Books – September 2018 Roundup

This was a pretty good month for audiobook-reading/listening.  Because of some smart choices, despite the fact that I didn’t really get a start on this month’s books until a few days into September.  But two of my books this month were quite short, and I finished them in less than week or so each.  And because I’m posting two days before the end of the month, it means I already have a head start on making progress with my NEXT month’s books, and will hopefully continue getting sh*t done when it comes to reading.


Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

That’s right.  I finished the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  No one will ever accuse these books of being great literature, but they were never meant to be.  They were intended as a sort of peek into what the super-elite of Asia are like in these modern times.  And they certainly aren’t meant as a realistic view of what life in Singapore or Hong Kong are really like.  Instead, I view them as the same sort of fluff that has focused on the lives of rich white people for so long.  It just goes to show that while there may be slight differences in how things are handled or perceived, we are all the same deep down.  Also, I’m glad that my favorite sub-plot from the series (the story of Astrid Leong-Teo) got wrapped up in a way that was both satisfying and surprising.  Still haven’t seen the movie yet (waaahhhh!!!) but I know I will eventually.  Also, I hope they make all three books into movies, because I feel like the second two are better than the first!

Ask a Manager by Alison Green

Based on the popular blog, this is my book club book for next month.  Props to me for finishing in advance, especially since you’ll see something embarrassing related to book club below.  In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book which was read by its author Alison Green.  She has a very calming voice, which is able to impart knowledge and authority on the matters at hand.  In any case – I LOVED this book.  I have a feeling that if I’m ever in a position to be a manager, I will buy a copy of it to keep handy, because she lays out specific things to say in common situations, and I feel like that would be such a handy thing to have as a reference.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

This was a book that went SO MUCH FASTER than I expected, but in a good way.  I was pleased at being able to finish a book quickly, but also amazed at how much story was packed into such a dense little book.  It felt like biting into a small chocolate or some other food which then cracks open and then spreads a lovely flavor through your mouth.  It reminded me vaguely of two other books I’ve read recently – A Tale for the Time Being, which was also set in Japan, and had characters who were living more unusual daily lives, and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, because that book too had a female protagonist who was not completely “with it” when it came to social conventions and mores.  And perhaps not surprisingly, it made me appreciate convenience store workers a little more, though I have a feeling that the Japanese convenience store is a little nicer/tidier than your average 7-11.


Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Hey guys.  Remember how this was my book club book for September?  And how my book club met at the beginning of the month?  It turns out I didn’t finish the book in time, but figured I’d knock it out soon after just to say I’d finished.  LOL.  That didn’t happen.  Instead, it has sat, sad, at my bedside for the last few weeks, just about 30 pages from the finish.  I have been so tired the last few weeks (and also sick for the last couple days), that the amount of time it would take to finish more than a page or two is just too much, and so I have made little to no progress on finishing.  Which is frustrating because I’m SO CLOSE TO DONE.  Maybe I’ll try to knock it out this weekend while B is having a nap?

Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson

And we’re back with this book too!  Unfortunately, it was auto-downloaded to Libby for me again, and so by the time I got to start it (yesterday), about half of its check-out period had elapsed.  So I’ll have about a week and a half to continue making progress.  Luckily I changed my settings for downloading future books, so I won’t have to worry about them downloading before I’m ready, and I also don’t have much coming up too soon from holds.  Of course, I say that and two big fat tomes will end up dropping at the same time.  I guess I’ll keep re-adding this book and chipping away at it bit by bit while I can.


So I’m still 5 books behind schedule, but I feel like the goal is within sight.  If I can keep reading some short ones (I’ve got some recent comic book volumes I need to finish), and finish up things that have been left hanging, it’s possible to get things done and achieve this goal.  But as we get to the end of the year, it’s all about making the right book choices, and using my time appropriately if I want to hit that 42 book goal for the year.

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