What I Read In September

I feel like I should tell y'all that, when I write these book recaps, I write them as I finish a book, so that I don't forget anything. Which sometimes ends up with several paragraphs that are all over the place. I had a ton of my books on holds come off all at the same time, and joked with the librarian about it. She agreed that it was weird that we couldn't like, give the person behind us in line a turn first. If you missed what I read in August, you can find that here

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A book stack, with two library books and a kindle on top. From the bottom up, you have The Testaments, The Lost Girls of Paris, and on the Kindle, is the cover of Becoming

Beloved: HOLY COW YOU GUYS. I honestly put this on my TBR list shortly after Toni Morrison died and I learned more about her. I devoured this. Literally finished it in two days because I could not put it down. I don't know what I was expecting from this book, because I honestly didn't know anything about it going in other than all of the praise for Toni Morrison. Anyways, here's the goodreads description

"Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved."

It's dark and twisty and there's this middle part where we abandon all grammar and syntax rules, it's a wild ride. I recommend it, if you're into dark and twisty. 

The Lost Girls of Paris: This was very much in the same vein as The Alice Network, told with two different timelines, and I loved it. It was another one that once I got to the meat of the book, I couldn't put it down. I kept telling myself "okay, one more chapter and then you have to go to bed" but I ended up finishing it. Another story about strong women in WWII who were nearly forgotten because the men want to take all the credit. You know the drill. I really liked that there was a romantic interest for the main characters, but that wasn't the whole story. It wasn't something that was wrapped up in a pretty little bow at the end of the book where they live happily ever after in some enchanted forest.

If you liked The Alice Network and The Huntress and any of the other ones about female warriors and spies in WWII, I recommend this one too. It does take a little while to pick up, but once it does it's hard to put down! 

Becoming: I've mentioned before that I'm enthralled by the stories of strong women that tend to get overshadowed by their superstar husbands, so obviously this one was on my list to read. I really enjoyed this one, it almost felt like I was listening to Michelle Obama tell her story. I loved the little behind the scenes things that you're not going to get in an interview and I loved how honest she was about everything? It sounds weird, but I really enjoy when people who seem larger than life can be like "I sat there thinking, am I enough?" because that's something I feel all. the. time. It's nice to know that you can feel that and still have a huge impact on the world. I'm also fascinated by [most] of the First Ladies, it's such an interesting position. There are so many rules but at the same time there are no rules. I was too young to really remember people hating on Hillary for working while First Lady, but based on recent history, I'm really not that surprised to hear it. Another one that I very much enjoyed and I think everyone should read.

I did have a book I didn't finish in last month's round up, so I swear I don't love every book  I read. 

The Testaments: I was the very first person to borrow this from my library. I recently saw an instagram post that was in no way directed at me, but I took it personally anyways, it was about how the poster always makes a point to buy copies of books instead of getting them from the library to support the author. Now, I'm sure Margarte Atwood will survive without my royalty money, but I freaking love the library, so I felt defensive. Additionally, I can't afford my reading habit without the library.

ANYWAYS. This book is a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. From Goodreads: ""Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." --Margaret Atwood" (putting that quote in quotes made me feel very much like Michael Scott...)

I really enjoyed this. I haven't watched the third season of the TV show based off of The Handmaid's Tale yet, so I'm not sure if I should have "seen the overlaps coming" as the reviews on Goodreads state. Personally, I've stopped reading the reviews there until I've finished the book, one because people play very fast and loose with spoilers, which for a social network for book lovers blows me away, and two because they're often very harsh. Atwood said this is everything you've been asking about Gilead. I think that's what she delivers. I've read some bad post works (LOOKING AT YOU CURSED CHILD) I don't think that's what this is. I read it in TWO DAYS you guys. Hard, physical copy. All 415 pages. I devoured it. If you liked Handmaid's then I think you'll like this too. I don't think it's pandering, I think that most authors know what happens to their characters after the first book ends. I'm very defensive, I suppose, but I enjoyed it. I wanted to know how it ended. I worked out some of the ways the characters were tied together, but I think you were supposed to. Someone else read it and let me know if I'm being fanatical, the "top" reviews on Goodreads are making me doubt myself.

Currently reading: The Girls of Atomic City:

That's it for September! What did y'all read? As always, linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books! 
Life According to Steph

Can I Bring Albus? Dry County Brewing

I think Can I Bring Albus? is my favorite blog idea in quite some time. I'm always trying to get out and about when we don't have company in town (we have a bad habit of cramming all of the fun things we want to do into a weekend when we have someone to show around town. It's aggressive.) So, a couple of weeks ago, we met my mom, stepdad, grandmother, and grandfather out at Dry County Brewing.

This is not a sponsored post. We would love for Can I Bring Albus? to be picked up by anyone willing to give us beer or food in exchange for our honest opinions about how great it was that you wanted to give us beer or food though..
Albus sits, smiling, in front of a Dry County sign. He's wearing a very dapper buffalo plaid bandanna

If you're familiar with the Kennesaw area, Dry County is tucked right behind McCollum Airport and the Vulcan quarry, just before Kennesaw State's main campus. They have a pretty big space with an outside patio, complete with cornhole! BONUS: their brewing facilities are behind a sealed door, so dogs are allowed inside and outside! 

While I have been trying to get Albus's instagram up to "send us free treats and bandannas" fame, we've found some other pups to follow that are local and share our interests. We walked into Dry County, and who should we meet? One of Albus's friends from the internet, Larry! They were super cute together and Larry even shared his ball with Albus (I cannot say Albus would have done the same. He's very much an only child..) 

Larry, of Larry Loves Adventures, sits smiling to Albus's left. They became best friends on this day
Dry Count is also a DISTILLERY. That's right ladies and gentlemen, they make beer AND liquor. So while we were there we had a chance to try TWO frozen drinks made with their own vodka. Let me tell you, they were so tasty. I'm not a fan of sugary drinks, but since it's been summer for my entire life I was willing to give the frozen blueberry lemonade a chance. My mom and I were supposed to share the drink and I absolutely drank 90% of it. Albus gets his inability to share from me, apparently. It was so good that for my next drink I had the raspberry limeade, which was EVEN. BETTER. 

A delicious looking frozen blueberry lemonade drink in a Dry County pint glass, with the blue sky and patio area of Dry County Brewing in the background. We're all very kindly ignoring what little bit of a manicure is left on Kasey's hand.
I've also been really digging their Lechuza and their Oktoberfest brew. (PS, if you're a big beer drinker, I adore the Untappd app, come be my friend!) I've found those on tap at some of my favorite local places too! 

We played corn hole (which, somehow, I was on the winning team AND scored the winning point.) Albus had lots of snacks, got lots of pets, and made some new friends. It was a very laid back vibe (we did go on Sunday afternoon, but it was Labor Day Weekend, so that's not a real Sunday) and it's both dog and kid friendly! The staff is great and everyone is very knowledgeable about the beers and can even help you decide what to drink! They had dog bowls with water in them, even though we always bring our own, and a canister of treats at the bar! 

Have you been to Dry County? Where should our next installment of Can I Bring Albus take us?