Bookish Chatter | Finishing September (the book, not the month)

Good morning, friends. The week is flying by for me; maybe for you, too? We’ve landed into our school routine pretty well and we’re all relatively happy now that we know what to expect every day. Last week’s introduction of quiet time was revolutionary because it has given me reading time that I can depend on every day, instead of just the little pockets of time that pop up unexpectedly. I love it! Since we last chatted about the BIG books I’m reading, I finished one of them, started another, and made a big decision about a third. Let’s discuss a little more.


I finished September last Thursday, despite thinking it would take me at least another week to get through it when I wrote last Wednesday’s post. But the book flies once you get to the day of the party. This one is kind of a mystery — there’s so much going on with all of the characters and Pilcher masterfully draws you into their stories, building the intrigue a page at a time. Like I wrote last week, Pilcher writes about the changing of the seasons so beautifully. Scotland in September sounds divine. This book is full of grand estates and cozy cottages, the best of both worlds, and includes the most lovely details. I also loved how complex the characters were. I found myself rooting for people, feeling disappointed in them, and then rooting for them again. The ups and downs in this book were intense! I have to say that The Shell Seekers is still my favorite, but this one is a close second. (But Coming Home was awfully good, too!! How can I rank them?) I’m looking forward to reading Winter Solstice in December.


Last week I started Lonesome Dove as a buddy read on Fiction Matters. I’m about 200 pages into it, which is about 2/3 of the way through Part I. I have to say that this book would have been excellent to read during the summer because you can feel the West Texas heat pouring off the page. I have laughed out loud multiple times because these characters are perfect. I watched the mini-series back in the early 2000s when I was home sick one day and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The book is just as good, if not better. I’m having a hard time not picturing the characters as the actors on the screen, but that’s okay. I never thought I would be so excited to get a cattle drive started!

I’ve made no progress on Kristin Lavransdatter since last Tuesday and haven’t even had the urge to listen to it. Red flag, red flag! I’m over 9 hours into the audio and am not compelled to continue, so I am abandoning this one. I feel bad because I committed to doing a buddy read with Karen, but I need to move on or my entire reading life will simply stop from the guilt of knowing that this book is lingering in the background.

I will say that the descriptions in this book are gorgeous. Norway is such a beautiful setting and the author included a tiny bit of mythology in the beginning that propelled me through the first 9 hours (of 45). But since then, there just hasn’t been enough to hook me. Your mileage may vary!


When You Greet Me I Bow isn’t a big book (only about 300 pages), but I’m going to be taking it slow and you might see this pop up over the next few months. I purchased a copy because Ruth Ozeki recommended it in her interview with Ezra Klein. When I got it and flipped through it, I knew that it needed to be read with a friend. My friend and I decided to read just one section a month (there are four) and then discuss. The first section is A Buddha and a Buddha: Notes on the Joy and Catastrophe of Relationship. It is excellent — I’m marking up a ton and can’t wait to discuss. And I’m definitely looking forward to next month’s section: Form is Emptiness: Notes on Thinking, Writing, and Emptiness. Very Ozeki-like!

And that has been my reading week. Lonesome Dove, the first two episodes of Once Upon a Time… At Bennington College, and a few essays from When You Greet Me I Bow have filled me up and given me lots of inspiration and food for thought. What a strange brew! But it’s been doing good things for my soul. I hope to be back on Friday with a few good things. Until then – take good care.


28 thoughts on “Bookish Chatter | Finishing September (the book, not the month)

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  1. When You Greet Me sounds like exactly what I need right now…as soon as I finish Booth. (And I may have to stop reading your Bookish posts, because I can’t keep up with you and everything sounds so goo!!) Just kidding, but…;-)


  2. I’m ALMOST to party day in September! there was a scene in the pages I read last night (high heels leaving marks in the damp ground) that has me wondering about the mystery almost more than the relationships (gosh I dislike Lottie!!) I just ordered Winter Solstice; I don’t think I’ve read it. When You Greet Me sounds so good! I saw that podcast in my feed yesterday – still haven’t listened to it!


    1. Yes — there are some really creepy scenes! You might have finished by now? It’s so good. And I can’t wait until we get to Winter Solstice! When You Greet Me is SO good, especially when read with a friend. My friend and I met on Friday for coffee and a chat about the book – and I think next month’s discussion (on Form and Emptiness) will also be very good!


  3. No worries about Kristin Lavransdatter! No need to waste time on a book you are not enjoying! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going SO slow on it. Just because, well, we are moving this week. So packing, moving, unpacking, etc. I am putting Kristin Lavransdatter on hold for now until after we get settled. I have heard SO many good things about Lonesome Dove! It is on my TBR. I’ll take the cue from you to read this one in the summer time. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. I am in complete understanding on bailing on a big book… I was halfway through The People in the Trees and knew it was just not heading in a place I wanted to go. Good for you for recognizing that this was not a book for you.


  5. I liked September very much. Just as much as The Shell Seekers. Actually, my favorite Pilcher book is the one I am currently reading, and I just finished Coming Home. I am on a Pilcher binge and will probably make my way through as many of her books as I can get through interlibrary loan. Also, recently discovered Elizabeth Jane Howard, a contemporary of Pilcher. Just finished The Light Years. What a book! I highly recommend it. The copy I read had a blurb by none other than Rosamunde Pilcher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, Elizabeth Jane Howard is totally new to me. Thank you for the rec! So is your favorite Pilcher Winter Solstice? Another person in the Fiction Matters Discord conversation said that it’s her favorite too!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Seconding the Elizabeth Jane Howard recommendation – I still have the four books in The Light Years series on my bookshelf! and I think The Light Years was made into a show for TV, on PBS maybe? I remember enjoying it, but have no idea when it came out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have such fond memories of reading those books. I shared them with my dad and he loved them, too. You’re making me glad I still have them … and wondering when I can prioritize re-reading them!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I hope you won’t feel any guilt about giving up on Kristin L. That big a book is a real commitment, and it’s sounds like right now isn’t the right time for it for you. You can always read it at a later date! I have to say that I never thought I would be interested in Lonesome Dove, but when I listened to the Novel Pairings episode on it, I reconsidered. And perhaps I will join you in reading Winter Solstice in December — once we’re on vacation!


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