Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2021


Hello everyone,

We have reached the end of a month which began with the late summer sunshine and ended with the onset of autumn. With that came the renewed wearing of coats, blankets, and woollen jumpers, along with a rather sudden drop in the temperature.

The biggest change in my routine that occurred during September was that I finally returned to working in the office on certain days each week. After six months in my current job I was able to meet my colleagues for the first time and feel like a proper part of the university again, which I have absolutely loved.

Next to my office there is a beautiful ‘secret’ garden which I have walked past for years but never noticed before. I have had the chance to catch up with some friends on campus, and often when I am out and about I happen upon someone I know and that is lovely.

As it is the start of a new academic year, work has been incredibly busy lately but I have taken it all in my stride. Going into the office has also meant commuting by bus and taking two lateral flow tests each week, but being on campus again makes it worth it. The other days I spend working from home have made for a nice balance.

The commute to and from work is a useful opportunity to read, as time these days is a very precious commodity! I managed to read a total of five books during the month and I enjoyed all of them – including perhaps my favourite read of the year so far 😍

Here are the books I read in September:


Mrs England ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Last Time I Lied ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dear Reader ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mexican Gothic ⭐⭐⭐
Educated (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mrs England was an absolutely stunning book that ticked all the right boxes for me. It was beautifully written and sufficiently mysterious to keep me hooked from beginning to end. Last Time I Lied was one of the most exciting thrillers I have read for some time, while Mexican Gothic was a rare foray into the horror genre and although I really liked the writing, several of the characters and concepts were lacking in development.

This year has seen an increase in non-fiction reads for me, and that continued with Dear Reader, which is basically a book about the joy of reading. It contained a whole bunch of recommendations, too. I also finished listening to Educated, about the surreal sounding life of Tara Westover that was often told like a novel.

The season rarely dictates which books I choose to read, but I might find space in my October TBR for one with a spooky autumnal feel. I am currently reading Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox and Luck Of The Titanic by Stacey Lee. They will be followed by The Man Who Died Twice and Girl In The Walls, as well as one or two more which I am yet to decide upon.

On the first day of September there was a very special day out inspired by a book. In 2019 I read The Familiars by Stacey Halls, which was set at Gawthorpe Hall, a large house and estate and contained characters who were real people. I immediately wanted to pay a visit, and I finally made it! I had the best day, and everything about the place was beautiful.
I am hoping to have more time for writing in October, as I still have not written any poetry for several months and am slightly behind on book reviews. Fortunately I am able to remember enough to write a review up to a few weeks after finishing a book, but it is not ideal. Perhaps I shall manage to do better at blog hopping again too, if life does not get in the way.

Speaking of blog hopping, here are some of my favourite posts out of the ones I did get to cast my eyes over in September.

  • Siena wrote a great discussion where she asked if setting ourselves reading challenges is useful.
  • Becky discussed the fascinating topic of glossaries in fantasy novels and how important they are.
  • Yesha and Toni did a buddy read of the Six Of Crows duology and they both loved it, writing amazing posts.
  • Nikole compiled a list of upcoming releases she is excited to read before the end of the year.
  • Kira marked her birthday by sharing 24 books she loves.
  • For anyone – like me – who loves Greek mythology, it was wonderful to see there is a tag all about it! Mek had some great answers to the prompts.
  • I loved the review Julie wrote of The Living And The Lost by Ellen Feldman, which seems such a powerful read.
  • Inge wrote a fantastic review of Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas, a thriller that I am looking forward to reading somewhere along the line.

That is everything for now, I hope you have a wonderful October!

Happy reading 🙂

22 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2021

  1. it’s a shame you found the development of Mexican Gothic lacking. i’ve got it on my TBR but have heard really polarising reviews on it. Gawthorpe Hall looks beautiful and like it would be a great day out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gawthorpe Hall was so lovely, I was really excited before going there and it turned out to be the perfect day out! I hope you enjoy Mexican Gothic, it is an unusual book and it’s well written, just has a few flaws for me.

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  2. Your month in reading looks great. It’s amazing how we don’t notice some places even though we cross by it almost daily. I love to visit places mentioned in books but sadly they are all out of country. Great wrap up and wish you fantastic October.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like it has been a great month for you, Stephen! Ahhhh another Stacey Hall’s book. I can see that you’re a fan of hers. The Familiars was a memorable read for me! Hope to read her latest! Stay safe and well, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh… enjoy Esme Lennox… it was the first O’Farrell I read and I was immediately hooked. Mind you, I had to go back and read her back-list, which I did, and the truth is, Esme Lennox really was better than the previous ones, but she’s gone from strength to strength since then!

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  5. Great wrap-up! I’ve read Mexican Gothic as well, and I really agree with your thoughts on it, I had the same experience reading it. Thank you for mentioning my post, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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