Ah, September, one of my favorite months of the year. Everything smells good outside in September, the smells of summer seamlessly blending into the smells of fall, which becomes its own scent. The weather is starting to change but it is still nice enough to enjoy reading outdoors in my swing. And tons of new and exciting books are released by the publishing industry.
Curiosity compelled me to go back and look at how many books I had read in the previous Septembers, since I’ve been recording. 2013, 19 books. 2014, 16 books. 2015, 13 books. 2016, 21 books.
Apparently I read a wholly respectable amount in September. Until this year. There was nothing respectable, but something irresistible in the air throughout the month. That’s the only explanation I have for this result.
September: (36 books)
- Good Girl – Lauren Layne^
- Love Story – Lauren Layne^
- Dating You/Hating You – Christina Lauren^
- After We Fall – Melanie Harlow^
- Ransom – Julie Garwood*
- A Kingdom of Dreams – Julie Garwood*
- Bully – Penelope Douglas^
- Whitney, My Love – Judith McNaught*
- Almost Heaven – Judith McNaught*
- Something Wonderful – Judith McNaught*
- The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell – Samantha James*
- Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer^
- The Problem with Forever – Jennifer L. Armentrout^
- Trust – Kylie Scott^
- Nowhere But Here – Katie McGarry^
- The Impossible Vastness of Us – Samantha Young^
- Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles^
- Sweet Southern Trouble – Michele Summers^
- Wrong – Jana Aston^
- Hot as Puck – Lili Valente^
- Right – Jana Aston^
- Fling – Jana Aston^
- Times Square – Jana Aston^
- Not So New in Town – Michele Summers^
- Sweet Southern Bad Boy – Michele Summers^
- The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay^
- Punk 57 – Penelope Douglas^
- The Road that Leads to Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
- The Lies that Define Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
- The Game that Breaks Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
- Wish You Were Here – Renee Carlino^
- The Story of Us – Tara Sivec^
- Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell^
- Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell^
- Ten Tiny Breaths – KA Tucker^
- One Tiny Lie – KA Tucker^
Whew! That’s a long list. And you want to know something…? A super good one. As I look over this list there were definitely a lot of okay books, but nothing truly awful. The Story of Us by Tara Sivec was mind-numbingly boring and predictable and I didn’t care for the story or the characters of Punk 57, but they weren’t bad.
I did do a fair amount of rereads this month, I decided to reread every book that I have given a five star rating to and see if it holds up. The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell is the only one that hasn’t, I dropped it from a five to a four. Still a good book, but not as perfect as I recall.
As for new books, some interesting stuff. Eleanor & Park was a book that caused a huge divisive issue of censorship when it came out. I finally got around to reading it and was surprised. It’s a good book, but not a great one, and I found nothing offensive about it. I abhor censorship anyway, but sometimes I’m at least able to stretch myself to understand the whys of it. Not in this case.
I also read Fangirl, which was interesting because I really did not like that book when I started reading it. There was something off-putting about it and I almost stopped, but I didn’t and at some point I really started to like it. That doesn’t happen often. It ended up being a really good story.
After We Fall by Melanie Harlow I just loved. LOVED. Great book. The Problem with Forever and Trust were also excellent reads. Wrong and Ten Tiny Breaths were likewise very good books.
Then, oh then, is Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. When I finished reading it I was floored. And sad. Floored because it is excellent; sad because I felt that I read the best book of the year in March (Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner) and then along comes this story. In any other year, if I hadn’t read Goodbye Days, there is not a doubt in my mind that this would be the best book of the year. Honestly, it was so good it could still be the best of the year. I kind of wish I hadn’t read it until 2018 so I didn’t have to make this heart wrenching choice.
THEN, somehow, I randomly pick up a book called The Sea of Tranquility. And HOLY GUACAMOLE, that could be the best book of the year! So now I have three solid entries and I read two of them in the same month, mere days apart?!?!
And then, AND THEN, Renee Carlino had a new book out. Wish You Were Here. I was seriously concerned it would be another contender. It wasn’t. It’s very very good, no doubt, but it doesn’t play at that level.
What is this world coming to? Just kidding. I’m thrilled, honestly that these books were so good. It’s better to have too many “best books” than none at all I suppose.
And we see how it all shakes out come January.
As far as totals, Ransom, a reread, was my 175th book of the year. I finished that and my goal in the first week of September. By the end of the month I had read 206 books. This is now the highest total ever (since I started recording), with 194 being the previous high. So, this is the first time I’ve read more than 200 books in a year. And somehow I accomplished it by the end of September. Three months to go and I am on pace to complete 275 books. I mean, wowza. Stay tuned!