Every month I try to read at least one book from the following categories: nonfiction, devotional, and fiction. And this year I’m doing things just a little bit differently than in the past. Since I decided to participate in the 2016 PopSugar Reading Challenge, I’m also going to be listing which category my books fulfill (although it looks like I’ve skipped reading the challenge entirely this month…oops!). If you want to join in on the fun, you can check out the list of categories here! This is What I Read in September 2016, my brief book reviews and recommendations.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
2016 PopSugar Challenge: A book you haven’t read since high school (but I don’t really like re-reading, so I changed this category to A book you should have read in high school)
For some reason I’ve struggled with what to write about this book. So I’m just going to jump right into it. The obvious stuff is that it’s a dystopian fictional novel. Books have been banned; people are hooked on drugs and meaningless television. People lack empathy; but fireman Montag finds his from meeting a teenage girl who is like none other. His life unravels as he struggles to find meaning in life and from the very books that he’s tasked with burning. In the same way that 1984 has always been one of my favorite books, this one ranks right up there.
The Truth About The Sky by Katherine Grubb
A novel, this story engages some of the misconceptions about Christians and rural America. It does so in the context of two grown children of a small town preacher, as each character faces his or her own struggles. The Christian message isn’t hidden, but the plot was captivating, and the characters mostly believable.
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
I picked this book from Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s list of most frequently banned books (although in going back to it to link to in this post, I realized how many of those books I’ve read, and that Fahrenheit 451 is also on the list). It was slow to get into, but once I did, it was easy to keep reading because I wanted to find out what was weird and nonsensical things the characters were going to do next. Although it’s a slower moving book, without big exciting occurrences, it was still interesting. I can’t really understand why it would be banned though, as there wasn’t anything overtly sexual or graphic, but I suppose the passage of time and changing standards probably accounts for that.
Sell Everything by Kaylin Watchorn
This little booklet is simply a listing of a number of different resources available to sell property. I checked out one that is all musical instruments, sheet music, and accessories, that I didn’t even know existed. It seemed pretty comprehensive, although a short little book. But it’s not going to be terribly helpful or informative if you’re not looking for ways to declutter.
The Cello Suites: In Search of a Baroque Masterpiece by Eric Siblin
A gal that plays in the Hastings Symphony with me gave me this book as she had two copies and I play the cello, so she thought I’d enjoy it. She was right; I thought it was fantastic. It follows the structure of the Bach Cello Suites, and each movement is essentially a chapter about one of three topics: Johann Sebastian Bach, Pablo Casals, or the author’s journey writing the book. I learned quite a lot and thought it was engaging, but then as a cellist I may be a bit partial.
Live Uncaged by Mary DeMuth
This book was a freebie, and I likely wouldn’t have paid for the content, as it reads much more like the series of blog posts that it is derived from. I would have preferred it being a bit more cohesive. But that being said, I think the topic–moving forward from the problems of our past–is a good one. And no matter the format, we can always use the reminder.
After Disasters by Viet Dinh
This novel charts the course of various aid workers in the aftermath of major earthquakes in India. Their stories are separate in the beginning, but then overlap and intertwine as the story moves along. Fair warning in case it would bother you, the novel is rather graphic and involves homosexual relationships in particular. I would have preferred it being a little cleaner, as I don’t think the graphic material added to the story.
The Scent of Lilacs by Ann Gabhart
Ooh! I really liked this book! The main character is a girl who lives with her preacher father and her great-aunt. Her mother and older sister left when she was young. Life and the people in her world are not quite as they initially seem. This book was so good that I very likely will read the second book, although it works as a standalone work as well.
Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes
I listened to this book on Audible. It’s narrated by the author himself, which I liked. But I had heard his voice before starting on the book, as Stephen Dubner interviewed him on an episode of the Freakonomics podcast. As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I’m a little bit obsessed lately with Tom Petty, his music, and his fascinating story. Even if you’re not quite so obsessed, the book is well-researched, well-written, and engaging. This is up there with my favorite reads lately.