What I Read in September

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is badass. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of it, anyway. It’s a pretty traditional fantasy novel in a lot of ways, but the setting is based on Nigeria instead of the standard medieval Europe. Parts of the book were really gripping, and there were spots where my interest waned; it’s a little long and starts to feel repetitive by the end. There was definitely too much teen romance angst, too. I am looking forward to the movie, though.

Educated by Tara Westover is absolutely my favorite book I’ve read so far this year. It’s a disturbing story, but told gorgeously. I could not put it down, couldn’t start another book right after it, and didn’t want to listen to anything on my commute but all the author interviews I could find for a few days. Absolutely stunning.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was a good choice for just before a trip to Atlanta, since that’s where much of the novel is set. I’m beginning to think I might just be an especially impatient reader because, as with many other books recently, I was less compelled by this near the end. That might also be because a highlight of the book was the section of letters between the main characters, more toward the beginning. Jones did a beautiful job of balancing a personal, intimate story with the reality of mass incarceration and wrongful conviction. I am impressed any time an author can really get me to empathize completely with characters who are in conflict with one another, and she does that flawlessly. (I keep thinking that I would hate the dolls Celestial makes, though. All dolls are creepy and bad.)