Happy beginning of October! I’m so excited… I am definitely breaking out the Halloween decorations today.

September Reads

Months changing also mean that it is time to share my month’s good reads with you! September was sort of a slow reading month for me. Between all of the house hunting stress, which makes it hard to concentrate when reading, and Mr. Jonas stealing all of my before-bed reading for extra growing time, I haven’t been breezing through books as quickly as usual. But I made up for in quality what I didn’t quite make in quantity for September.

Batman Arkham Asylum (1989) by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
What you need to know: The story is much deeper than you’d expect a Batman comic to be, but the real hero here is the art work. Completely inspiring and breathtaking.

The artwork is mixed media and this isn’t laid out like a traditional comic. You art journalers out there will keep coming back to this one for ideas and inspiration, I promise.

Aesop’s Fables (between 620 and 560 BCE) by Aesop

What you need to know: Boring. And I don’t get bored with books easily.

Yes, it is amazing that the lessons and morals in this book are still applicable today, a bazillion years after this was written. But it’s just plain not that interesting. I think that it is because the stories are so short that it is difficult to get into them or establish a reading flow. And it wasn’t very thought provoking. Bleh.

Legends of the Fall (1979) by Jim Harrison

What you need to know: Tearjerker. This drama is very serious with little comic relief, but is amazing amazing writing.

The book actually consists of three novellas. Harrison is really excellent at writing very normal people that fall into extraordinary circumstances. You wouldn’t think from the beginnings that these stories are action-packed, but they are. P.S. Also watch the movie. This is how I fell in love with Brad Pitt for the first time.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

What you need to know: Goes on the bookshelf right next to 1984 and Brave New World.

Set in a surprisingly realistic futuristic totalitarian UK, this is probably the most thought provoking graphic novel you will read. I may be biased; I love political philosophy.

P.S. Don’t expect this to be PG-13 like the movie.

A Farewell to Arms (1921) by Ernest Hemingway

What you need to know: Someone should have told me not to read this while pregnant.

Because I cried and had a big bawling freak out after the end. That said, this book is beautifully written and super quotable. Hemingway is a lot more readable than I thought; this wasn’t difficult to read at all. I expected him to be a lot more flowery (like Dickens).

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky

What you need to know: Essential.

I don’t know if I just accidentally chose a bunch of sad books this month, or if the hormones are getting to me. Either way, I cried almost as much as the main character, Charlie, did. This is one of my favorite coming-of-age novels. I might even like it more than Catcher in the Rye. I also like that it is written as a series of anonymous letters; it makes you feel much closer to Charlie.

Stardust (1998) by Neil Gaiman

What you need to know: A fairy-tale for adults.

Neil Gaiman might be the most imaginative writer living today. I have no idea how he can come up with so many magical worlds. Seriously.

P.S. Also not as PG-13 as the movie.

Fugitives and Refugees (2003) by Chuck Palahniuk

What you need to know: Not exactly essential reading before you go to Portland.

In fact, this travel guide/ memoir didn’t make me want to go to Portland at all (even though I really want to go there). I started out reading the whole thing, but ended up just reading the memoir parts. Which were funny. But not as good as the personal stories in his book of essays, Stranger Than Fiction.

Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens

What you need to know: This book is actually really dark, even though Oliver is super sweet.

Points to social hypocrisies and criticizes the laws and social mores of the time. The book shows that a person can be bad or good regardless of social background. Which is saying something in London in the 1800s.

P.S. It’s a little hard to overlook the Antisemitism, but that’s what you get with classics.