Books I Read in August

Monthly Book Round-Up-2

It’s hard to believe summer is already coming to a close. It’s been a great season for summer reading. There’s a new job on my horizon, so it makes me that much more appreciative of the time I got to spend dedicated to books and reading these past few months.

Overall, it was a good book month. I read some great books and only a couple not-so-great ones. I read a total of 10 books (half audio, half physical/ebook), which is a huge number for me. I’m not sure I’ll be able to repeat that number going forward, but I’m sure going to try!

Here is my monthly ratings round-up:


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The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Usually I love listening to celebrity memoirs on audio. The author gets to dictate their own story, and being an actor brings out the fun in the way a story is told. All this to say, I was quite disappointed with Rainn Wilson’s book. He told it in a droll way, and some of the subject matters he gets into are just not to my taste (spirituality, acting tips, etc.). Plus it was about 50 pages too long. There were some fun Dwight Schrute guest writing “appearances,” but beside that, this one wasn’t as fun as some other celeb memoirs I’ve read this year.


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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I wrote in more detail about this novel in a past blog post (find that here), so I won’t repeat myself. This was one of the first historical fiction novels I’ve read set in World War II (which I’ve come to learn are very popular in the book community). The subject matter can be hard to digest sometimes, but I enjoyed learning more about what really happened in the concentration camps. Heather Morris has a sequel called Cilka’s Journey coming out at the end of September, and it’s best to start with this novel first.


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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I never would have picked this book up if it weren’t for the Facebook Monthly Book Club group. I don’t normally read sci-fi, mostly because some sci-fi concepts hurt my head to think about. This novel had a head-scratching premise (inter-dimensional universes??), but it was one that captured my interest and made me want to keep reading to find out what happened next. I listened to the audio version, otherwise I might not have been able to finish reading it on my own, if I’m being honest. Maybe that’s how I need to read sci-fi books from now on?


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Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My favorite book of the summer, if not the year. A family drama that spans decades, this is an excellent portrayal of how a character-driven novel should be done. It kept me wanting to read more, which isn’t always the case with contemporary novels such as these. The characters were relatable, and I found myself rooting for everyone of them, flaws and all. I can’t say enough good things about this book. This will definitely go down as one of my all-time favorites.


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All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️

This was a subpar thriller that never really captured my interest. The story is told backward over a two week period, an intriguing set-up that just didn’t pan out in the end. The story was lackluster, the characters not likable. I listened to this on audio and found my attention wavering every time I put my headphones in. Miranda’s latest novel The Last House Guest was Reese Witherspoon’s August book club pick this month. Let’s hope it’s better than this one was.


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The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Another one I listened to on audio, but what made it stand out is that the author narrated it herself. I loved that fact, because she got to tell it in the way she envisioned when writing it. The story itself had an interesting premise: a comic book writer finds herself pregnant with a biracial baby after a one-night stand. She discovers a deep family secret when she goes back home to the South to take care of her ailing grandmother. It’s a good take on how racism is still prevalent in certain parts of our country. My issue with this novel, however, is that there were too many stories going on at once, plus I lost interest whenever the main character talked about anything related to comic books. But overall it was an enjoyable listen.


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Normal People by Sally Rooney

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a quick read for me (it took less than a week to finish – that’s super fast for me!). A character-driven novel that focuses on two Ireland teenagers and their unusual love story, Normal People is deep yet entertaining. We follow Marianne and Connell from the end of high school into their college years and how their relationship changes. It’s a coming of age story that will make you nostalgic for your own youth and the consequences of the choices you made when you were young and inexperienced.


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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved this book. A therapist going to therapy to try to work out her own issues while relating some of her patients’ stories to her own. This book came out in a poignant time in my life where I’ve been going through my own psychological journey. Gottlieb’s writing makes you feel like you’re in the therapy sessions with her. She also provides information and history of psychological practices but not in a way that feels like you’re reading a textbook. And there’s a reason there’s a box of tissues on the cover. This is one of the first books I’ve read this year that had me tearing up – but in a good way! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great memoir.


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Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was so hyped that I had to know what all the fuss was about. I heard the audio version was excellent, so that’s how I decided to read it. It was a full-cast audio that included narration by Benjamin Bratt and Judy Greer, among many others. The cast did a great job, but this is the kind of book that I could also see myself devouring if I had read it on my own. The character development is excellent; each had their own unique voice and personality. The story was good too, though it kind of felt like any story about a 70s band you would see on VH1’s Behind the Music . Overall, I’d say the book stands up to the hype. I’m looking forward to reading Jenkins Reid’s previous novels.


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The Library Book by Susan Orlean

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really enjoyed this non-fiction account of the Los Angeles Public Library and the mysterious and devastating fire it endured in 1986. However, this seems like a love it or hate it type of book. If you love libraries and are interested in their history, you will love this book. Besides the fascinating history, this book has a true crime element to it that makes it hard to put down. Orlean is a great descriptive writer. How she describes the rage of the fire in the first couple chapters is so captivating. I read a couple passages aloud to my husband because of how unbelievable this true story was. Orlean is also from my neck of the woods, so it was fun to see Cleveland get a shoutout a couple times throughout the book.


 

What were your favorite reads in August? Let me know in the comments!

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