Peachy Books' graphic for September in Review showing the following books as being read this month: What is the Stanley Cup? by Gail Herman, Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, Come Closer by Sara Gran, The Twits by Roald Dahl, At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Blog Roll, Monthly Reading Recall

A Dark, Spooky, and Sombre Month

Peachy Books’ September in Review

Happy October! September has proven to be exceptionally emotional. We celebrated our wedding anniversary and my birthday, and my son made me a carrot cake, so there were some great times.

Image of a carrot cake with shredded carrot and chopped walnuts on top.

But with yesterday being the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation here in Canada, the month is passing with me feeling sombre and contemplative. 

We remember Canada’s monstrous treatment of the Indigenous peoples, the horrors of the government’s Catholic Residential School system, and that Every Child Matters, today and every day. 🧡

With getting my son back into his school routine, making special celebratory meals, and doing some fall organising, things have been a little hectic around here. I was hoping to make a bigger dent in my suffocating TBR pile, but, no dice. Maybe next month.

Most of the titles that I did read were super dark and required reflection and processing. I’ve been reading selections from the Booker International Longlist for 2021, over the last couple of months, so you can expect to see a post detailing my thoughts on those affecting stories sooner than later.

It took me an entire week to push my way through the disturbing imagery, manipulation, and slow lead-up to the depressing conclusions of My Dark Vanessa.

Vanessa is a grown woman lost in the darkness of her memories of a teenage life coopted by her sexually abusive high school English teacher. Years after he abused her, when another victim speaks out publicly, she has no choice but to face what happened to her and what role she might have played in her destruction.

What a kooky story this was! Mr. and Mrs. Twit are a highly unlikeable pair who spend their days playing disgusting pranks on each other when not holding animals captive in their backyard.

With their yard essentially a prison for the family of monkeys they keep locked up in a cage, and the endless amount of birds they trap each week to make a special bird pie, they are enemy number one to these innocent creatures.

How will the mistreated exact their revenge on the wicked duo?

To listen to my dramatic reading of Chapters 1 – 6, click here.

The cover for At Night All Blood is Black is very striking. I love the optical effect and what the hand means to the story, which I will refrain from revealing for spoiler’s sake.

This psychological novella is as much about the horrors of war as it is about the fragility of a mind trapped in helpless combat.

David Diop had me riveted from the outset as we follow a Sengalese man turned soldier, fighting for the French army on the front lines of World War I.

I’ve been attempting to step outside of my comfort zone and read a few scary stories this fall. Well, I did it! I picked up Come Closer by Sara Gran and didn’t need to stop before the end.

The big question for me at the end of this quick story is, am I truly the bitch I’ve always thought myself to be, or have I simply been possessed?

I’d rate this spooky tale a bit better than average, as it swirls together the evils of possession with the lunacy of insanity.

You know you are fully immersed in a story when you find yourself holding your breath. Minor Detail presents us with a horrific crime committed against a captive woman in 1948 in the Negev desert, as Israeli soldiers worked to dispossess the Palestinian population and claim Israeli independence.

In the second part of the book, we are in the passenger seat as a woman from across boundary lines in Ramallah attempts to find out what happened to that woman in the Negev 25 years before.

In life, she struggles to maintain within the boundaries imposed upon her. This is evidenced by her mission, driving in restricted areas with a rental car and a coworker’s ID, obsessed with finding out the truth.

We are hockey fans in this house – I know, big shocker, a family of Canadian hockey fans – GO LEAFS GO!

In What Is the Stanley Cup? Gail Herman takes us down a historic path to the game’s and its treasured trophy’s beginnings. Packed with fascinating information and accompanying sketches, this little book is sure to wow any hockey fan, rookie or veteran.

Have you read any of these? What was your top read for September?

Coming Soon to Peachy Books…