September Reading

September flew by so quickly I feel like I’m still catching my breath! I read some amazing books in September that I’m excited to share with you.

Courage Is Contagious: And Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michelle Obama edited by Nick Haramis

What a delightful slim book of essays honoring just a snapshot of the deep impact and legacy of Michelle Obama’s time in the White House.

Each essay was interesting and important, and I feel I learned from each of them. I especially loved the two essays by high school freshman who shared what Michelle means to them and the dreams they now have for their future. What a strong and empowering role model!

My favorite essay was actually the very first in the book by Alice Waters primarily about the impact of the White House Kitchen Garden. She has a line, “It was a living, growing representation of the bounty and generosity and diversity of the United States…” I miss that message coming from the White House, but truly believe that is the heart of our country and it just hit me deeply. Maybe it’s the line of work I’m involved in and my Franciscan values and heart for social justice, especially around food, but it connected with a layer of my own depth of admiration and respect for Michelle.

If you are looking to reminisce, be inspired, be empowered, feel encouraged, or just to not feel alone for a minute, this is a wonderful book and you should spend an hour or so reading it and revisiting it.

How To Be A Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis

This was an engaging memoir about the author resonating with different literary characters through adolescence into adulthood.

I enjoyed reading about parallels to believed or well-known characters and how she used their characteristics to become a stronger version of herself. However, this did read a bit indulgently.

If books and characters are deeply embedded in your personal identity and self-awareness, this may be worth checking out.

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

I am obsessed with this book and need to own it. It is physically hurting me to return it to the library because I loved it that much!

I really enjoy the voice and style Tsh uses to share her own and her family’s journey of traveling the world for a year, yet still living in the present and enjoying the small daily gifts around them.

It feels relational and endearing and aspiring and hopeful, yet vulnerable and honest too. I truly, deeply loved this one and already plan to read it again soon.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

This was a book I deeply related to. A small blue-collar town that rises and falls with it’s youth sports team is a familiar story in the various communities I’ve lived in, as well as being a familiar trope that I love in books, movies and TV shows. The way the town handled a sexual assault was what made this book different.

Each character was flawed and honest in their individual pains. The book explores relationships and asks what of and looks at how strong you have to be to stand up and say something. There is real character growth and development and I liked that it felt genuine.

While hard to read at times, I definitely think you should.

Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

This is a fun YA series about time travel, complicated family history and relationships, high school, and figuring out who is telling the truth. These books read quickly, have fun characters, and a quick glimpse at different times in history. If you’re looking for a light read, pick this series up!

What did you read in September?

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