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  • Lev Lyonne

If You Wanna Write, You Gotta Read: September 2019 Book List

My birthday was on September 7th and on that day I decided nineteen was going to be the year I got back into reading. So I read as much as I could all throughout September and reignited my great love for falling into a book. I didn't get as much writing done, because of adding more reading in, but I feel as though what I have written is now richer.

If you wanna write, you gotta read. Or something like that.

Here are the books I read in September. Hopefully you find something that piques your interest!

1) Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

"A funny and smart romance about true love, politics, and fighting for what you need."

-I got this book for my birthday and finished that same day. It is brilliant and beautiful and romantic and funny and...it's everything. It is definitely now one of my favorite books.

2) American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

"A clever take on both an old tale and modern life as a young Chinese-American."

- I had to read this for a class, where we were talking about stereotypes and prejudices. This is a graphic novel, which I normally don't read on my own, but this was a smart, wacky, and enjoyable read.

3) King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

"A young king, a powerful general, and a fearless witch bring us a story of saints, stars, and survival."

-This was my second time reading King of Scars and I didn't love it as much. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing, but it is also my least favorite Bardugo book. (That kills me so much to say, you have no idea). I enjoyed King of Scars, but probably won't pick it up again for a while.

4) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

"The tail end of a slow-burn, enemies to lovers story, with all the fixings of a great book."

- Another re-read, in anticipation for the sequel. I love Carry On. I love the characters and the magic and the romance. This book will always have a place on my shelf.

5) The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

"A retelling of Pericles, through a way of mirrored worlds and tangled threads."

-I work at a library, so I brought this home from work. I'm not going to lie, it's because I liked the cover. I also ended up enjoying the story. It is a retelling of an ancient myth and Shakespeare. It is not my favorite book, but I would read it again. Warning, it does have a bit of a Lolita vibe in the parts that take place in modern times.

6) City of Thieves by David Benioff

"In 1942 Lennigrad, two young men have a week to find a dozen eggs."

- I read this book at least once a year. This is my very favorite book. It is a tale of deep friendship and small adventure. It is so well written. I could go on for hours about this book, so I'll just beg you to read it. It's unlike any other of my favorite books, with no magic or fantasy or grandness. I actually took my pen name from the main character, Lev. (And the name of this blog came from the book too!)

7) Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

"A sad and magical road trip through the United States."

-I read it all in one night, but I didn't enjoy it. I have a lot of feelings about this book, but I was super disappointed that it was mostly angst. I'll read the third book (that's supposedly coming soon) and then maybe I'll re-think some things. Maybe I was just reading it with too high of hopes for fluffy things.

It's not a bad book, it's just not the book I was expecting.

8) Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola

"Let us go to Paris to find haunted lovers, murder, and madness."

-I randomly plucked this off my shelf and dove into it. For a book written in the 19th century, it felt remarkably close. The story was sad and disturbing, and the plot plodded along a bit, but it was a good read. I don't know if it was the particular translation I read, but the descriptions were the thing that pulled me into this book. Oh, and the book is about haunted lovers, murder, and madness.

9) The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

"Tales of gingerbread girls, clever foxes, toy soldiers...all in new and gorgeous ways."

-I checked this out from the library, having never read it before. As soon as I returned it, I bought myself a copy.

I adored this collection of original fairy tales. They are from her Grishaverse and honestly, they are some of her most beautiful writing. The tales stick with you, dancing in the back of your mind, and the illustrations are stunning. This is a must-read.


Another list will come out when October ends!

Until next time,