My September 2020 Stack

My primary goal this year is not to let teaching run my life, especially now, when there’s so much going on in the world. I need time to be me and do things I like to do. So, work is not happening at home this year. Reading, however, is.

Here’s what’s lined up for September.

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole (2020)

I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but this one looked too good to pass up. Sydney is a 30-year-old, depressed black woman who starts to notice that her poor black neighbors are disappearing and being replaced by wealthy white people–well, wealthy white people and Theo, who’s white but poor. So, it’s about race and class and its masterfully done. I knew gentrification was bad, but this eerie setting + Sydney’s unreliable narration + Theo + Cole’s phenomenal research & commentary really sheds a light on the horror. Unputdownable. Go buy it. (Full disclaimer: I started reading this one right out of the box and actually finished it before publishing this post).

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (2020)

I fell in love with Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and so I snatched Transcendent Kingdom up as soon as I realized she had another book out. Homegoing won me over with its interesting form—a multi-perspective narrative that spans generations—and poignant prose. Transcendent Kingdom is a novel about an immigrant family “ravaged by depression and anxiety and grief” and the PhD candidate daughter studying to understand depression and addiction. I think this will be a timely read—therapeutic, hopefully, insightful, for sure.

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (2011)

N.K. Jemisin is frequently on my reading list. She is just one of the smartest, most original, most thought-provoking sci-fi/fantasy writers out there. Last month, I read her debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first installment in The Inheritance Trilogy. The Broken Kingdoms is the second book of the trilogy. It follows the story of a god-plagued blind woman, Oree Shoth, who stumbles upon a dead godling in an alley shortly after she takes in a mysterious houseguest. I’m about 20 pages in, so I have my guess as to who this houseguest is, but no spoilers.

Given that I’m querying a work of my own and currently writing the sequel while I wait for an agent to bite, I think reading three books this month is a sufficient, if not lofty, goal. But, if I have time, I’ll add Rosewater by Tade Thompson or Jemisin’s final installment of The Inheritance Trilogy, The Kingdom of Gods. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on my reads for this month here on the site.

What are you reading this month? Contrary to what I just said, my list has room for more (always). Share your September reading list below!

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