August Round-Up

This is what happened when I tried to read A Wish After Midnight at the table.

Total Books Read: 22

Audio: 9 — 85.25 hours
Print: 12 — 2,964 pages

By Genre

Fiction — 14

  1. Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson: I may have never been farther south than Washington, D.C., but I do have a bit of a weakness for books set there. A charming Alabama setting provides an interesting backdrop to an engaging mystery. I was surprised by just how serious Gods In Alabama actually is; based on the cover and my (very) limited knowledge of the book, I was expecting fluff. Instead, I got an engrossing look at the bonds of families and how secrets can haunt them.
  2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: On the other hand, I expected to really enjoy Ishiguro’s Booker Prize shortlisted novel, but I just feel ambivalent. (I am still looking forward to the movie, however.)
  3. The Humbling by Philip Roth
  4. Beastly by Alex Flinn: Modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, from the beast’s perspective. I didn’t agree with some of the messages it seems to give–like needing only your love and no other friends when you’re in a relationship–but to be honest, it probably would have been my favorite book as a teen.
  5. Deliver Us From Evie by M. E. Kerr: I saw this one on Huffington Post’s 13 Great Books for Gay Teens list last month. It’s a decent read, but the best part is that the representation of Evie on the cover actually LOOKS SIMILAR to the description of the character in the book! They didn’t traditional-gender-expression-wash it (I made that phrase up, bet you never would have guessed)! …I get excited over minor victories sometimes.
  6. Avalon High by Meg Cabot
  7. Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
  8. Caught by Harlan Coben
  9. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Eliott
  10. Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
  11. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  12. Deal Breaker: Myron Bolitar #1 by Harlan Coben
  13. The Boy With the Cuckoo Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu
  14. Drop Shot: Myron Bolitar #2 by Harlan Coben

Non-Fiction — 8

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

  1. Going Rouge: An American Nightmare edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed
  2. Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich: Flashes of brilliance, but most of it was ho-hum. Worth a read just for her excellent chapter criticizing the “celebrate breast cancer” culture.
  3. In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey Into the Heart of the Evangelical Church by Gina Welch: Quick summary: Evangelicals are people too. They’re not all evil. (If you are already aware of this, you won’t miss much by skipping this one.)
  4. The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Frank Rich
  5. God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
  6. Freakonomics by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner: I missed the hype. And how is this required reading in schools?? Don’t get it.
  7. Sing Sing: The Inside Story of a Notorious Prison by Brian Denis: I wanted to learn more about the history of Sing-Sing after reading John Connolly’s Newjack, so I read this. Denis is very detailed with the blood and gore, not so much with the rest of the history. Also, the last 30 pages or so are a rehash of Newjack, just not anywhere as good.
  8. Stiff by Mary Roach

Own — 2
Borrow — 19
Publisher — 1

Countries Visited: United States, England, Scotland, France

Oldest Book Read: Deliver Us From Evie by M. E. Kerr (1994)
Newest Book Read: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (2010)

Favorite: Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
Least Favorite: The Humbling by Philip Roth

Bella at A Girl Reads a Book is hosting a challenge to not buy any new books in the entire month of September. I’ve signed up to participate with these restrictions:

  • No purchases of books at bookstores, online, or through Paperback Swap.
  • Do not put any books on hold at the library.
  • Only pick up the books already waiting at the library–no extras!
  • Post about each owned and read book (not necessarily a review).

I have 142 owned and unread books on my shelf right now. My goal is to read at least fifteen of them in September.


Filed under Monthly Round-Up

10 responses to “August Round-Up

  1. How did you like ‘A Wish After Midnight’ and ‘Empress’?

    • Hey Jodie! I was really impressed by A Wish After Midnight–it’s basically Octavia Butler’s Kindred for modern young adults. Lots of complicated messages about class, race, and family that I really appreciated. ‘Empress,’ on the other hand, was kind of ‘meh’ for me. It didn’t translate as well for me as an adult as it would have when I was a teen, but I did like that it was mostly a romance story (and definitely still a ‘finding your identity’ story) instead of being OMGZ I LIKE A LADY. Also no one was raped or experienced vicious homophobia, unfortunate recurring plot devices in gay and lesbian fiction, so that was great too.

  2. I love your end of the month round ups. How do you read so much?! Do you get off the computer and turn off the TV like I should do more often?

    I’m excited to see Never Let Me Go in the theaters, but have heard others who haven’t cared for the book as well. You are not alone in that.

    Can you believe it’s September already? The ban felt so far away and not it is HERE. Ah, and there are still books my fingers are itching to buy.

    • Wallace, I cheat by listening to audio books while I’m at work. I also snuck in a few young adult books that I read really quick, so that easily increased my total.

      I’m sooo excited it’s September! I need to get to all these wonderful books on my shelves!

      • Still… you can put away a book, lady. Somehow I missed the picture of the cats! That’s exactly what happens to me when I read at the table. What is that all about with cats? (SO cute, but impossible to read that way). ;)

  3. Any plans to read Backseat Saints? If you only read one other book by Joshilyn Jackson, make it that one! (Although I’m feeling bad for pushing a book after you just announced your book ban.)

    • No need to feel guilty–I actually already had it on hold at the library and picked it up last night. I love semi-sequels with minor characters. Thanks for the rec!

  4. That’s a lot of books, you read more than me! I got to 15 this month, of which one non-fiction I think.

    Happy reading next month. I’m not doing the book buying ban but I will try and read as much off my shelves as possible.

  5. I just had to say, your cats are sooo cute. Have a great long weekend.

  6. Great list of books – I’m interested to hear what you thought of Going Rouge ;) Also, cute cats!