September 2023 books read

  • Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope – Megan Phelps-Roper, 2019. I’ve been transcribing my aunt’s draft memoir of growing up in the Exclusive Brethren, so this was full of meaning for me. I remember Megan’s exit from the Phelps family, and how remarkable and hopeful it felt; it fascinating to read the back story, and it communicated especially well how hard it was to leave.
  • Our Missing Hearts – Celeste Ng, 2022. Quotes pulled, TBD.
  • An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us – Ed Yong, 2022. Quotes pulled – SO many quotes! TBD.
  • Double Star – Robert Heinlein, 1956. I can’t remember what got me to re-read this excellent Heinlein, beyond getting the taste of the late period ones out of my brain… it’s short and delightful. The Martian culture is both alien and believable. “I see you, Rringriil.”
  • Till We Have Faces – C. S. Lewis, 1956. Quotes pulled, TBD (re-read).
  • What Katy Did and What Katy Did at School – Susan Coolidge, 1872 and 1873. Umpteenth re-read of this series my dad introduced me to. I always think of him when I revisit these books, and this time around I wondered how much they influenced his positive view of women. I also compared the first one to Little Women – same publisher, just a few years later, clearly addressing the market need – and realized I think it’s better in some ways, especially the quirkiness of the children.
  • You Could Make This Place Beautiful – Maggie Smith, 2023. Wow, this was quite a ride. It was more bitter than I expected, but also more experimental and interesting.
  • Lulu and the Dog from the Sea – Hilary McKay, 2011. Read for the Massachusetts Center for the Book September challenge, “A book by an author with your first or last name.” Challenging for me – one-L-Hilary is rare enough, but Jonathan and I are the only two Caws-Elwitts in the world. I had a lot to read this month so picked something super-short. My one-sentence description: “A sweet tale of two intrepid friends, an old tired dog, and a young wild dog.”
  • The Wind’s Twelve Corners – Ursula K. Le Guin, 1975. Read (re-read) for Calmgrove’s #LoveHain.
  • Dragon’s Egg – Robert Forward, 1980. A classic I’d never head of until just recently. Fascinating ideas – a truly remarkable and believable alien species you see evolve – written in pedestrian style, but the creativity wins over the writing.

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