Goodbye July & hello August!
Last year I had decided that I would dedicate the reading month of August to ARCs and call it an “ARC August.” I was able to knock out 5 or 6 backlist ARC titles last August, so I decided to do it again this year! I also received an email that NetGalley is hosting a “review-a-thon” for the entire month of August, so it is perfect timing 🙂
Let’s see what I will be reading this month, shall we?
NetGalley Backlist ARCs:
» The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
The bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand returns with a breathtaking novel of love and war that reaches far beyond the small English town in which it is set.
East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.
When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.
But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.
This is a WWI historical fiction set in a small town in England. I’m excited to read a WWI HF for a change.
» Our Own Country (Midwife #2) by Jodi Daynard
A love affair tests a new nation’s revolutionary ideals.
In 1770s Boston, a prosperous merchant’s daughter, Eliza Boylston, lives a charmed life—until war breaches the walls of the family estate and forces her to live in a world in which wealth can no longer protect her.
As the chaos of the Revolutionary War tears her family apart, Eliza finds herself drawn to her uncle’s slave, John Watkins. Their love leads to her exile in Braintree, Massachusetts, home to radicals John and Abigail Adams and Eliza’s midwife sister-in-law, Lizzie Boylston. But even as the uprising takes hold, Eliza can’t help but wonder whether a rebel victory will grant her and John the most basic of American rights.
So I requested this and didn’t realize that it is actually the second book in a series. #Fail This book is set during the Revolutionary War, which I’ve not read many books set during this era either.
» Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn by Ken Cuthbertson
Known as “Mickey” to her friends, Emily Hahn traveled across the country dressed as a boy in the 1920s; ran away to the Belgian Congo as a Red Cross worker during the Great Depression; was the concubine of a Chinese poet in Shanghai in the 1930s; had an illegitimate child with the head of the British Secret Service in Hong Kong just before the outbreak of World War II; was involved in underground relief work in occupied Hong Kong; and moved back to the United States and became a pioneer in the fields of wildlife preservation and environmentalism before her death in 1997 at the age of ninety-two.A feminist trailblazer before the word existed, Hahn also wrote hundreds of articles and short stories for The New Yorker from 1925 to 1995, as well as fifty books in many genres. As Roger Angell wrote in her obituary in The New Yorker: “She was, in truth, something rare: a woman deeply, almost domestically, at home in the world. Driven by curiosity and energy, she went there and did that, and then wrote about it without fuss.”
Read the description. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
I have no idea who this woman is, but she sounds like a total badass feminist trailblazer.
» The Vow by Felicity Goodrich
It happens in the chill of a September night, 1939: Their small Polish village is raided, burned to the ground. Anna, a devoutly Catholic teenager, watches as her friend is shot, as her father is dragged off for conscription in the German army.
Szymon, the young village priest, stands silently with his parishioners as their church is ransacked and torched. Anna clings to him—her dear friend and confidant—and by some luck, the Germans spare them.
Five Septembers later, Anna and Szymon still cling together, now amid the turmoil of war. Though Anna dreads her engagement to a local ruffian and Szymon fears for his father’s life back home, the two find solace in their friendship.
But when the Soviet army comes to “liberate” them, Anna endures an unspeakable atrocity and Szymon suffers his own tragedy. Now bound even more tightly by the sorrows they carry, they face a choice: honor the vows they’ve made to others or risk everything for the chance at salvation in each other.
From what I understand this is more of a love story set in WWII Poland. I’ve mentioned before that I’m burnt out of WWII historical fiction, but I’m still going to give it a go.
» The Infinite Air by Fiona Kidman
The rise and fall of the ‘Garbo of the skies’, as told by one of New Zealand’s finest novelists
Jean Batten became an international icon in 1930s. A brave, beautiful woman, she made a number of heroic solo flights across the world. The newspapers couldn’t get enough of her.
In 1934, she broke Amy Johnson’s flight time between England and Australia by six days. The following year, she was the first woman to make the return flight. In 1936, she made the first ever direct flight between England and New Zealand and then the fastest ever trans-Tasman flight. Jean Batten stood for adventure, daring, exploration and glamour.
The Second World War ended Jean’s flying adventures. She suddenly slipped out of view, disappearing to the Caribbean with her mother and eventually dying in Majorca, buried in a pauper’s grave. Fiona Kidman’s enthralling novel delves into the life of this enigmatic woman. It is a fascinating exploration of early aviation, of fame, and of secrecy.
I’ve never heard of Jean Batten, but I’m excited to learn more about her flying adventures.
» Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee
*ARC sent for review – Available October 2019*
Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching—and ultimately uplifting—novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates.
For seventh grader Mila, it starts with an unwanted hug on the school blacktop.
The next day, it’s another hug. A smirk. Comments. It all feels…weird. According to her friend Zara, Mila is being immature, overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like?
But it keeps happening, despite Mila’s protests. On the bus, in the halls. Even during band practice-the one time Mila could always escape to her “blue-sky” feeling. It seems like the boys are EVERYWHERE. And it doesn’t feel like flirting–so what is it?
Mila starts to gain confidence when she enrolls in karate class. But her friends still don’t understand why Mila is making such a big deal about the boys’ attention. When Mila is finally pushed too far, she realizes she can’t battle this on her own–and finds help in some unexpected places.
From the author of STAR-CROSSED, HALFWAY NORMAL and EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice.
I’m extremely interested in how this author tackles sexual harassment on a middle grade reading level. If handled correctly, I think it could be a very relevant and important book.
» How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.
Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.
How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages–and for the ages–about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
» Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
I’m very interested in seeing what my book club thinks of Jenny Lawson’s humor… I read her other book Furiously Happy, and laughed my ass off. Jenny’s humor is definitely not for everyone.
Which books are on your TBR for August?
Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think?
Comment below & let me know 🙂