September Reading Challenge

You read that right: September reading challenge.

One of the things that disappointed me the most about university (and believe me, there were a lot!) was the fact that I didn’t have time to read for pleasure. I graduated in July, a few days more than four weeks ago to the day I am writing this post, and it seems paradoxical to me to even admit this, but it’s true: reading for pleasure was not a hobby I pursued at university. There were many reasons to this. some of which are:

  • seminar reading lists
  • lecture reading lists
  • essay and/or project research
  • extra reading (hah, nerd!) for topics I wanted more information on because curiosity is queen
  • part-time job(s)
  • volunteering, and
  • … procrastinating

Suffice to say, I watched a lot of Netflix (and variations thereof) when I was a student. Even though I had plenty of time and opportunities to pick up a book and just read again, I was very reluctant to do so. My eyes got tired a lot, I couldn’t stay up all night speeding through a novel anymore and frankly, reading an e-book didn’t appeal to me at all and I buying non-essential books on a student budget was not feasible at the time.

So now, eight months into 2018, I have challenged myself to do more reading. I have always told my friends that “I can’t wait to start reading again after graduation.” A full-ish month later, here I am in my room not reading a book. To be fair, I pretty much jumped head-first into an internship with full-time work hours and a three-hour total commute… but the sentiment still stands.

I have been reading a lot of Financial Times, mostly because I have lulls during my internship where I technically have to tasks to do so I while away the time by reading my highly curated myFT list of articles – I like to enjoy it while I can, seeing as I piggyback from my university’s subscription and I don’t quite know when my access to FT’s website will stop.

Back to the September Reading Challenge, here are three books I want to finish reading when September ends. (See what I did there?)

LiberaTarts September Reading List

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, a book by Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, a book by Yuval Noah Harari

Bought for £9.99 at WHSmith.

I read Harari’s other book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, at least two years ago back when I was on my year abroad in Japan. I was feeling homesick and wanted something lengthy to read in a language I could understand completely. It was a great read, very insightful, and I look forward to enjoying Homo Deus as much as I did Sapiens.


Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge book coverWhy I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Bought for £4.49 at WHSmith.

I bought this at the same time as Homo Deus, making use of the Buy 1 Get 1 Off offer the store was peddling at the time. The reason I chose this book was because I always feel wrong-footed whenever the subject of race, ethnicity, or my vague sense of ‘Otherness’ is brought into conversation. Hopefully this book will help me find the middle-ground between “Yes, I’m brown, deal with it” aggression to “Yeah, let’s move on from this…” timidity.


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan book cover

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I am loving the hype that the movie adaptation of this novel is getting recently, and I am super upset that the UK will not be showing this film in cinemas until November at the earliest. I half-joked with a friend that I will fly to the US and brave the Trump administration, even for just a week, so that I can have the chance of seeing this movie on the big screen ASAP.

I am a sucker for films and TV shows that are hedonistic in its materialism, and while I understand that there is a heartwarming narrative in this novel, I am just looking forward to a piece of work that features Asian in a context that not revolve around poverty, persecution, and all the troubles that come with that.

So those are my three books to finish by September. I’m taking it easy, choosing pieces that already immensely interest me and giving myself the second half of August as well as the whole of September to reading. If this goes well, I might consider a reading challenge for every month – perhaps even a Halloween themed one for October!

Bring on the -ber months!

Over to you guys: What do you think of my book choices? Tell me about your favourite book and the story behind why they became so! I’m truly curious.