Amy Clark

September 2017 Must-Reads

September 2017 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

September was a GREAT reading month for me and I have loads of 5-star recommendations for your stacks. This month I tackled 11 books, thanks to quite a few quiet days in my little she shed. If you are a reader, that place is MAGICAL for quiet reading.

If you want to see more of what I am reading,  please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! You can find me right here and I am always happy to connect with people there! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

Looking to add some variety to your stack? Feel free to join our book club!

Not enough variety? Print out our Reading Challenge Worksheet! I’m having a blast working my way through it!

Here are 11 must-read books that I tackled in September!

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

If you are looking for an absorbing story, you definitely will want to dive into, Watch Me Disappear.

The story centers on a mother who goes on a solo hike in the Desolation Wilderness and vanishes from the trail. Although her body is never found, they conclude that she fell to her death, never returning again to her husband and daughter.

When her daughter begins having visions of her mother, she starts to believe that she is still alive and guiding her to where she is. When she reveals her mother’s secrets to her father, her husband also becomes convinced that there is more to this story.

Prepare for a very twisted and unpredictable plot right up until those final pages. Brown captures her reader in this clever thriller and won’t let go until you have made your way through the entire spider web of mystery.

If you are looking for a fresh book club pick, I would highly recommend this one as it explores the subject of finding and sometimes the losing of our identities as mothers.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

I was not a big fan of All is Not Forgotten, but I wanted to give this author another try with her latest novel (and BOTM selection), Emma in the Night. I am so glad that I did because this was a another highly enjoyable thriller this month.

One night fifteen-year-old Cass and her seventeen-year-old sister, Emma disappear without a trace, other than a deserted car. Three years later, Cass returns alone and must share her story of being kidnapped and isolated on a mysterious island.

The story that Cass shares though, doesn’t add up. On the case is forensic psychologist (and expert in narcissistic personality disorder) Dr. Abby Winter. As she starts trying to make sense of the holes in the story, she discovers some shocking twists.

Fans of The Roanoke Girls will enjoy this twisted family story that will keep you page flipping until the wee hours of the morning.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

I became a fan of Denfeld’s writing after reading , The Enchanted (you can read my interview with Rene over here) and couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for us next. Denfeld weaves a shocking and disturbing story of a little girl that has gone missing in a rural part of an Oregon forest and the one person who believes she can change this girl’s story.

Naomi is a private investigator that has a knack for finding missing children. Her knack for this is partly based on her own mysterious disappearance from her family and her inability to remember her own story.

When Madison Culver goes missing, the family reaches out to her and believes that she may be their last hope. Madison has been missing for over three years and authorities have given up on finding the girl, believing she may have died under a blanket of snow.

Madison is alive though and being held captive, made to live her life as a wife, despite being a child. Her circumstances are horrific and the only relief she feels is through the fairytale she has created, allowing her the separation from herself to endure these moments.

These two stories are interwoven together in an incredible page-turner that I was unable to put down. I read this in a single afternoon and couldn’t wait to see how Denfeld pulled all of this together. The story is haunting, raw, and so very real.

Warning: this book contains physical and sexual abuse towards a child.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I read a lot of thrillers this month so I was looking for a more lighthearted escape and I found it perfectly in Robin Sloan’s latest novel, Sourdough. If magical realism isn’t your thing though, you may not enjoy it as much as I did.

The story centers around a woman who works in the tech field, specializing in robotics, and ends up being gifted a sourdough starter…even though she has never made bread before.  Lois begins exploring the world of bread making and begins cooking beautiful loaves of sourdough bread, thanks to this magical starter. What she doesn’t know is how much this new creative outlet is going to change the path of her entire life.

This book was enjoyable from start to finish, even in those farfetched bits of the story. I will say, however, as a gluten-free girl, the cravings for bread became unbearable at times.

If you are looking for a little magic and just great old-fashioned storytelling, I think you will appreciate Sloan’s latest novel a lot! In fact, I passed this one on to my eleven-year-old and she’s been enjoying it as much as me!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

There is a line in The Burning Girl, which basically summed up exactly how I felt about this book. Messud writes, “Everybody wanted a story, a story with an arc, with motives and a climax and a resolution.” That is exactly what I had hoped to get out of this novel, but it seemed to be missing all of these key elements for me.

If you are looking for a coming-of-age story that shares the beauty and innocence of childhood or the way that friendships between girls can be so quickly and easily intertwined, then you might enjoy this one for that. In those elements, much like Walking on Trampolines, that is where this story truly shines. Messud captures this beautifully and made me think about my own childhood friendships and how quickly innocence can be lost.

If you are looking for a thriller though with a great plot and twisty turns, this won’t be the book for you. If you go into it with a mindset in place that this is just about childhood friendships, you might enjoy it more.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Empath's Survival Guide

The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff

Empaths are people who take on other people’s emotions, energies, and even physical symptoms of others because they feel things so deeply. I recently became aware that this has been contributing to a lot of my own health issues (both mentally and physically) and I needed guidance on how to feel empathy towards others without compromising my own well-being. The Empath’s Survival Guide is an incredible book on learning ways to manage these gifts, but also your ability to create space and boundaries in your life so that you don’t compromise yourself in the process.

There were so many good things that I got out of this book from visualizations to honoring the ways that I’m wired and also how to deflect negative people and energy. It helps establish better routines for unwinding and learning what does and does not work for empaths.

Not sure if you are one? This test might help! In the meantime, I can’t recommend it enough if you are struggling. This would also be a great read for the HSP (highly sensitive person) club too!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

I have a deep affection for great Young Adult literature and this month’s book club pick was absolute YA perfection. I guarantee that you won’t be able to put this one down.

This is the story of two friends, Rachel & Henry, that ended up growing apart for two reasons- Rachel moved and she left a love letter to Henry that never received a response.

Rachel moves back though and has hard feelings against Henry for never responding to her letter. She also is battling a personal battle that no one in town knows about. As luck would have it, she ends up getting a job at the local bookshop, owned and run by Henry’s family.

It is here, amid the books, that secrets are revealed between the pages as Rachel & Henry find friendship and love again in one another.

I’m surprised I’m not hearing more about this fantastic book! It is a bookworm’s dream and gives you lots of great book ideas to dive into once you finish reading it.

Reading Challenge Category Completed- A story that takes place in a bookstore

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Rabbit by Patricia Williams

Rabbit by Patricia Williams

If you read only one memoir this year, please let it be this one. Rabbit is the true story of Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) and her life growing up in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. Williams is one of five children and witnessed how her mother was able to work the system to help her family survive…and how her children were used  just for these purposes.

Patricia becomes a mom of two children at fifteen and must learn strategies for her family to survive when she is only a child too. She becomes a master at hustling and dealing crack to keep her family fed.

This book is unflinching in its honesty about how quickly Patricia had to grow up and the unbelievably difficult situations she survived from being sexually abused to even being shot. She survived it all though and shares her story with equal parts heart and humor, even in the face of all of her adversities.

I read this book in a single sitting and can’t recommend it enough!

Warning: this book contains physical and sexual abuse towards a child.

Reading Challenge Category Completed- A book written by a comedian

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Put Tell Me Three Things with I’ll Give You the Sun and you, basically, have the formula for an unbelievably good read…which is EXACTLY why I loved this book so very much.

Sixteen-year-old Simon is gay, but hasn’t told anyone yet. He has found love though through an email correspondence with another guy that has helped him talk out some of his feelings. If only he knew whose heart he had captured…

When these emails get in the wrong hands though, he has to step out of his comfort zone and share about who he really is with those he loves.

This book is absolutely charming and Simon is a guy that you end up rooting for throughout the book. With a lot of wit and humor, Simon’s story is a heartwarming tale of acceptance, even in an unaccepting world.

I’m so excited to hear that this one will be coming to the big screen so be sure to read it before you catch the film! It is a really beautiful coming-of-age story!

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

I’m a huge fan of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  (if you haven’t read it- just do it right now!). Young Jane Young is a fun and timely departure into the world of politics and would make a perfect book club selection.

In this story, a politician becomes involved with a young intern who has been keeping an “anonymous blog” with juicy details of her scandalous affair. When the affair is brought to light, Aviva must move and try to start fresh with a new identity. She changes states, her name, and even steps out of politics to become a wedding planner. She is constantly dodging her past though because the story became national news.

You might think this one doesn’t sound that interesting (we’ve heard this story before, right?), but Zevin smartly plays it out from many viewpoints (her mother, the wife, the daughter, and Jane’s own view). With this unique perspective we are able to see the story in a different way and the slut-shaming that can occur when political scandals happen.

This book examines the many different roles of women and the double standards that occur in the political arena.

I really loved it and I think you will too. It is a quick page-turner with a lot of meat for discussion!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling is THE BOOK that everyone has been talking about so I snagged the audiobook to dive in. Had I known more about the story, I might have skipped the audio version of this one because it was about the sexual and physical abuse of a teenage girl at the hands of father.

Almost sixteen hours of abuse, to be exact, if you are listening to the audiobook.

Turtle (nickname) has been living alone with her father for years. He is a survivalist and teaches Turtle many skills she might need to survive in the wilderness. Her childhood is anything BUT normal, particularly the sexual relationship she has with her father.

When Jacob becomes her friend at school, Turtle gets to peek into Jacob’s normal life (clean house, dinner around the table, two parents, etc..) and she finally is able to see how dysfunctional her own life is. Thanks to her survival skills, taught by her abusive father, she begins to dream of an escape and of a very different kind of future.

When the storytelling is on it is ON. Tallent’s writing has been compared to many great writers and received a lot of accolades and praise from some of my favorite authors. When the writing was off though it was OFF. This book was lengthy and the torture of this girl goes on, and on, and on, and on. I don’t want to discredit Tallent’s writing, but I do think the subject matter just made this a difficult book to read.

That said, it was kind of like watching a train wreck and I kept wanting the safety for this girl so I kept listening and listening.

I would classify this one in the horror genre- it was an absolutely brutal story. Keep that in mind if you decide to pick this one up!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out

If you are a BOTM member, this month looks AH-MAZING!! You can use this link though, if you aren’t, to get 1, 2, or 3 months for just $9.99.

October 2017 Book of the Month Selections

October BOTM Selections & Deals

Try 1, 2, or 3 months for just $9.99 each

After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Get John Green’s new novel FREE when you join Book of the Month

Get Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King FREE when you join Book of the Month

Amy Allen Clark

Read With Me This Year:

January 2017 Must-Reads

February 2017 Must-Reads

March 2017 Must-Reads

April 2017 Must-Reads

May 2017 Must-Reads

June 2017 Must-Reads

July 2017 Must-Reads

August 2017 Must-Reads

September 2017 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

What did you read this month? Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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Published October 02, 2017 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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