What I Read This Month: September 2021

Books Gretchen has read

For four years now, every Monday morning, I’ve posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads.

I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.

As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.

This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.

When I read books related to an area I’m researching for a writing project, I carefully read and take notes on the parts that interest me, and skim the parts that don’t. So I may list a book that I’ve partly read and partly skimmed. For me, that still “counts.”

If you’d like more ideas for habits to help you get more reading done, read this post or download my “Reading Better Than Before” worksheet.

You can also follow me on Goodreads where I track books I’ve read.

If you want to see what I read last month, the full list is here.

And join us for this year’s challenge: Read for 21 minutes every day in 2021!

A surprising number of people, I’ve found, want to read more. But for various reasons, they struggle to get that reading done. #Read21in21 is meant to help form and strengthen the habit of reading.

September 2021 Reading:

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (Amazon, Bookshop) — My mother highly recommended this wonderful, high-spirited memoir. Now I want to watch the TV show based on it.

The Years by Virginia Woolf (Amazon, Bookshop) — From my Summer of Virginia Woolf. I loved this novel; in many ways, it’s quite different from Woolf’s other novels.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Amazon, Bookshop) — Think The Westing Game crossed with Clue with a bit of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Blind Man’s Bluff: A Memoir by James Tate Hill (Amazon, Bookshop) — A fascinating account of the author’s experience of sight.

Billy Summers by Stephen King (Amazon, Bookshop) — A page-turner! No one writes like Stephen King.

The Queen of Attolia (Queen’s Thief, 2) by Megan Whalen Turner (Amazon, Bookshop) — Los Angeles Times Book Prize;
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Years ago, I read The Thief, the first book in this series, and loved it, but didn’t know about the other novels. Now I’m on a tear.

A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf (Amazon, Bookshop) — How I love this collection of Woolf’s diary entries related to writing. I’ve read it countless times, and find extraordinary new passages every time. My copy is falling apart.

The King of Attolia (Queen’s Thief, 3) by Megan Whalen Turner (Amazon, Bookshop) — More Queen’s Thief! I have the fourth book ready to go.

The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom (Amazon, Bookshop) — 2019 National Book Award winner. A thought-provoking memoir of family, change, New Orleans, and the meaning of home.



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