Book Reviews | September Reads


september book reviewsIt's time for September book reviews and boy oh boy, do I have some corkers for you! I've managed to read loads more than usual this month - curling up with a book has been my go to whenever I've needed to switch my brain off for a little bit. As a result I'm only 8 books away from completing my challenge of 52 books this year which I'm pretty proud of. I can't wait to see how many books I manage to get through before 2016 is out.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my September book reviews. Apologies that this post is so colossal, but I really wanted to share them all with you. Let me know what you think if you decide to read any of them!

Wild - Cheryl Strayed

I'm sure so many of you have already read Wild so I won't go into too much detail about the plot, but essentially it is Strayed's memoir, written about her time hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I've been reading this book for quite a while now, dipping in and out of it over the last couple of months.

I have to admit that despite it's cult status, I didn't love all of the book - I actually found the beginning to be quite slow and stilted, which I think is why it took me so long to finish it. However, the second half of this book was so poignant to me that it totally made up for it - the way she talks about coming to terms with losing her mother was incredibly moving and I definitely shed more than a few tears. Well worth a read, if only for Strayed's beautiful writing.

The Little Book of Hygge - Meik Wiking

You might have already read this post that I wrote all about hygge - it is a concept that I am totally obsessed with and I learnt so much more about it from reading this book. The book teaches you a bit about the origins of hygge and the links it has to happiness, as well as offering practical tips on how to get a little more cosiness in your own life.

Plus, it's absolutely beautiful, jam packed full of gorgeous illustrations and typography. A perfect book to pick up ready for the colder seasons - it would also make a great gift if you're already planning for Christmas!

All At Sea - Decca Aitkenhead

This book was penned by Guardian journalist, Decca Aitkenhead, after losing her husband in a very sudden and traumatic way. It's an incredibly moving memoir, written about her feelings surrounding the accident and how she and her family have coped with their loss since.

I found this book comforting to read as I come to terms with my own sudden grief and I can recognise so much of what my family and I are going through in Aitkenhead's words. Saying that, I honestly believe that this book is worth a read regardless of whether you have experienced loss or not - it is honest, emotive, and above all, a story of love and strength.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany

Oh was I glad to have another Harry Potter story in my life! I had read a number of bad reviews about this book so I was a bit nervous about reading it, but I absolutely loved it.

If you aren't aware, this book is actually the script for the play as opposed to being another official story in the series so it is obviously quite different, but I didn't care - I was just so glad to be immersed back in a world of Hogwarts and magic and mystery again. I really enjoyed revisiting some of my all time favourite characters and loved getting to know the new ones too - I definitely need to try and get tickets for the play now!

Grief is the Thing with Feathers - Max Porter

I picked this book up on a recent trip to Waterstones - it was on one of the front tables and the artwork really caught my eye. It's a compact book, made up of both prose and poetry, and it's perfect. It tells the story of two young boys and their father as they deal with the grief of losing their mother and it is written so beautifully that it is impossible not to connect with the narrative and emotion.

I particularly enjoyed the poetry elements (which I definitely read in a Manchester accent - if you read it I think you'll understand why!) and it reminded me that I haven't read any poetry for a while, so I'll definitely be trying to squeeze some in before the year is out.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer

Ahhhhh this book! It was everything I expected it to be and so, so, so much more. I have been a huge fan of Amy's stand up comedy for a while now so I was really looking forward to reading this - I knew it would be a funny read, but what I wasn't expecting was for it to be so poignant and articulate about so many important issues.

Amy not only writes about her career in comedy, but also delves into topics such as her difficult relationship with her mother, her father's illness, body image, abuse, feminism and more. You will laugh when reading this book, but you'll probably also have a little cry too. Definitely one to pick up if you haven't already!

Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (About this Magnificent Life) - Kate Gross

When Kate Gross was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her immediate instinct was to write. She wanted to take back control, to create something physical, to leave something for her young boys to read after she was gone - the result is one of the most magnificent books I have ever read.

What could be quite a morbid and upsetting read is actually the complete opposite - Kate's energy and gratitude in the face of death is incredibly uplifting and inspiring. This book compelled me to think about how I live my life and what I need to do to make my time as joyful as possible. If you read only one thing on this list, make it this.

Matilda - Roald Dahl

Last but not least is Matilda, an absolute classic which I'm sure needs no introduction at all! When I was ill last week I wanted something easy and fun to read, and this absolutely ticked the box. This book was a childhood favourite of mine and it was lovely to curl up with when I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself.

It's been a really long time since I've read anything by Dahl and I'd forgotten how truly brilliant he is - I'll definitely be re-working my way through more of his catalogue of gems and I would highly recommend that you do the same!