Goodbye August & hello September!
I read 9 books in August… none of which were on my August TBR. I don’t think I’ve ever failed this badly on a TBR before. I blame the fact that I was finishing up books that rolled over from July and books coming into the library off my library hold list… Oh well!
Let’s see what I DID read & blog in August…
» How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
How to Stop Time was just an okay read for me. While I think the concept for this story was interesting & thought provoking, there was something missing in the story for me.
You can read my mini review here ⇒ Mini Book Reviews: August 2019 – Part 2
» The Book Worm of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a historical fiction set in the 1930s in the hills of Kentucky. How could I NOT love a book about a pack horse librarian that braves the unforgiving land to deliver books to impoverished families? Be still my heart! If you enjoy historical fiction where the author really focuses on setting the scene and taking you back in time, I’d recommend this book.
You can read my mini review here ⇒ Mini Book Reviews: August 2019 – Part 2
» A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice #1) by George R.R. Martin
Not sure why I put this book off so long. It’s SOOOOOOO freaking good!
» Elmer and the Dragon (My Father’s Dragon #2) by Ruth Stiles Gannett
» The Library Book by Susan Orlean
This book was absolutely fascinating! If you are a lover of libraries, I highly recommend it!
» After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
While not my favorite Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, After I Do is a solid contemporary novel. This book was extremely relatable & an honest portrayal of relationships. This would make for an excellent book club discussion on long-term relationships and marriage.
» Gratitude Daily: 21 Days to More Joy and Less Stress by Nataly Kogan
This was a quick little audiobook all about practicing gratitude. I found the tips and techniques in practicing gratitude to be practical and achievable. Listening to this book definitely gave me a fresh perspective on gratitude and the benefits of practicing gratitude.
» Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson
I loved learning about Sarah’s journey & her connection to books. I think Sarah has excellent reading tastes, and will probably borrow the physical copy from the library to copy down all the reading recommendation lists. I gave it 3.5 stars because it was too heavily focused on religion & faith for my tastes.
» Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Gods of Jade and Shadow was one of my most anticipated books of 2019, but it came up a bit short for me. The story felt like a fairy tale filled with Mexican folklore, which I loved, but the book felt very surface level.
Goodreads Challenge Update: 85/100 books read
I am currently 19 books ahead of schedule on my 2019 Goodreads reading challenge. I think it is probably safe to say I will hit 100 books sometime in October.
#YARC2019 Update: 14 books read
I did not finish any books for #YARC2019 in August, but I did start The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2), which will count for September.
2019 Goals Update:
» 80% NetGalley feedback ratio = 15 backlist ARCs ⇒ 7/15 ARCs read
» 30 physical TBR books ⇒ 18/30 books read
I read A Game of Thrones off my physical TBR this month!
» No buying new books ⇒ #EpicFail
See below. I just couldn’t help myself. Damn you Book Outlet!
» Read long books I’ve been putting off ⇒ 1/3 books read
» An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
» A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Fall in love, break the curse.
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
» The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshni
No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.
It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.
» Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais
Perfect for readers of The Secret Life of Bees and The Help, a perceptive and searing look at Apartheid-era South Africa, told through one unique family brought together by tragedy.
Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a nine-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband’s death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred . . . until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin’s parents are left dead and Beauty’s daughter goes missing.
After Robin is sent to live with her loving but irresponsible aunt, Beauty is hired to care for Robin while continuing the search for her daughter. In Beauty, Robin finds the security and family that she craves, and the two forge an inextricable bond through their deep personal losses. But Robin knows that if Beauty finds her daughter, Robin could lose her new caretaker forever, so she makes a desperate decision with devastating consequences. Her quest to make amends and find redemption is a journey of self-discovery in which she learns the harsh truths of the society that once promised her protection.
Told through Beauty and Robin’s alternating perspectives, the interwoven narratives create a rich and complex tapestry of the emotions and tensions at the heart of Apartheid-era South Africa. Hum if You Don’t Know the Words is a beautifully rendered look at loss, racism, and the creation of family.
» Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.
Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.
Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.
Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.
» The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.
It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.
Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”
» Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
A magic passed down through generations . . .
Georgina Fernweh waits with growing impatience for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has been passed down through every woman in her family. Her twin sister, Mary, already shows an ability to defy gravity. But with their eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.
An island where strange things happen . . .
No one on the island of By-the-Sea would ever call the Fernwehs what they really are, but if you need the odd bit of help—say, a sleeping aid concocted by moonlight—they are the ones to ask.
No one questions the weather, as moody and erratic as a summer storm.
No one questions the (allegedly) three-hundred-year-old bird who comes to roost on the island every year.
A summer that will become legend . . .
When tragedy strikes, what made the Fernweh women special suddenly casts them in suspicion. Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, of love, of salt—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.
» Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
*Won in a Goodreads giveaway*
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.
With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.
Which books did you read this month?
Have you read any of the books I read or hauled this month? If so, what did you think?
Did you buy any books? If so, which ones?
Comment below & let me know 🙂