How is it October already?! Not that I’m complaining, since Fall is the BEST. I’m here to share my reviews for the books I read in September. I tried to read books with a Fall theme, and ended up finishing 3 books. Check out my Fall reading list, and share your favorite Fall books in the comments below!
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Fall Reading List
Note: I purposely don’t share many details of the plots, so as not to spoil anything for you. : )
The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton
Plot: The Miniaturist opens in Autumn 1686 in Amsterdam, where 18 year-old Nella arrives at her new home to begin her life with her new, much older husband Johannes. He is a wealthy merchant trader, and Nella has glamorous expectations of what her new life with be.
Johannes is kind but distant, always working, and leaving Nella with his prickly sister Marin. But when Johannes presents Nella with the unusual wedding gift of a cabinet-sized replica of her new home, her world opens up. She employs the services of a local ‘miniaturist’ to furnish her doll house, who seems to know much more about Nella’s house and fate than she does.
My review: I chose this book because the plot was intriguing, and PBS was going to air a miniseries based on it. I just love watching movies based on books. I’m ALWAYS disappointed by the movie versions, but I just can’t help myself.
I really enjoyed The Miniaturist. The characters live in a world so different from our own, which was fascinating to me.
The story was captivating and a nice change from my usual domestic thriller picks. It was a darker read than I anticipated, and definitely more suspenseful.
I did feel like the author didn’t flesh out certain plot points enough, and definitely could have done the ending differently. And it didn’t have as much of a Fall feel as I’d hoped. The Prologue was unnecessary and confusing, so feel free to skip it.
If you think the plot sounds interesting, I think you should give this book a try. Maybe mostly because I want to talk about it with someone (hehe).
I give it 4 out 5 stars.
If you want to skip the book but watch the PBS series, you can watch it here. I liked the book better than the miniseries, to no one’s surprise.
The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman
Plot: Samantha always felt trapped growing up on her family’s apple orchard in Northern Michigan. She didn’t want to take over the orchard or pie shop business, and left for New York City to become a pastry chef right after high school.
But life as an under-appreciated and overworked sous chef to a jerk boss is not the life Sam dreamed of. After quitting her job out of utter frustration, she humbly returns home, and discovers more about her family than she ever expected.
My review: I chose The Recipe Box because it takes place in Michigan and it sounded like a cozy story. I assumed that it would take place during the Fall, since it was about an apple orchard, but it was mostly set during the summer. It did live up to my cozy expectations though.
The writing style was not sophisticated, but I enjoyed the story very much. It was not nearly as shallow as I first expected.
Each chapter ended with a baked good recipe. Too bad it didn’t have a scratch and sniff component.
I thought this was a sweet and touching story about family history and connections. It wasn’t overly deep, and parts of it were cheesy, but I’m ok with that.
If you like reading family stories or books about baking, then The Recipe Box is for you. I think it might make you want to travel to Michigan, too.
I’m giving it 4.1 out of 5 stars.
When We Fall by Emily Liebert
Plot: Allison, a young widow, returns to her home town from New York City with her 10-year old son to focus on her art career. Allison meets Charlotte, a woman who seems to have it all, but there are issues lying under her perfect facade. Charlotte wants to befriend Allison, but seeing her life through Allison’s eyes makes her question everything she knows.
My review: I wanted to read When We Fall because I really enjoyed Liebert’s other books, Those Secrets We Keep and You Knew Me When. Her books are always good stories of female friendships. I also chose it a little bit based on the lovely cover, and the fact that it takes place during Autumn.
I didn’t enjoy When We Fall as much as the author’s other two books. None of her stories are particularly deep, but they do have more layers than other ‘fluff’ books in the genre. This one has a cozy feel, with some romantic components. It also deals with envy, competition, and forgiveness, which are often issues within female friendships.
Honestly, I had hoped to enjoy this book more than I did, but I have no regrets reading it. I will happily read any other book that Liebert writes, and definitely recommend all 3 of her books for those who enjoy light, chick-lit style books.
I give it 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Did Not Finish
Since I loved the Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris, I thought I’d try her Sookie Stackhouse books. It was the basis for the HBO show True Blood, and I hoped to read the book series and then watch the show. The Fall and Halloween season seemed like as good a time as any to start it.
I had a hard time getting into the first book, Dead Until Dark. Since I had made the decision a while ago not to force myself to finish books I’m not enjoying, I may call it quits. There are just too many other great books to read, and my ‘To Be Read’ book list is already never-ending.
I wasn’t particularly wowed by any of the books I read in September, but did like them for the most part. I am still majorly on the lookout for Fall books to read. If you know of any, please let me know in the comments below!
It would have been really nice to read more than 3 books last month, so I’m going to work on reading more often in October. I did reach my goal of reading 40 books like last year, but I’d love to get to 50 books for 2018.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading!
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Please leave your Fall and Halloween book recommendations below!