2016 – September

September was excellent and amazing. Milestone birthday celebrated in New Zealand with friends I haven’t seen for as many as 12 years, and the rest of it just sped by with first awesome weather (lovely rain so early in the year!) and then horrid heat where one could do nothing but sit in air-conditioning with some books.

Onto the novels read in September!

Blood For Blood (Wolf By Wolf, #2)
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin was an eagerly anticipated book as I loved the first, Wolf by Wolf, so very much. Alternate history, especially when it regards World War II, is a particular favourite of mine.  Yael continues to be an utterly amazing character and I just want more. Please, Graudin!

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents, #3)

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling came out while I was away on holidays (as did the two below), and they were all perfect to read in little bits here and there when in the car going between sightseeing locations in New Zealand. I love seeing more and more about Hogwarts itself, as I find the building endlessly fascinating. I could take or leave the forest of doom.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents, #1)

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling was amazing, and not just because it features some of my favourite characters of all, McGonagle and Remus. I think I’d already read McGonagle’s before on Pottermore (as these are collections from the site), but it still feels like these collections have a little bit more information in them. In Remus, too, I appreciated getting to see a bit more of his relationship with Tonks, as it kinda didn’t feel real to me in the novels (as much as I loved them being together.)

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents, #2)

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling was probably one of the more satisfying collections, as it dealt with mostly things we didn’t get to see in the novels – the darker and more ruthless side of things, such as more about past Ministers of Magic, Azkaban and Tom Riddle’s interactions with Slughorn. Again, this information is on Pottermore (but it’s spread out…) and here, it’s all linked together into themes which works really rather well.

Super Sushi Ramen Express: One Family's Journey Through the Belly of Japan

Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth was a mesh of a food and travel doco-drama as the author takes his family through a holiday through Japan to try any and all types of food, take cooking classes, interview famous chefs and otherwise, and go through various markets and shopping centres. Booth is refreshing in his initial ignorance of Japan as a whole at the beginning, and explains everything with simple detail in an easy fashion.

My review for this book can be found here.

Absolutely

Absolutely by Joanna Lumley was really quite interesting – Lumley has led quite a life! Her early years spent travelling the world (like her ancestors), and then a modelling career and eventual acting. It really was a different world back then, where you could live off nothing and yet struggle through to live The Life. I know Lumley of course from Absolutely Fabulous mainly, but also love her on the Doctor Whoish Sapphire and Steel and her travel documentary shows. This is an enjoyable book if you want a frank account of her lows and highs and everything in between.

Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal was another historical fiction novel set during war, expanding upon a woman’s place in the field. Kinda hard to get into on one hand and easy to put down, but then on the other hand entirely engaging and easy to understand – it’s an odd mix. Perhaps a book you have to be in the mood for, as it can be a bit depressing (obvious from the subject matter). I’d love to see more in the series, and as ever, will always get any books the author comes out with.

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta was a fantastic book. Set mostly in England but with brief sojourns to France, we follow Bish Ortley (recently stood down from London Met, for reasons Marchetta slowly drips out through the novel), as he goes to France when his daughter is on a bus that’s bombed. It turns out that also on the bus is a daughter of a women currently in jail, currently serving a life sentence for connections with a supermarket bombing many years earlier. Bish gets tangled in the kids’ lives, the previous crimes, and acts as the go-between between all the offices involved – London and French police, the home office, and the other parents of the injured or overwhelmed.

My review for this book can be found here.

Top Gear: How to Parachute into a Moving Car: Vital Survival Tips for the Modern Man
How to Parachute into a Moving Car by Richard Porter was $5 at a local bookstore, and a bit of fun. I’ve read Porter’s other books about Top Gear and as he was one of the writers of the show, he gets the humour perfectly. Not much to recommend in this book, but it is a bit of a laugh and good as a present.

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh was a book I started a few times but kept putting it down again as it strayed from the one version of One Thousand and One Nights I read as a child at my grandmother’s house – ridiculous, but I just struggled getting into it. Victoria Schwab then listed it as one of her favourites, and I told myself to just enjoy it finally, and so I did. I do love a series that comes with a handful of short stories interwoven throughout – so there’s more to tide you over until the next book comes out, and they’re nice bite sized pieces.

Den of Wolves (Blackthorn & Grim, #3)

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier was a fantastic ending to a beyond fantastic series. Throughout, this is a book where you come to the final page, and marvel at how far our beloved characters have truly come – their journey is incredibly tough and trying, but you see how they’ve grown as characters completely and utterly from where they started out in the first book, which makes it an incredibly rewarding series to read.

My review for this book can be found here.

Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson was a bit of a painful read, but for good reason. While I read quite a few books that mention or discuss mental health, this one probably reflects my own the closest. Seeing Mara grow up as she discusses her life as a child, teenage years and up until now was so easy to lose yourself in, until it threw me out upon a part that was a little too honest for comfort, as I saw my own issue reflected or experienced by others.

It was lovely to see behind the scenes things from movies I’ve seen and loved, like Matilda, and interesting to know the other things Mara did as part of her showbiz life.

Caution: contains small parts (Twelve Planets book 9)

Caution: Contains Small Parts by Kirstyn McDermott was read for the current Twelve Planets read/review a book a month challenge we’re doing this year. This is one of the 12PP books I haven’t yet got around to reading, and I wasn’t disappointed – it’s beyond excellent. This is the ninth book in the Twelve Planets series, which showcase the talent of female Australian authors.

My review for this book can be found here.

Crossroads of Canopy (Titan's Forest, #1)

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer was an excellent book because of Unar herself, who is a complex and believable character because her flaws are evident, her friends and peers are amazing, the descriptions and landscape in the novel was to die for (even when it is cruel at times), and I was absolutely blown away by the ending. SUCH a good book to end the month on!

My review for this book can be found here.

~

September just absolutely flew by, possibly because of the holiday that took up the first week but then again, I have no idea what happened to the rest, which can be seen by how late I read the Twelfth Planet Press book – usually I aim to get it done much earlier in the month! Also, I hate it when the weather is THIS hot (regardless of how good it leaves my asthma), because it’s impossible to do heaps of walking for Pokémon Go (I was getting up to 10k a day at one stage!) and also knitting is annoying in humid weather. Sigh.

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