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  • Writer's pictureKara C White

The TBR Stack: September 2020

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

It may arrive just as the year is heading into its final stretch, but to me September is always about new beginnings. I was one of those kids who looked forward to going back to school with my new school supplies and new shoes. Those fresh, fall feelings come back to me every September even when the temperature outside is more summer-like than autumnal. With my favorite season upon us and with new inspiration to meet my reading goals, I'm turning gladly to my TBR Stack.

I have a variety of different books lined up for this month, starting with Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book, written as a letter from the author to his teenage son, is a New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award winner which explores the realities of being Black in America. This 2015 nonfiction work got new attention earlier this year when it was included on multiple book lists of works which explore anti-racism and issues of racial justice. Coates also wrote the 2019 novel The Water Dancer which I read this past winter. I'm eager to explore his earlier work and the insights it can give me.

I also have two novels in my pile this month. Writers & Lovers by Lily King was released last March to strong reviews. The story follows an aspiring writer as she struggles to pursue her literary passion while grappling with unresolved grief, crushing debt, crippling anxiety, and a fraught love life. The premise is intriguing, and the reviews suggest I'll find both humor and humanity within the pages.

While I'm waiting for my turn with a library's copy of Sue Monk Kidd's The Book of Longings, I'm going to read her 2014 novel The Invention of Wings. This historical fiction imagines the story of real-life sisters and abolitionists, Sarah and Angelina Grimké. It is also the story of a young slave girl named Hetty. The Invention of Wings touches on themes of empowerment, true freedom, and who has voice in the world.

I'll take a slightly different approach with the next two books I've selected this month. Generally, I like to read just one book at a time, giving it all of my reading attention. However, with Devotions and The Artist's Way, I'll be reading these books slowly as I also progress through my other choices this month. Devotions is a collection of poetry by Mary Oliver. The celebrated writer, known for her poems about nature, life, and small moments filled with great meaning, passed away in 2019. This 2017 collection draws from decades of her work. Inspired by the title of the volume, I'm reading one or two poems each day as a way to slow down, look closer, listen, and learn from the world around me.

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron was first published in 1992. Often considered a self-help book, The Artist's Way provides a 12-week course on creativity and discovery. After seeing this book check out from the library where I work several times, I decided I wanted to check it out for myself. I'm not sure yet if I'll be able to complete all of the exercises over a full 12 weeks, but I'm curious enough to see what Cameron's book has to offer.

With my books for September picked out and piled up, I'm ready to jump into my TBR stack. What books are you jumping into this month? Best wishes for further reading!

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