Books, Real Life

September Wrap-Up: A change of pace

I posted my August wrap-up two weeks ago.

Surprise! While I was still reeling, the month ended!

The rest of September was taken up with rereads, some health stuff, and decisions about the future.

As requested [by Meghan], here is a picture my completely healed Piranesi tattoo.

Image of a tattoo showing a faun, a column, and the quote "The Beauty of the House is immeasurable, its kindness infinite"

Do I have another tattoo planned? Not officially, but it’s coming together in my head!

In other news, I’ve been waffling about staying in Seattle or moving to Tacoma for most of the year now.

After another month spent in Tacoma, I really do want to move.

There are things about Seattle I really love, but I haven’t been happy there in a while.

That said, I read about the same amount in Tacoma that I did the month prior in Seattle.

Stats time.

September Reading Stats

In September, I completed 9 books.

Of the books I read,

  • 67% were fiction
  • 33% were non-fiction
  • 22% were physical books
  • 78% were audiobooks
  • 67% were adult
  • 33% were middle grade
  • 44% were new books
  • 56% were rereads

I read more thrillers and horror novels than I planned. Mostly, though, I stuck to gay stuff and fantasy.

September 2022 Genre Breakdown Pie Chart

My top moods for last month were adventurous, mysterious, and emotional.

I reread His Dark Materials, so I’m not surprised.

September 2022 Reading Moods pie chart

My average rating for the month was 4.06. I reread some old favorites, so that helps.

September 2022 Star Ratings Bar Chart

I have written endlessly on here about His Dark Materials and new favorite American Gods, both of which I reread last month.

I will be writing even more about them. There is no escape.

Notable Books

It took me a few months to reread American Gods.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

It’s slow and plodding. Not a lot happens in the first 400 pages.

I adore it.

(Spoilers for American Gods)

I cried over two passages, one of which inspired a new tattoo idea.

This exchange between Shadow and Mr. Ibis is the one that got me.

“We are on our way to the Hall of the Dead. I requested that I be the one to come for you..”


“You were a hard worker. Why not?”

“Because…” Shadow marshaled his thoughts. “Because I never believed in you. Because I don’t know much about Egyptian mythology. Because I didn’t expect this. What happened to Saint Peter and the Pearly Gates?”

The long-beaked white head shook from side to side, gravely. “It doesn’t matter that you didn’t believe in us,” said Mr. Ibis. “We believed in you.”

American Gods, pg. 481

None of the characters are purely good. Most of them are selfish. Many of them are cruel.

Shadow survives them and at the end he finally feels alive.

He also saved the kids. It took him awhile but he didn’t fail them. He kept his promise.

(End of American Gods spoilers)

If you thought I was done being sad, I’m about to start talking about His Dark Materials.

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series

I listened to the audiobooks this time, which are narrated by the author and feature an entire voice cast. They are SO GOOD.

The Amber Spyglass is still weird. Parts of The Subtle Knife are a bit tedious. The religious commentary in The Golden Compass is BLATANT.

(The gender essentialism and the notable lack of class commentary are also WILD.)

For all their flaws, these books still speak to me.

You know which subplot made me cry this time? THE MULEFA.

(Spoilers for The Amber Spyglass)


I loved that Mary made genuine connections with the mulefa. I was BEREFT when she and the kids were forced to leave, even though I KNEW it was coming.

(End of The Amber Spyglass spoilers)

I think the emphasis on community is what touched me. The worlds in His Dark Materials are harsh. Not everyone survives.

Those that do, though, survive because of their connections with others.

It made me grateful for the people in my life who make this world bearable.

It is not an exaggeration that I sobbed into my poblano mac and cheese (though that may have been my ulcer acting up.)

I read Conversations on Love and Queer Body Power last month. Both told me things I really needed to hear.

Conversations on Love made me rethink what I believe about risk.

I loved that Queer Body Power offered a variety of perspectives, some from people I already follow and others I’d never heard of before. The queer experience varies so much.

I borrowed All Down Darkness Wide after seeing review of it on BookTok. It didn’t do a whole lot for me.

All Down Darkness Wide by Sean Hewitt

I really liked parts of it. The passages about queer isolation spoke to me.

I didn’t really feel anything by the end, though. The book seemed to ditch the depression narrative just as it was picking up.

I read Just Like Home, Sarah Gailey’s newest horror novel.

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

This book was a lot and the body horror was MUCH.

I thought I knew where the story was going and was a bit disappointed when none of my theories came true.

I liked the book, though. I liked what it said about monstrosity, survival, and difference.

I can’t say much about it without spoiling it. There’s a relationship in it that’s weird but makes total sense.

Plot-wise, this one was kind of wacky for me. The themes, though, were rock solid.

I’m honestly not sure if the BBC The Fellowship of the Ring audio drama counts as a book.

BBC's The Fellowship of the Ring (dramatised)

I’m counting it anyway.

The library in my hometown used to have the audio drama on CD and I listened to it many times.

Fifteen years later, this adaptation holds up. Bill Nighy voiced Samwise Gamgee and when I tell you this was a PERFECT CASTING DECISION.

I also love John McAndrew as Pippin. Ideal voice cast all around.

My last reread of the month was Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewksi

I first read this book when I was sixteen. Back then, I read books as quickly as possible and thus missed most of what makes this book work.

It’s wild to me how much time Danielewski spent on the formatting. This book is so lovingly crafted.

The book still scares me. “It’s just about a house,” I thought. “Houses aren’t scary.”

Then I read this book alone at night while housesitting and found I was too terrified to move.

Rereading House of Leaves was worth it for the experience. It was also unsettling enough that I probably won’t do it again.

That was September! I don’t have a spooky TBR planned. I’m just rereading books and hoping for the best.

I hope you all are staying warm and well-read.

1 thought on “September Wrap-Up: A change of pace”

  1. Woah! Your tattoo is amazing! I love the details, and the quote is beautiful! Thank you for sharing 😊
    I thought I was going to do more re-reading this year… and I don’t think I’ve re-read more than 5 books so far. It’s such a comfort to go back to old favourites. You’ve got me curious about re-reading the His Dark Materials trilogy, I haven’t read it in years!
    I hope you’re having a good October so far! 😊


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