The 5 Books I Finished in September

* Linking up with Anne Bogel at Quick Lit *

Four out of the five books I read last month were gripping, suspenseful, and/or inspiring. While I didn’t love every single book, I truly enjoyed all five reading experiences, and that’s what it’s all about. Without further ado, here’s the scoop on the five books I finished in September.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch 

My Thoughts: When everyone in my literary circle started buzzing about this suspenseful science fiction novel, which was a recent Book of the Month Club pick, I put in a request at the library. I loved Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and was in the mood for another time travel adventure. I’m really glad I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed the beginning and the end. I thought it got kind of boring in the middle, but it picked up for an exciting finish. I’d highly recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a (mostly) fast-paced, plot-driven adventure.

Length: 342 pages

When I Read It: August 25-September 3, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Reserved a copy at the library; read it the old-fashioned way.


Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

My Thoughts: Everyone should read this book. When I rule the world, I’ll make you all read it. (Just kidding. I am wholeheartedly against authoritarian regimes.) Although I wouldn’t call it a literary masterpiece, Stevenson’s depiction of the Equal Justice Initiative’s mission and campaign for the basic human rights of vulnerable Americans, particularly the pursuit of racial justice in the prison system, is beyond admirable. Read it, read it, read it. Please and thank you.

Length: 336 pages

When I Read It: March 19-September 10, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Won it in a Facebook giveaway; read it the old-fashioned way.

Memorable Quote: “I reflected on how mass imprisonment has littered the national landscape with carceral monuments of reckless and excessive punishment and ravaged communities with our hopeless willingness to condemn and discard the most vulnerable among us. I told the congregation that Walter’s case had taught me that the death penalty is not about whether people deserve to die for the crimes they commit. The real question of capital punishment in this country is, Do we deserve to kill?


Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue

My Thoughts: I have been a fangirl of Mike McHargue for a while now and tune into his analytical insights and Floridian drawl on The Liturgists and Ask Science Mike podcasts. I was really looking forward to reading the full story of his faith journey and decided to preorder his first book. I started reading the day it arrived in my mailbox and literally could not put it down. Whether or not you agree with the conclusions he has come to about God and Church, the way he tells his own story is so powerful, well written, and thought-provoking.

Length: 224 pages

When I Read It: September 13-14, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Pre-ordered it from Amazon for delivery on release day; read it the old-fashioned way.

Memorable Quote: “I doubt I’ll ever be able to resolve the contradiction between the indifferent universe I understand through science and the intimacy I find with God in prayer. All I know is that even when I was working through existential doubts about God’s nature and character, prayer was the one place where God consistently met me.”


The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

My Thoughts: After devouring the first Cormoran Strike book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, I was eager to jump into book two with high expectations. I didn’t love this one though. It took me a long time to get through it, and the plot about the gruesome murder of a writer and all the different players in the publishing world just didn’t grab my attention. I had a hard time keeping all of the names straight, probably because I kept picking up the book and putting it back down. I do love Cormoran Strike as a character, though, so I’m planning to read book three at some point.

Length: 455 pages

When I Read It: July 31-September 28, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Reserved a copy at the library; read it the old-fashioned way.


Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

My Thoughts: This inside peek at Appalachian culture explores how poverty and complicated family histories affect people over the course of their lives and form their views of the world. Although Vance is only a few years my junior, his turbulent childhood in Kentucky and Ohio was very different from my own. Not only did I find it interesting to learn about life in a different part of the U.S., I also gained a better understanding of a group of my fellow Americans.

Length: 272 pages

When I Read It: September 16-30, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Reserved a copy at the library; read it the old-fashioned way.

Memorable Quote: “We talk about the value of hard work but tell ourselves that the reason we’re not working is some perceived unfairness: Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese. These are the lies we tell ourselves to solve the cognitive dissonance—the broken connection between the world we see and the values we preach.”


As for my October reads, I just finished the first book in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, and now I’m impatiently waiting for the rest French’s books to show up for me at the library. You can friend or follow me on Goodreads for the latest updates.

5 thoughts on “The 5 Books I Finished in September

  1. This is such a great list! I feel the EXACT same way about Just Mercy. I love that book so much and think everyone should read it. It gave me such new perspectives on our justice system and the death penalty. It was just so amazing.

    I’ve been wanting to read both Dark Matter and Hillbilly Elegy, so I’m glad you liked both of those! I just checked the hold list for Hillbilly Elegy at my library and it’s in the 80s so it will probably take me a while to get to, but I’m looking forward to it.

    I posted some of my recently read books right here:

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