Penny's Passion: What I Read in September

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

What I Read in September

Hello there!  Thanks for popping into Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Today I'm thinking about the books I read in September.

I've gotten into the habit of talking about what books I read for the month on the first Thursday of the following month.  It blew my mind when I realized it was time to recap my September reading!  It seems like only a few days ago I was talking about what I'd read in August and, here we are, talking about September already.  

In September I finished five books, which for me is pretty darn good.  My reading time consists of the few minutes before I can't keep my eyes open before I go to bed and the occasional weekends when I cocoon in my favorite reading nook and settle in with my book.  So five books in one month, excellent! Let's see what they were ~

We were covering two books in my library book club in September and the first one was The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History.  This is one of those books that if it wasn't assigned in book club I would have never picked it up.  Can't say I loved it, but it was an okay book.  I actually listened to this one on Audible, so I was definitely multitasking while it was playing.  It could be a nice gift for the history buff in your life.  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
A captivating account of how Theodore Roosevelt’s lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement and determined his legacy as a founding father of today’s museum naturalism.

No U.S. president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than is Theodore Roosevelt—prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist. We think of him as a larger-than-life original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde has firmly situated Roosevelt’s indomitable curiosity about the natural world in the tradition of museum naturalism.

As a child, Roosevelt actively modeled himself on the men (including John James Audubon and Spencer F. Baird) who pioneered this key branch of biology by developing a taxonomy of the natural world—basing their work on the experiential study of nature. The impact that these scientists and their trailblazing methods had on Roosevelt shaped not only his audacious personality but his entire career, informing his work as a statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationship to this country’s wilderness.

Drawing on Roosevelt’s diaries and travel journals as well as Lunde’s own role as a leading figure in museum naturalism today, The Naturalist reads Roosevelt through the lens of his love for nature. From his teenage collections of birds and small mammals to his time at Harvard and political rise, Roosevelt’s fascination with wildlife and exploration culminated in his triumphant expedition to Africa, a trip which he himself considered to be the apex of his varied life.

With narrative verve, Lunde brings his singular experience to bear on our twenty-sixth president’s life and constructs a perceptively researched and insightful history that tracks Roosevelt’s maturation from exuberant boyhood hunter to vital champion of serious scientific inquiry.

The second book for book club was Trevor Noah Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.  Interesting story!  I wish I would have listened to this one because Trevor Noah was the reader.  Did you hear that he's stepping down as the host of The Daily Show?  I'm interested to see what he does next.  Here's the summary of his book ~
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Next up is Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  This was another one I listened to and loved it!  Loved both the book and listening to it.  Just like Reid's Daisy Jones & the Six, the audible version has multiple people reading which makes the story come to life.  Carrie Soto is a tennis player trying to make a comeback.  If you've read Taylor Jenkins Reid's Malibu Rising, you might remember that Carri Soto is the rather controversial character from that book.  Honestly, I didn't connect those dots until I read a review.  Here's the summary of Carrie Soto is Back ~
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.

My quest to read everything Colleen Hoover continued with my reading Verity.  OMG - I could not put this book down!  Loved it!  The book I read didn't have the extra chapter that was just released and I'm dying to read that now too.  Amazon summarizes it like this ~
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of the night her family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents could devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue loving her.

I just finished Luckiest Girl Alive as the curtain was coming down on September and thought it was pretty good too.  What prompted me to read this one was the fact that I saw the film was coming out on Netflix on October 7 and I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie.  It's starring a couple of my favorites - Mila Kunis and Connie Britton.  The film is being directed by Mike Barker who did work on The Handmaid's Tale.  But back to the book - here's the summary ~
As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Now it's your turn.  Link up and share!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Hi Penny. Sounds like some interesting books. Thanks so much for hosting. I linked up with #1 HAVE THEY LOST THEIR MINDS? Also, I’d like to invite you to linkup at some of my link parties.

  2. Nice reads. Thanks for sharing hem with us.

  3. Thanks for hosting! I LOVE seeing reading wrap ups and most of these are on my TBR! I've been reading mysteries for the fall and books off my shelves for my Bookshelves of Joy project/reading challenge.

  4. I've read a lot of Taylor Jenkins Reid books and I have her latest book and I can't wait to read it. I would like to read Verity also. I have the book by Trevor Noah as my daughter had to read the book for college and now I am inspired to read it too.