Autumn Reads – September Reading List

Autumn + Thriller Book + Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew is always a good idea. So despite having a hectic month I still managed to reach my reading goal for this month. I read 4 books in this month. Oddly, the books I read were just about okay and I really needed to force myself to keep reading them. I hate when books turn out that way and I hate it more when they turn out that way – half way through the book! I usually DNF the books if I find them boring or non-readable in the first half but after I’ve read more than half – I find it difficult to walk away. So which books did I read this month?

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Plot: The book is a continuation of ‘The Family Upstairs’. A bag of bones is discovered in the river Thames that sets off an investigation into a crime that occurred 3 decades ago. At the same time, Lucy Lamb is back to London 30 years later and starts to settle down into a new life, trying to put her past behind. But is the past really behind her? As her brother shuttles off to the States to reconnect with a lost boy from their childhood and the police narrow in on another murder – how safe is her new future?

Review: If you read my post on The Family Upstairs – you’d know that I LOVED that book. So when this sequel came out – I had to read it immediately! Was it as good as part 1? Unfortunately no. Was the sequel needed? Yes, because there were A LOT of unanswered questions/plotholes from part 1. But the whole setting of this book was a little eh. {SPOILER ALERT} The ending was pretty absurd considering that people are let go for a crime just because of their bad childhood. I mean come on! A lot of people become criminals because of their bad childhoods – are we going to let everyone go because of a sob fest? Overall, I was very disappointed cause I had high expectations and the book was a let down.

Rating: 6.5/10

One Hit Wonder by Lisa Jewell

Plot: Bee Beahorn is briefly a music sensation but isn’t able to replicate her success with her first song. When Bee is found dead alone in her apartment; her half sister Ana makes the trip to London to box her belongings and say goodbye to a sister she never really knew. As she goes through her stuff, Ana tries to understand why her famous, outgoing and full of life sister would take her own life and decides to investigate it with the help of Bee’s friends. What will she find out about her sister’s life? What secrets was Bee keeping?

Review: I’m sure you see a pattern – I’ve been on a mission to read all of Lisa Jewell’s books but this unfortunately, might be the last one I read. This is one of her earlier books from early 2000s and so it definitely doesn’t compare to her recent work. The book didn’t really have a plot line. The ending had me just feel relieved that the book was finally over. It isn’t a thriller. It isn’t even a murder mystery – it is more of a coming of age book for Ana’s character. Another reason I despised the book was that in the book Bee takes a holiday to India and arggh, the author’s descriptions of what she assumes India would be like is bloody annoying. British and their superiority complex. Sigh. (FYI, India overtook the UK to become the fifth largest economy by GDP) Overall the book was below average and I didn’t enjoy it. This is probably one of the rare books that I’ll recommend to pass on.

Rating: 3.5/10 (The extra .5 is for the other books by the author that I did love)

How Not To Die Alone By Richard Roper

Plot: Andrew is alone. He’s been alone for a long time. He’s been okay with being alone but with his sister passing away too soon and a new coworker at work – something stirs inside him, something that makes him not want to die alone. Will he be able to ensure that he does not die alone?

Review: The book’s title had me. I’m currently single and while I do have a bunch of friends and family around me – I do tend to spend most of my time alone. I was intrigued by how much I related with his story. While I did enjoy the overall storyline, I hated how long and slow the book was. The book could have easily been 50% shorter and actually been a perfect book. The story was so dragged that I almost gave up on it 10 times. If the story had twists and turns or a lot happening, I wouldn’t have minded the length but this was a pretty straightforward story that was dragged on unnecessarily. {SPOILER ALERT} Secondly, the idea that romantic love is the thing to save you from loneliness is another annoying plotline. I assumed that would be part of the storyline but was hoping to be pleasantly surprised and I wasn’t. Overall, the storyline was good but the writing wasn’t.

Verdict: 5/10

Lullaby by Leïla Slimani

Plot: Myriam and Paul are college sweethearts who have two kids soon after college which puts a damper on Myriam’s career plans. As she yearns to get back to work, they decide to hire a nanny to help them during the day. They meet Louise who turns out to be a perfect nanny – she takes care of the kids as well as the house, making Myriam’s return to work smooth. But as time passes, the couple starts to notice some sinister signs of trouble brewing under the surface. What is the reality of their perfect nanny? What awaits the couple and their family?

Review: This book should have been a short story. It is a short book (approx 200 pages) but even that seemed too much for the story line. The story line was very intriguing and had me hooked but the ending was just very dragged and didn’t give me the answers I needed. I would have preferred if the book was a short story. The story line was very spooky and if you like thrillers you’ll like it too. Overall I’d recommend it as a one time read.

Verdict: 6/10

Overall while I read more books, the quality of the books weren’t the best. I look forward to reading for Halloween-y books this month. Any recommendations? What are you reading currently?

Reading Progress 2022: 23/30

PS: Thank you for your kind words on my last post. More updates next week.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. So sorry the books didn’t turn out to be good for you. It sucks when that happens! I just finished the family upstairs by Lisa Jewell based on your recommendations and I loved it! But it’s pretty disappointing now to hear that her other books weren’t quite up to the mark.


  2. Niharika says:

    You read 4 books in a month 😯 That’s some kind of achievement. But the books didn’t turn out to be happy reads, that’s annoying, yes. Out of these I only found Lullaby interesting.
    My current read (not spooky) is Ladies’ Tailor by Priya Hajela. It’s part fiction and part non-fiction and is highly engrossing and a little painful.


  3. Jay B Hughes says:

    Thanks for saving us all some time! I refuse to finish books that make me a lot of glorious promises in the beginning and they never get close, then volume 2 doesn’t either! Thinking of Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael and then The Story of B


  4. 7 more to go 🙂


  5. Juliette says:

    Wow, you almost reached your goal and it seems like you’ll get there for sure! I admire how you manage to read so much in a month and I wish I set aside more time for reading during the week! I haven’t heard of any of those books but the Lullaby seemed very intriguing – though to be honest your thoughts on it made me think about it twice!


  6. As a reviewer of your book reviews, “I enjoyed reading your review post more than you enjoyed reading Lisa Jewell Books”.🔥


  7. LaShelle says:

    I hate having high expectations and then having them fall short especially when it’s one thing after the other. There’s a Netflix series coming out based on a book called “the luckiest girl alive”. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and the cherry on top is when you’re done there’s a series to watch! I can’t give it my own seal of approval yet because I’m just diving in myself but maybe you’ll want to dive in with me. ☺️❤️


  8. bosssybabe says:

    Ohh I will have a reading update post coming soon – I’ve read some great books (maybe you’ll find something there)! Happy Reading! 🙂


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