September Reading List.

September Reading List - What to Read, September 2016 - Grace Atwood, The Stripe

Hi, my name is Grace and I really like to read. A lot. Possibly too much, if reading too much can be a thing? I am from the camp that people need to read more, but I may possibly be a dying breed. So, last month, I mentioned my disappointment that The Widow was a great read… but had no twist. I found the book enjoyable, but you just can’t call something “The Next Gone Girl,” if there is no plot twist. That’s just torture and mean, especially for those of us who like to get our adrenaline rush via the printed page. Fear not. This month, I picked up three realllllly good books (one of them recommended in the comments here)  both, having epic twists. Without further adieu, here’s what I read + loved this month.

Truly, Madly, Guilty is the latest from Liane Moriarty, one of my all-time favorite authors. Okay, hear me out. I have read all of her books and this is her worst one. But it’s still really good. I ended up really enjoying it, but it took me a very long time to really get into it. I had a hard time relating to the characters until the plot got juicy (which was about 40% through the book). That being said, I still liked it. It deals with three couples that hang out at a BBQ. Something terrible happens. You see how they all cope, then you find out what happens, then things get resolved, and you learn a few more juicy bits. Her portrayal of the relationships between both the couples and the female friends are very real. I just wish it didn’t take so long to get to the good part.

Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld, took me all of one day to read. Literally. It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon and I was supposed to be working on my blog. Instead, I was reading this. I couldn’t put it down. I just loved it so much. It’s a modern day telling of Pride & Prejudice which wasn’t particularly compelling to me, but I love the author’s work. She does such a great job describing the dynamic between families (especially sisters) and the love stor(ies) involved are also very raw and real. I had to know what happened next and kept reading right on through til the evening, which to me is the sign of a great book.

The Woman in Cabin 10 might be this summer’s big thriller (everyone I know is raving about it!) and I will say that it completely lived up to the hype (with a big twist… yes!) I will say that it’s extremely dark. I got to a point where I couldn’t read it before bed as I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep (I live by myself). But I loved it, everyone loved it, it’s kinda just mandatory that you read it to talk about it!

The Light Between Oceans will break your heart. It is a great book (and an older-ish one, though the paperback just came out) but I picked it up because I had been invited to an advanced screening of the movie, and I always read the book before seeing the movie. I wish I didn’t… it left me in tears. Then again, the movie is pretty heartbreaking as well.

We Were Liars really threw me. It’s a shorter book (and from the Young Adult section), and I only picked it up because one of you recommended it in July (THANK YOU, Marisa!) It started out so innocently, detailing a wealthy family’s charming existence on a family island off of Martha’s Vineyard. And then everything sort of just goes to hell, and there is this massive twist. I had the misfortune of reading it right before a party and was so distraught over the ending + twist and had no one to talk to about it!!!

The Girls was another reader recommendation and was so creepy! The actual plot isn’t something I would choose for myself (it deals with a Northern California cult in the sixties and a murder). What stood out to me about this one is the way it was written. The author, Emma Cline, has a really beautiful way with words – you’d never believe it was her first novel.

I Let You Go was sent to me by the publisher after last month’s reading list and oh my gosh I am so glad they did. It was funny and thoughtful of them – the publicist noticed my disappointment in The Widow (also one of their books) and said that based upon my feelings there, I absolutely had to this! Anyway… it really kept me on my toes with one crazy twist and then another. The first twist is in the middle and completely threw me off my game. The second came later. I highly, highly recommend this. As I write this, I wish I could re-read it. If you loved Gone Girl and/or all of the Liane Moriarty books as much as I did, you will love this! Order immediately.

PS – Want more? Check out my June, July, + August reading lists! And as always, let me know what you are reading in the comments. Please! I don’t want to beg or anything but I really love your recommendations and usually find myself spending a million dollars on Amazon based upon the comments section of this post.

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  1. Judy Shappley says 9.8.16

    Yes, The Woman in Cabin Ten was great and I love all of Liane Moriarty’s books. Kate Morton is another good Australian writer. I especially recommend The Secret Keeper. I am NEVER without a book!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Everyone keeps telling me to read Kate Morton! She is officially at the top of my list. Thank you Judy!!

  2. Sam says 9.8.16

    I also love “dark and twisty” books (if you haven’t read A Secret History add it to your list), but read When Breath Becomes Air this summer and could not put it down. Be warned to have some tissues nearby but it’s an inspiring and beautiful memoir about life and what gives it meaning. A must read.

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Thank you so much Sam – going to add those to my list! x

  3. Briana says 9.8.16

    I just went to see The Light Between Oceans and had that moment where you’re trying so hard not to weep that your makeup ends up getting in your eyes so you cry anyway. Although, have to say that all of the cozy sweaters and goats and beautiful scenery were enough to make up for the tears.

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Totally agree. The scenery was incredible!!!

      • Victoria McGinley says 9.8.16

        You guys might like this funny little article from Vulture on the best knitwear from the movie. Can I shop the cast wardrobe, please? http://www.vulture.com/2016/08/light-between-oceans-best-knitwear-cardigans-blankets-caps-sweaters-vikander-fassbender.html

        (PS – I flipping loved that book.)

        • Too funny, while I was watching I kept thinking how much I loved her clothes and would basically want to wear them all today, which was funny since it’s a period movie. They looked sort of modern to me but still worked for the time period. The costume designer did an amazing job.

          • graceatwood says 9.8.16

            OMG I totally agree- felt like it was all very Isabel Marant/SEA. Totally my jam 😉

        • graceatwood says 9.8.16

          Thank you so much for sharing this, lady! I would like it all, please! 🙂 🙂

  4. Marta says 9.8.16

    I love reading! I love books and I’m so glad my mum works at the public library because everytime I go there I take about 3 books home haha I’ve been wanting to read We Were Liars for a while but I haven’t really gotten myself to get it. I better get myself to do it now!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Aw I hope you do – it’s a great book!

  5. Abby says 9.8.16

    I second what the comment below about Kate Morton – I love her book the Forgotten Garden (and have read her other two!) One of my favorite books is The Distant Land of My Father – it’s weirdly not hugely popular but it’s SO GOOD! Also, you have to read Chanel Bonfire – it’s one of my favorites!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      I can’t wait to read her stuff!! Thank you, Abby! xx

  6. Emily says 9.8.16

    I am so impressed that you read that many books in one month – I always get sucked into terrible TV before bed instead of reading (definitely need to change that!).

    I loved ‘I Let You Go’ as well – definitely didn’t see either of the twists coming! I’m reading The Girls right now and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m one of those people who has to finish a book I’ve started so I’ll wait until I finish to really decide.

    I love these posts because my Goodreads list can never be long enough. Thanks for sharing!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      It’s actually a little bit crazy. I got into a bad/good(?) habit of spending summer Sundays reading… and on a lot of those Sundays I would read an entire book! Oops! I’m so glad you liked I Let You Go as much as I do!! xx

  7. Alyssa says 9.8.16

    Are you on Goodreads? I find so many good books on there! I really like Liane Moriarty’s writing, too, so you might like some of the books I posted about recently – there are 21 of them so I’ll just leave the link here!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      I am but I always forget to use it! Off to check out your list now! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 xx

  8. sydney says 9.8.16

    I’ve been wanting to read “We Were Liars” for the longest time!
    xo, Syd
    anchoredinthesouth.com

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Go get it!!! I loved it SO much!

  9. Cy says 9.8.16

    I’m with you! I devour books. I’ve been that way since I was little. It feeds the creative mind! I don’t read as many novels, as I like to read before bed and sometimes, I get so enthralled, a good nights sleep isn’t possible. I download books for free from the library on my kindle app. It’s not the same as paperback, but I couldn’t afford to buy them all. I’m on the wait list for Woman in cabin 10, but just got her other book “In a dark, dark wood. I can’t wait to start. Everyone should read more, I learn so much.

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Okay, I am ordering In a Dark Dark Wood ASAP – three of you have recommended it to me already! I agree with you. Reading makes you a better writer, it inspires you, makes you smarter… so many good things. Thanks for commenting, Cy! Have a great night 🙂

  10. Abby L says 9.8.16

    I just finished The Woman in Cabin 10 and started her other book, In a Dark Dark Wood. I’m immediately hooked on it!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Everyone has been telling me to read that! It’s up next!! xx

  11. jillian says 9.8.16

    i couldnt get into We Were Liars — the whole daddy mummy thing really threw me off! i did like The Girls tho! xo jillian

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Hah, that is so funny! I could totally see that. You might want to give it another try – the ending is so nuts!!!

  12. Excited to read I Let You Go…haven’t heard much about it but it sounds great. I’m almossst done with The Woman in Cabin 10 and really liking it…as much as or maybe more than In a Dark Dark Wood by the same author. Just finished The Girls and enjoyed that too! And The Light Between Oceans, omg…one of my favorite books of all time. I saw this movie last weekend and liked it but the book was even better.

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Adding Dark Dark Wood to my list. Almost afraid to as The Woman iN Cabin 10 was SO dark! I truly could not read it before bedtime!! 😉

  13. So happy to see The Girls on here! I grew up with the author and love to see people reading her book!

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      That is so cool! Emma is so talented! xx

  14. missy says 9.8.16

    I just finished “The Woman in Cabin 10” and also had trouble sleeping after I read it. I just ordered “All the Missing Girls” and I am excited to start that one this weekend.

    • graceatwood says 9.8.16

      Oooh that is on my list – let me know how you like it!

  15. Kate says 9.8.16

    I just finished The Nightingale – about Nazi-occupied France during WWII and how two sisters get through the war. Heartbreaking but, since you loved Eligible like I did, you’ll find the same sort of detail paid on relationships and their nuances. And yes, try GoodReads!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      I have the Nightingale!! I have been meaning to start it but keep postponing, as it sounds so sad!!

      • Kate says 9.12.16

        I won’t lie to you… I don’t really cry at books but I had to rush through parts of this one so I wouldn’t tear up! But there’s some lovely detail writing in there (especially about clothes and the French countryside) so that helps, a little.

        • graceatwood says 9.12.16

          Aw, yeah – I am not a big cryer either!!! There is so much beautiful detail in it 🙂

  16. Evin Elizabeth says 9.8.16

    I love to read, too and totally agree that people should read more! I just finished The Girls this month also. It was beautifully written, but definitely creepy and super dark.
    If you like suspense novels with a twist give Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad books a try! They’re great!

    xoxo,
    Evin Elizabeth
    http://www.magnoliasandsunlight.com

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Oooh I will check those out. Thank you for the recommendations, Evin! x

  17. All of these (at least the ones I haven’t read) on my list now!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Yay! Enjoy 🙂

  18. Marisa says 9.8.16

    I read Eligible in one day too! I think it was my favorite book of the summer. I also really loved The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza. Right now I am in the middle of the Outlander series…those books are so great, but at 1000 pages per, definitely NOT a quick read. I think I may have to take a break with one from this list 🙂

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      I LOVED The Knockoff! Such a fun read. I read it last summer and thought about reading it again this summer. Outlander sounds intimidating… 🙂

  19. Emma says 9.8.16

    I bought The Woman in Cabin 10 when I saw it in one of your Instagram post and just started reading it (at night of course) and am loving it! I also just purchased I Let You Go. So excited and thanks for such great suggestions!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Oh my gosh yay! Enjoy them both!!!!

  20. Emma says 9.8.16

    I also find that reading calms me! Another plus!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Completely agree 🙂 xx

  21. aurelia says 9.8.16

    a oldie but a goodie… the reliable wife if you have not read that one yet!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Aw thank you – I have not! Adding it to the old list! 😉 x

  22. sarah says 9.8.16

    I have read or am currently reading three of the books on this list this month! Just finished The Girls, and agree, she has such a way with words, and I was so captivated by how she was able to get in the mind of the main character, and how she was attracted by the cult. Just started Liane’s book, and agree its tough to get into, I’m glad I read your post so I know to keep going! I’m also early into We Were Liars, again will keep going knowing it gets good. Thank you and love your book recaps/suggestions!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Aw yay! Sounds like we have really similar taste in books. You are going to LOVE We Were Liars, I am actually jealous of you that you are reading it right now!

  23. Courtney L. says 9.8.16

    I’m an 8th grade teacher and I read We Were Liars because I picked it up at my school library randomly and HOLY MOLY, my world was rocked! I was so shattered and confused when I got the end! I was also mind blown that it was young adult because the twist was so dark! I literally sometimes think about it randomly from time to time and replay the moments that revealed the twist but I didn’t know it because it was just that good.

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      I completely agree with you on all counts. A little bit shocked that it was in your middle school library – so dark. I too, keep thinking about it. I guess that’s the sign of a really good book!!

  24. Peppermint Dolly says 9.9.16

    Gah! I’ve read none of these – I now want to read all of these!!

    Rxx

    http://www.peppermintdolly.com

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      They are all so good! Hope you enjoy! xx

  25. Fran says 9.9.16

    I just finished listening to truly madly guilty – I drive about an hour a day for work, so I use that time to listen to books (does that count as reading? I’m not sure, because I love the reading part of reading, but obvi can’t do that while driving!). Anyway, initially, like the first 25% of the book, I HATED it. I hated listening to all their neurotic habits and crazy thoughts, but once the story started to unfold, I couldn’t wait to drive more so I can listen to the story. I obviously expected the “something horrible” to be something really like…trashy, but I think that the actual horrible event really made you look at their relationships with their partners, friends, and themselves, in a new light. In the end, I really enjoyed the book, and plan on reading her other books now (this was my first experience with the other, and if you say it is her worst, well, I’m excited to read the rest!).

    Apparently I had a lot of thoughts that I wasn’t sure where to share, so thank you for providing us a place!

    • graceatwood says 9.9.16

      Haha you came to the right place. I completely agree with everything you say here. I hated it at first, and totally thought they had an orgy or a threesome or something crazy, so that also threw me off. Read What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies next – those are my favorites of hers!!!!

  26. Laurence says 9.9.16

    I highly recommend Herman Koch’s books, especially “The dinner”, “House with swimming pool” and his latest one “Dear Mr. M”. It’s the story of a fading writer held grimly to account by a neighbor with a score to settle. It is suspenseful, creepy and hard to put down.

    • graceatwood says 9.11.16

      Hi Laurence! Thank you for stopping by with your recommendations! I LOVED the dinner – you are right, it was super suspenseful and creepy. Hope you had a great weekend!

  27. elanah says 9.9.16

    You also have to read Homegoing!! So good.

    • graceatwood says 9.11.16

      okay! Thanks for the recommendation friend!! 🙂

  28. Alexandra Morse says 9.9.16

    Hi Grace,
    Always love reading your blog and appreciate your book lists! On the topic of young adult literature, “The Outliers” by Kimberly McCreight was an extremely fast read with a great twist. I did read this book in one sitting. Good news too, McCreight will be making a series from this book.

    Her other books include Reconstructing Amelia, and Where They Found Her, which were also incredible juicy and fast reads!

    • graceatwood says 9.11.16

      Thank you for the recommendation, Alexandra!! I LOVED Reconstructing Amelia, so I think I will have to check out The Outliers for sure! Hope you had a great weekend… thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment with your recommendations!

  29. I loved The Woman in Cabin 10 as well! I was up until 2am reading it because (1) it was so good and (2) I was scared and had to know what happened haha

    • graceatwood says 9.11.16

      I was in the same boat – I was so scared that I had to keep reading!!! Hope you had a great weekend, Amanda! x

  30. Natalie says 9.10.16

    I agree with your thoughts on Truly Madly Guilty – I was bummed that I didn’t love it. Her other books (esp. Big Little Lies) were so good that I had really high expectations/excitement for this book.

    In a dark, dark wood is mysterious but I wouldn’t say super dark so don’t worry! I just started All the Missing Girls and it’s off to a good start. I read See Me by Nicholas Sparks earlier this summer and thought that was really good. It was a little less predictable than usual.

    The Woman in Cabin 10 is my next book! 🙂

    • graceatwood says 9.11.16

      Yeah, I’m glad I’m not the only one!!! I have got to read All of the Missing Girls and In a Dark, Dark Wood!!

      Hope you had a great weekend. xx

  31. Jess says 9.12.16

    I loved We Were Liars and I Let You Go! I see from the comments that All the Missing Girls was recommended. I look forward to reading your thoughts – I recently finished it and I’m not totally sure how I felt about it.

    Right now I’m sucked deep into the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny. On the surface they are murder mysteries, but really they’re an exploration of relationships and human behavior. So good! And they make me want to move to Quebec!

    • graceatwood says 9.12.16

      Ooooh those sound good!!! I am ordering All The Missing Girls.. we shall see! 😉 Have a great week, Jess! xx

  32. Sherryn says 9.12.16

    Thank you for your post. I cannot wait to read the Woman in Cabin 10 – I’m almost at the top of the queue on my library’s reserve list. I also loved We Were Liars – there’s nothing better than a twisty-turney plot and a-hit-me-right-over-the-head ending! Two books that I enjoyed this summer were the Passenger by Lisa Lutz and No One Knows by J.T. Ellison.

    • graceatwood says 9.12.16

      Aw yay! I hope you love it as much as I did.
      Thank you for sharing your recommendations. 🙂

  33. Nicole says 9.13.16

    Lovely reading list! Definitely adding these to my Amazon wish list!

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      Yay – makes me happy to hear that!