September 2022 reads

I’ll keep this month’s reflection reads post simple. I’ve been pretty tired all week. The last two weekends we’ve been out of town — one weekend was recreational and the weekend after was volunteering where I was one of three chaperons handling 30 high school students. This weekend we decided to relax at home…and finally begin work on our pergola project. It’s funny how we are working on our pergola after the SoCal heatwave.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

“Without science, industry, and technology, no progress is possible, and without music and art, there’s no soul.”

This was my last book to close out my Summer Escape Reads and Allende took me to Spain, France, Chile, and Venezuela. A Long Petal of the Sea has easily made its way to my favorites of 2022! Prior to reading this book, I had zero knowledge of the Spanish Civil War and the history of Chile, and Allende explained the background really well without feeling like I was reading a textbook. The story spans 80 years following the Dalmau family from Spain to Chile and all the hard choices they had to make. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda makes several appearances throughout the book — I had no idea about his political life and it was incredibly fascinating!

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

“I take a longer look at the words on her headstone.
Brave, kind, loyal, sweet, loving, graceful, strong, thoughtful, funny, genuine, hopeful, playful, insightful, and on and on…
Was she, though? Was she any of those things? The words make me angry. I can’t look at them any longer.
Why do we romanticize the dead? Why can’t we be honest about them?”

I listened to McCurdy’s book on audiobook and it kept me entertained on my commute. It was good but it was really sad because McCurdy never had a childhood; she spent many years building up to be a big child star because it was her mom’s dream. The title may be unapologetic but some people just don’t deserve to be parents. I know some people who are devoted to their kid’s physical appearance just like McCurdy’s mom.

Reading Travel books to plan for travel

This past month, my friends and I were deciding on where to go in October for vacation. To help decide I used these books to help plan our hypothetical itinerary.

1000 Ultimate Experiences by Andrew Bain (Lonely Planet) – I’ve had this book for many years. I think I look at this book at least once ever year to reflect what I have done. I also like to look at this book to plan for a future trip.

The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World by Trent Holden (Lonely Planet) – This HUGE coffee table book is nice to look at too. It’s also great to help plan for an upcoming trip.

Tag: What’s On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

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4 thoughts on “September 2022 reads”

  1. I’ve not read either of your book recommendations and I think I would definitely enjoy A Long Petal of the Sea. I do enjoy historical fiction and like you I really don’t know much about the Spanish Civil War. Thanks for sharing with us at WOYBS this month and I hope your pergola project is successful. We have just moved house and a pergola is a project on our list as we head into a hot Summer here in Australia. x


  2. Thanks for joining us Julie. I’ve heard a lot about the book ‘I’m glad my mom died’ but not sure I could read it. I’ve enjoyed Isabel Allende’s books before so thanks for this recommendation.

    It’s interesting that Andrew Bain has just written aa book about Ultimate Cycling trips in Australia and our local rail trail is listed in it – he interviewed my husband and I some time ago – what a small world it is sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that is so cool!! McCurdy’s book was a tough listen because humor turned dark. I mean she writes in a tone that was meant to be funny and light-hearted but objectively it’s horrifying.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Julie – Thank you for joining us for the month’s WOYBS. I hadn’t previously heard of any of your selections. The travel ones most have my interest.
    Speaking of travel, I’m glad that you had two great weekends away, and decided to devote this past one to rest!


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