Books, Real Life

September Wrap-up: I think I’m cured of brain worms

It’s the final day of voting for Fat Bear Week and high time I shared my reading stats for last month.

September was decent (better than August, anyway.) I got to see both of my brothers and some other family members. I spent an entire weekend with a pack of dogs and spent a ton of money at bookstores in Spokane.

I decided my mental health had recovered enough and reactivated OkCupid.

Also, I read a whole bunch.

September Stats

In September, I completed 24 books and DNFed 4 books.

This is the highest number of books I’ve DNFed in a while (potentially all year) and I’m okay with it. Life’s too short to read James Loewen.

Of the books I read,

  • 57% were fiction
  • 14% were non-fiction
  • 25% were graphic novels
  • 4% were poetry/verse
  • 86% were new books
  • 14% were rereads
  • 43% were Young Adult
  • 57% were Adult

My average rating for the month was 4.1.

Speaking of ratings: the Booksloth app introduced half-star ratings, something I’ve never used before. I started using half stars and feel way better about most of my ratings!

Anyway, that’s why this month’s average rating seems comparatively low. Blame math.

For my rating breakdown:

  • 2.5-star reads: 3 books
  • 3-star reads: 1 book
  • 3.5 star reads: 3 books
  • 4-star reads: 5 books
  • 4.5-star reads: 5 books
  • 5-star reads: 7 books
  • Unrated books: 4 books

Looking back through my ratings, I rated four books in a row 5 stars. In order, those books were Love is Love: A comic book anthology to benefit the survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting, Check, Please! volumes one and two by Ngozi Ukazu, and the book for Yoshi Yoshitani’s Tarot of the Divine.

It’s genre breakdown time and I have a complaint: so many of the books I read last month blended genres, making it very hard to create this graph. I feel like my classifications might have differed from others’; for instance, I classified Twilight as a fantasy and Check, Please! as a contemporary rather than listing either book as a romance. I did read a proper romance with some magical elements – did that make it a contemporary fantasy?

Genre is confusing and I am tired.

Let me point out that 39% of last month’s books were fantasy and my second biggest slice was CONTEMPORARY? I don’t know who I am anymore.

If I may defend Love is Love for a second: I reread the anthology while visiting my parents. I absolutely see why some people don’t like it; the queer rep is limited, in most cases, to lesbians and gays and many of the contributors are allocishet. That being said, I bought the book months after the Pulse shooting and felt really comforted by others’ stories of grief and hope. While imperfect, Love is Love helps me feel connected to my community.

I’m talking about books in the stats section, so let’s move on to notable books.

Notable Books


(CW: death, miscarriage)

Aside from Love is Love, I reread two whole Twilight books and my old nemesis The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I maintain that the first Twilight is pretty uneventful until page 350. Overall, the pacing is not great.

The climax, though, is genuinely tense. It took me 15 years, but I finally get Twilight.

New Moon was equally fun with pretty solid pacing. Even though I HATE the misunderstanding that leads to the “Let’s rescue Edward before he exposes himself in front of some tourists” plot, I felt tense and invested the whole time. Also, Stephenie Meyer really lands the horror of the Volturis’ eating habits. I think about that scene a lot.

I could write an entire essay about The Time Traveler’s Wife (and I very well might); today, I’ll do my best to keep my thoughts brief.

I…hate this book?

It doesn’t read as romantic to me at all because Henry just SUCKS.

Also (and there be spoilers here), I don’t get how the book jumps from Clare grieving to Clare reuniting with Henry some 50 years later.

We’re just going to leave Clare in her grief? I wanted to read about THAT. Instead, I got 200 pages of sexual exploits and horrifying miscarriages.


Delightful Graphic Novels

I picked up many a graphic novel last month and was delighted by each and every one.

Check, Please! won a number of awards in my heart, including Most Romantic, Most Heartwarming, and Best Sports. I love all the hockey boys with my whole heart.

I read Sarah Andersen’s Fangs after finishing an upsetting literary novel and it made my whole day better.

Be Gay, Do Comics made up for Love is Love‘s failures by including ace, bi, and trans rep. Maybe I cried a whole bunch when I read it. You’ll never know the truth.


I felt extra fragile all last month and cried over multiple books.

Tarnished Are the Stars paired VERY UPSETTING SCENES with lovely ace/aro rep. I shed a tear or two.

Who I Was With Her had me ugly crying. If you ever need intense grief, coming-of-age, and bisexual doubt in one book, I recommend this one. I can already tell it will make my Top Ten Books of 2020 list.

I attended a protest where one of the demands was No New Youth Jail. Punching the Air underscored how important this demand is. Required abolitionist reading.

I read If We Were Villains and initially hated it. Four hours later, I was willing myself not to cry. This book ruined me. I had to read an entire graphic novel to recover from the devastation. I do and don’t want to talk about the ending. I have my own theories but I’m afraid that if I talk about them, I’ll fall apart.

A side story: I mentioned If We Were Villains to a friend. He COMPLETELY misconstrued the plot of the novel and now I want him to read it so his life will be ruined and his expectations dashed.

Oh, and an unofficial tearjerker: I DNFed Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong because James Loewen’s writing style filled me with tears of rage. I hate him almost as much as I hate Garth Stein.

New Favorites

I finally read The Devouring Gray and now I’m obsessed.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON who recommended this book for the bi rep was right to do so.

I read a library copy of this book and now I’m sad I don’t own it. Teenage demon-fighting forest queers are a necessary addition to my queer fantasy collection.

Getting my hands on a copy of The Hand on the Wall has been a trial, so I was glad to FINALLY READ the final Truly Devious book last month.

My average rating for this series is 4.33; I really loved the mystery and the characters, even though I HATED DAVID.

I thought that, in spite of David, The Hand on the Wall landed the dismount.

Also, there’s a FOURTH Truly Devious book in the works. You can bet I’ll be reading it.

Happy October. I hope it measures up to last month, ideally with less crying. (Or more. I wouldn’t mind reading another If We Were Villains.)

I have a big spooky TBR to catch up on and hopefully some spooky book tags to go with it.

Stay safe, all.

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