Halfway through September is a good time to do an August wrap up, yes? Time is such a weird thing with the pandemic, and I’m also still struggling about how I want to do this blog, but the more I think about it, the more I just need to do what I want, when I want, and if there’s a week of posts every month, then that’s the case! I know I wanted to do some writing for blog posts and otherwise last week, but with how things lined up at work, I ended up working nine days in a row with little to no time to myself, so that threw me off. I want to try to do three or four posts a week, and if I can schedule/write out a post or two a night, I can keep things on track.
Lately with the weather here in Colorado getting colder, I find myself more interested in keeping up this blog (but who knows how long that enthusiasm will last??), but I have to keep reminding myself that I’m writing for me and really no one else, because I like looking back on what I’ve read and how I thought about the things I read. I think ultimately I’m struggling with social media and Instagram in particular, because while that’s easier in a sense, I don’t feel like I’m getting much out of it anymore. I know I like buying books and collecting books, but I need to actually read them too. I also am making plans to clear out my shelves, reorganize, and weed out everything so that I feel motivated to read what I haven’t read and get rid of what I know I won’t read any time soon. With the library and places to buy used books, I know that if I ever want to read what I’ve let go of I know there will be opportunities to read them again in the future.
I’m also in the process of planning out my 2021 book bullet journal and tying in a book thoughts journal to go with it. I read a lot of books I don’t end up reviewing for one reason or another, but I would like to keep a personal book journal to have a physical thing to refer to in the future if anything happens to the internet!
I haven’t made much progress on any of my challenges and have been reading what I’ve been drawn to, and in August, that was a lot of shorter, easier reads because August felt more stressful with more full days than other months.
In August, I read:
- The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
- Letter From Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The A.I. Who Loved Me, by Alyssa Cole
- The Binding, by Bridget Collins
- The Duke’s Stolen Bride, by Sophie Jordan
- Television Was a Baby Crawling Toward that Deathchamber, by Allen Ginsberg
- Sisters of the Vast Black, by Lina Rather
- The Times I Knew I Was Gay, by Eleanor Crewes
- Sex and Vanity, by Kevin Kwan
- The Scandal of It All, by Sophie Jordan
Even though the header says “Monthly Rewind,” this installment will cover June, July, and August’s reading! I want to get in the habit of writing more than just review posts to add some variety and hopefully keep me out of a blogging slump. Now that I’m settled in my new place, I have plans in place to organize myself better, and I already have a Monthly Rewind for September in the drafts! I’ll be adding to it throughout the month so I don’t feel like I have to catch up at everything in the last minute.
Over the summer, I read thirty books! I read nine books in June, and in July, I didn’t read for the first half of the month, but I managed to read and finish twelve books. I read nine in August. Ten books is a month is my average, and I do try to shoot for at least that many. However, if I’m busy or just not feeling reading, I’ve been letting myself not read. I’ve been doing the same with social media over the summer as I realized it’s hard to read, want to read, post, and want to post when there’s a lot going on IRL. I needed to give myself space to adjust to the changes. I’m still adjusting, but I’m finding myself in a better frame of mind to get back in the swing of things with my blog and Instagram!
In June, I read:
- The Very Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan – Caitlin R. Kiernan 3.5/5
- The Earl Next Door – Amelia Grey 3/5
- Rouge – Richard Kirshenbaum 3/5
- Sky in the Deep – Adrienne Young 4/5
- The Templars – Dan Jones 3.5/5
- Jane, Unlimited – Kristin Cashore 3/5
- Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth – Neil Clarke 4/5
- The Mere Wife – Maria Dahvana Headley 5/5
- Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck 4/5
In July, I read:
- Off the Grid – Robert B. McCaw 3/5
- Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury – Paul Strohm 4/5
- The Beast’s Heart – Leife Shallcross 4/5
- Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky 4.5/5
- The Dragon Lady – Louisa Treger 4/5
- The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary 4/5
- Neuromancer – William Gibson 4/5
- Cold-Hearted Rake – Lisa Kleypas 3.5/5
- A Memory Called Empire – Arkady Martine 5/5
- Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer 5/5
- A Conspiracy of Truths – Alexandra Rowland 4.5/5
- Seafire – Natalie C. Parker 4/5
In August, I read:
- The Duke is But a Dream – Anna Bennett 3/5
- We Are All Good People Here – Susan Rebecca White 4/5
- Love at First Like – Hannah Orenstein 4/5
- To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo 4/5
- Authority – Jeff VanderMeer 5/5
- Meet Me in the Future: Stories – Kameron Hurley 5/5
- An Enchantment of Ravens – Margaret Rogerson 5/5
- Savage Appetites – Rachel Monroe 3/5
- Rogue Most Wanted – Janna MacGregor 3/5
Overall, I’m really pleased with what I read and the variety of what I read. I’ve been really into medieval history lately and I’ve been picking at a few history books over the summer. Reading historical romance has been one of my personal challenges this year because I dismissed the romance genre as a whole without really understanding what it was about, so I’m learning a lot about the history of the genre and what place it has, and honestly, I’m enjoying it! This year I challenged myself to read more classic SF, which I’m failing at because I had a whole challenge set up and then my life kind of did a whole whirlwind change and that fell to the wayside, and more YA because I keep buying it but not reading enough even to marginally keep up with what I’m buying.
What were some of your favorite books you read this summer?
I should have made posts like this at the end of January and at the end of February, but better late than never! I also pretty much failed at blogging during the month of February, so I’m going to do better in March and beyond! Several of the books listed below will have reviews posted later in the month.
I read ten books in January and ten books in February for a total of twenty books read to my yearly goal of 100! Most of the books I read I gave a rating of 3 stars or higher. The few 5 star ratings include Thomas’s The Hate U Give, Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic.
- The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher
- Spaceman – Mike Massimino
- Caraval – Stephanie Garber
- Heartless – Marissa Meyer
- The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
- Martians Abroad – Carrie Vaughn
- Swimming Lessons – Claire Fuller
- Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller
- Human Acts – Han Kang
- The White Cottage Mystery – Margery Allingham
- The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
- A Perilous Undertaking – Deanna Raybourn
- A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
- The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
- The Best American SF/F 2017 – ed. John Joseph Adams & Karen Joy Fowler
- The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
- Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
- Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth