Ok, so I think I’ve realized that my titles for these book review posts are a little off. I usually post the review at the end of a month. Obviously you won’t be reading the books that month since there are only a few days before the next month. My August Book Review posted on August 30 is really your book recommendations for September. So if I’m posting with the expectation that you’ll be reading them the following month, should the post title reflect that? I’m not even sure anymore and I probably need more sleep! So let’s call this your August/September Book Edit and maybe you all can provide me some clarity before next month’s post!
What to Read – September 2019
Summer vacation season may be winding down, but your summer reading list should still be going strong. And then carry it right into back to school season, and then into fall and we can all cozy up with a good read.
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
Fancying a hot summer romance? Pick up Alisha Rai’s latest, The Right Swipe, featuring former football player Samson Lima and Rhiannon Hunter, founder and CEO of Crush, a wildly successful dating app. As with Rai’s other books, both characters are incredibly well developed outside of their central relationships to each other.
Rhiannon is on a mission to conquer the world of online dating – especially since her abusive ex is at the head of her main competitor, Swype. In order to do that, she wants to acquire the aging grand dame of dating sites – Matchmaker. She also is battle scarred by aforementioned relationship, and struggles to trust men.
Samson walked off the football field in protest of treatment of players with head injuries five years ago, leaving behind a lucrative career and family legacy. He’s spent those last five years caring for his uncle – also a football player, suffering from ALS – and hiding out from the backlash from his actions. After his uncle’s death, he begins to emerge from his isolation to discover that his stance is now being (mostly) applauded.
And how do these two come together? There’s some past history between them – a brief fling that ended with Samson ghosting Rhi (for good reason, as it turns out). But it just so happens that Samson is the nephew of the eccentric owner of Matchmaker, and she’s picked Samson to be the public face of the company for an advertising segment. Rhiannon soon discovers that working with Samson in her bid to win Matchmaker is not nearly so unpleasant as she feared it might be….
Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae
If you need a murder mystery without the stress of your typical mystery… If you need an easygoing, fun story about four women moving from the MidWest to western Scotland to open a bookshop… then Plaid and Plagiarism is just for you. Obviously a murder mystery taking place in Scotland immediately caught my attention!
After Janet discovers that her husband is cheating on her, she divorces him, demanding their house in Inversgail, Scotland. She and her best friend Christine, originally from Scotland, along with Janet’s daughter and friend decide to buy Yon Bonnie Bookstore to turn it into a bookshop, tea room, and bed & breakfast (I’d totally stay there)!
When Janet goes to check in on her new house she finds it destroyed with trash and…. the town’s pushy columnist dead in her garden shed! The four ladies try to solve the murder mystery themselves all while ingratiating themselves into the small tight knit community, figuring out how to run a bookstore, and learning to work together in their brand new home.
This is a slower paced story (and if you don’t have a 2 month old, probably a fast read). It’s great for picking up to read a page or two. And I’ve already started the second book of the series, Scones and Scoundrels.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
Jia Tolentino’s new collection of essays, Trick Mirror, dwells upon the pervasive influence of late-stage capitalism on nearly every facet of modern American life. Tolentino, a staff writer covering culture for the New Yorker, brings together nine pieces that cover everything from the way the internet generation (millennials and younger) has forced us to perform, constantly, for an audience of our peers, to the wedding circuit run by middle class twenty-somethings.
Those are the first and last essays. In between you’ll find writing on drugs and evangelical churches, literary heroines, Tolentino’s experiences on a teen reality show and at the University of Virginia, feminism and ideal womanhood. Her skill at turning the personal essay into wide-ranging meditations on the state of the world makes these an absolute delight to read, as does her witty prose.
The central theme of all of these essays addresses how we come to know ourselves, to create our self, in the midst of the cultural onslaught. For Tolentino, writing is the answer: “When I feel confused about something, I write about it until I turn into the person who shows up on paper: a person who is plausibly trustworthy, intuitive, and clear.” But is this an act of authenticity, or self-deception? Tolentino leaves it up to the reader to decide.