Books I read: September 2017

favorite books of 2016

I’ve just realized that I read more non-fiction than fiction last month. (Way, way more non-fiction if you count reading for research.) Who am I?

Fiction

The Book of Esther, Emily Barton: I picked this book based on the cover…and the description…but mainly the cover. It’s about what you’d expect from a story set in a fictitious Jewish nation during WWII with mechanical horses and golems. I really expected the plot to seem weirder, which I think shows the author’s skill at making the fantastical elements belong in the story. My main complaint was the cliffhanger-style ending.  What’s worse, an ending where everything is wrapped up too neatly or an ending where nothing is wrapped up? I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen: This book has been on my “to read” list for a while, and I pulled it off the library shelf without really looking at it. Well…for some reason I had been thinking it was a novel, but it’s actually a book of short stories. So I’m not really sure how to review this one. It’s good writing but it wasn’t really what I wanted to read at the time.

Nonfiction

The Autobiography of Mark Twain (volume 2), Samuel Clemens: This is more like a series of essays, as it’s dictations where Clemens just talked about whatever he wanted to talk about on a given day. A lot of what he wanted to talk about was politicians and other famous people of his acquaintance. And rants about politics. A lot of these segments are depressing, because: have we learned nothing? Read if you want to be disturbed yet amused.

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Dyson: If you’ve spent much time in certain flavors of the American church, you’ll recognize this type of sermon. It’s the type of sermon nobody wants to hear unless they’re smugly self-assured that it’s not about them. But listen.

Words Are My Matter, Ursula K. LeGuin: I expected to enjoy LeGuin’s essays on writing, but actually my favorite parts in this book were her book reviews and book introductions. Because what I really need is a few dozen more book recommendations, obviously.

What’s your favorite writing about writing?

 

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16 Comment

  1. The Book of Esther sounds really interesting. It is a cool cover. Tears We Cannot Stop sounds really important. Here from SUYB. Xo – Alexandra

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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      It was really interesting, the ending was just frustrating!

  2. The Book of Esther does have a beautiful cover and I have been known many times to choose a book solely based on liking cover. Sometimes it works and sometimes I remember why we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. 😀
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…September Bookshelf: Am I in a Book Rut?My Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I did like it overall! I think it lives up to the cover 😉 Just frustrating if you don’t like cliffhanger endings

  3. SMD says: Reply

    Okay, not a nonfiction person, but you have piqued my interest with the Michael Dyson book.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Give it a try!

  4. I almost got The Book of Esther and you make me glad I didn’t. Not that it sounds bad, but I never like Books that don’t wrap up at least something.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Totally understandable! There are some aspects that get wrapped up, but the cliffhanger part is big.

  5. I have not heard of any of these books! I am more of a fiction reader and right now I am reading a Nelson DeMille book on a Cuban heist.
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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I think I will always prefer fiction, but non-fiction books are so much easier to stop and start when you have small chunks of time for reading

  6. Amber says: Reply

    I really want to read Tears We Cannot Stop. I think it sounds like a very relevant and timely book.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Yes, it is!

  7. I love nonfiction and the middle one seems interesting.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Yes, it’s a different viewpoint than most of what I’ve read on the subject (which admittedly isn’t tons).

  8. Farrah says: Reply

    The Book of Esther has an awesome cover, but I’m also not a fan of cliffhanger endings unless the sequel is already out, haha. No patience in this one, I know. 😛

    Tears We Cannot Stop definitely sounds like an interesting read.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I’m not sure there’s even a sequel planned for this one?! I wish it had just gone on a few chapters and wrapped things up.

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