What I Read in September 2020

Even if all I’m blogging about anymore is a monthly roundup of what I’ve been reading, I’m really proud of myself. I love writing and between my jobs and life in general in this year, I can’t bring myself to get a whole lot of thoughts out purely for the joy of it. So I’m glad I have this, at least. Also it’s been so helpful to keep track of the books I’ve been reading!

I didn’t read a whole lot in September–and to be honest the reason that I feel comfy posting this a few days before the actual end of the month is the fact that I haven’t picked up a book in… two weeks. All of these books were finished before Sept. 16 and I haven’t read anything else since. I’m not sweating it, though. I go through phases and I do not believe in guilting myself into anything. People come into my store all the time and say something along the lines of, “I really should read more.” And I always say, “You really should do whatever it is that’s serving you best right now.” Right now, television is serving me and I’m fine with it.

Also September was filled with some fun moments. One weekend, we closed down the shop and took a long weekend–first time we’ve really left town since Christmas of 2019. Wow. Seeing that typed out in September of 2020 feels–well, honestly, it feels right. We’ve been exhausted and it was good to go fully relax. Even if all we did was just sleep and watch The Office somewhere else.

A photo of Libby, Ryan, and Dr. Bollier standing in front of the Mystery section at Twice Told Tales in McPherson, KS.

Another fun thing that happened was this weekend, someone from Dr. Barbara Bollier’s senate campaign reached out to me and told me that Barbara wanted to meet me and talk about being a business owner in Kansas. To be honest, she had my vote before she stopped in to visit and I was a little nervous that meeting her would make me like her less. But to be honest, it did the opposite. She asked so many questions. She asked about what I need as a small business owner. She asked about how we manage healthcare. She asked about Ryan’s job and how he’s handing it. She talked to my friend who had stopped in and asked her what she needs. Like, she was just there to listen. 100% she just listened. She didn’t try to sell me on anything.
Earlier this year I went to meet Kris Kobach as he was campaigning for the same spot (he didn’t make it past the primary) and the situations were night and day different.

Anyway… on to the 3 books I read this month.
Reminder–all the links in this post go to support Twice Told Tales, Libby’s used bookstore in McPherson, KS.

The cover of N. K. Jemisin’s novel, “The City We Became”.

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
Get it in Hardcover from here.
Get it in Audiobook form from here.

I super duper, highly, big-time recommend the audiobook version of this book. The narrator, Robin Miles, does incredible work. There are so many accents and attitudes in this book and she nailed every single one.
This is a fantasy book which is outside of my comfort zones. I had to make sure I was paying attention more than usual but it was worth it. This is an Urban Fantasy about a city that comes alive and the forces at work trying to keep that from happening. It’s amazing. Also I’m going to listen to all the other books that Robin Miles reads.

The cover of “Monogamy” by Sue Miller

Monogamy by Sue Miller
Get it in hardcover or large print here.
Get it on audiobook here.

This is a perfect example of my comfort zone book. Something purely character driven with beautiful, eloquent writing, and maybe even… nothing really happens. I mean, of course things happen but things happening aren’t the point. The characters growing and developing and learning is the point.
I’ve been super duper interested in the concept of compulsory monogamy for a few years now and so obviously when this book became available I reached for it. Though, in my opinion, the book really has nothing to do with monogamy as a concept–more of a plot device.
A bunch of Sue Miller’s back catalogue were released with these gorgeous, new covers and they reminded me of how much I like her writing. So I filled up my Libro.fm app with several of her works.

The cover of Sue Klebold’s “A Mother’s Reckoning”.

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
Get it on audiobook here.
Get it in paperback here.

Honestly, I think the reason that I haven’t been able to get into another book after this one is because I’m still not over it. It’s been two weeks and it’s still on my mind.
Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold–one of the people who carried out the massacre at Columbine. This book delves into how she learned about what happened and then chronicles her grief as she continued to learn more and more about what happened, over the years.
This book has so much information on teen depression, suicide, and all sorts of other things Sue wished she’d known about beforehand. Make no mistake, this is a grief-filled book. But for me this book just reiterated over and over and over again about the healing power of empathy. And also that so many of us out here are walking through our own version of the unimaginable.

What have you been reading lately?? Do you try to force yourself to read when you’re not into it or do you allow yourself to just ride the waves as they come?

2 thoughts on “What I Read in September 2020

  1. Beth Lakin says:

    I do sort of force myself to read. Reading is one of those things like eating nourishing food and moving my body that makes me feel good. (If that’s not true for you, dear reader of this comment, you do you boo!) COVID has made me shift more back towards fiction from a lighter reading total but heavier non-fiction material over the last few years. I love learning new things (a student once said to me, “Ms. Lakin, you really like FACTS, don’t you” …uh yes child, I’m your science teacher) especially about places I’ve traveled or am going to travel but fiction has been easier on the brain and less of a reminder about what I’m not doing right now.

    I just finished “Homegoing” which I LOVED and “An American Marriage” (that I also totally inhaled in an afternoon sitting next to a lake). I’m almost done with ‘Americanah” which started REALLY slow for me (I didn’t think I was going to finish it) but somewhere around half way through it really picked up.

    1. Oh I looooooved Homegoing. It really broke open, for me, some concepts that I’d learned about intellectually but needed to feel in my soul. So Homegoing gave soul to those facts for me. 😉
      I also have Americanah waiting for me on my bookshelf. I can’t wait to dig into that one.

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