September Reading Wrap-Up

September was another decent reading month for me. I finished 6 books, for a total of 2,256 pages.* Here’s a look at how those books stacked up, courtesy of StoryGraph, along with some notes about the books I didn’t finish this month.

*A note about page counts: I don’t count pages read in DNF’d books or books I’ve skimmed. Also, if a read spans more than one month, the pages are counted in the month the book was finished. This month has examples of each.

First, a bit about the books not included in this month’s word count.


When I opened up your book, I couldn’t follow hardly any of it. I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to be, even. I could tell somebody worked on it really hard, and spent a lot of time on it. And that really got on my nerves.

Martin Seay, The Mirror Thief, pp. 151-152

I really, really wanted to love this book. It has so many things I love, including an unreliable narrator, a heist, and being set in Venice, Italy (along with Venice Beach, California, and the Venetian in Las Vegas). I began reading it in late August and continued through early September, but I just couldn’t finish. Ultimately, it’s a 250-page story masquerading as a 600-page tome, and while there were parts of it that were beautifully written and interesting – exciting, even – those parts were just too few and too far between to hold me. I tapped out around the halfway point. I may try again later, because I really do want to love it, but the struggle was real with this one.


For Banned Books Week, I skimmed through It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley. This book, along with others in the same series by Robie H. Harris, has been banned or challenged for being overly descriptive and/or explicit, but I found it to be a well-designed and age-appropriate sex education book for children on the verge of puberty.

The bulk of the book is devoted to covering the relevant body parts (internal and external) and how they develop over time, as well as how babies are made. Chapters on puberty and reproduction include one page of drawings of how male and female bodies develop externally over time (side-by-side drawings of a female at various stages from baby to older woman, and side-by-side drawings of a male at various stages from baby to older man), simple drawings of external sexual organs, and multiple diagrams explaining how the internal organs and processes work. The chapters on sexual reproduction provide lengthy descriptions of what happens inside each body for that process, but only a single short paragraph devoted to the act of intercourse itself paired with an “under the covers” drawing, followed by a few paragraphs of context for when and why people might have sex and the importance of waiting until maturity to do so. The book also covers various types of love and other ways families are formed, as well as “okay/not okay” touches and basic sexual health.

The book continues through pregnancy, fetal development (with excellent illustrations of various stages and diagrams for how the baby receives oxygen and nutrients), and birth (with a mostly gown-covered illustration of delivery).

Sexuality is briefly discussed in the chapter on love, but the book is not fully inclusive: biological sex is equated with gender, and there is no discussion of intersex or trans people. (Those topics are covered in the more-frequently-challenged, next book in the series, It’s Perfectly Normal, which is labeled for ages 10+.) Abortion and miscarriage are defined in the chapter on pregnancy. These typically hot-button topics are not discussed in the context of controversy or politics, just straight-forward explanations of what the terms mean.

In Progress

Another Banned Books Week read for me was Maya Angelou’s autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I have not yet finished the book, so it is not included in this month’s stats. I’ve been listening to a library copy of the author-narrated audiobook on CD, but since my only CD players are in my car and in an old laptop too cumbersome to carry around with me, it will take me longer to get through this one than originally planned.

I really wanted to finish A Game of Thrones, the first book of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, for #SeriesSeptember, but too many things kept getting in the way and I didn’t quite make it to the finish line on this one. I will be continuing with it, though, in the hopes of finishing the series by year-end.


And now for the stats on the books I finished this month, courtesy of StoryGraph. Although I finished “only” 6 books this month, compared to 9 in August, and didn’t get to everything on my September TBR, the page count was nearly the same (2,256 in September, 2,272 in August). And I really enjoyed all the books I read, too!

My 5-star books included:

  • The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo (2018)
  • Willa of the Wood, by Robert Beatty (2018)

My 4.5-star books included:

  • A Venom Dark and Sweet, by Judy I. Lin (2022)
  • The Castle of Tangled Magic, by Sophie Anderson (2020)
  • The Next Great Paulie Fink, by Ali Benjamin (2019)

My 4-star book was:

  • Autumn in Venice, by Andrea diRobilant (2018)

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