Everything I Read in September 2019.

The Testaments, everything i read in september

Happy October! This was a pretty good month of reading. I LOVED The Testaments. And American Predator had me TERRIFIED TO GO OUTSIDE (in the best possible way; I couldn’t put it down and still can’t believe it’s true. There was one dud for me (I’m SORRY! I just couldn’t stand Fleishman!) and two advance copies that I am very excited about… the new Christina Lauren and a fun thriller. (Also, don’t forget – we’re reading How Could She!? by Lauren Mechling for the podcast this month – loved that book!)

I’m always looking for great recommendations… tell me what you’ve been reading in the comments! I love, love, love reading through your suggestions!


Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading in real-time to my Amazon Shop. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list.

The highly anticipated follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale!

The TestamentsThe Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I was so excited to read this one. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that I read it without having read The Handmaid’s Tale (I watched the show, though!) This book tells the story of three characters. A girl raised within Gillead who decides to become an aunt, a disciplinarian (okay fine it’s Aunt Lydia), and a girl raised outside of Gillead, in Canada. I found it fascinating, particularly because we get so much backstory to Aunt Lydia. Also, I could not put this book down. I tore through it, wanting to know how things end (or don’t) for Gillead. If you love The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll absolutely love this.

  • Overall Score: A

The scariest book I’ve read… because it’s 100% true!

American PredatorAmerican Predator, The Testaments, and more, by Maureen Callahan

Holy sh*t. This book is absolutely terrifying. If you love true crime, you are going to love this. I am not a huge non-fiction person but when it’s about a serial killer I obviously change my tune. This one is the story of Israel Keyes, the meticulous serial killer who was largely kept out of the media. The whole thing reads crazier than fiction, truly. If it were fiction, I would have criticized it for being too implausible. But it’s real. I couldn’t put it down, but once I finished it, I was just… terrified – even walking to Sweetgreen to get dinner felt scary! If you want to scare yourself (and learn the story of a terrifying serial killer), this is a must-read.

  • Overall Score: A

Everyone but me loved it – not impressed!

Fleishman is in Trouble, The Testaments and moreFleishman is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

I really wanted to like this book and I know that not everyone is going to agree with me – you don’t have to – we can all have our own opinions! I saved it for a moment where I’d want something really fun – I had been so excited to read it, as countless friends and readers had recommended it to me. This was just not that book for me! The reasons that I disliked it so much are not that it’s poorly written or lacking in substance. It’s very well written! I personally found it to be incredibly boring (it really dragged!) and also really depressing.

Frankly, it is an ad for never getting married or having children. But mostly, it was just really boring. I found myself constantly falling asleep while reading this; and feeling really depressed at the end. The last 50 pages are pretty good but do not make up for the rest of the book. Please don’t hate me for not liking this book I am just being honest and sharing my POV!

  • Overall Score: C-

A few up & coming titles

A word about ARCs (advanced reader copies!) I know it’s annoying when I share too many books that haven’t come out yet so I will always try to have a balance! This month and last month were heavier as we’ve been vetting books for the podcast. That being said, pre-orders make a big difference to authors, so if they sound compelling or you want to support a favorite author, order it early.

twice in a blue moonTwice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (Out 10/22)

It is no secret that I love everything Christina Lauren writes. They (it’s two authors) just know how to turn my cold heart into mush, and this one is no exception! Tate Jones is the long lost daughter of the biggest movie star in the country. (Think Tom Cruise.) She spends her childhood very sheltered, hidden away from the press. She goes to Europe with her grandmother and falls hard for Sam Brandis, only to have him out her biggest secret to the media. Flash forward 14 years later and Tate is on the verge of becoming a movie star herself. She takes the role of her dreams… only to walk straight into Sam! This is a very cute love story, extremely heartwarming, and answers the question: can a person do the wrong thing for the right reason and be forgiven?

  • Overall Score: A-

Good Girls Liegood girls lie, The Testaments and more by J.T. Ellison (Out 12/31)

I obviously adore a thriller, but this one is even better as it features rich unsupervised teens at a boarding school and… a secret society! Ash Carlisle leaves England to attend the prestigious Goode School in Virginia. With her, she takes a very dark past and a huge secret… intending to start her life over again. She attempts to make a name for herself and move on from her dark past but has a hard time doing so at the school… darkness seems to follow her everywhere she goes! A terrible suicide takes place… or was it murder? I couldn’t put this one down and think you will feel the same. Becca and I both really enjoyed it which doesn’t usually happen with a thriller. Highly recommend!

  • Overall Score: A-

photography by Carter Fish.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. American Predator sounds scary! I’m all for crime books but I feel like I won’t be able to sleep after reading it, haha. Thanks for the recommendations, Grace! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    10.1.19 Reply
  2. Mo:

    Could not agree more about Fleishman. Blah.

    10.1.19 Reply
  3. Such a great reading month! I totally agree about American Predator. I feel like it should be getting more hype. It’s one of the best books I read this year! And I loved Fleischman!! Oh well. 🙂
    I just did a recap of the 12 books I read in September if anyone cares to check it out. My absolute top three were After the Flood, The Nickel Boys, and The Immortalists, but there were a lot that I really liked and recommend. (And, okay, one that I absoutely HATED!!!!) 😉


    10.1.19 Reply
  4. Courtney:

    I 100% agree on Fleishman is in Trouble!! I liked the end/it made you think but so depressing and was hard to get through.

    10.1.19 Reply
  5. I HIGHLY suggest reading The Handmaid’s Tale even if you’ve watched the series. Atwood is just so, so brilliant. I’ve read her work a few times and she made me feel scared, angry and sad all on one page. The story is great, but the prose is better.

    10.1.19 Reply
  6. Kaye:

    Have you read Oryx & Crake/the Maddaddam series by Margaret Atwood? I loved THT and still have to read The Testaments but her Maddaddam series was also incredible – it’s dystopian and delves into a future with rampant bioengineering.

    10.1.19 Reply
  7. Molly:

    Another favorite post, as always! I immediately add all recommendations to my goodreads pile each month 🙂

    10.1.19 Reply
  8. Cory:

    Just ordered American Predator. I am not much of a true crime person, but your review sold me. I just finished The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan, which was great. Her books are always amazing.

    10.1.19 Reply
  9. Great picks! I really need to get back into regular reading before bed.

    Dee ~ Vanilla Papers

    10.1.19 Reply
  10. Alex:

    I’m so glad you liked JT Ellison’s latest. I live in Nashville and plan an author series for work and she agreed to be on a local panel for me. I’m excited she’s gotten big on bookstagram! I totally agreed with your review of Fleishman is in Trouble. I waited for it from the library for months and then I gave up on it halfway.

    10.1.19 Reply
    • Oh that’s so cool!!!! Yes I loved it – need to read more of her books!
      ANd glad you agreed on Fleishman – the ending was a little better but didn’t make it worth all the suffering 😉

      10.1.19 Reply
  11. Maya Viswanath:

    Ok, SUPREMELY unpop opinion – but I just couldn’t enjoy ‘Three Women’. Maggie started out strong, and Lina too, but Sloane just killed it for me. She/her personality sounded like…nothing. I felt like some one else wrote that first Sloane chapter and not the same person who wrote so beautifully about Maggie. Maybe intentional, so that there are actually 3 voices to go with the 3 women, but I just couldn’t go back to the book after Sloane. I tried until Page 74 and gave up.

    10.1.19 Reply
    • Actually a lot of people felt this way! There was a good discussion about it in the Bad on Paper facebook group and I know Carly from Carly the Prepster wasn’t a fan. I personally loved it!

      10.1.19 Reply
  12. Maureen McNally:

    I just ordered American Predator! I finished I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, about the Golden State Killer, written by Michelle McNamara, over the weekend. I couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend if you want to stay in the thriller/serial killer genre.

    10.1.19 Reply
    • I bought I’ll Be Gone in the Dark this summer and totally forgot about it! Must read it!!!

      10.1.19 Reply
  13. Brandi:

    Hey Grace! LOVE this monthly post! I am loving “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn (The Alice Network). It is another WWII story but completely different from Alice. It came out in Feb but I don’t remember seeing it on your posts so if you haven’t read it I highly recommend! Also loved American Royals!! I was so upset when I got to the end and realized it was a cliffhanger- I’ll be impatiently waiting. I have never seen you mention “Outlander”. Have you read them? They are just the best books ever. Ever. Thanks for the awesome content on your blog! XO

    10.1.19 Reply
    • I’m so glad you lover this post! I haven’t read Outlander. It’s on the list but honestly my TBR pile is out of control; I don’t know when I will get to them! The Huntress is also on my list, I love Kate Quinn!

      10.1.19 Reply
  14. Mary:

    I am reading She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. It’s about the journalists and brave women who brought down Harvey Weinstein with his sexual harassment scandal. It’s fascinating and infuriating. I’m learning a lot.

    10.1.19 Reply
  15. Nicki:

    I love your blog and podcast and am new to both, but I find you so relatable and interesting! I am not sure if this is in the archives somewhere, but if you haven’t read All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Brynn Greenwood I think you should get it. I love most of the books you read, and trust your judgement. This is my favorite book I’ve ever read.

    Thanks for your content! XOX

    10.2.19 Reply
    • That is so nice of you to say, thank you!
      And I will look at that book – have not read it yet!

      10.2.19 Reply
  16. I recently bought The Testaments! Can’t wait to read it!


    10.2.19 Reply
  17. Marie Lamensch:

    “The Memory Police” by Yoko Ogawa is one that I really enjoyed. Then “That kind of mother” (Rumaan Alam) and “Firefly Lane” (Kristin Hannah)
    In nin-fiction, I am currently reading Samantha Power’s book “The education of an Idealist.”

    10.3.19 Reply
  18. Nancy Boutelle Page:

    Reading The Overstory right now and curious what others think. Absolutely loved the first part, gorgeous writing and strong characters. The format changed a bit in the middle (it’s a very long book) and I’m getting stuck. Also just finishing Becoming Nicole which has been fascinating, heartbreaking and uplifting!

    10.4.19 Reply
    • Ah! I started reading that one and put it down. I loved what I did read of it – need to pick it back up!

      10.4.19 Reply
  19. Kelly:

    THANK YOU on Fleishman! Basically everything I read comes from your lists, but one I really would love to hear your thoughts on is this is how it always is by Laurie frankel!

    10.5.19 Reply
  20. Kimberly McCormick:

    Grace-be on the lookout for American Dirt (Jan 2020) It’s gonna be big!

    10.5.19 Reply
  21. alison:

    I totally agree with you on FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE and American Predator! I was totally freaked out by the latter!

    10.7.19 Reply
  22. Bethann:

    With all due respect, how can you say “if you loved The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll absolutely love this” if you haven’t actually read the Handmaid’s Tale? I’ve read the Handmaid’s Tale and about 85% of Atwood’s total literary canon, as well as having seen the TV series, and I see The Testaments as one of her weakest novels yet. She’s just rehashing material that she has already used before. Handmaid’s Tale was radical and innovative; Testaments is tired and unoriginal. It was a fun summer read, but outside of that, I don’t feel it contributes anything valuable to the world of Gilead or Atwood’s body of work as a whole.

    10.8.19 Reply
  23. Kelsey:

    Have you heard any other good things about Kristin Hannah’s other books from before The Great Alone & The Nightingale? I devoured both!

    10.9.19 Reply
  24. Cannot wait to read American Predator now! I love true crime but struggle to read it when I’m home alone! You are so brave, Grace! 🙂

    10.14.19 Reply
  25. Kori:

    I am impressed you finished Fleishman! I returned it to the library after reading only 150 pages. Didn’t like it at all!

    10.14.19 Reply