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It's Monday 9/11! What Are You Reading?

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Book By Book

Hosted by The Book Date


Last week was pretty hectic here, just packed full of medical appointments for me (nothing unusual–just everything scheduled at once).  So, I didn’t do a whole lot of fun stuff, though I managed some short walks. This weekend, we went out for breakfast Saturday (a rare treat because of my immune issues) and had takeout dinner with good friends in the evening. There’s nothing like old friends to lift your spirits!

It looks like fall, but it was 95 degrees that day!

I waited so long for September, and last week, it was high 90′s and humid all week! We got big storms all weekend, and it’s still raining, so it should finally be cooler and drier after this.


Stormy skies this weekend

We have a LOT going on in the coming weeks: visiting my mom this weekend, coming home Sunday and immediately leaving on a 2-day local camping trip (squeezing it in to enjoy the nice weather), then a lake house we reserved next weekend for us and our sons and their girlfriends, then friends visiting from Australia, and our 34th anniversary at the end of the month. Whew. It will be busy but with plenty of fun.


On the Blog

 Fiction Review: Afterland by Lauren Beukes – fast-paced, gripping sci fi thriller about a mother and son on the run 

2023 Big Book Summer Wrap-Up – a record #BigBookSummer for me and for the overall challenge! 60 participants, a giveaway winner, and my own list of Big Books finished, in print and on audio.


On Video

Big Book Summer Challenge 2023 Wrap-Up – the video version! I recap both the entire challenge and also my own Big Book Summer, with a quick overview of each book. 

Friday Reads 9-7-23 – my brief weekly update of what I am reading and listening to


 What We’re Reading

With Big Book Summer behind me, I turned my attention to the R.I.P. Challenge #RIPxix, to read darker books in fall. After all those 400+ page books this summer, I started with a quick read, Crash by Lisa McMann. She’s an old favorite author of mine (YA series Wake, standalone Cryer’s Cross, and middle-grade series The Unwanteds, links to my reviews). This YA paranormal thriller is another engrossing hit! Sixteen-year-old Jules is experiencing strange, terrifying visions of a horrific accident where a snow plow hits a restaurant, and the whole place explodes. Her vision–which she’s seeing everywhere–ends with eight body bags in the snow. She’s worried it’s some sort of premonition, but the hitch is that the restaurant in her vision is owned by her family’s nemesis. They both run competing Italian restaurants, and there’s some sort of family feud going back generations. How can Jules warn them? And who would believe her? As always, McMann has created real-feeling characters, dealing with some serious issues (depression, suicide), while negotiating weird paranormal phenomenon. It was gripping, and I have book two in my R.I.P. stack for fall.

Now, I am reading Countdown City by Ben H. Winters, book 2 in his The Last Policeman trilogy. This is a unique mystery series about a (now retired) police detective still working cases even though the end of the world is quickly approaching. A giant asteroid is barreling toward Earth, with no way to stop it. Many people have reacted by “going bucket list” or otherwise running away, but Hank Palace still feels a commitment to police work, even though his city’s police department is now run by the Department of Justice, with no investigation work going on. In this novel, his childhood babysitter, Martha, calls him out of the blue to ask him to find her missing husband. In a world with so many missing people who have just left their real lives behind, how will Henry possibly find this one man? It’s a classic mystery/detective story with a big twist.

On audio, I had to take a break from my R.I.P. books to listen to a book for my neighborhood book group, but it sort of fits the theme! I’m listening to Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard (which won an Edgar award, so that definitely counts for R.I.P.). This is a nonfiction book by an award-winning writer. My book group previously read–and loved–her book River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey (and my husband enjoyed it, too). This book is about President Garfield, of whom I knew absolutely nothing! It’s a fascinating book, with dual narratives of both him and the man who assassinated him. It turns out Garfield was a pretty great guy (and President). The historical details are really interesting here as well.

My husband, Ken, is reading Open Season by Archer Mayor, book one in the Joe Gunther series, a mystery series set in Vermont. He’s enjoying it so far.

Our son, 29, recently lost his job and was pretty upset, so he’s immersed himself in some favorite series as he restarts his job search. After finishing Arcanist, book 12 in the Spellmonger series by Terry Mancour, he flew through book 13, Footwizard, book 14, Hedgewitch, and book 15, Marshal Arcane. Now, he is rereading an old favorite series, Art of the Adept of Michael G. Manning because Manning just released a spin-off series! So far, he’s reread book 1, The Choice of Magic; book 2, Secrets and Spellcraft; and is currently reading book 3, Scholar of Magic. I’m glad some favorite authors/series are providing him with comfort and fun during a difficult time.


What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog’s page

What are you and your family reading this week?


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