September Reads


Hi hi hi!

Happy Monday, all! At the end of every month, I share the books I’ve been reading. This month I had a super random assortment of books. Ha! I don’t know how I ended up with such a hodge-podge. They were all very different, but I enjoyed them all.

These reading posts are probably the most off-brand things that I write about on this food blog, but I love reading so much that I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing these monthly recaps. It has become a sort of accountability exercise for me; I know that I’ll share the books at the end of the month with y’all, so I stay inspired to research things to read, download them onto my kindle, and finish a book every week.

How do you stay inspired to read? I’ll be honest…lots of the time, starting a new book feels like work and I’d rather relax with a Netflix show. (And sometimes I do.) But once I get started with a new book, it is always, always worth it. I like the way that reading a variety of books challenges my mind, makes me see the world through someone else’s view, or just provides a good conversation starter in my day.

If you ever want get some reading inspiration, click on the reading tag to see all of my monthly recaps. You can also check out every book I read in 2018, 2017, and 2016.

1. Hunger by Roxane Gay

I finally got around to reading this one! It had been on my list for a year or so. It’s powerful, made me feel sad and angry, and is a book that I’ll be recommending to lots of people.

Hunger is Roxann Gay’s memoir of her experience of being gang raped as a young girl and the resulting repercussions in her life. She has had a complicated relationship with food ever since she was raped, using it to make her body as big as possible so that she feels safe from men.

This is one of those books that I feel was important for me to read, not because I could relate her exact situation (I’ve never experienced the kind of sexual trauma that Roxanne did; it happened when she was so young and shaped her entire life.) But I feel that its important for me to be able to feel what she’s had to feel her entire life so that I can better understand and love people who are in a similar situation.

See it on Amazon here.

2. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Ok, so I had this fun idea: I’m going to try to read every book that has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the 21st century! (Here’s the entire list if you want to see what’s on it.) I’ve read All The Light We Cannot See, which was the 2015 winner, but other than that I’m pretty sure I haven’t read any others….yikes.

So I started with the 2000 winner: Interpreter of Maladies, a series of 9 short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. This is a really quick read (so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to read more “serious” fiction but feels intimidated by long books, haha!). Each story stands independently, but they’re all about contemporary Bengali/Indian immigrants. I was pulled into each story. I think it’s incredible when an author can make me relate to the characters in the story so quickly. A short story has so little time to capture the reader’s attention!

See it on Amazon here.

3. My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege 

I was at the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC last month. At the end of the museum, they have a bookstore full of SO many books about the Holocaust! I picked out one book to read in September and put many others on my reading list for the future.

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me is by Jennifer Teege, a black German woman who discovers that her grandfather was Amon Goth, the Nazi soldier who was called the “Butcher of Plaszow” and responsible for killing tens of thousands of Jews. The book is about her coming to terms with this life-altering fact in her adult years.

Here are my thoughts about this book: the main plot line of the book is spelled out in the subtitle. This is a about a horrific subject, and I always think that staying informed and learning to empathize with others is a good thing. But…honestly, this was not a terribly gripping read. I’m glad that Jennifer could write it as a way for her to process this huge change in her personal history, but as a reader, I didn’t learn very much.

I think the most powerful thing that stuck with me is how every action has a reaction, and it can last for generations, centuries, even across countries and oceans.

See it on Amazon here.

4. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This is, quite possibly, the most “chick-lit-y” book I’ve ever read! It’s basically a romance novel. Ha. There’s very little substance to this book except that it’s a sweet and sexy love story, and it’s a great book to toss in your beach tote and read while sipping a pina colada by the pool.

Two people get stuck in an elevator: he’s a cute doctor who needs a date to a wedding he’s attending that weekend, and she’s a cute Mayor’s Chief of Staff who happens to be free. The wedding weekend ends up being way more fun that either anticipated, but they live in opposite ends of California and both have big, fulfilling careers. Oh, and he’s afraid of commitment.

Not a lot of substance here, folks! But if you need a quick vacation read, add this one to your Amazon cart.

See it on Amazon here.

Here’s some fun news: Nate and I are heading to London this week for our fall trip!! I am SO SO SO very excited. I haven’t been this excited for a trip in a long time! London was our first international trip we ever took together (back in fall of 2015), and I’ve been dying to get back ever since.

I’ll still be posting on the blog and instagram from time to time while I’m away. And then when we get back, it’s already time for ACL fest. Fall is just so exciting!!

Talk soon. Thanks for stopping by today!

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Emily Abernathy
5 years ago

Have such a great trip! I cannot wait to read about it (or hear about it – we need to plan another walk soon!). I’m always impressed with not only the amount of books you read each month, but the wonderful variety! I’ve been wanting to read Hunger for a while – it sounds like I should soon!

5 years ago

I recently bought Hunger (at that cute independent book store in UT) – hoping to read it soon!

5 years ago

I was just in London in May and since you’re such a foodie, you should find time to check out the East London food tour from Eating Europe. It’s a great walk through unknown London history and you get a taste of all the traditional London food!

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