It’s September, which feels like time for fall and back to school, even though it was in the 90s today and kids in Georgia went back to school weeks ago. College football starts this weekend and I’m looking forward to a three-day weekend. I made it to the beach this summer, a couple of weeks ago, but I went with some friends and hardly read there at all, surprisingly! I also managed to hold book club again in August after having skipped June and July–whoops!

I heard about this book on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s podcast, What Should I Read Next?, which is a great and dangerous thing for me to listen to every week. I hear about at least 7 books in each episode, with the caller listing 3 books (s)he loves and 1 (s)he hates, and Anne adding 3 recommendations based on those. However, as book lovers are wont to do, more are often mentioned throughout the show, and the show notes are like a bibliography! Anyway, Anne didn’t say too much about this book because she thought the whole description would make it sound boring and…it kind of was to me? It had some sweet moments, but I wasn’t as blown away by it as I expected to be. It does defy description a bit, though, I’ll give her that.

August’s book club read! (Yes, we read Daring Greatly a couple of years ago, SO WHAT?) I think I am in a much more balanced place emotionally than I was when we read Daring Greatly, which covers more of the “vulnerability” part of Brown’s research, while this one focuses in specifically on shame. While I was reading it I was a little annoyed by the formulaic structure, but then reflecting back I realized that was helpful in making it very actionable. We had a great discussion about some of the guideposts, but I can’t say I had any grand revelations.

Another “boarding school novel,” this time set at a prestigious ballet school. Um, y’all, this book was DARK. It was a bit horrifying to think about ACTUAL teenage girls being like these…but one of the authors used to teach at a ballet school, so you have to think she got the basic idea somewhere. Aside from being appalled at how awful the girls were, to each other and to themselves, I enjoyed this book and am excited to see that a sequel is coming out this month.

When I went to grab this linked image, Amazon told me that this book is ranked #1 in books right now, and I can’t even. I don’t really know what to say about this book, er, script, except to say that it was sort of terrible but you should probably read it if you loved Harry Potter. It does not deserve to be called Harry Potter #8, nor can I fathom spending 200 British pounds on tickets to the play. Buy me a whiskey sour some time and ask me more about it and I will talk your ear off (not that I did that to some friends on night this week or anything).

This book left me like, “Huh, what?” I didn’t get it. It was Southern gothic magical realism chick flick literary fiction? It didn’t work at all for me, none of it. But I finished it.

And that was August! One day into September and I’ve already finished a book for this month, so stay tuned to see what else is on tap.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman