September Novel Ideas: Quick Reviews and Other Bookish News

8 mini book reviews

Welcome to the September Novel Ideas 2017 edition. Novel Ideas is a roundup of mini-reviews for books we read this month, as well as snippets of future posts and other bookish news. Note: This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase an item through a link, we get a small commission.


I had a pretty terrible reading month this time around. Aside from The Hate U Give which I discussed a few weeks back, I didn’t read any paper books. Instead, I opted for audiobooks as I prepared for getting the kids back to school.

Mademoiselle Chanel by C. W. Gortner – I loved this story, but ended up hating the woman it was about. I grew up loving Chanel designs and idolizing the fashion icon. However, when I learned more about her life in this book, I was scandalized and horrified….but I couldn’t put it down! 4 stars.


4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster – I tried and tried and tried with this one, but 12 % and about 120 pages in I gave up. I just could not connect with the story! 1 star.




Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance – I loved this book and actually referenced it in our post for books that make you think. I had new insight into an issue I thought I understood and weeks later, I’m still thinking of this story. It’s fairly short and a quick read but worth the read or listen. 4.5 stars


Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane – This felt like 2 books in one. I loved the first half but the second half was so over the top that I had to roll my eyes. It’s a shame the story didn’t go down a different path. 4 stars for the first part and 2 for the second so let’s call it 3 stars?


Like Jackie, I also listened to Fallen Crest Public and Fallen Fourth Down. To be honest, I love running to them! The main character runs ALLLLLLL the time and I find myself increasing my pacing whenever she does! 3.5 stars for both.


This was a very difficult month reading wise for me.  As some of you may know my son had surgery which led to a very difficult few weeks for us here.  My mind was elsewhere and I had trouble concentrating on anything of substance. So my reading this month was limited to many books that were as fluffy as can be.  Toward the end of the month, I read a great thriller, a well-received YA, and a mystery.  I stocked up on some great books that I am looking forward to reading in October.

Fallen Crest  Public, Fallen Crest Fourth Down, Fallen Crest University by Tijan- This series is the best kind of fluff that there is.  It is completely ridiculous and is entirely unrealistic so that it requires no thought at all.  The writing is pretty bad and the story is totally predictable; however, they are very entertaining.  3.5 stars


I See You by Clare Mackintosh- I was so excited to read this book.  I absolutely loved Mackintosh’s other book: I Let You Go.  This book is quite a different feel but is still a very good thriller.  I was left shocked and surprised to the last page.  It was not predictable and had me thinking and questioning after I had finished the last page. It left me feeling creeped out for days after.  4 stars


Dreamland burning by Jennifer Latham- I had heard great things about this book and was very excited to read it.  Unfortunately, I did not love it as much as I thought I would.  Does that ever happen to you? You have high hopes for a book and then you feel let down.  I felt that the story moved too slowly. The first 50 pages move quickly and start to develop the story but the next 150 pages seemed to move so slowly.


Still Life by Louise Penny– The first in the series of Chief Inspector Gamache. There is something about this book that is so great.  I just loved it.  It is a good, old-fashioned who-dun-it.  Somehow, this book was so relaxing to listen to.  It didn’t make me anxious and didn’t require too much thought.  The story takes place in Quebec, Canada.  I was born in Montreal (which is in Quebec)  and listening to a book set in Canada was somehow nostalgic. Listening to the French swear words was awesome.  I know that my friends here in the US don’t know that “tabarnac” means sh*t!!! 4 stars

Beyond the Bookends

Our Harry Potter love is strong around here…and guess what! It is strong over at the PBTeen headquarters too. They just came out with a Harry Potter line and I am swooning. I think I have to update our Harry Potter Bedroom soon.

Have any of you seen USA’s The Sinner yet? I am OBSESSED. It was unlike anything I had seen before. My only complaint is that I didn’t read the book it was based on first. I highly recommend it! It is currently on demand and perfect for binge-watching.