wrap up: September 2019


  1. Frankissstein by Jeannette Winterson ★★★★☆ | review
  2. The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, translated by Sondra Silverston ★★★★☆ | review to come for BookBrowse
  3. The Need by Helen Phillips ★★☆☆☆ | review
  4. The Door by Magda Szabó, translated by Len Rix ★★★★☆ | review
  5. Valerie by Sara Stridsberg, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner ★☆☆☆☆ | review
  6. A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore ★★★★★ | review
  7. Lanny by Max Porter ★★★☆☆ | review to come

Favorite: A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore
Honorable mention: The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Least favorite: Valerie by Sara Stridsberg


Other posts from this month:

September was also the month that Hannah and I hosted our very halfhearted readathon which Laura Frey dubbed ‘ARCS of Shame.’  Basically the idea was to read as many ARCs as possible in 2 weeks.  This did not go particularly well.  I managed 3 – Frankissstein, The Liar, and The NeedValerie was also an ARC though I didn’t manage to finish it in time.  3 ARCs in 14 days was… not my best work, and none of them became instant favorites, but at least I managed to knock out a few!  Anyway, I know a couple of you participated in this readathon, so thanks for joining us and I hope you did better than Hannah and I did!

Life updates:

Literally nothing.  I mean, I went to NYC for a weekend, but I already talked about that in my belated August wrap up.  The highlight of the rest of my month was probably seeing the Downton Abbey movie.  Which I did not think was a particularly good movie, but, I am overly invested in that show and in Thomas Barrow in particular, so… I was satisfied.  Oh, and I have become addicted to Love Island UK, thanks to Claire, who is the only person whose television recommendations I will be taking from now on.

OH, what am I talking about: the most important thing I did this month was create the Twitter account BadGoodreads with Ally and Rick, to… as Rick puts it, to ‘celebrate’ the Goodreads search engine.  Please follow us!

Currently reading:


Unbelievable by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong on audio (loving this), Cassandra by Christa Wolf (also loving this – but I put it aside for a little while because I was in this weird semi-book slump this month and the lack of chapter breaks in this book was not at all suited to what I was in the mood for – but I’m getting my reading inspiration back, slowly but surely), and Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, which I’ve been reading for months now and which I’m determined to properly get back to in October.

What was the best book you read in September?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd | Ko-fi

14 thoughts on “wrap up: September 2019

  1. I loved the T. Christian Miller book too (it was originally called A False Report, did they change it now that it’s made into a show??) It was incredible. Infuriating, but incredible.

    And lol that you made an account making fun of goodreads. Seriously what’s up with their search functionality though…you can type the exact, un-misspelled title and it comes up with 10 unrelated ones before grudgingly adding the one you’re looking for to the list. It’s almost an art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read something somewhere that they changed the title from A False Report to Unbelievable because A False Report implied that the book… was actually about a false report? I’m not sure if that was actually the rationale or if Netflix just wanted to change it. But yes so far it’s incredible and infuriating. I kind of want to watch the show too but I’m kind of afraid it’ll be too much?

      The Goodreads search functionality is such a joke. This twitter account came about because these two friends and I would always post screenshots and tag each other whenever we typed in like ‘The Secret Histor’ and got ‘War and Peace’ as the first result or some such nonsense, so we finally just decided to make it a thing. I spent an hour searching through past tweets when I typed in ‘goodreads search’ and the kind of stuff that would come up was hysterical! If they’re never going to fix this we may as well make a meme out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get them changing the title for a show/movie, that seems to happen often, but it just seems so weird to change the book title itself! But I wouldn’t be surprised if enough people really did think it was just an actual report…eye roll…

        The show isn’t always easy to watch, honestly. It’s well done and sensitive, I thought, but yeah, parts of it are just very tough. Especially the first episode. After that it’s never quite as bad, and the clips that are upsetting are quite brief, like memory-flashback moments. I think I would’ve found it worse if I hadn’t already read and had time to think about the book.

        Totally agree, the reasoning behind their search results is so opaque but what great to be able to laugh about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was trying to find an article where the publisher acknowledges the title change but I can’t find anything! But yes agreed – the name change is so bizarre…

        But good to know that the tv show gets easier to watch after the first ep – I’ll try not to let that scare me off. I’m almost done the book and still loving it but wow, what an infuriating story.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know, it really is infuriating. But important to know, and hopefully awareness about it will help bring about change in how law enforcement deals with these things. One of the most upsetting parts was how she was penalized and what a burden the legal implications became. That poor woman. There’s a good This American Life about Marie’s story too, the episode “Anatomy of a Doubt”.


  2. I only read one ARC in September…but added three more to my pile, so I’m the worst at this challenge! I think my best September book was Milkman (if I can count a book that I actually started in July).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, we’re not even going to talk about the ARCs that I added to my pile! Let’s pretend that I knocked out 3 and added 0 more.

      Yay Milkman!! I count books for the month I finish them, so I say that totally counts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dang, I heard such good things about The Need. But it’s “about” motherhood and that usually turns me off…
    The best book I read was Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds, which sadly did not make the cut for the Giller Prize shortlist. I think you might like it? If you’re in the mood for some celebrity stalking and unlikable characters.

    ARCs of Shame really was a shame!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh, I’m looking forward to all three of your upcoming reviews! I missed your post about the Guardian list I think, I’ll definitely check that out. And I’m glad you’re loving Unbelievable- I was going to just watch the Netflix version, but if the book is that good I’ll definitely want to read it first after all.
    Happy (spooky) reading for October!


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