September Round Up

Title in white on book spines

September was a very, very busy month. I started my PhD (and had to deal with commutes for the first time really), I was running #UKYASpotlight across twitter and instagram, I was running (and still am) a writing project. It’s meant I’ve basically just felt exhausted, particularly at the end (when all three converged.)

However, I have actually managed to read (1hr+ commutes into uni has its benefits!) And it’s also been a relatively decent reading month in terms of enjoyment – only two books rated lower than 4 stars! The downside is that it took so long to read anything, leading me to feel like “I love this book but why can’t I devour it??” I am certainly still burnt out, so the fact I’ve largely enjoyed what I’ve read is a bit of a relief as it’s made it a bit less daunting.


Best New Release

Book cover for SPELLS FOR FORGETTING: title in white on dark teal forest with gold starbursts coming out of letters

As soon as SPELLS FOR FORGETTING, by Adrienne Young, came through my door I rearranged my schedule in order to pick up this book because I have been looking forward to her adult debut. I have really enjoyed her other books, and the slower pace she has that feels so gentile, and it translates so well to this book.

This is a book about a village of secrets and two characters trying to heal from a broken past they’ve shut away – and the love that it destroyed. It’s about people willing to “do what it takes” to defend what they think is the best interest of their community – regardless of who it hurts.

Best Backlist Read

Book cover for THOSE LEFT BEHIND: title in white on planet below blue space with a spaceship

I binged my way through the first books of the Waystations trilogy this month, THOSE LEFT BEHIND, THOSE ONCE FORGOTTEN, and THE EXODUS BETRAYAL (prequel), by N. C. Scrimgeour (the prequel and first book came out last year, and the finale comes out later this year.)

I really enjoyed this space opera, which is a combination of mysterious forgotten race who’ve left a footprint behind (and are clearly coming) and galactic civil war. It’s full of twists and turns and great characters who are so complicated!

Most Surprising Read

Book cover for ITHACA: title in black on gold sun behind a white silhouette of a woman on orange

Given that I didn’t particularly get on with the author’s previous book, I was so surprised by just how much I loved ITHACA, by Claire North. I devoured this book and really, really want the second book in the duology now. This is why I give authors two books to engage me, and I am so glad I did that here because ITHACA was probably my favourite book overall of the month.

This is a retelling of Penelope of Ithaca wife of Odysseus. But rather than telling the story of his return, this is the story of what happens before then, of the politics of keeping the suitors at bay while keeping the guise of a meek woman (the “perfect” queen) and not offending any so that they get violent.

Best UK-Authored Read

Book cover for LEILA AND THE BLUE FOX: title in white on blue beneath a fox on an iceberg

LEILA AND THE BLUE FOX, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave with Tom de Freston, is the second collaboration between this author-artist duo, and it is every bit as lovely as JULIA AND THE SHARK (their first collaboration.)

It is a story about an arctic fox crossing the ice and also a girl trying to find her estranged mother on a research trip centred around said fox. The illustrations (by Tom de Freston) are so evocative, and in a slightly different style to their first book, and meshes so well with the prose (Kiran Millwood Hargrave.)

Best Debut

Book cover for THE DARK BETWEEN THE TREES: title in white on green, navy and orange leave below antlers with an eye

THE DARK BETWEEN THE TREES, by Fiona Barnett, is a spilt timeline horror about a group of Parliamentarian soldiers from the civil war who escape an ambush into a nearby forest – but aren’t seen again – and the group of modern day researchers who head into the woods after them to find out what happened.

It is the sort of atmospheric book that does so well at creeping you out with the sense of “something is out there, something is watching and following” with minimal actual page time of said thing. Instead the focus is entirely on the unease and sense of inevitability about the ending.

Most Anticipated October Release

Book cover for THE ARCTIC RAILWAY ASSASSIN: title in silver on blue above an orange and silver train

The final (nooo!!!) instalment of The Adventures on Trains series, THE ARCTIC RAILWAY ASSASSIN, by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, is out this month.

As much as I absolutely do not want to say goodbye to this series (and they have said “for now” but with no plans for new books any time soon so it might not happen and it’ll be a wait if there are more), I am glad we have at least one more outing with Hal and his uncle in this incredible globetrotting Middle Grade mystery series set on long distance trains.


How was your September?

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5 thoughts on “September Round Up

  1. My September – I’m definitely coming out of the reading slump. Didn’t read a whole lot, but much more than I have been, that’s for sure! Also, lots of digital art, lol 😀

    I like the “Two books to engage me” rule, especially if it’s a maybe. Books by the same author can really be different. And I’ve met some series I was happy I didn’t give up on right away.

    But, also, I have limited ability to read in various ways, so it’s often “engage me in the preview, or yes, maybe I will like the book, but unless I have a strong reason to be interested, I’m going to pass, because there are so many and I can’t read all of them.’

    Liked by 1 person

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