September Reads

            Another four books down this month. One of them was from my overall reading list, and now I only have eight books left on there to get through before the end of the year. This month I didn’t read a craft book, though. I’ve spent more time reading blogs and listening to podcasts about marketing and have used that for my research instead of a book. Since I still digested useful information and read four books, I don’t count it as a loss.

1984 by George Orwell

         I was going to add this book onto next year’s reading list under the classics category, but then I decided to just read it this year. And boy am I glad I did. It was something else, and I definitely see why it’s a classic.

         The ideas presented are terrifying. Like A Handmaid’s Tale, it’s something that could so easily be real. It always starts with the ‘for the greater good’ ideology, right? The public is led along to believe the changes and new rules are all for their benefit when it’s all really about control and having a select few powerful men.

         There were some great plot twists that took me by surprise. Even though they made perfect sense and I should have seen them coming. The romance between Winston and Julia threw me at first, with her declaration of love out of the blue. But it makes more sense as time goes on. It’s easy to say you love someone when you don’t actually know about love because of your upbringing.

         Aside from Winston’s affection for her, I didn’t like Julia much. She was rebellious in nature, but actually a little lazy and dumb when it came down to it. She had no interest in learning like Winston did. And as someone who is curious and likes to discuss ideas with my friends, I don’t think I could keep someone around that didn’t share that passion.

         But all in all, the book was great. The end shook me. I wish there could have been something happier about it. But the twists took away any optimism I had about that way before the last page.

Creativity Brewing by Kevin Barrick and Jason Schneider

         Overall, I enjoyed this collection of flash fiction. They were all quick reads, but the thoughts they provoked lasted much longer. It was also a benefit, since I seemed to be too busy to read as much as I’d like to this month.

         A few of the stories felt a little eh to me, but the great ones made up for it. More than one made me wish I could know more about the characters.

         I recommend this collection to anyone who wants to read but only has a few spare minutes at a time.

A Witch in Time by Constant Sayers

         My feelings for this one are a little all over the place. I did like it. For what it ended up being, it was a great book. For what I was expecting, not so much. But I stuck with it to the end because it was interesting enough.

         Reliving Helen’s past lives was more fun than her actual current day life. Nora/Norma was my favorite. She was strong and tried to her best to follow her dreams. Sandra was second best because she had similar ambitious traits.

         But what happens with Sandra and Luke was awful, and their story made me hate him a little. And I couldn’t believe that Helen could go on loving him once she’d relived it.

         In the end, I wanted more magic, but it was mostly just love and heartbreak over and over. Still an enjoyable experience to read it, just not what I wanted.

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger

         This book kept me hooked from page one. I loved the idea of cocktails giving you magical powers and using them to defeat demon creatures. The interjected history lessons of the liquor and what they do were great as well.

         The characters started out amazing too. Bailey is hilarious and so relatable. But as we moved along, it felt like it only added characteristics to be relatable to more people or something. Like Bucket – totally fine that he’s trans, but the way we were told felt off and forced. I still like him, and he’s a great friend to Bailey throughout, but I feel like Zane could have just told her with an ‘oh, by the way,’ comment and they would move on. And similarly, with Jess, when Bailey reads her mind and finds out she’s had a crush since high school. It was cute, but didn’t feel like it fit in the story overall.

         Fun story though, and I’m glad I took the time for it. I’m looking forward to what else Krueger has to offer.

         If anyone has any recommendations for craft books, I’d love to hear them. I’m specifically interested in anything about marketing and social media platform right now. I feel like my writing and editing habits are pretty good at this point, and I don’t need to keep researching those areas as often as I have in the past. Marketing is hard though, and any help in that department will be more than welcome.