Oh man! I read some great stuff this quarter, so it was difficult to choose books for “best of” and “favorites” categories below. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a problem, but I’m glad for it. It was a good quarter for reading.
What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.
September was a much better month than August, probably because I didn’t do much in it. But this was good for me. I wasn’t as stressed, and I was able to relax and find confidence again in things I’m great at. So September was a great month for regaining my footing, my balance — though it ended with me fucking up my phone. GAH!!!
I kicked off September with a series of quick, one-sitting reads, the first of which was Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. It’s a humorous book of anecdotes recounted by booksellers around the world. The conversations overheard and scenarios witnessed were sometimes too comical for me to believe.
Well, this is a bit out of character. Here I am with a book recommendation post that’s not based on a meme or book tag. I’d like to congratulate myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, but this is all because I haven’t seen a meme or book tag that focuses on only atmospheric stories.
I’ve been working on this post for weeks because I keep overthinking it. I feel weird recommending books sometimes because I start thinking that I haven’t read enough and I don’t know much, but I’ve gotten over myself for the moment and will share in this post a few books I’ve read that I’d describe as atmospheric.
The term “atmospheric” sometimes baffles me. I’ve only ever seen it applied to stories that are dark and gloomy and eerie, which makes me wonder if it’s only such books that can be described as atmospheric. But I’m sure that’s not right. I call a story atmospheric if it convinces me of a particular feeling… Okay, that probably didn’t make much sense, but I now realize that this is hard to explain. For me, an atmospheric novel is one that convinces me of a particular “feeling” about the setting, which doesn’t necessarily has to be dark and eerie.
So, here are a few novels that have a strong sense of atmosphere:
A month has passed since I last posted one, which isn’t a big deal, but…I’m just surprised at myself that haven’t thought of posting a haul in a while. Also I needed a topic for this post. Anyway, here’s what I got!
I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani at Perspective of a Writer to share our love of great characters. Each week, Dani will assign a topic/type of character that we must find examples of in the various media we consume (books, TV shows, movies, comics, podcasts, etc.).
September 21 topic:
A Mental Case
A totally crazy character
Davos from Iron Fist
I recently binged on the two seasons of Netflix’s Iron Fist — a TV show about a White dude who disappears for a couple years following a fateful plane crash and returns looking like a sexy hobo but with badass Kung Fu fighting skills AND a hand that lights up when he makes a fist — so the story and characters are still fresh in my mind.
Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read
I’ve decided to switch up the topic a bit and will instead list books I want to read by authors whose work I’ve read and liked. (So not necessarily my favorite authors.)
Mother of the Sea is another one-sitting read I completed a couple weeks ago. I forgot why I decided to read it then, probably because I wanted something quick, but I bought the book after seeing it featured in this booktube video.
YA fantasy; Historical fiction
When her village is raided, a teenage girl finds herself on a brutal journey to the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her only comfort is a small child who clings to her for protection. But once they board the slave ship, the child reveals her rebellious nature and warns that her mother — a fierce warrior — is coming to claim them all. (Goodreads)
“When the skinless men leave, the taste of salt lingers on her lips.”