Backlist Books Challenge September and October Reads

It is the first week of November, and I am sharing the backlist books that I read in September and October.

September October Backlist Books

September was a decent reading month for me. That is mainly because my husband and daughter both had surgery. Much of my reading was done waiting at surgery centers and doctor’s offices.

October was a terrible reading month for me. I only read four books, which for many is an average reading month, but it is about half what I normally read.

One of the books I read in October I loved. One was good. Two were not for me. I think not liking the two books was more me than the books. My reading mood was just off in October.

I also broke my reading challenge in September with one book published in 2021. I share what book it was and why I decided to read it below.

September Reads

Miss Buncle's Book review

Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stephens

Miss Buncle’s Book was published in 1936. It is definitely a backlist book. It took me about fifty pages to get into this book, but once I did it was a fun read about village life. I can totally see myself rereading this one in ten years.

I plan to get more of the books in this series. If you love books about books, this is one that is a little different, but definitely about books.

The Other Bennet Sister

The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow

I would describe The Other Bennet Sister as fan fiction. I have heard about this book on several podcasts that have talked about Jane Austen’s books and Jane Austen’s retellings. Several people mentioned this book as one that they loved. I thought it was fine, but didn’t love it.

It was an easy read, but I felt like it was about 100 pages too long. It would have been better if it has been a little shorter. I think this is a book that many Jane Austen fans will love, but I would not say that it is a must read.

Encouragement book review

Encouragement by Mark Chanski

I am not sure where I heard about this book, but it was a good read. It is a Christian book about how encouragement helps our overall life. A few words of encouragement can give someone just the encouragement they need to keep going. And at the same time a few discouraging words can impact a person for years to come.

I didn’t agree with everything in this book, but overall it was a good read. The author does a good job of reminding us how and why words matter.

The Fever of 1721 review

The Fever of 1721 by Stephen Coss

Published in 2016, The Fever of 1721 was the right book at the right time for me. Not everyone wants to read a book about the smallpox epidemic right now, but I really enjoyed this one. The subtitle of this book is The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicin and American Politics. And that subtitle totally fits this book.

This book was another reminder that not much has changed. If you think the events of 2020 and 2021 are unique, pick up this book. Three hundred years later we are still arguing about the same issues.

The Ragged Edge of the Night book review

The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawkins

The Ragged Edge of Night was published in 2018. It is a WWII story that is fiction but is based on the author’s family. Those are my favorite type of WWII fiction reads.

A friar stripped of everything he had, relocates to a German hamlet and marries and a widow with three kids. This book is part WWII love story like nothing that I have read. This is now on my list of favorite WWII historical fiction books.

The Dirty Life Review

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

The book The Dirty Life, published in 2010 is on quite a few lists for best food memoirs or best farm memoirs. I can see why this book makes so many lists, but it wasn’t for me. The writing was fine, but I just struggled to really get into this one.

I did find the descriptions of farm life good. It was a reminder of what farm life is really like. It is not easy. This book wasn’t for me, but if you really enjoy books about farm life or where your food comes from, you might enjoy this one.

Food Saved Me book review

Food Saved Me by Danielle Walker

Food Save Me is by one of the bloggers that made grain free cooking popular. It is also the book that made me break my backlist books challenge. Yes, this book was published in 2021. I read it and I am so glad that I did. I needed to read this book.

Our family has had a tough six years. It has been full of major health issues for several in our family. The last few years I have really felt alone in the journey. This book is the book that inspired this Instagram post that I did. The online food and health world is harsh. There is often very little balance of food and medicine.

The medical world discounts the importance of food, and the health food world often discourages the use of medicine. I have long thought that food can make life better, but it often can’t heal. The issues my family has can never be healed, but food can improve the quality of life. Reading this book had me in tears. I truly felt someone understood.

Just because you believe food can help you doesn’t mean that you throw medicine out the window. If you deal with major health issues you might find just the encouragement you need in this book.

October Reads

Parnassus On Wheels book review

Parnassus On Wheels by Christopher Morley

Written in 1917 this book got me back on track with my backlist books challenge. Parnassus On Wheels is a short book at only ninety-four pages. If you are in a reading slump, this is a great book to pick up.

It is a novel of a writer, a widow, a farm, and a traveling bookseller. This is a book about books but so much more. It is a fun quaint story that was just the book I needed to read.

The Murder On the Links book review

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

The Murder on the Links is the third or fourth Agatha Christie book that I have read this year. It is a well-written mystery book that I really enjoyed. It wasn’t my favorite of the Agatha Christie books that I have read, but I think that is because I figured out the murderer early on in the book.

Agatha Christie’s books are not considered cozy mysteries, but if you like cozy mysteries and have never read her books, give them a try. They are classic mystery books that don’t have a lot of gory graphic details.

Mail Order Bride book review

Mail Order Bride by Debbie Macomber

I wanted so much to like Mail Order Bride because so many people love Debbie Macomber books, but this book wasn’t for me. It was a quick read. I finished it in a day, but it was a little too unrealisitic for me. It was like a cheesy Hallmark movie in book form, and that is coming from someone who has watched quite a few Hallmark movies.

I think one of my issues with this book is that although it was clean romance, there was a ton of it. It was just overly sappy for my tastes. I wanted more story and less kissing.

A Homemade Life book review

A Homemade Life By Molly Wizenberg

A Homemade Life was another book that I wanted to love but didn’t. This is another book that makes quite a few best food memoir lists. Molly Wizenberg is a food blogger who lives in Washington State but grew up in Oklahoma. I am a food blogger, who grew up in Oregon but now live in Oklahoma. I could relate to a lot of this book, but I struggled to finish it.

I think this is probably a case of the wrong book at the wrong time. It was not a great reading month for me and this wasn’t the only book that I struggled to get through. Some months are just like that.

I will say that this book has quite a few recipes in it which is one of the reasons why I think so many people love it. I marked several of the recipes to try because they sounded so good.

What have you been reading? Did you have a great reading month?

5 thoughts on “Backlist Books Challenge September and October Reads”

  1. I have had Parnassus on Wheels on my to-read list forever! Must get it soon! And Olivia Hawker’s book you mentioned sounds amazing. I whole-heartedly agree with your reviews of The Other Bennett Sister and A Homemade Life.

    • I hope you enjoy Parnassus on Wheels it is a quick and fun read! I am glad to know that I am not the only one that didn’t love The Other Bennett Sister and A Homemade Life. Sometimes it feels like a book is loved by everyone but you, but that is rarely the case. It is always nice to hear someone else feels the same.

  2. A backlist challenge sounds interesting, but it would have to be the opposite for me, as 1) I prefer books written pre-1950, and 2) I rarely buy new releases because I’m both frugal and want to know that a book is going to stand the test of time 🙂

    • This book backlist challenge has helped me realize that I too prefer books that have stood the test of time. Most of the books, especially fiction books that I love are not the new releases. And yes the nice thing about older releases is that you can often find them used and a lot cheaper or readily available at your library.

  3. I just added The Ragged Edge of Night to my TBR. It sounds like something I would enjoy! Is there any content warnings like sexual content or extreme violence? I like to be prepared. I felt the same about The Dirty Life and A Homemade Life! There were parts I enjoyed but I couldn’t relate to both women. I really enjoyed Pernassus! Such a book-lover’s delight of a classic! I just read Agatha Christie’s Cards on the Table and loved it! My favorite is And Then There Were None. Do you have a favorite?

    Linking my recent reads, if interested


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