What I Read Last Month: August


What I Read August
So, I did not read many classics in July – at least ones that weren’t written by Georgette Heyer. This month I didn’t read a single classic novel, but I’m almost at my goal of 50 novels in 2 years, but it’s only been about 8 months!

Instead of star ratings, I’ve put “verdicts” of read or don’t read under each novel. Star ratings are too subjective for each reviewer! I’m still ranking the books at the bottom for definitely read and read if you have time. It’s hard to rank novels that are parts of series, too. So, I hope you’ll get some ideas. I’m really indebted to some bloggers for rating novels from series, though, because I’ve found tons of hours of entertainment.
Contemporary

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6)

Among the Mad

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

This novel was a slight departure from the normal narrative. While we didn’t know who the “bad guy” was during the novel, there were excerpts of him writing to himself in his journal. I likened it a little to when you know who the unsub is in a Criminal Minds episode. Not as good. However, the overall message about war ravaging the mind hit home. Although, I am not sure if the author is beating a dead horse at this point. PTSD is a huge problem (and was after all wars, even when it wasn’t recognized), but I wish she would find a mystery for Dobbs that doesn’t involve shell shock.

I will say that the further I read into the Maisie Dobbs series, the less New Age it seems. There just isn’t room for all the weird stuff from the first few novels.

Days of Awe

days of awe

Verdict: Don’t Read

Ambiguous endings can be perfect. However, I think there needs to be some type of moral or life lesson/takeaway from the ambiguous ending. Without some type of lesson-learned for the main character, it’s just a shitty way of ending the novel quickly. You can read my full review here…

Luckiest Girl Alive

luckiest girl alive

Verdict: Read

Luckiest Girl Alive is the perfect foil for Days of Awe. While it seems like Luckiest Girl Alive would be super trashy and smutty, it wasn’t, and neither was Days of Awe. The difference is that while neither had neat or tidy endings – and you really aren’t sure what the main character of Luckiest Girl Alive is going to do, you do know that she learned something about herself and life from her experiences. I don’t want to spoil the other book, but I just wanted to return it to the writer and demand more. I wanted to know what Iz learned about the nature of life, love, relationships, or even just herself. But the ending was a cop out. Obviously, I feel personally offended because I thoroughly enjoyed everything up until the last page. Wink

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7)

The Mapping of Love and Death

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

I particularly liked this installment of the Maisie Dobbs series because Maisie is learning more about herself, solving more complex mysteries, and my brain works overtime trying to keep up, which is fun, since a lot of mystery novels can be fairly trite.

A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Verdict: Read

My mom recommended this novel to me. I’ve seen tons of Kearsley novels pop up on book review link ups, but I’ve never read one. I frequently read phrases like “Kearsley is an automatic buy for me,” so when my mom mentioned that I might like the historical mystery being solved in the present, which is slightly reminiscent of a Morton novel, I had to say yes. I enjoyed the ensemble of characters. The main character was quirky, sweet, and endearing, and the rest of the characters range from domineering to completely laid back. I like that Kearsley can create such a variety of characters. Also, the mystery and history were fascinating.

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (The Grantchester Mysteries #2)

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night

Verdict: Check out this series and read it!

I actually got my husband to listen to this one in the car! We are watching BBC television series, where they turned the first novel into a six part, I think…, series. I’ve read that this novel is currently in production! I definitely loved the follow up!

A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness #2)

A Royal Pain

Verdict: Give this quirky series a chance!

This was a funny follow up to the first novel in the series! I am looking forward to reading more because I love how the main character is developing, and of course, I want to see how her love life develops, too!

The Fifth Gospel

The Fifth Gospel

Verdict: Don’t Read

I wanted to like this novel. I really did. I liked Caldwell’s first novel so much! This novel was so long. If I hadn’t been listening to the audio, I would have put the paperback down. I was confused a lot because I don’t know much about the hierarchy of the Catholic church or their internal justice system. It was really, really tedious in parts.

Go Set a Watchman

go set a watchman

Verdict: Read

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this novel. It was a lot to process. It can probably mean a lot of different things to different people depending on a lot of different factors. Personally, I thought the novel was a nice way of saying that idealism sounds good and we should strive for a better world, but it doesn’t happen overnight. But, for a short novel, barely more than a short story, there was a lot there.

Dexter Is Dead (Dexter #8)

dexter is dead

Verdict: Undecided

I was always a fan (I watched the whole series!) of Dexter on TV. When this novel came out, I read that you could read it without reading the rest of the series, if you’d seen the TV show. There are some major discrepancies between the show and the TV series, based on reading the last novel, so I want to go back and read the series. I read the novel because I wanted to know how the author wanted the series to end, rather than the TV writers/producers. Overall, I have to say, I’m more of a fan of the personality of the TV Dexter than the book Dexter. It’s interesting how the the show interpreted the character (maybe made him more likable?) than the novel. I am only basing this on one novel, though.

Trunk Music (Harry Bosch #5)

trunk music

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

So, I’ve been reading the Harry Bosch series out of order for years. I decided to fill in some gaps. Now, as I write this post, I realize, I’m juggling a lot of series! I just watched all of the Harry Bosch series on Amazon, which is much different than the later Harry Bosch novels, so that rekindled my interest. I plan on reading/listening to many more! I always look forward to the fall/winter of each year, when Connelly seems to be alternating the release of a Bosch or Lincoln Lawyer novel.

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)

a lesson in secrets

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

I waited almost the entire month for this novel to come in from the library! It was a departure from the normal Dobbs mystery. Instead of taking of a client, she worked for the government in the capacity of a spy, but of course, she couldn’t help but solve a murder too. I liked the advancements in her personal life, too!

The Murderer’s Daughter

kell__jkt_all_r1.indd

Verdict: Don’t Read

I really thought the title was misleading. Not bad enough for me to quit reading, but not good enough for me to recommend. I wrote a full review here, if you want know more, in case you do want to read it.

A Window Opens

A Window Opens

Verdict: Read

Wow! I felt like I was back in college… I read this novel for Netgalley, which meant that it archived on August 25. I waited a bit late to start reading, but I was rewarded. The novel started slowly, but, it sped up and got better! Read my full review here!

The Secret History

the secret history

Verdict: Read

This novel took me a really long time just to listen to, so I can’t imagine reading it! I mentioned to a friend how much I enjoyed The Likeness by Tana French, so she suggested this novel. I also happened to already have enjoyed Tarrt’s second novel, so this was on my TBR list.

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

bream gives me hiccups

Verdict: Read

This novel of short stories was hilarious! I read an advanced copy from Netgally, but I couldn’t stop thinking how funny the novel would be on audio, read by the author! When I looked at Audible, I saw that Jesse Eisenberg would be reading it, when it gets released.

I was laughing a lot at Eisenburg’s use of stories told through different mediums, like emails, text messages, and restaurant ratings. My full review will be coming soon! The book will be available September 8!

Angels Flight Harry Bosch #6

angels flight

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

So, I’m reading more Harry Bosch novels to fill that void left by the end of the Amazon television series and to catch myself up to where I was. Don’t you hate when you read series out order? Especially over the course of years?

Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9)

elegy for eddie

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

This was a touching story of Maisie finding justice for a friend with whom she grew up. Sadly, along the way, time is passing and WWI is getting further away and England is getting closer to entering WWII. Anyway, as I am continuing to battle this fever, this series is an easy listen (I’m so glad that my library has all of the novels on Overdrive!), plus Maisie’s personal life is shaping up, so it’s also something to keep me interested in the series! I was never much of a series person before, but now I like learning to love characters as they grow, plus each novel has an interesting storyline.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Verdict: Read!

Ok. I know I am REALLY late reading this novel, but wow! I loved it. I laughed. I cried. My heart was full by the end of the novel. I know this novel was published years ago, but I missed reading it. First of all, I absolutely love reading novels written in the epistolary style. Secondly, this book was funny, and full of love. I wanted to live on the island (after the Germans left, of course).

read these

Go Set a Watchman

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Secret History

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

if you have time

Luckiest Girl Alive

A Desperate Fortune

A Window Opens

don't bother smaller

The Fifth Gospel

The Murderer’s Daughter

Days of Awe

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads

You can read my past monthly round ups:

July 2015
June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

(My TBR List has 500+ books on it… and I keep picking up more books. Do I have a problem?!)

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

 

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

Categories: What I Read Last Month |
  • Oh, I love The Secret History. So much. I need to re-read it! But it was a book that stuck with me for a long time. Have you read Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon? It’s been a while since I’ve read that one, too, but I really liked it and it reminded me a lot of The Secret History.Jennifer McMahon is a creepy, awesome writer, haha. I’ve only read one book by Susanna Kearsley, and I loved it — and I wasn’t expecting to at all. I’ll have to look this one up!

    • I can’t imagine rereading The Secret History! So. Long. But, I’ll never think of the name Bunny the same way ever again! It was also interesting, since it was written before cell phones and all of that. I think that made a huge difference to the plot.
      I haven’t read Dismantled, but it’s going on my TBR right now!
      This was my Susanna Kearsley. I hadn’t heard of her and then I was skeptical when I saw what a following she had – sometimes those aren’t good authors. I have her newest one to read/review before it comes out, but I have to kick a 5 week fever before I can read straight lines. So, I have some audiobooks by her on hold!

      • Yeah, I know what you mean about Susanna Kearsley. The one I read was The Winter Sea. Hope you get rid of that fever!

  • Luckiest Girl Alive seems to be one of those books with so many differing opinions…which means I’ll read it, so I can formulate my own opinion. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of my all-time faves…top 5…definitely. I have never read one of the Harry Bosch novels yet have intended to. I picked one up at a secondhand bookstore – need to get to that one. I pretty much read most books Jonathan Kellerman writes. Some are definitely better than others.

  • Thanks so much for linking to each book’s Goodreads’ page! It was so helpful! I added a bunch of these to my shelves. 🙂

    • I’m glad!!! That’s why I do it! I always build my TBR list when I browse the link up on Modern Mrs. Darcy in the middle of the month. That’s how I found most of the series that I like!

      • I really appreciate it! 🙂

  • haha if you have a problem so do i!

    i am SO glad you loved the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society. seriously it makes my heart so happy when someone loves one of my favourites!

    i have never read a Kearsley book. i’ve been meaning to! adding the royal spyness series to my list!

    • My mom told me she gave her copy of the Potato Peel Pie Society away! She said someone told her it was sad. I said, well, anything post-WWII would be sad, (and I think my grandmother, who lived through that is the one who told her) but this book was actually very funny and happy when taken as a whole. I’m on a mission to convert her!

      The Royal Spyness is so funny! You never think about how “royalty” during the depression might not have had money, but they had to keep up appearances. So, they’re funny and pretty good mysteries!

  • Wow! You read a lot! I wish I had more time to read. Adding some of these to my list!

    • My secret is that I listen to most books on double speed (unless they’re early releases that I’m reviewing or I can’t find the audio anywhere). Also, I really wish I didn’t have this much free time. Being this sick takes away your job, friends, and ability to do much. I moved to a new city while I was sick, so I never really made friends. The last one I saw in person was January.

  • The book Dexter just wasn’t as nice! Like I rooted for the TV Dexter and didn’t want him to get caught. The book Dexter was just kind of a jerk who though about food a lot. Seriously. Half the book was devoted to him thinking about food. The other half was manipulative, but in a way that was annoying. Can’t put my finger on it.
    I think the TV producers took an average book and molded it into a great TV series.

  • I know the reviews were mixed, but I liked it! I can’t quite recall the plot a month later, so it wasn’t the best book ever, but it was very entertaining at the time! I’d had it on my list for awhile and when my library got it on audio on Overdrive (so I wouldn’t have to ask anyone to pick it up for me), I snatched it right up!

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  • I loved Guernsey! I was late to the train too… I just read it this year. It had been on my list FOREVER! It’s such a fun read.

    • I hadn’t heard of it, but I was just browsing – probably Audible – and it was recommended to me. When I put it on my Goodreads TBR, I saw almost everyone had read it and given it great reviews. I read it ASAP! I want to read her new book, but it’s a lot longer. And I just got addicted to The Wire. I watched 8 episodes in a day. That’s 8 solid hours.

      • Hey, I’m not judging you! *typed as I’m watching my 5th episode of The Mindy Project today* I didn’t even look to see that she had written others… I’m going to look into that!

  • I’m reading Luckiest Girl Alive right now and I have mixed feelings about it. I thought that I would like it a lot more but I’m having a bit of a tough time getting through it. I really want to read Go Set A Watchman, just because To Kill A Mocking Bird is such a classic. Good for you for reading so many books in August! I’m trying to read more books too.

  • Amy

    I haven’t read Guernsey yet either and feel like I’m excluded from a club or something! You and I share the same sentiments about ambiguous endings. If there’s a point, fine. If not, I might just be done with that author for good. I felt a little like that with Anne Tyler after reading A Spool of Blue Thread recently. That book just didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Great list! I love the way you broke it down at the end. Thanks for that. 🙂

    • I hadn’t even really heard of Guernsey (it was published when I was in college as an English major, no less, so I wasn’t reading for fun), but then I stumbled across it and 15 of my Goodreads friends had rated it 4 or 5 stars, so I picked it up!
      I really don’t mind ambiguous endings if I see that the character has grown and I can imagine where they’ll go or what they’ll do later. But the “dead” endings are just disappointing!

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