It’s already September! The new school year may be starting, but I am still clinging to the last vestiges of summer. Last month was a great reading month for me, despite a beach vacation where I didn’t actually get much reading done. That’s all right though. I had a great time and can’t wait to go back again. (Mom if you are reading this: hint, hint, nudge, nudge.)
It may be September, but I am still celebrating summer Fridays and taking off for the afternoon so I can get some more reading done.
I think if the last month had a theme, it was fun. I had so much fun reading these books.
Let’s get the ball rolling…
The September Books
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
I finally finished this one before my vacation. It was really interesting to read about the science behind female sexuality and relationships. Still, like I mentioned last month, the section on the stress cycle was the most compelling part for me and a topic I am very much looking forward to learning more about in Nagoski’s follow-up book, Burnout (which I decided to not take on vacation as originally planned).
The book was definitely science and research heavy, but Nagoski wrote in such an accessible and entertaining way that made it not super dense like a textbook.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
I suddenly decided to get into contemporary romances. I have no idea why because I’m really not a happily-ever-after kind of person. But there’s something nice and relaxing about seeing the pieces fall together like a puzzle. That’s the thing with genre fiction—you know certain things are going to happen and the fun part of the journey is in seeing how they unfold.
This was the book I took on vacation. I had every intention of reading it and the three of the next four books mentioned in this post while on vacation. I was on the beach. I was not going to be working. I should be able to finish several of these books, right? Wrong! I think I still had eight pages left by the time we got to the airport.
Anyway…this was a great introduction to contemporary romances. They start out as enemies and then they eventually become not enemies and then they become more. The really fun part about this book was that they were both writers, feeling a bit stuck in their current genres, so they decided to switch. To go along with that, they each plan field trips to introduce the other to their genre.
This was a lot of fun to read and it had great characters. But that’s pretty much true of all of the contemporary romances I’ve read.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I started this one on the plane back to nowhere. And I devoured it! I think I was close to halfway through by the time we got home, which is kind of crazy for me because I’m really not a fast reader.
I loved the premise of this one. The protagonist’s sister won a free honeymoon, then the entire wedding party comes down with food poisoning except for the protagonist and the best man, who totally hate each other. The trip is nonrefundable and nontransferrable, so they pretend to be a married couple and go on the trip.
It had some surprises thrown in along the way that made it even more fun to read.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
I picked this one up in the airport on the way back because I had been seeing the Hulu commercials. I didn’t know a lot about it when I grabbed it, but I am so glad I did! I could hardly put it down. I haven’t watched the series yet, but I plan to soon.
The thing that got me about this one was how similar the premise sounds to the ScribLandia program DIY MFA ran this summer. People who don’t know each other wind up at a hotel/resort and crazy stuff happens. There’s even a bit of a romance! This one had lots of twists and turns and was so much fun to read.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
I practically inhaled this one, but admittedly the title didn’t make sense until almost the end of the book. It’s a contemporary romance of the best friends to lovers variety, but it wasn’t like they were hooking up with random people they met during vacation and as per usual, they didn’t get together until almost the end. Instead it’s about isolation and chance meetings that help you feel connected to something bigger.
The protagonist in this one had a really fun job as a travel writer. She started out as a blogger, then built a social media following, and parlayed that into a job at a travel magazine. Yet, she eventually finds herself feeling disconnected and dissatisfied. And I could totally relate to that.
I really look forward to what Henry comes up with next!
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I think of all the books I’ve mentioned, I read this one the quickest. In less than 24 hours, actually. I went through a bit of a book slump. The thing with contemporary romances is that all of the ones I’ve found are written in the first person. I love a good first person narrative, but after three first person narratives, I was looking for a bit of variety. Or so I thought.
This one has a unique premise. A married couple going through problems decide to not exactly separate but, really, yes, separate for a year to see what happens. Will they get back together? Will they not? (You know they do.) For me, the most interesting part was reading about all of the characters’ thoughts on love and marriage. Lots of shades of grey.
I’ve read a lot of TJR books and I just don’t know how she does it. This is, I believe, her second book and her writing has only gotten richer, more nuanced and complex, with each new release.
That’s what I’ve got for September. I’ll be back next month with another batch of books.
Total Books Read in 2021: 28
Tell me in the comment below: What’s on your TBR for September?
Lori Walker is the Operations Maven at DIY MFA. Though she’s fallen off the wagon as a writer, she’s hoping to return to writing essays (perhaps even a novel!) through her involvement with DIY MFA. She is also Launch Manager, Web Editor, and Podcast Producer for DIY MFA and a Book Coach. She resides in Smalltown, Oklahoma, with her husband and their cat, Joan Didion. You can follow her on Instagram at @LoriTheWriter.