September 2021 Reading Wrap Up

My September 2021 reading wasn’t as great as my August reading, but I’m pretty happy with it. Reason being, I got to a majority of the books on my September 2021 TBR, if not got through all of them. And that, I think, is pretty nice. I spoke about all the books I read in September in my September 2021 Reading Wrap Up video that went up yesterday on my YouTube channel. Do go check it out and while you’re at it, subscribe to my channel, perhaps? :D`

I read 10 books in September 2021. While some were BAD, some were books that I absolutely enjoyed and became the month’s favorites. Basically, my September reading, as you’ll see was a mixed bag that I completely enjoyed rattling around and reading. Does that make sense? It did in my head. 😛

But yes, let’s go right ahead and let me share my September 2021 reading wrap up with you. 🙂

A quick reminder before you scroll: if you find any of the books in this blog post interesting and would like to buy them, then please use my Amazon Affiliate links mentioned below. This is only applicable for users in India. 🙂

#1 – You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Oh, what a fabulous book this is! I was crashing towards a reading slump and this book saved me. This book is an example of why I love young adult books. They’re fxckin awesome!

You Should See Me in a Crown is the story of Liz Lighty, who is a queer black girl who wants to go to university, but she knows that her family’s situation isn’t that great. Her grandparents are run to the ground monetarily and she wants to do something to make sure that her university dreams aren’t a burden on them. So when she finds out that winning prom queen at her school has a scholarship attached, she decides to throw her name into the ring. And when her friendship with who is supposed to be a rival blossoms, things become a little complicated. But what follows is an absolutely beautiful account of how Liz finds more of herself as well as how her relationships with the people around her evolve.

Ah! This book has my heart! It has fun, love, friendship, humanity, strength, power, and so much more that is amazing to say the least. Highly recommend!

Link to buy the book: You Should See Me in a Crown

#2 – Recipes for Life by Sudha Menon

A nonfiction book in which multiple Indian celebrities or personalities share their memories of food and their relationship with food, this book is a warm nostalgic embrace. It’s helpful, especially to people like me who don’t like cooking, because combining nostalgia and emotions will most likely make me want to do some cooking, however bad my food may turn out to be in the end. If you’re looking for a book that will make you revisit your memories, make you feel closer to some of the most renowned Indian personalities, and make you want to cook up a storm, then this is one you should take into consideration.

Link to buy the book: Recipes for Life.

#3 – The Stationery Shop of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

This was the Subscriber Pick for the month of August 2021 as well as the book club pick for the Bookbound Club.

The Stationery Shop of Tehran is a love story set in the politically turbulent Iran of 1953. Roya and Bahman meet in Tehran’s most famously cosy stationery shop and thus starts a saga of love that’s heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure. In the midst of the riots to overthrow the Prime Minister and enabling the rise of the monarchical Shah, Roya waits for Bahman at Sepah Square, but he doesn’t turn up. Both move on in their lives, but their hearts and minds are still with each other. Decades pass and finally, Roya has the chance to find out why Bahman didn’t make it to the square. What will the answer be? Will it break her heart? Or will it restore it?

I did a full reading vlog and review for this book as part of my Subscriber Pick list and we also had a great in-depth discussion for it as part of the Bookbound Club. I’ve linked both videos at the relevant places if you’d like to go check them out. 🙂

Link to buy the book: The Stationery Shop of Tehran.

#4 – Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Of late, thrillers aren’t being kind to me. I’m finding them obnoxious, draggy, and unnecessarily repetitive, and Bring Me Back is one such book. The reason why I picked it was because I had quite liked Behind Closed Doors by the author and thought that this would probably be on those lines. But nuh-uh.

This is the story of Finn and Layla, who are in love. But when Layla disappears on their way back from a holiday, Finn goes into a depressive spiral. She is never found, even though the police is constantly on the alert. Twelve years go by and now, Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Which isn’t a great thing on its own, but now, Layla seems to be making a comeback and his life with Ellen seems to be throwing up all over the place. Also, that last twist is shockingly gross and comeuppances are too little, too late, or unfair.

I was just so annoyed that I stayed up all night reading this book. I went on a mini Instagram story rant about the book and its grossness and may have gone a little overboard with my anger, but good Lord in heaven, I also think that this plot deserves it. Yeungh!

Link to buy the book (don’t, please): Bring Me Back

#5 – Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune is the master of writing warm, loving, righteous stories that will settle within you and send up all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings through your veins. The House in the Cerulean Sea was like that and now, Under the Whispering Door, too! I was part of the Instagram tour for this book with Pan Macmillan India and ah! I was and still am super-duper excited for having been part of it and having been able to read it at all.

This is the story of Wallace Price, who is a ginormous a-hole, if ever there was one. He thinks he’s above all, but he soon discovers that he’s not above death. A Reaper collects him from his funeral and deposits him in a tea shop that houses a couple of ghosts, the Reaper herself, and Hugo, the ferryman, who helps souls cross over to whatever awaits them on the other side. Wallace learns more about life in death than he ever had alive. But he now has a deadline. He has to cross over in seven days or things are going to turn disastrous. What will Wallace Price do?

This is a good, healthy, warm reminder of what life is and what death must be seen as, and it made me heavily emotional in so many ways, I can’t even begin to explain. I’d highly recommend this one! It’s absolutely wonderful!

Link to buy this book: Under the Whispering Door

#6 – The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Another wonderful, wonderful book which I’m so glad to have read with my DramaQueenAThon book club. This is the story of Mukesh, who, in a bid to connect with his bookworm granddaughter, goes to the library, hoping to read and find something in common. There he meets Aleisha, who’s working there just to get through the summer. And these two disparate humans form a connection and a tiny book club, reading and recommending books to each other.

Books about books are always going to be auto-buys and auto-reads to me, and this one was so apt, with us reading it for our book club and having a long discussion about it. There’s so much that warrants discussing, too, what with Mukesh’s very Indian life becoming complicated, and Aleisha’s familial life being devastatingly close to tatters. Plus, all the talk and description of Gujarati food had me drooling, too. LOVE!

Link to buy the book: The Reading List.

#7 – Oddball by Sarah Andersen

Here’s what I wrote on Goodreads about this book, which I think pretty much sums up my feelings about the book and Sarah Andersen:

I’m 87% convinced Sarah Andersen made this comic collection, Oddball, based on me. I mean, another set of hilarious, highly relatable, amazing comics that I nod vigorously along to? How is that even possible? She goes from talking about millennials to Gen Z to artists to authors to cats to dogs to plants to friends – oh, I could go on for ages! Every single page – even the cat pages – are relatable to me. (I’m the cat, really.) These will instantly make you laugh and make your day. 100%!

Someday I’m going to own all of Sarah Andersen’s comics in physical format, but until then, I’ll read them however I can, trying very hard not to spit out my beverage onto the screen because how I’m constantly CACKLING at how hilarious these are! So basically the lesson is, read these comics while you’re not eating or drinking because otherwise, they will choke you with their hilarity!

(I’m cringing at the number of exclamations, but that just reinforces my recommendation, so I’m okay with it. :P)

The book releases on 30th November, 2021. I got to read this as an ARC through Netgalley and I can’t thank NG enough!

#8 – Atomic Habits by James Clear

If there was one book you HAD to read among all of these, I would tell you to read this one. Like a friend said, this book reinforces many things we already know, but put in a manner that makes you want to implement them, pronto. Self-help usually makes me want to rip my brain out, put it in a grinder, reassure it that it will get better, and put it back in. But this book does not make me want to do that. James Clear has done a great job in writing a nonfiction, self-help book that doesn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall. Instead, it is easy to read and as I read it, motivated me to become better, one baby step at a time.

I will be doing a video review of this book for members of my YouTube channel soon. I should have done this in August, but better late than never, hey?

Link to buy the book: Atomic Habits.

#9 – The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

One of the most annoying books I’ve read of late, my opinion is that The Wife Between Us is an absolute travesty in the name of thrillers. It drags, it talks in circles, it is repetitive to the point of wanting to throw your gadgets against a wall (and smash your head against the said wall, while you’re at it), and swear to every God that exists that you will face anything She puts against you if it means that you won’t have to read a book like this again. Okay, that’s harsh.

But then again, when the main characters are complete nutjobs, each in their own ways, and when the story normalizes such behaviour as they resort to, all I can say is this. There is no reason why you should put in stuff like this in a book. If it was a show of oh, I don’t know, ‘this is reality and you have to accept that’, I would probably have accepted that. But when combined with the entirety of it all, I’d say oh hell to the no. Sorry, I don’t seem to make any sense here. I will take some time and come up with a rant review of the book, though. Keep watching this space!

Link to buy the book (I hope you don’t buy this. Go buy others that are great): The Wife Between Us.

#10 – The Heart Asks Pleasure First by Karuna Ezara Parikh

It took me over 2 months to read this book, even though I loved the lyrical writing. Or maybe it was because of that that I was scared to pick it back up. That, and the fact that this book an inter-religious, inter-national love story between an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim that made me hold off while hoping that stereotypes wouldn’t creep in and make this another of those books. Because I hate to be disappointed in books. Who doesn’t? And that happened quite a bit this month.

The Heart Asks Pleasure First is the story of Daya, who is studying dance at university and Aaftab, who is practicing in a law firm. Their paths cross and they are hurtling headfirst into love. But they know that their religions and nationalities aren’t going to allow them to live in peace. Yet, they can’t help but be attracted to each other, like moths to a flame. What is going to happen to these star-crossed lovers? How are they going to deal with the world and its shades of madness?

While the book took me a while to get into, it did get pretty smooth sailing after a bit. And though the lyrical writing was a huge plus, I did find some things to be pretty stereotypical. Making the lives of the people of one religion just about their religion while the other is free to pursue everything they dream of, is a stereotype that the author wanted to subvert, but ends up reinforcing. But I must say that despite all this, what happens in there is sadly a reflection of reality, and we do need these reality checks once in a while. So either way, I would recommend this one.

Link to buy the book: The Heart Asks Pleasure First.

*          *          *          *          *

So that was my September 2021 reading wrap up. Which of these books have you read? Which ones did you like? Which ones did you not like? Which opinions do you agree on? Which opinions do you not agree on? Which books do you want to read? Will you be adding any to your TBR or your wishlist? Will you be buying any of these? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

If you’d like to buy any of these books, then please use my Amazon Affiliate links above. It would be of immense help to me!

I’ll see you in a new blog post soon.                                                                                        

Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😀

All pictures sourced from Amazon/Goodreads/publisher websites.

P.S. I had thought that a couple of the books on here would eff my September 2021 reading wrap up but then again, there were many others that made it loads better. So a win, all in all!

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