Apparently I like to either overpredict and underdeliver or underpredict and almost deliver. In August I read only four of the books on my TBR; in September I read all but one. (I suppose I shouldn’t count The Priory of the Orange Tree among the books finished since I’m still where I was on Sunday, but the statement stands.) I’m actually mildly surprised at how much I managed to read this month, especially considering I spent the better part of the month working on books two and three of Trilogía Victoriana, which were enormous. Chunky chunksters ftw, amirite?

September Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
  2. The Strange Task Before Me: Being an Excerpt from the Journal of William J. Upton – Sean Gibson
  3. Opium and Absinthe – Lydia Kang
  4. The Lost World: Being an Account of the Recent Amazing Adventures of Professor E. Challenger – Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. The Map of the Sky – Félix J. Palma
  6. The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells
  7. The Book of Night Women – Marlon James
  8. The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
  9. The Map of Chaos – Félix J. Palma
  10. Fangs – Sarah Andersen
  11. Girls Made of Snow and Glass – Melissa Bashardoust
  12. How Much of These Hills Is Gold – C Pam Zhang

Total Pages Read: 4,065


The end of September was weird. I read Girls Made of Snow and Glass, which was wonderful and inspiring and not in any way depressing, though the romance drove me nuts, and then I read How Much of These Hills Is Gold, which was……………really disturbing. I don’t know how else to describe it. Beautiful, disturbing, destructive, heartwrenching, thought-provoking? It was all of these things. There’s going to be a full review later, but I’m not mentally ready to write it just this minute because I have so much to think about. It’s one of those books that’s kind of a slow burn: I didn’t really know what to make of it while I was reading it, but it’s been creeping up on me since I finished it at 1:45 this morning and I think I’m going to have to add it to my running list of faves. Like The Book of Night Women, it was written unconventionally, but the language was so good. I may have forgotten a lot of what I’ve read this year, but this is one book that’s going to stick with me.

In other news, my ongoing diversity project got way off track, which is what happens when I go off script and start reading books I wasn’t planning to read. I think next year it’ll be easier to keep on track, partly because I’ve now finished the trilogy I wasn’t originally planning to read but also because I’ll be starting from scratch instead of trying to revise several years’ worth of bad habits in the space of a handful of months. I’m really looking forward to reading more Asian authors. How Much of These Hills Is Gold speaks of a time and a place unfamiliar to me, but there were so many aspects that spoke to me as an Asian American who has never been to the motherland. It wasn’t exactly like reading about myself, but it was close. It was just so, so good.

October Reads

I’m trying not to let my ambition scamper off with my good sense, so I’ve decided to keep my October TBR to six books. To be fair to myself, I didn’t quite get to my entire September TBR because I got distracted chasing after other books that weren’t on the list, as I often do, but I don’t anticipate that being a problem in October. I say that every month, but this month I’m pretty sure it’ll be true.


The Poppy War + The Dragon Republic
R.F. Kuang
This got missed in September, but I really didn’t want to start another chunkster at the end of the month when I could just bump it over to the next month. The Poppy War books are getting top priority this month because the third book is coming out in November, and it is imperative that I read the first two before I lay hands on The Burning God. I’m within 208 pages of finishing The Priory of the Orange Tree, so these’ll have all my attention very shortly, though maybe I shouldn’t jump into the series just yet because I’m not done being disturbed by How Much of These Hills Is Gold.

Wicked + Son of a Witch
Gregory Maguire
Time for another buddy read with Lori! I love Wicked the musical but I’ve never actually read the book, which is a real pity because a friend gave me a gorgeous bound volume with both Wicked and Son of a Witch an embarrassing number of years ago. (Look, I was firmly in the throes of my tsundoku phase. I couldn’t really help it.) I read Mirror, Mirror probably about a decade ago and wasn’t impressed, but I’m hoping I’ll love Wicked because I really cannot understate how amazing the musical is.

Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I considered reading this in September, but then it occurred to me that it would be a perfect October read so I managed to refrain. I’ve heard great things about this book. I’m excited.

Christina Henry
Okay I’ll admit this isn’t on my 2020 TBR, but it sounded too good to pass up. I read The Girl in Red back in March and loved the story but didn’t love the writing, but I flipped through Alice before I bought it and didn’t notice any of the issues I had with Girl in Red. This is a spooky retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and I am so here for it.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
Olga Tokarczuk
This one was recommended by one of the friendly booksellers at the new Barnes & Noble. He saw me carting around a huge stack of books and added another one, for which I both bless and curse his name. Drive Your Plow is a murder mystery/fairy tale set in Poland, and it sounds fucking amazing.

Currently Reading

The Priory of the Orange Tree
Samantha Shannon
Lori and I have been slowly working our way through this monster. My journey, naturally, is chronicled under its own hashtag. When I first started the book every other thought boiled down to What the fuck?, but I’ve really been getting into it the more I read. I’m not sure if the book is actually getting better or if it’s just Stockholm Syndrome.

Adulthood Is a Myth + Big Mushy Happy Lump
Sarah Andersen
I read Fangs the day it arrived on my doorstep and promptly ordered the two Andersen books I didn’t have. I’m not sure why I didn’t buy these earlier, considering how much I loved Herding Cats (which, incidentally, is #3 in the Sarah’s Scribbles series and I literally have no idea how my brain works sometimes), but I’ve fixed that now. These are going to be my Day One ego-boosting reads because I’ve been such a frazzled mess lately that taking a day off reading what I usually read to settle down with a couple of adorable comic books seems like a really good idea, especially since How Much of These Hills Is Gold destroyed me last night.

Miscellaneous Reading News

I’ve been feeling more motivated lately, and have decided to take another shot at posting once a week. I said this at the beginning of the year, but I’ve managed to build up a collection of draft posts and it’s occurred to me that reviews don’t have to be posted immediately after being written, so I might actually be able to pull this off this time. It helps that I’ve pulled in older reviews I posted on goodreads and/or other blogs; I can use those to pad out the weeks I don’t have content. We’ll see how this goes!

Random Ass Food News to Justify the Featured Image

Last Saturday I decided it was Korean curry fried chicken day. If every day wants to become Korean curry fried chicken day, FYI, you sure won’t see me complaining.

And I also picked up a big bag of Reese’s Pieces and a box of brownie mix because I am a child. Bring on October!!!

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