Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

September 2021 TBR

Hey all! I realize that I'm SUPER late with this and I'm already deep into many of these books, but here I am with my plans for September reading! We're getting to the end of the year, and as usual I'm behind on my reading. This always seems to happen this time of year, and it's becoming clear that I read far less in the summer months. I'm hoping to catch up this fall because at the moment I'm four books - gulp! - behind schedule. So here's the September plan...

Dune - Frank Herbert

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family - and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

Yes, I'm still working my way through this one. It would have been much faster to read it in book form, but I opted for the audiobook because I've heard such great things. It's good for sure, but it's taking me longer than normal because I find I have to pay super close attention to what's happening, which means that I can only listen to it at certain times when I'm not distracted. It's been a fun revisit though, and I anticipate that I'll finish it this month!

The Plot - Jean Hanff Korelitz

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written—let alone published—anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot.

Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that—a story that absolutely needs to be told.

This one was a bit of an impulse buy, but when I heard what it was about I thought it sounded really compelling. I had a few extra credits kicking around on, so I decided to pick this one up.

The Way of Kings - Bradon Sanderson

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the 10 consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them and won by them.

Yup, I decided to start in on this beast of a book. To be honest, I didn't have much hope that I'd like it because I'm not a huge fan of high fantasy. But so far, I'm completely sucked in. Let's see if that feeling can last for 1000+ pages.

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less - Jeffrey Archer

The conned: an Oxford don, a revered society physician, a chic French art dealer, and a charming English lord. They have one thing in common. Overnight, each novice investor lost his life's fortune to one man. The con: Harvey Metcalfe. A brilliant, self-made guru of deceit. A very dangerous individual. And now, a hunted man.

With nothing left to lose, four strangers are about to come together—each expert in their own field. Their plan: find Harvey, shadow him, trap him, and penny-for-penny, destroy him. From the luxurious casinos of Monte Carlo to the high-stakes windows at Ascot to the bustling streets of Wall Street to fashionable London galleries, their own ingenious game has begun.

I believe I heard about this one on Litsy, and it sounded like a fun, caper-style book. I rarely read this style of novel, so I thought it would be a fun diversion from my typical reads and an easy read as well! 

Sweet Bean Paste - Durian Sukegawa

Sentaro has failed. He has a criminal record, drinks too much, and his dream of becoming a writer is just a distant memory. With only the blossoming of the cherry trees to mark the passing of time, he spends his days in a tiny confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with sweet bean paste.

But everything is about to change.

Into his life comes Tokue, an elderly woman with disfigured hands and a troubled past. Tokue makes the best sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted. She begins to teach him her craft, but as their friendship flourishes, social pressures become impossible to escape and Tokue’s dark secret is revealed,
with devastating consequences.

This one has received a lot of positive reviews, and I've had it sitting in my Kindle forever! The story sounds sweet, but sad and those sort of wistful books are - IMHO - perfect reads for this time of year.

Trust Exercise - Susan Choi

In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed—or untoyed with—by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.

The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls—until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. 

This was the bookclub pick for the month, and I remember it being a super buzzy book when it came out! The review seem to be mixed - though it won the National Book Award, readers seem less enamored. But the premise sounds interesting, so I'm excited to get into it.