I am flying through books this year! I’m excited to say that at the beginning of September, I have only twelve more books to read for the 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge – and this is the closest I’ve come to succeeding at the challenge in the five years I’ve been doing it. Of those 12 books, I’m already half-way through two of them.
My September Word of the Month
My September Haiku of the Month
Seek peace all around
Spirit in the wind
Bible Verse of the Month
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
My September reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
☆ – I own the book and am ready to read.
★★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
Hold-over books from last month or some previous month:
More Books I Want to Read in September
★★ Ghost Fiction: Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #30: A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader. I want to read this also because of the innovative formatting, which is why I got a paperback copy. All that would be lost in an audiobook version. I had this on my August list but didn’t get to it. Hopefully this will happen in September.
☆ Historical Fiction: Ireland, by Frank Delaney
I’ve tried to find time to read this novel for the last two years and am going to try again to get it read. I actually have a much better setup for reading right now, so there’s hope. I had this on my August list but didn’t get to it. Hopefully this will happen in September.
✓ Classic Fiction: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
I’ve wanted to read this for y-e-a-r-s and this month, hopefully will listen to an audiobook copy.
☆ Classic Fiction: Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga
A novel in free verse tells the story of a Syrian refugee child.
☆ Memoir: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian , by Sherman Alexie
I’ve wanted to read this ever since it was published in 2007. Life got in the way – but no longer! I recently bought a hardcover copy ***** yay! And my plan is to read it during Banned Book Week, September 27 – October 3, 2020 … For a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: 39. Read a banned book during Banned Books Week. I did some research on this title and discovered it has been challenged in multiple school districts and removed from the shelves, but always replaced there as school boards reviewed and approved it.
This is a maybe for this month
☆ YA SciFi: Cress, by Marissa Meyer
This is the only YA series I’m involved in and I’m reading one of the books (for the third year in a row) for a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: 28. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character. I enjoyed the first two novels in the series.
My classic book reading project
All three of these are on my list: 101 Books Recommended by the College Board
☆ Classic Fiction: Crime & Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I’m reading this with the Crime & Punishment Readalong folks on Booktube! UPDATE 9/21/20 … my home burned in a forest fire on September 8 late at night… and I couldn’t read for a week after that, so fell behind on the readalong. Then started reading it again, but had a terrible nightmare about murder, which is the issue in this novel… so I figured it had affected my dreams and is not good for me right now when I’m recovering emotionally from the fire and losing many of my things as well as the home I bought just last January, for which I had no insurance. So, sorry to say it but I’m going to DNF this book for now. Normally I’d be able to handle it probably – but I’m not open to having vile nightmares over a book, especially right now when I’m emotionally fragile already.
★★ Classic Fiction: Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
I chose this book using a random number generator. It is #97 on my list.
☆ Classic Fiction: The Inferno, from The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri
This will be the next book after reading Leaves of Grass. I chose this with the random number generator. It is #18 on the list. I don’t know why the College Board specified only The Inferno, leaving out The Purgatorio and The Paradiso. I’d like to read all three. UPDATE 9/21/20 – how strange that I had The Inferno on order from Amazon when my home burnt to ashes in a vile inferno called the Slater Fire! I don’t think I’ll be reading this in September. I’m still reading Leaves of Grass right now… and there’s really no hurry to get into The Inferno – I think I’ve had enough infernos to last a while.
My September 2020 Reading Diary
September 1 – Another great month for reading… I hope! [Later…] I started the month reading Blindness by Jose Saramago. This is an award winning author, a celebrated book. But I’m not liking it at all. It might be the worst book I’ve ever read. The writing style is fine; a great and talented author. But oh wow. This situation is awful and getting worse. So hard to read about. I’m in chapter 11 and … well, so thankful there are only 17 chapters in this book so the torture (literally) will soon be over. Some say this is the ultimate epidemic novel. People are going blind, and it is contagious. What a mess! The only reason I’m forcing myself to finish this terrible novel is that it works for a 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: Advanced-3. A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision).
September 2 – I’ve come to the end of Blindness by Jose Saramago. I can’t remember when I’ve been so happy to have a book end. LOL… what a terrible, terrible situation to read about. Surely there are more happy and hopeful things to write about, Mr. Saramago? Nevertheless, I’m so grateful for God’s gift of sight. Our world would be so much worse without it. And the question remains: “How much do we really see?”
September 3 – I can’t say I got a lot of actual reading done today! Really loved listening to the first two chapters of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn earlier today. Cataloged a lot of books as I unpacked them after retrieving them from Idaho last month. Also, spent some time pondering my TBR lists for the last four months of the year. I hope to make my September TBR video tomorrow. Posted my August Wrap-Up video today.
September 4 – I started reading Lincoln in the Bardo tonight. What a strange book! Also read another chapter in New Kid.
September 7 – I have good days and I have bad days, ever since I got back from Idaho. I’ve mostly have bad days – low energy, unable to get much done. I’m still reading through these days. The last two days I didn’t record a note here. I’ve been audio-reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn – about 1/3 of the way through it now. I forgot to mention that book in my TBR video. There was just so much to think about with all my challenges… right now I’m doing the 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge, the Fall Into Reading Challenge (three months) and the Crime & Punishment Readalong. I’m trying to balance my books between these challenges, hoping to use one book for more than one challenge. I started reading Crime & Punishment (this first part of the book is a re-read for me). I bought Spark Notes to go along with that book. Interesting. I also am ordering a copy of The Divine Comedy by Dante… and getting Cliff Notes, so I can compare the Spark Notes and Cliff Notes to see which I like better.
September 9 – My home burned last night. Here’s a video explanation… over 150 homes in my town burned in the Slater Fire on September 8, 2020.
September 12 – Unexpected detour in life. My home burned down on September 8 in the Slater Fire, Happy Camp, California. What a tragedy! About 150 homes burned (an estimate) and my son’s home, my daughter’s home, and my home were among them. My poor kids … each of them had only five minutes to put things in the car and leave. I was lucky to have about an hour, and still didn’t get LOTS of things I wish I had… but the homestead is gone. I was there only 8 months and didn’t have much furniture but I lost a lot of household items and feel some sadness about that. But like they say, “It’s just stuff.” I was also able to save some stuff and my kids weren’t so lucky… and many others went into town that morning as it was a normal work day for them, and they had no opportunity to go back for anything, not even their pets. I managed to save my van and cargo trailer. Many of my books went down with the ship.
September 17 – Finally getting back into reading a little. I’ve been slowly reading through Walt Whitman’s heady preamble (which ambles quite a lot) to his 1855 version of Leaves of Grass. Interesting, deep, and wow… so hard to get through!!! But I am DETERMINED. I’ve also been listening to my audiobook version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – what a nice experience, listening to the growing-up adventures of little Frances in her Brooklyn neighborhoods. A treat and a treasure. No wonder that book is so well-loved. Glad I finally found time to include it in my life. Now a word about the forest fire home loss adventure – this is terrible! Hope you never have to go through it. But we are survivors and every day is a new opportunity to face reality and forge ahead. Life isn’t over yet, just because some things burned. Hope you have a happy, happy day.
September 18 – I’m not too happy with the length and philosophical content of the long essay at the beginning of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Though it contains a lot of lovely quotable lines about poets and more, it is really, really not fun for me to read and I’m so anxious to get past it and just read the poetry itself. Reading the essay first is so, so slow… too deep, too philosophical… just too hard to understand it all, really. Frustrating. Okay, now I’ve said it. Could it be that my current situation of being a forest fire victim now without a home… could be adding to my frustration with this book? Oh, probably… the whole thing is not a happy, happy thing. I just want to read Leaves of Grass and get it over with, but I can’t even get to the first page until I finish reading this long essay! I’ve read 7 tortuous pages and have 11 more ahead of me.
September 19 – I’m so happy today I found my Kindle in the van. It was missing for the last week since the fire and I thought I might have left it in the mobile home when we were evacuated. But no, it is here, and I even found my copy of New Kid, which I was almost done reading… so I can finish it now. I’m almost done with my audio-reading of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. What a great book! I also started reading Crime and Punishment again.
We got to see photos of our properties this weekend. They had photos of the damaged carport and the burnt shed but none of my mobile home which they assure me is history. I will hopefully get those within a few days.
September 20 – I think I’ve finally made peace with Whitman. I decided that each time I pick up the book (several times each day) I’ll read a paragraph or two in the long essay about how amazing poets are, plus some of the actual poem, Leaves of Grass 1855. I finished audio-reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn last night. One of the best books I’ve ever read, but I wouldn’t consider it a children’s book.
September 21 – I had a nightmare last night about murder, right after reading from Crime and Punishment which is about a murder… and I’ve decided to DNF the book because of the nightmare. I’m already emotionally fragile because of the fire, and don’t need something like this nightmare to distress me more. I started audio-reading this book instead: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
September 22 – Went back to reading Lincoln in the Bardo today. What an interesting and different sort of book. I have a paperback copy.
September 24 – Today I’ve been reading Ladies of Gold and listening to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Here are the photos of my burned mobile home. The Slater Fire took nearly 200 homes and we still do not have FEMA help.
September 25 – Filmed this video.
September 26 – Sometimes it is hard to be strong.
Spetember 29 – I’ve started reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian , by Sherman Alexie… a book that’s been challenged in multiple school districts… my choice for reading during Banned Books Week, September 27 through October 3. I love that the book is set in the Spokane Reservation that’s close to where I was living in North Idaho.