In September I actively took part in @anovelfamily’s #ReadWhatYouOwn challenge. The challenge was put forward on Bookstagram for readers to read the books they currently own during the month of September.

While I was preparing for the challenge, I realized I had at least 20 books that I haven’t read on my shelf. My goal was to read all 20…that did not happen. I ended up reading 14 books from my shelf along with some other books from my Kindle. While I was taking part in the #ReadWhatYouOwn challenge, I received six additional books that I now need to read. Will I ever have a shelf filled with books I’ve read?


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For the month of September, I read 22 books. I will be doing this month’s wrap up in two parts- the first will speak to my physical #ReadWhatYouOwn shelf and the latter will focus on my Kindle reads.

Majority of the books I read during the #ReadWhatYouOwn challenge were three star reads. I think that may be the reason for them being on my shelf for so long. I had to mentally physic myself up because their plot development was so slow. “The Cave” “The Post Man Always Ring Twice” and “The Stranger” all come to mind. They were given to me as gifts, so they aren’t books I would generally gravitate towards. However, I did enjoy reading “ The Stranger” a lot more than I thought I would.


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Most of my unread shelf turned out to be non-fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed Sidney Poitier’s “Measure of a Man” and “The Value in the Valley: A Black Woman’s Guide Through Life’s Dilemmas” by Iyanla Vanzant. I spent a lot of time highlighting and making notes in both of these books. Reading Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” really rekindled my love for running and forced me to sign up for a Half Marathon.


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By far, the highlight of my #ReadWhatYouOwn challenge was “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee. This multi-generational sweeping tale lived up to the hype and was my only five stars read for the month. “Pachinko” was the biggest book I read all month, but it felt short in time because of how captivating the writing was. Honourable mention goes to “Thicker Than Water” which is a collection of poems, essays, memoirs and stories by Caribbean writers. I was really impressed by this collection and I look forward to reading more from these brilliant writers.



Kindle Reads
There were a lot of new releases I have been meaning to catch up on and I got to read some books that came highly recommended. Granted, a lot of these reads turned out to be underwhelming for me. Regardless, one of my standout Kindle reads for September was “The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir” by Jenifer Lewis. This is not your Grandma’s memoir, and that is what I loved most about it. Dr. Lewis was as real and hilarious as she is in life. This ranks as one of my top memoirs for the year so far.

I have been a little having a bit of a dry spell in the thriller/mystery department lately but “The Banker’s Wife” by Cristina Alger really wowed me. Here is a book with strong female leads are aren’t drunk or unreliable in any way. If you are looking for a refreshing, well thought out thriller, this is it! Honourable mention goes to “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai it’s got all the right ingredients for an exceptional read, the plot fell a little in the end but regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

There were some books that were always on my Bookstagram timeline and I decided to believe in the hype, they mostly turned out to be three star reads. “Fruit of the Drunken Tree” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras and “The Incendiaries” by R.O. Kwon both comes to mind. I was particularly annoyed by “Vox” by Christina Dalcher because I the book came with such a strong premise.

Overall, September was a weird reading month for me. While I read a lot, most of the books weren’t as captivating as I hoped they would be. Below is the list of books in order of ratings.

5 Stars
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

4 Stars
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
Thicker Than Water: New Writing from the Caribbean by Funso Aiyejina
The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memior by Jenifer Lewis
The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger
The Value in the Valley: A Black Woman’s Guide Through Life’s Dilemmas by Iyanla Vanzant

3 Stars
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
In The Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want by Iyanla Vanzant
Vox by Christina Dalcher
The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Oprah Winfrey Speaks by Janet Lowe
A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
The Cave by Jose Saramago
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out Of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

2 Stars
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing by Bronnie Ware
Pushing 30 by Whitney Gaskell

About the Author


Founder & Editor

Hello, I am Cindy, a Jamaican girl living in Trinidad & Tobago who is thoroughly enjoying island life. I started the BookOfCinz platform to encourage people to Read, read More, read Widely, and Read Caribbean.

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