Books I Read September 2019

by - Thursday, October 03, 2019

I spent a lot of time in airports and on airplanes in September for work travel, and that gave me the opportunity to read some really good books last month.

Of the seven books I read, I gave four of them five stars on Goodreads. That's pretty uncommon for me.

Books Sept 2019

5 Stars

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
I can't say it was necessarily a pleasure to dive back in to the world of Gilead, but it was great to read about how Gilead fell. In Atwood's follow-up to the Handmaid's Tale, we hear the story from the perspective of Aunt Lydia, a young girl growing up in the Canadian resistance and a young girl growing up in Gilead. My favorite part of this book would likely be considered spoiler material, so I won't share it here, but I loved getting in to other character's brains and hearing their perspectives on life in Gilead.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
I finished this book in one sitting while on an airplane. I fell in love with the characters and the story that jumped back forth from when Annika and Jonathan met in college and when they reconnected again ten years later. I thought some parts of the story seemed so real and relatable, and there might have been some tears at the end -- though I'll blame that on the fact that people cry more easily on planes.

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
I loved this book that reimagined what happened if one of the Romanov daughter's survived the murder of her family. Most often it's Anastasia that is the center of any of the "what if" stories about the Romanovs but I loved that this book focused on her older sister Tatiana. The book jumps back and forth between the time of the revolution in Russia and follows Tatiana and Dmitri, the man she loved, and present day, when a woman finds out she's inherited her great-grandfather, Dmitri's cabin in New York and begins to learn about his life skirting the Bolsheviks.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
I couldn't put this book down. It follows the story of Rhiannon, the developer of Crush, a swipey dating app. She's not so good big in to love herself and is more focused on acquiring her competitor. This book somehow tackles about a million relevant topics -- the problem with sexism in Silicon Valley workplaces, discrimination, harassment, CTE and the NFL -- but it didn't ever feel like the author was shoving them in the book for no reason. This was an awesome fun and fast romance read.

4 Stars

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
Set in Baltimore in the 60s, Lippman's newest book tells the story of an unhappy housewife who leaves her husband and almost accidentally finds herself working in a newsroom after she discovers the body of a young girl who has gone missing. As the main character struggles to make it in a sexist newsroom, she stumbles upon the story of a missing black woman. Determined to get to the bottom of the case, she persists in finding out what happens, even though her white editors don't care and don't want to print a story "no one will read." The novel itself was really good, but Lippman's author's note at the end dedicating the book to the victims of the shooting at the Annapolis Capital Gazette was especially moving.

3 Stars

The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor
This was a light, fun read about a girl who is bitten by a shark as a child and goes on to become a well-known shark researcher. After one of her research trips, she returns home to find a shark finning operation running near her hometown. She's determined to get to the bottom of it. I think the book would have been even better if it focused more on her attempts to break up the illegal finning activity. I wasn't so in to the character's love story -- attempting to rekindle her romance with her ex-fiance (ex because he cheated on her and had a child with another woman). He sucked and I couldn't understand why she was spending her time with him.

2 Stars

Uptown Thief by Aya de León
My book club read this book and we generally had some mixed feelings about it. The overall plot was a mix of romance with some thriller elements mixed it. It was definitely fast paced as you followed Marisol in her attempts to keep her clinic for sex workers above water. In order to do that she robbed rich men. The timing of our reading it aligned nicely with all the popular conversation around Hustlers. But I found the characters to be a little underdeveloped and some of the plot lines a bit lacking.

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