Recently Read! (September 2021)

I’m sharing a few more recently read books from 2021!
As I continue to catch up, here are my September reads.
Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear what you thought!

The Restoration of Celia Fairchild (Marie Bostwick)
Celia goes through tremendous life changes, from the makeup of her family, to her career, a big move, and more. As she restores the home that has been left to her by her estranged aunt, she also changes and discovers who she is and what she wants from her life. There’s heartache and hope, community and introspection. Overall, a really wonderful read!

Tiny Imperfections (Alli Frank & Asha Youmans)
Josie is the admissions director of a private school in San Francisco, which also happens to be the same school her 17-year-old daughter, Etta, attends. Josie wants to keep her daughter from making the same mistakes she did, while Etta, together with a mentor, her aunt, and a cast of colourful characters all try to get Josie out of her comfort zone and to not let her past dictate Etta’s future. I loved how the storyline addresses different generations so seamlessly and how strong each of the women are in their respective ways!

This Time Next Year (Sophie Cousens)
Minnie and Quinn were born on the same day – January 1st! From literally the moment they were each born, their lives have intersected and often, unknowingly, affected one another. Minnie blames Quinn for the life she sees as one giant mess, while Quinn doesn’t necessarily have it so easy, regardless of how his life looks on the outside. A great read as we head into a new year, and an important reflection of what we do with the cards we are dealt as well as taking responsibility for ourselves.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars (Kristin Harmel)
This was a *very* different historical read than I’m used to! I was absolutely enthralled by the story line and couldn’t put it down. There’s a mystical element and a look into the Holocaust and Second World War that was startling. The writing was so powerful, you could almost feel the cold in the forest and the fear that was inherent in every movement. After being kidnapped as a young child, Yona finds herself on her own over a decade later, after having had no interactions with other people and having lived in the forest since her abduction. She feels a deep connection to Judaism and when she comes across a group fleeing into the forest, she goes against everything she knows and approaches them. The community they establish, the heartache, fear, and lengths they go to, as well as a shocking twist, made this an excellent must-read!

Akin (Emma Donoghue)
Noah is a widow and retired professor who lives on his own. Social services contacts him when a great-nephew needs a home, and despite his reservations, he decides to help out. When it looks like there are no other options, Noah decides to take his great-nephew on a trip of a lifetime that he had been anticipating for so long and ultimately wasn’t prepared to cancel. Returning to Nice for the first time since fleeing as a child during the Second World War, the discoveries and adventures they both find themselves a part of is both moving and powerful.

The Dictionary of Lost Words
(Pip Williams)
This was such an interesting read! It starts in 1901 with the daughter of one of the men working on assembling the first dictionary, stealing a word! Reading of Esme’s journey through childhood, youth, and adulthood through the lens of the creation of the dictionary was fascinating! As she continued to take and find words for herself that had been discarded or forgotten, she began to create her very own dictionary alongside that of the Oxford English version her father so diligently worked on. I actually got out our dictionary a few times to look up different words and see if the definitions had changed at all as I read along! This was really fantastic and one of my favourites this month!

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