for them. I want to see how they depict it in the movie.

In a personal tidbit, I was interested especially because it was written a year before my in-laws got married and the ideals and modes of society would have been their life song too. It helped me see how their mentality and upbringing and time affected their thinking, and thereby my husband’s.

I can see why this is considered an American classic, it just wasn’t for me. Finding out the ending makes me doubt I can stomach the movie, although I’ve heard it’s superb.

Behind Closed Doors–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ — What a page turner!!
The writing seemed a little trite at times but I could easily overlook it because the concept was so strong. Suffice it to say it was completely believable even as it was out of the realm of every day understanding. I loved the idea of telling the story in the present and the past and bringing the past ever closer to the current present. I LOVED the ending. It literally gave me goosebumps.

What was the best book you read last month?

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