September Reading Wrap Up ’22

How the HELL did I read so many books this month? It’s actually slightly ridiculous, but I suppose it’s a good thing to balance out the birthday books coming next month! w Overall I read nineteen books. 19. How? How?! I really don’t know, but here we are. I had an amazing month. Not complaining! I also managed to actually read my whole tbr within these books too, so overall I’m really pleased.

Now. Let’s dive into these books and their mini reviews

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was my first finished book of the month. This 1122 page behemoth is one I was reading for the MiddleEarthAThon and I was finishing up the final 500ish pages at the start of the month. My full review is incredibly in depth, so I’ll just say that I enjoyed this and I’m glad I’ve finally read all of the Sherlock books!

Leading on from my first read, I picked up The Essential Sherlock Holmes Stories from Running Press Mini. This is essentially just a summary of the Holmes stories and is a cute little shelf decoration.

Fake Law by The Secret Barrister was my “non-fiction of the month” and whilst it was incredibly anger inducing, it was also really insightful. It’s a discussion on how the law operates in England and Wales (as this is where TSB works) and how the media picks up and spins tales around cases to create headlines. A fantastic read and one I highly recommend.

Going for something a little different, a middle grade! The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan is the second book in the Kane Chronicles which is his Ancient Egyptian series. I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first, oddly enough, and it’s definitely invigorated my desire to finish up the series. And maybe even finally picking up Percy Jackson!

Then I finished my audiobook, Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko which is a fantastic YA fantasy that I should have picked up a while ago! I adored the magic system in this book, as well as the character development. I’m super excited to pick up the second book in this duology!

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin was gifted to me by my uncle (who runs a page called On This Gay Day that you totally need to check out) and I truthfully didn’t think I would like it because it’s very much a slice of life style read. But I loved it? I’m so into these peoples lives and I’m 100% carrying on with the series because I need to stay with these characters!

Gothic vibes seemed appropriate as we moved into Autumn, and The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss fits the vibes perfectly. Retelling classic Victorian stories of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein, and more. This is a fantastical, gothical, historical, mystery and it’s so much fun. I’m excited to continue with this trilogy!

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy is one of the most hyped books right now, and seeing as I loved iCarly when I was a kid and the topic generally interests me? Well this was an obvious pick. It’s a rough read, but a very well written one and I’m glad I picked it up. This is one of my highest rated books of the month!

This month’s Goldsboro GSFF read was Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle, a Sci-Fi time travel read. This one was let down slightly because I was expecting more dinosaurs! There were less than 100 pages! But the mystery/time travel aspect of the book was so utterly fascinating that I can’t even complain that much. This book just needed to be longer!! Give me another 200/300 pages with the dinos in there and I’ll be happy.

Air Awakens by Elise Kova is a book I listened to via audiobook and hooooo boy did I not enjoy this one. It had so much potential in its plot and the magic system that Kova has created. But it’s completely ruined by the pining love story going on that takes centre stage. Very much not my sort of read.

Another audiobook, but a very different vibe, No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg is a collection of her speeches to various organisations, reminding those in power that climate change is reaching irreversible levels and what we will lose. Very short (like 100 pages/1.5 hours) and a little repetitive, because it’s from different speeches. But good!

And then my final audiobook for the month which was Funny You Should Ask by the QI Elves. I love how they added in sound effects for this audiobook, it really added that something extra. A fun non-fiction with lots of random, quite interesting, facts!

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby is a sci-fi book with great autism representation, and after reading it, I felt like it has such Murderbot vibes! I struggled to put this book down, it’s so so readable and I adored learning about the xeno-liason job our main character holds. I’m definitely grabbing the second one in this series!

Unfortunately, the next book wasn’t such a hit. Raging Star by Moira Young is the final book in the Dustland trilogy (with Blood Red Road as the first book). I… would have DNF’d this if it wasn’t the final book in the trilogy. The concepts in here were fab but Young just absolutely fails at writing and fleshing these out. Such a disappointment.

The first book in a duology, The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco, is just so good. This has fabulous worldbuilding, fascinating characters with fantastic development, and a great plot! I just wish it was made a little clearer which character’s POV we’re reading from when it switches. Super excited to finish this duology!

Then for a book I read all in one day, The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuka Natsukawa is the most fantastical Japanese cat book I’ve read. This one is actually a fantasy read, unlike many of the others I’ve read previously. I really enjoyed it! It’s not my favourite (The Travelling Cat Chronicles has my heart) but I did very much enjoy it. A book for readers as well as cat lovers.

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi is the prequel to Pet, and whilst I didn’t love this as much as I loved Pet – I still loved it. It gives us so much depth to this world and to Jam’s parents, as well as about some of the adults in Jam’s life! This is, in my opinion, one to definitely read after the book it prequels. You’ll get a lot more depth out of it then.

We’re technically at the last book I finished in September! My Name is Monster by Katie Hale was not what I expected from this book. A lot more about humanity and motherhood than about survival after a sickness. Despite that I did still think it was a good review. Something I think mothers would get a little more out of than I did.

And then I feel like I should mention Babel by R.F. Kaung. This will be short because I technically finished this on 1st October, but damn is this book good. It’s a slow, deep, and beautiful read.

And that’s what I managed to read in September! 6245 pages in total, which is just ridiculous. And I’ve gotten my physical tbr down to 101 books! (ugh if I’d just finished Babel it would’ve been 100!). Just in time for my tbr to jump up massively because of birthday gifts in October! 😅

What’s the best book you read in September? I’m really struggling to pick just one! But I’m Glad My Mom Died definitely has a high spot 💖

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, a review

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenette McCurdy has a title designed to shock and intrigue, and it does that well, but the content inside of the book lives up to the title. It’s a dark, humorous, and sad look into the life of an unwilling child star, one who a lot of us grew up with on kids channel Nickelodeon.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

As soon as I heard about this one, I knew I wanted to grab it. I had heard some about how Jennette’s life had been, but this title meant I knew I would learn so much more. This is an incredibly in depth memoir, Jennette doesn’t hold back. She talks about how her mother’s controlling attitude to Jennette’s stardom impacted her career and her life, as well as her body and her mental health. But she doesn’t shy away from the mistakes that she made herself, making her very human to the readers eyes and for me at least this heightened how much I could empathise with her.

Jennette’s mother wanted everything from her. She wanted her to be a best friend, an eternal child, she wanted to live vicariously through her in child stardom and to dress her up like a doll. Jennette learnt early on how to react to make sure her mother was happy, no matter her real emotions.

McCurdy mentions being discouraged from writing when she was younger, because her mum thought it would take her away from acting. I’m glad that this has been a breakout success because her writing is fantastic! I was completely engaged throughout this book, unable to put it down. I read it over two days, and even then only because I had to go to bed (it was 3am to be fair).

Whilst those of us who watched Jennette as a child star will find it really interesting to learn about the behind the scenes of iCarly, I think those who didn’t know about her stardom will also gain a lot from this book. It discusses child stardom and child abuse in a way that is not specific to that one show, and is something that we still need to think about in this day of TikTok and YouTube channels that are dedicated to children and run by their parents. How would McCurdy’s mum reacted to TikTok if she’d had Jennette now?

On CAWPILE I rated this: Credibility: 10, Authenticity: 9, Writing: 9, Personal impact, 9, Intrigue: 9, Informativeness: 9, and Enjoyment: 9, giving an average of 9.14 and a 5* rating.

I always include trigger warnings, but this book is very heavy so please do check these out before diving in (highlight them to read them, they’re hidden for those who really oppose any sort of spoiler): eating disorder, child abuse, death of parent, vomit, alcoholism, cancer, body shaming, mental illness, grief, panic attacks, addiction, sexual assault, gaslighting, fatphobia, domestic abuse, schizophrenia, self harm, adult/minor relationship, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, dysphoria, rape, paedophilia, infidelity, religious bigotry, stalking, ableism, homophobia, misogyny, abandonment, classism, confinement.

This is a dark book in places, and not a light-hearted read. Yet McCurdy manages to make her writing so engaging and so personal that the impact isn’t so rough on the reader. This is one of the best written memoirs I’ve ever read and I’m so glad I listened to the hype and picked this one up.

Are you going to read I’m Glad My Mom Died? And did you watch iCarly when you were younger? I used to love the show!!