September Smiles and 2020 Reading Update #3

Greetings blog friends! How are you doing? I hope your week is going well. October is off to a great start chez Natalie. We had rain and thunderstorms on the last day of September then the sun returned to welcome the first day of October.

Autumn leaves have been showing off their yellow, orange, and red colours in downtown Toronto. On a sunny day, they look brilliant. The air is cool, especially in the morning, just right for cycling and walking.

Red maple.

There are still a lot of late summer flowers, berries, and monarch butterflies around. The variety of colours in parks and gardens now is astounding and makes me want to paint.

Monarch butterfly.

I love that when I cycle along the Waterfront trail, the lake views are always changing. On calm days, I can see what’s beneath the clear water. On windy days, the waves roar and splash as they hit the breakwater walls or the rocks along the shore line. The familiar landscape includes water, open space, rock boulders, and trees.

Anyway, today I’m reflecting on my month of September and summarizing the books that I read in the third quarter of 2020.

September Smiles

September was a wonderful month when I enjoyed a mix of health-related activities, i.e. cycling, exercising, meditation, stand up paddling, walking, and yoga. I wrote my weekly blog posts, completed daily language lessons on Duolingo, listened to digital concerts, and read many novels.

Here’s my September in numbers:

  • 1 family meet-up with my sister and nieces.
  • 1 stand up paddling excursion.
  • 3 digital concerts.
  • 4 blog posts.
  • 4 rest days.
  • 13 strengthening workouts.
  • 14 yoga sessions.
  • 18 books (see list below).
  • 18 walks.
  • 22 cycling trips.
  • 30 meditation sessions.
  • 30 French and Spanish sessions.

2020 Reading Update #3

Back in March this year, I wrote a post to share my Reading First Update for the first quarter of the year. Once I started that, it feels logical to continue with Reading Update #2 for the second quarter, and today’s Reading Update #3 for the third quarter.

At a glance, I read 15 books in July, 20 books in August, and 18 books in September. Social distancing due to COVID-19 pandemic means more staying at home than normal and this gives me time to read.

The list of the novels that I read in July is here, in August is here, and in September is below by author’s last name:

  1. Woman On The Edge by Samantha M. Bailey.
  2. The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister.
  3. The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely.
  4. 500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan.
  5. Fireworks by Katie Cotugno.
  6. How To Love by Katie Cotugno.
  7. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno.
  8. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green.
  9. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella.
  10. One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul.
  11. The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda.
  12. The Switch by Beth O’Leary.
  13. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.
  14. He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker.
  15. In Her Wake by K.A. Tucker.
  16. Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker.
  17. One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker.
  18. Wild At Heart (sequel to The Simple Wild) by K.A. Tucker.

I lucked out again with the fiction novels I borrowed to read in September. They’re all really good books written by authors from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I look forward to reading more novels from the same authors again.

Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, October 10 to 12, is coming up. I know I have a lot to be grateful for. If you’re celebrating the holidays, Happy Thanksgiving to you! Stay safe and well.

How did your week go? I’d love to hear your comments.

Linking here.

Copyright Β© 2023 – All rights reserved.

67 thoughts on “September Smiles and 2020 Reading Update #3

  1. Jill Weatherholt October 4, 2020 / 7:20 am

    Wow! The autumn colors have certainly arrived. Your photos are gorgeous, Natalie! I see a few books on your list that are waiting on my Kindle. I turned in a proposal for another book on October 1, so more writing during the month of October. Our hummingbirds have left which makes me sad. Thankfully I have tons of photographs on my phone. Have a great week ahead!


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 9:36 am

      Jill, Another book underway…You rock. The hummingbirds will be back. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean October 4, 2020 / 10:23 am

    The colors on your trees are spectacular. We are nowhere near to seeing that yet. Your reading list is filled with authors I’m unfamiliar with. Fun to see some new ones here. Some of which you must really like to read more than one book by them all at once.


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 1:18 pm

      Ally, Autumn is visible and beautiful here. I try to read different authors from different countries and different genres, subject to when the books I requested are available from the library. K.A. Turner lives in a quaint town outside of Toronto. I recently read most of her books to support a local talent.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. October 4, 2020 / 11:20 am

    That maple tree with it tremendous color reminds me of a peacock fanning it bright plumes. Lovely. Such color!! How interesting that one day you can see through the water it is so clear, and the next day it is choppy and playful making it impossible to see through. We have such constant wind here that water – if we had any – would be in constant turbulence.

    Look at you reading and accomplishing so much. I would say you have found a group of authors you very much enjoy reading. I rarely read more than one book by the same person. Find that I usually really like the first book I read, and the next ones don’t quite measure up.

    Yay for yoga, language lessons and walks.


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 1:26 pm

      Leslie, I know what you mean when the next books by the same author don’t measure up. This summer I decided to read some authors more than once, to give them another chance because it’s next to impossible to write ‘bestsellers’ every time, plus I want to see whether or not there is versatility and growth in the author’s writing repertoire.


  4. bearmkwa October 4, 2020 / 1:10 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving. This year it seems we have even more to be thankful for. If we are alive, then we are truly blessed. Speaking as a survivor of covid, I can say that just breathing is a blessing. Here, in Northern Kentucky USA, the trees are just barely beginning to change. We’ve had a frost advisory these last two nights. I brought in the mum from the porch, a get better soon gift from our elderly neighbor. It’s soup weather so making a hearty cheddar cheese potato soup today, maybe I might even bake an apple pie for a special treat. πŸ™‚ Have a great week!


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 1:32 pm

      Thank you for your visit and comment. I’m sorry to hear you had COVID-19 and I’m glad that you survived it. Your cooking and baking plan sounds delightful. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dawnkinster October 4, 2020 / 1:43 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! Is that a Great Lake or the Ocean? I have no ability to read stuff at the moment, mind is going too many places and I don’t have the concentration needed to focus on reading. Plus I can’t find my Kindle, though I know I was reading something that I liked on it. Sigh. Maybe soon I can settle down. Thank you for sharing your beautiful images!


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 1:50 pm

      Dawn, I’m so glad you liked my photos. That’s Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes. It does look like an ocean where you just see water all the way to the horizon. Many people I know have trouble with focus and reading since the pandemic started so you’re not alone. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!


  6. Sagittarius Viking October 4, 2020 / 2:31 pm

    Wonderful wonderful photos this week Natalie! It looks like it is warmer in your area. What’s the temperature like? Thank you for the coffee.


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 4:54 pm

      Maria, I’m so glad you liked my photos. The high temperatures this past week ranged from 13C to 26C (55F to 79F). Today’s high is just 12C (54F). It’ll be slightly warmer during this coming week. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. joanne October 4, 2020 / 3:17 pm

    What beautiful autumn colors!


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 4:57 pm

      Joanne, Autumn is beautiful here. Hope you’re doing well. Thank you for stopping by.


  8. Retirement Reflections October 4, 2020 / 4:10 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving back to you, Natalie.
    Once again, I am incredibly impressed with how much you have packed into a single month. The amount of books that you have read in 30 days (1 book every 1.6 days) is incredible. You need to publish a ‘How to’ book about this. I would definitely buy it!


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 5:05 pm

      Hi Donna, Your kind comment made me laugh as my reading quantity reflects how little social life I have due to covid-19 restrictions πŸ™‚ Seriously, I don’t watch TV, don’t spend time on social media, barely scan the news, and only go out for essentials. This gives me time to read every day and once I’ve got a good book in my hands, I’m eager to read to the end. Rom-com and thriller types of books are easy to read, too.


  9. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid October 4, 2020 / 5:29 pm

    Wowzers! You certainly did a lot of reading this month! I read The Flatshare and can’t wait to get started on The Switch and I’m super excited about the new Jenny Colgan one too. If I don’t “see” you before, Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 6:37 pm

      Sammie, I think you’ll enjoy The Switch and 500 Miles From You. Coincidentally both novels involve swapping locations. Have a wonderful week!


  10. Jo October 4, 2020 / 6:04 pm

    As always a well balanced month for you. That butterfly and those autumn colours! Lots on this reading list that I think would appeal to me too. A really good mix…


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 6:39 pm

      Jo, These are really enjoyable books. Sally Thorne is from Canberra, Australia and her debut novel The Hating Game is one of my top picks. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jennifer Jones October 4, 2020 / 6:09 pm

    Beautiful photos Natalie. September was a happy month here. Still very quiet but life is good.


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 6:41 pm

      Jennifer, Glad to hear you had a happy September. Enjoy October!


  12. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 October 4, 2020 / 7:00 pm

    The autumn colours on the tree are breathtaking as well as the gorgeous butterfly – great shots, Natalie and I love visiting the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year. Alas, this year is an exception. Thanks for the book list as I haven’t read any of these and always looking for recommended reading. As always you have packed a lot into your month and I wish you a fabulous October. #lifethisweek


    • Natalie October 4, 2020 / 7:33 pm

      Hi Sue, Autumn is beautiful here and Iit motivates me to be outside to take in the scenery. October is off to a great start. Have a wonderful week!


  13. Antoinette Truglio Martin October 4, 2020 / 8:59 pm

    Brilliant colors around you. YOu had an amazing month of reading.


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 9:05 am

      Antoinette, It’s beautiful outside here at this time of the year. After my fitness activities and house chores, I look forward to sitting down with a good book every day.


  14. leannelc October 4, 2020 / 9:23 pm

    Beautiful Autumn tones in those trees Natalie and I can see that September was a really happy month for you – full of all the things that make retirement so enjoyable. I hope October brings you even more smiles as it unfolds. x


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 9:09 am

      Leanne, The autumn landscape here is beautiful. It motivates me to go and stay outside. I’m grateful to be able to choose and do activities that I enjoy every day. I hope October brings you many smiles, too.


  15. Debbie October 5, 2020 / 3:27 am

    The colours in the trees are beautiful Natalie, particularly the red one! That’s a lot of reading and I’ve not read any of them so I’ll be adding a few to my lists now. Your posts are always enjoyable to read so many thanks for sharing #lifethisweek


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 9:14 am

      Debbie, The red maple trees here are stunning. Different shades of red, too. I’m on my feet a lot during the day so I look forward to sitting down with a good book in the evening. Glad you found some books from my list to add to your “to read” list.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. trentpmcd October 5, 2020 / 9:35 am

    Even though I read these earlier, I like comment on them when you post them to the weekly smile πŸ˜‰ It sounds like September was a great month for you. A lot of activities, both physical and mental, and a lot of reading. Always good things! Nice Autumn photos.


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you, Trent, for hosting the weekly smile and commenting. September was great. October is off to a good start. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Beaton October 5, 2020 / 10:43 am

    wow your autumn is so distinct I think we just have green and not green then no leaves oh and then purple when the jacaranda trees bloom that is spectacular I think in the coming week thats when our streets look purple


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 12:45 pm

      B, Maybe you can post some photos when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. I saw them when I was in South America. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beaton October 5, 2020 / 12:50 pm

        oh absolutely look out for a post titled Coffee With Purple Rain that will be my ode to the Jacarandas in full bloom


        • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 2:23 pm

          Will do. I read one of your older Coffee posts with Bougainvillea. The “happy birthday on both” cakes cracked me up.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Beaton October 6, 2020 / 5:01 am

            its priceless !! the twins are more grown up I shall show them how they were little terrors


  18. patwdoyle11 October 5, 2020 / 2:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing the fall colors! I do miss seeing them. We are planning to drive north (to Ohio) in late October and I’m thinking I might catch some color is Northern Georgia or Southern Tennessee still.
    I still have not started keeping track of things like you do… number of yoga or strength training sessions, number of on-line concerts, etc. I am beginning to list books I’m reading… now I need to start putting dates on when they are read. I did note summer reading… since I bought a bunch of light-hearted reads – or I expected them to be lighthearted; a few were not.
    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 2:32 pm

      Pat, I think you’ll see some fall colors as you drive north later this month. I keep track of my activities and numbers in one spreadsheet, easy and low maintenance. I look forward to Thanksgiving even though it will be quieter this year due to the pandemic. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Laurie October 5, 2020 / 2:55 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Natalie! Your fall photos are so pretty! I am going to check out some of the books you read. I am almost through the stack I have on my bedside table, and I need to replenish before I run out!


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 3:10 pm

      Thank you, Laurie. It’s a good idea to replenish books before you run out. Most of the novels I read in September were rom-com or romance-suspense with a few thrillers and young adult fiction. Hope you find something you like from my list.


  20. 3sistersabroad October 5, 2020 / 5:41 pm

    I throughly enjoy reading what you have got up to in the last week/month. My days and weeks blend into the same ole same. Groundhog day. We have been in stage 4 now for over 2 months with no end in sight. We have managed to travel over our allowed 5 k twice as Greg has been back at physio. I get to go as I am needed to drive home. Bliss! The changing seasons from summer to autumn are such a beautiful time. We are in spring now. last week we had really hot days to the start of October then bang…Winter came back with a vengeance. Your photos always make me smile.


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 6:10 pm

      Bree, Glad to hear you were able to travel over 5k for a change. I’m thankful that I can go for long bicycle rides or walks with a lot of open space around me and autumn is beautiful here. I hope spring will take over winter and bring you all her cheerfulness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 3sistersabroad October 5, 2020 / 6:13 pm

        Thank you. With the warmer weather our victorian government was talking about closing beaches and parks. I mean how crazy is that. We take our dogs to the beach twice a day especially in warmer months. In our 5 k we have no footpaths which means we have to walk along the road. Our dogs need to run burn off energy. It makes it hard when housemate has trouble with long walks due to his knees. fingers crossed for us.


        • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 6:20 pm

          I hope they don’t close beaches and parks in your area so people and dogs can get some exercises. Over here, the beaches and parks have been opened throughout the pandemic. Some parks have circles or rectangles painted to keep people at least 2m apart. Fingers crossed for you.

          Liked by 1 person

  21. Janis @ October 5, 2020 / 5:49 pm

    That tree in your first photo is spectacular! I sometimes feel sad that we don’t get the fall color that other areas of the world do… but then I remember that it takes colder weather and, all of a sudden, I don’t feel so bad anymore πŸ™‚ I’m impressed by all the books you read!


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 6:16 pm

      Janis, There are a lot of those spectacular maple trees here now. When it’s safe to travel, come to Canada in October for a Fall visit. You’ll love it πŸ™‚ I’m thankful for e-books and library digital services. I read every day without having to go to a library branch.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. dprastka October 5, 2020 / 7:30 pm

    The colors you are getting on the trees there are gorgeous!! And all the flowers and the butterfly!! Beautiful photos! And you are the reader, so many good books it looks like you read! I’m glad it’s cooling off for you there and wish it would here too. Another near 100F degree week here I think that’s about 38C ~ anyways, I’m a bit late reading and catching up on blog posts! Have a great week!!❀️❀️❀️


    • Natalie October 5, 2020 / 8:10 pm

      Diana, Still close to 100F where you are? I hope it’ll cool off for you soon. I’m glad you liked my photos. It’s easy to have nice photos because autumn landscape is beautiful here during October. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Wow, your northern hemisphere does Autumn so beautifully. Sounds like you have well and truly met your goals in September. We have kicked off in October in NSW Australia with an almost heatwave over the first weekend of October, and back to ‘late teen’ temps the last 2 days. We have moved to Summer Daylight Saving too. I hope your Thanksgiving Weekend is wonderful.

    Thank you for linking up this week. Next week on Life This Week, the optional prompt is 41/51 I Have Never. 12.10.2020. Hope to see you there! Denyse.


    • Natalie October 7, 2020 / 9:19 am

      Denyse, How nice that you’re in Spring season. When I think of Spring, I think of new beginnings, flowers, birds, sunshine, warmer temperatures, lighter clothing…I look forward to your next link-up. Have a wonderful week!


  24. csuhpat1 October 7, 2020 / 1:24 pm

    Looks a like a great month. Lovely pics and a lot of books read. Very nice.


    • Natalie October 7, 2020 / 1:29 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I hope you had a great September and October is going well for you.


  25. Erica/Erika October 8, 2020 / 8:16 pm

    Hi Natalie, A huge WOW on your first photo! I have to make it Back East one year to see the Fall colours. The composition of the butterfly in the flowers is beautiful! I always appreciate your reading list. Some gems I add to my TBR list. And you are right, extra Thankful this Thanksgiving. Especially to be able to read a beautiful post like yours.xxπŸ™‚


    • Natalie October 8, 2020 / 8:28 pm

      Hi Erica/ Erika, The Fall colours are stunning here, especially on sunny days. That monarch butterfly stayed still much longer than I expected and it looked so beautiful among the various plants, I had to take a few photos. Thank you so much for your kind comment. You made me smile again πŸ™‚ Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Beauty & Books October 8, 2020 / 8:46 pm

    I love the fall just for the colors it produces. The cool mornings wake me up (I’m a morning person) and gives me the energy I need, after coffee that is. I haven’t read any of the books you lis so there goes additions to my TBR LIST. It gets longer and longer.


    • Natalie October 9, 2020 / 8:06 am

      Thank you, Agnes, for your visit and comment. Autumn colours are beautiful here, especially on sunny days. There are so many good books to read. I hope you enjoy the books from my list. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie October 9, 2020 / 7:32 pm

      Thank you, Betty, for your comment. I’ll hop over to your link up soon.


  27. betty - NZ October 10, 2020 / 7:07 pm

    I’m happy to see your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!!


    • Natalie October 11, 2020 / 8:54 am

      Thank you, Betty, for hosting. I’ll make a note to link up again in the future.


  28. Veronica Lee October 11, 2020 / 3:11 am

    WOW! Autumn is really gorgeous in your corner of the world!

    Happy Sunday, Natalie!


    • Natalie October 11, 2020 / 8:55 am

      Happy Sunday, Veronica! Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you liked my photos.


  29. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit October 14, 2020 / 7:46 pm

    Look at those lovely Autumn colours in the tree! That’s the colour of my hair. Now that it’s spring in Australia, should I send my hair pink instead? LOL. I’m still loving my burgundy vibes. I might have to keep the warm autumn colouring all year


    • Natalie October 14, 2020 / 8:05 pm

      Leanne, Keep your hair colour since you’re loving it. Autumn is really beautiful here this month.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.