Home » Rearview Mirror » Rearview Mirror // September 2018

Rearview Mirror // September 2018

So as regular readers of my blog may recall, I only work (outside the home) seasonally.  A while back I realized that one of my life goals was actually to be a migrant farm worker, except without the migrant part, so I started working at a greenhouse in the spring and an orchard in the fall.  Various life events last spring meant that I actually skipped the greenhouse half of the year, so when I started back at the orchard in August, I was amazed yet again by how much TIME working takes up!  It’s so ridiculous!  Hours of my life that could be spent doing awesome stuff like reorganizing closets, weeding the garden, freezing tomatoes, and, of course, reading, instead spent – working!  What even.

Anyway, as you can see, a little regular work is probably good for the discipline of my soul.  August, September, and October are the busiest months of the year at the orchard, and while I haven’t been working overtime hours or anything, I have still been working a lot, and not spending as much time reading and reviewing!  I also haven’t been spending a lot of time reading other people’s reviews, as the 284 emails in my inbox attest – basically all of them are blog posts from book blogs I follow…!!!!

While I’m not exactly in a reading slump, I haven’t been reading a lot of books that I love.  For a couple of months now I feel like the overwhelming majority of books I’ve read have just been decent.  Not a waste of time, but also not magic.  I have read SO MANY 3.5* reads.  But here’s hoping that I’ll find a new personal favorite this month.

October will be another busy month for sure, but after that things should somewhat calm down.  I’ll still be working, since the main part of my  job is to drive the delivery truck twice a week, but because we will be done harvesting, there won’t be quite as much extra stuff going on – right now, I also spend a lot of time helping to sort and grade apples, and also jug cider, plus about a million random chores like picking up an order of pumpkins from another local farm, watering mums, taking inventory of how many jars of apple butter we have left, helping get ready for the county fair, loading empty apple crates onto the wagon so the pickers can fill them with apples, helping in the sales room, etc.  We’re a very small operation, so everyone does a bit of everything.  Plus, it’s only about a mile from my house, so I’m the first person to get called if there is just a ‘quick’ project – I generally don’t mind popping in for just an hour or two since it’s so close.

Anyway, here is the book update for September – sadly thin! – but still going along.

Favorite September Read:

I really hate choosing a reread for this slot, but I read so many so-so books this month, that I think I am going to go with Uprooted by Naomi Novik anyway.  I loved this book even more the second time around!

Most Disappointing September Read:

I didn’t read any books that were emotionally devastating this month or anything, but I was rather disappointed with Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.  There was a lot of potential here, but I never really connected with the characters or cared that much about them.  The practicality of the world building also confused me a little bit, and in the end I just didn’t really feel like finishing the series.

Other September Reads:

  • The Accident by Chris Pavone – 3.5* – engaging with a good twist, but unlikable characters and a vague villain.
  • And Both Were Young by Madeline L’Engle – 3.5* – a nice ‘coming of age’ sort of story with a good sense of its era.
  • Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey – 3.5* – very readable with likable characters.
  • The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer – 4* – typical Heyer hijinks.
  • Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey – 3.5* – good conclusion to the series.
  • Gold of Kings by Davis Bunn – 3.5* – not a bad read, but not engaging enough for me to pick up the sequel.
  • Riddle-Master trilogy by Patricia McKillip – 4* – solid storytelling, but a bit rambly
  • The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola – 3.5* – interesting but ultimately a bit meh.

Last September…

I thoroughly enjoyed the classic Vertigo.  Even though it started a little slowly, I was swiftly dragged into the story.  It also had a perfect ending.  I also read Maria Snyder’s Study Series, and really enjoyed them.  I definitely want to reread the entire series sometime.

TBR Update:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:

  • Standalones:  856 (DOWN two!  However, like I said, I have almost 300 blog posts that I may or may not catch up on someday haha)
  • Nonfiction:  78 (up two)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  678 (down three!  Being behind on emails means I haven’t been reading all the Kindle bargain/freebie lists, either!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  238 (up four!)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 108 (holding steady)

Awaiting Review:

I tried to get caught up with a couple of minireview posts, but I’m still a little behind!  I finally was able to finish the Garden Mysteries (I’ve been waiting for book #3 to come into the library FOREVER), so I will hopefully be posting about those next.  I also read a little batch of Kindle books called “Romancing Wisconsin” which ended up being four novellas that were decent but not amazing.  Finally, I got to reread Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore as my most recent read for the Traveling Book Club.

Current Reads:

Normally, I like to have three or four (or five) books going at a time, but when life is busy like it has been, I usually just read one, plus a bedtime book – I always like to have a relaxing chick lit bedtime book going!  Today I started reading another Judy Bolton mystery.  I read the first ten in the series a while  back, and I’m going to read another five now.  They’re quick reads, so it shouldn’t take too long, and I really do want to finish reading the series.  Some of these later ones are the ones that I haven’t ever read before, so I’m looking forward to that, even if these do tend to be a bit simplistic!

For my bedtime read, I’m working through a little trilogy of books I got for free on a Kindle deal – the Cupid’s Coffeeshop books by Courtney Hunt.  I finished the first one already and it was okay, but unless the rest of the books are also free, I don’t see myself reading past these first three that I already own.

Approaching the Top of the Pile…

The probable next five reads:

  • Four more Judy Bolton books
  • Terms of Use by Scott Allan Morrison – this was one of the first Kindle books I ever bought, yet I’ve never read it!
  • A set of Love Inspired books
  • Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder Lane – should have been one of my #20BooksofSummer reads!
  • Utah Lion by James Ralph Johnson – a book from my childhood that I inherited from my great-grandma, who was a school teacher.  This was another #20BooksofSummer book that I didn’t get to this summer!

That’s the update for now.  Happy October!!

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