september roundup: what i read, watched, and listened to this month
I was on a long road trip at the start of September, and have been going through a breakup for the rest of it, so my concentration on reading was at a maybe all-time low. Thanks to audiobooks and a Netgalley deadline though, I did manage to finish three books in September! Here are some brief thoughts:
Enchanted to Meet You (Witches of West Harbor) by Meg Cabot
You can find my full review of Enchanted to Meet You here, but in short: despite its cozy setting and my love of a fall romance, I was disappointed by this one. Plot and character development were severely lacking, and I didn’t love the one-dimensional traits assigned to the plus size main character. I think I need to finish out the Princess Diaries series with that random COVID novel and then say goodbye to Meg Cabot.
We’ll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han
This was a hard read (or listen in my case). The books had their moments of cringe and frustration with Belly’s decisions, but this one was mostly cringe and rolling my eyes. Which is sad, because I was excited to see how everything would end. I think the absence of Susannah and reflections on grief and family really hurt the book, making it more shallow and solely focused on the love triangle, which was never my favorite part of these books. I loved the first one because it perfectly evoked the feeling of growing and changing, with the same places and people watching those changes. There’s really no growth, change, or nostalgia here. The second Belly makes a terrible decision near the beginning, the book lost me, and never really got me back.
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintent #1) by Madeleine L’Engle
This was a re-read, and happily, I can say it’s still a favorite for me. I loved the forward and afterword, and hearing about how this was an early book in the YA genre, and thus rejected from publication several times for having an unclear audience. I didn’t remember the more Christian overtones in this book, so it was also amusing to hear about how Christians at the time spurned it for encouraging witchcraft. The book almost reads a little cliche, but it’s because the themes and plotlines it takes on have been emulated in so many other books.
Unreal Earth by Hozier (2023), favorite tracks: First Time, Francesca, Who We Are, Abstract (Psychopomp), First Light, honestly all of them??
I feel like I’m going to be obsessed with this album for a long time. It’s Hozier’s look back on his pandemic experience through the lens of Dante’s Inferno and I’m definitely sure I’m not picking up yet on all the nods to Inferno and other mythologies yet, but I will!!
Guts by Olivia Rodrigo (2023), favorite tracks: all-american bitch, bad idea right?, ballad of a homeschooled girl, making the bed, get him back
Olivia Rodrigo is so good at ripping your heart out in the most fun way. This is so inspired by the early 2000s pop of my childhood that I had to listen to some Hilary Duff and Aly & AJ after to keep the good vibes going. I love the directions Olivia’s going in, hope she keeps going forever.
Purpose by Justin Bieber (2015), favorite tracks: What Do You Mean?, No Sense, Where Are U Now, Purpose
Annnnd, a little throwback. This album makes me laugh at Justin Bieber’s blatant bad boyfriend-ness and dance like a maniac to Where Are U Now. 2015 was a simpler time and this album is a time capsule.
- this is what autumn feels like by JVKE
- Yours by Conan Gray
- BRNT by Magic City Hippies
- Graveyard by Halsey
- Winona by Yoke Lore
- Delta by Bea Troxel
- Mayfly by Belle and Sebastian
- Much Too Much by Lennon Stella
Heal Your Heartbreak: This is a bit cringe, but since I’ve been going through a breakup, it’s been hard to listen to regular music and podcasts. This podcast has been really useful at reinforcing the good actions I already know I should be taking (no contact, ugh), and giving me some new information to think about.
The Sleeping At Last Podcast: Ryan O’Neal of Sleeping at Last has a series in this podcast where he goes through each of the songs he’s recorded for each number on the Enneagram. I LOVE all things Enneagram, so this has been super fun for me to listen to. I just finished Three.
Drama Queens: I’ve been in major re-watch mode when it comes to TV, and this One Tree Hill rewatch podcast makes it that much more fun. I love that the main actors are still friends after all this time!
Gilmore Girls: I’m now in the doldrums, season seven, and just having them on in the background until Logan comes on screen.
The Summer I Turned Pretty: I like this show, but Belly has really been irritating me in the past couple episodes of season two. Hoping it turns around. I love Taylor and Steven!
Gossip Girl: We’re in the Ivy season, whichever one that is? Another that I passively watch – just not in the mood to pay attention to anything intently lately.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two (2011): I wanted to do a Harry Potter rewatch in the -ber months, ending near Christmas, and my friend had the interesting and possibly crazy idea of watching them backwards, so Christmas can be all about relatively happy movie one. I’m not sure how this will go, but I cried buckets during this one, so I can see how it wouldn’t be the holiday vibe.
Choose Love (2023): This was one of those interactive movies where you get to choose your own adventure in a way. Fun idea, terrible main character! Why did they have her in a relationship with poor Paul while she’s drooling over other guys?? Justice for Paul. And I’ll unfortunately never be able to erase the image of Rex “sexily” crawling towards the camera on the bed.
Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999): On my trip at the beginning of the month, we got into a Disney Channel Original Movie vortex, and this was one of the picks! It’s still hilarious with the outfits and future slang (zeetus lapeetus!) but it felt so long for a 97 minute movie??? More cringe and less fun laughter on this one.
The Luck of the Irish (2001): THIS ONE, however! I may have enjoyed this one more than I did as a kid. The Ohio references were truly incredible. And Timothy Omundsend as an evil leprachaun! What more could you ask for?
Pride and Prejudice (2005): I know, I know. I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie, and it indeed was well worth the wait. Way funnier than I expected as well, but that may have been the spiked hot chocolate.