If ever there was a time to read, Autumn would be it. There’s something about this time of year that screams settling down on the sofa with good books and warm drinks. Probably the sudden cold temperature and seemingly endless rain outside maybe.
It was around this time last year I really fell back in love with reading after the longest reading slump ever. And I’m so happy to still be very much into it. In fact I’ve surpassed my reading goal for the year and see no signs of slowing down yet. I’ve truly never felt so excited to read before.
So I thought it would be fun to post a little recap of the books I read last month. Partly for the sake of content ha and also to provide some inspo for your reading lists too.
The Amber Spyglass
This was the first book I read in September although I definitely read the bulk of it in August haha. This is the final book in the His Dark Materials trilogy which I am years late to. I half listened to this by audiobook as it was surprisingly big – twice the size of the previous instalment. But listening to the book definitely made me enjoy it more and I wish I had done that for the previous two. It really brought the book to life and made it feel like less of a chore to read. This story really brought the previous two together and I feel like it wrapped things up nicely. I enjoyed how the book was set out into separate parts all happening in different worlds at the same time. Especially exploring the world of the dead and the world of the Mulefa. However the series on a whole sadly just isn’t my fave. I have a feeling it probably reads better a second time round and maybe my opinion on it would change but I also don’t see that happening lol.
One of the books from many people’s anti-racism reading lists I’m sure. This book follows Justyce, a young black high school student who journals to Dr Martin Luther King Jr to try to process and deal with the issues he faces surrounding race and discrimination after being wrongly arrested. Although a fiction book, it covered very real situations making it all the more tragic, at times shocking and occasionally upsetting. This is balanced well with the regular parts of being a teen and navigating life which is interesting to read from a male perspective and did make me laugh a few times. All of this is wrapped up in just over 200 pages making it a short but gripping and powerful read.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
This is about two people who live in the same flat, sharing the same bed but who do not know each-other. He works nights, sleeping 9-5 during the day whilst she works 9-5 and needs somewhere to sleep at night. Quite a funny concept, and definitely not something I would ever want to experience. But this was such a nice read. I sometimes think ‘chick-lit’/romance books get a bad rep but honestly sometimes they just hit the spot. And this one was definitely not on the fluffy side of things. Although I found myself smiling to myself whilst reading certain parts, it also touched on some heavier themes such as gaslighting and emotionally abusive relationships. This definitely added more depth to the book and made it much more interesting. It had a lot more to it than I expected and I can definitely see why it’s been so popular recently. I grew to really like the characters of Leon and Tiffy and loved seeing how their relationship changed as they got to know each other through writing post it notes to each other. Very sweet. I just love a multiple perspective book, lovely stuff.
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given
This was a nice place to start reading about various contemporary feminist themes. I actually haven’t read many books on the subject before despite having strong feminist views. A super popular book at the moment, many of my friends have also read this which is excellent as it has sparked a lot of conversations and definitely had us all thinking more deeply. I’ve been trying to apply some of the teachings to my life particularly around boundaries and accountability. However I did wish it delved a bit deeper. I found a lot of it to be quite basic, obvious information but I can see how this could be beneficial to younger readers who may be new to this way of thinking. I’m sure there are parts which apply to different lives no matter what age or gender. It’s clear Florence tried her best to be inclusive and it’s interesting to see things from her queer perspective. Frank, and not sugar-coated, not only are the words thought provoking, but the illustrations are beautiful and powerful. It’s a perfect jumping point for further feminist reading and a catalyst for change in thinking.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This is a perfect autumnal read and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it ever since I finished. I often feel intimidated by Classics but this was so good. Admittedly it did take a while for me to get into this book because of the very long scene setting. On reflection however, this attention to the atmospheric nature of the book was partly what was so great about it. I can really picture Manderley (the house where it was set) in my head, almost as if i’ve been there. I feel like I identified with the protagonist Mrs de Winter a lot, especially her day dreaming. She often imagined different scenarios down to small details and almost seemed to lose herself in her thoughts. But I did wonder at times where this book was going and definitely didn’t expect or see the twist coming. But oh was it good. When I finished reading this I immediately flipped to the beginning to scan through how different things felt second time round. I know I will no doubt read this again in the future. Plus the new movie will be out on Netflix soon and I can’t wait!
Again this is another book series I’m very late to and have been slowly making my way through this year. This is the third in a series of five books about a world in which Black people (crosses) are the superior race to White people (noughts) and there is little racial equality. In this book we follow Callie Rose along with other characters as she grows up mixed race and battles with her identity and where she fits in this world leading to potentially dangerous outcomes. So far this was my least favourite book in the series as we move further away from the original characters and plot line. I didn’t feel as hooked as I wanted to whilst reading this despite the explosive themes. Sadly I don’t think it will be very memorable for me.
So those are the books! I hope one of these takes your fancy and you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
For more book content, I’ll be posting my October reading list on IGTV soon and I regularly update my Goodreads.1