September is the new land of promise. I’m leaving August, going forward with hope and perseverance, knowing that life takes me where I’m meant to go more often than just where I want to go. The future is unpredictable, but I’m willing to take my chances on September. Truly, I’m going there whether I want to or not. Might as well have a good attitude about it, right?
My September Word of the Month
My September Haiku of the Month
Where I’m now living
Brings bright happiness today.
Tomorrow brings joy.
Bible Verse of the Month
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” – Philippians 3:12
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!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
↓ – I didn’t even start. Complete fail!
I did good this past month holding my reading list down to ten books. This coming month I want to reduce it to eight books simultaneously. For those who wonder how I manage this: I keep a currently reading list at Goodreads (love that site) and rotate books throughout the day. Normally I can read two or three chapters in one sitting, then I want to change books. Most days I get through only four to six books this way so ten is really too many to have on the list. At the beginning of September I’ll finish two without adding anything to replace them. Then I’ll carry on with eight books during the month, adding a new book only when I finish one either by getting to the end, or by DNF or stalling.
Getting Serious About the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge
I have only four more months to finish this challenge!!
Right now I’ve read 35 books out of 50 – so, 15 more to read. These are the books I want to read this month. Here’s my Goodreads list of PopSugar Reading Challenge books.
Still reading from last month
★ Juvenile Fiction: Whittington, by Alan Armstrong
I’m reading this for prompt 40: Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge [2017 prompt 10: A book with a cat on the cover]. Besides which, who wouldn’t want to read a book about a beautiful cat? Right?
★ Christian Fiction: Jewel of the Nile, by Tessa Afshar
I’m reading this book for the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 1 – A book published in 2021. I’ve enjoyed the Christian romance fiction I’ve been reading the last few months (by another author) and decided to branch out and try a Christian novel by someone else – Tessa Afshar! Reviews are good, and I’m adventurous, so I bought a paperback copy of this book.
✓ Juvenile Fiction: Restart, by Gordon Korman
This book was recommended for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 11 – A book about forgetting, so I decided to go for it. I’m focusing more on juvenile fiction this year because I also have a goal to read Newbery list books. This isn’t one, but it does sound interesting. A boy named Chase falls off the roof and wakes up in a hospital remembering nothing at all. Amnesia!
✓ Juvenile Fiction: Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos
I’m reading this for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 12 – A book you have seen on someone’s bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc.). I confess looking over the shoulder of a popular Booktuber. So many Booktubers like to make their videos while sitting in front of their bookcases. I wish I could do that but my lovely new white bookcase burned in the forest fire that ate my home last September. Now I live in a travel trailer where big bookcases are a no-go. This book is a Newbery Medal Winner.
More books I want to start reading (and hopefully even finish reading) this month for the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge.
☆ Juvenile Fiction: The Headless Cupid, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
I had this on my August list but didn’t manage to start reading it yet. Now it is at the top of the TBR list. I’m reading this for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 23 – A book with something broken on the cover. I chose this Newbery Medal winning book for the older cover:
Obviously, something’s broken.
☆ Juvenile Fiction: Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, by Isaac Bashevis Singer
This is for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #32: A book whose title starts with “Q,” “X,” or “Z”. Those are few and far between so I was thrilled to find one on the Newbery list. This is a Newbery Honor Book from 1967.
☆ Juvenile Fiction: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
This book won the Newbery Medal in 2017. I’m reading it for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #43: The book on your TBR list with the prettiest cover. I think this cover is beautiful. Do you?
☆ Juvenile Fiction: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, by Kate DiCamillo
Conversely, this is being read for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #44: The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover, because I’m not fond of mice. It won the Newbery Medal in 2004.
☆ Juvenile Fiction: Bright Island, by Mabel L. Robinson
This is a random book pick. I’m reading this for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #48: A book from your TBR list chosen at random. I used a random number picker to choose this from the Newbery list. It was a Newbery Honor Book in 1938.
Still reading from last month:
★ California Fiction: California Gold, by John Jakes
I was SO EXCITED when this book was chosen. STILL excited. Even though this is the longest book on my list of twenty books, it is the one I wanted to read the most. Bill Ruttenberg, another Booktuber, inspired me to want to read this with a bookshelf tour video a year ago. FYI – I didn’t start reading this in July. Saved it for August and September.
★ California Nonfiction: The Barbary Coast, by Herbert Asbury
I started reading this book years ago for novel research. Then it sat on my shelf neglected for years. Then it burned in the historic forest fire of September 8, 2020… just as I was considering picking it up again to read the rest. Well, I put it on my list for the Booktube Spin and sure enough – I had to buy another copy. I’m happy to be able to read it. I started from the beginning again and am currently in chapter five. This fits for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 49: A DNF book from your TBR list.
★ Juvenile Nonfiction: All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, by Christina Soontornvat
This book is a 2021 Newbery Honor Book. It is full of photographs. This is about a group of thirteen boys – mostly teenagers – who were trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand, behind flood waters. The book tells about every aspect of the rescue. I’ve been doing the Newbery Variety Challenge with a small group at Goodreads. So far I’ve read 16 books for the challenge this year. This is my 17th, and final book for that challenge.
Christian Books I Want to Read
★ Christian Nonfiction: Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, by Jen Schmidt
I joined the Sisters in Christ Book Club at Goodreads and this is the August monthly selection for a group read. I didn’t finish it and am still reading through it during September. I’m enjoying the book; currently in chapter seven as of the beginning of September.
★ Christian Nonfiction: Discovering the Joy of Jesus, by Stonecroft Ministries
I’m reading this for a local women’s Christian book study group.
★ Christian Devotional: Let Go, by Fenelon
The new pastor in town recommended this book.
★ Christian Historical Fiction: A Tale of three Kings: A Study in Brokenness, by Gene Edwards
The new pastor in town recommended this book.
★ Christian Fiction: Light From Heaven, by Jan Karon
I’m still participating in the “A Year in Mitford Readalong” and this is the ninth book in the series.
☆ Christian Nonfiction: Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him, by Jackie Hill Perry
This is the September group-read for the Sisters in Christ Book Club at Goodreads.
Random Audiobook Selections
I always have to have an audiobook in process and never plan this out ahead of time anymore. When I finish one I’ll seek out another for entertainment.
✓ Christian Fiction: Julie, by Catherine Marshall
I loved reading Christy so much I decided to audio-read Julie too.
☆ Christian Fiction: A Voice in the Wind, by Francine Rivers
Book one in the Mark of the Lion trilogy. Audio-reading….
My September 2021 Reading Diary
September 1 – I wrote that haiku at the top of the page just a few days ago, and now already my home in which I’ve finally been feeling settled, is endangered. A forest fire rages just south of our town and we’ve been given an evacuation warning. All I can think is – not again! But who is to stop it? Oh, the Lord can, if He wants to.
September 2 – So far the fire break is holding 13 miles south of town at Independence. I hope that continues, however burning embers created another fire 4 miles away at Norcross Campground. The fire fight is aggressive and so far, effective. Meanwhile my landlord helped me liberate my cargo trailer and I’ll be taking it to my property where my home burned last year. Hopefully it will be safe enough there as there’s not much left to burn on that land. We’re nearly ready to move back onto that property. And what does this have to do with reading? My mind is so obsessed with fire information right now, it is hard to read a book! I hope this passes soon. Meanwhile I’m nearly moved out of this travel trailer due to the evacuation warning, and hope to finish today or tomorrow. If our good luck holds, I’ll return to it when the fire danger passes. Now BOOKS … today I want to finish reading Restart by Gordon Korman which I’m enjoying a lot… it is a great tween-aged type novel about a bully boy who falls on his head and loses his memory of being an obnoxious bully.
September 3 – I finished reading Restart by Gordon Korman and liked it a lot. Four stars at Goodreads. I’m loving the audiobook of Julie by Catherine Marshall. I audio-read her similar novel, Christy, last month and liked it so much I wanted to read Julie too. Christy is sometimes said to be the first Christian fiction. Her books aren’t overly Christian in a way to convert people, but they explore various aspects of Christianity and share a lot of related philosophy. Very well-balanced, and worth reading.
September 4 – I am not liking Dead End in Norvelt because the gallows humor and vulgar humor are not what I like to read. However! I do intend to finish the book because it is my goal to read all the Newbery books, and this was (inexplicably) the 2012 Newbery Medal winner. Right now I’m exactly half-way through it at chapter 13. I also want to intersperse my readings of this today with Just Open the Door, a Christian nonfiction about hospitality that I do like. I’m also nearly half-way through that. I’d like to get both of them off my reading list to make room for other books.
September 6 – Didn’t do much reading today, but finally got my August Reading Wrapup up on YouTube.
September 8 – This is the one-year anniversary of the forest fire that ate my home. It has been an emotional day, remembering the trauma I’ve been through – and not just me, but over 400 of my neighbors here in this small town lost their homes too.
This is a video about our fire. My land is shown in this video but I’m not going to say exactly where.
September12 – It is so hard to read while your town is in the shadow of an evacuation warning with a forest fire eight miles outside of town. I’ve been struggling. Today I finished reading Dead End in Norvelt – praise the Lord, I’m so happy to be done with that book. I gave it one star at Goodreads. Today I also published this video that I worked on filming and editing all day yesterday.
September14 – I got my second Covid vaccination today. By evening I was having muscle aches and a sore arm. Also, totally exhausted. It was hard to read but I read half a chapter of Just Open the Door and listened to a few more chapters of Julie, my current audiobook.
September15 – I finished reading Julie. Here’s my five-star review at Goodreads.
September18 – I haven’t gotten a lot of reading done in the last few days as I’ve been too shocked by and obsessed by the terrible missing Gabby situation. It feels like the shock I got when Princess Diana died – I couldn’t stop looking for information on the internet – hoping something would resolve the situation. Of course, it won’t end yet, and I have to calm down and get back to my life. I did try to do a little reading – mainly Just Open the Door and the current audiobook in progress, Light From Heaven, by Jan Karon, book 9 in the Mitford series.
September 22 – The evacuation warning for my town was cancelled yesterday as rain has eliminated the forest fire threat. However in repacking my boxes of books they were put underneath an object I cannot move… and the books I planned to read this month are there… so I’m having to change my plans. Crazy life. I do have my “currently reading” books with me but not my “want to read soon” books. Life goes on. I’ve got plenty to read. Mostly I’m just audio-reading right now as I have to drive, but I’ve got some paperbacks here as well. I’m half-way through Light From Heaven right now and after that will be listening to a Francine Rivers book – A Voice in the Wind… book one in the Mark of the Lion trilogy.