August Reads

Oh August, what even WERE you? I don’t think I’ve ever had a more hectic month. After moving out of the apartment I had shared with my ex, I spent most of the month bouncing around between my parents’ house a few hours away and the spare bedroom of one of my best (and very generous) friends here in Buffalo. I’ve been keeping super busy with friends and family, which has been great for my spirits but bad for my productivity. There’s no rhythm to my days or weeks, I’m living out of a few boxes, and half of the things I want on a daily basis are in a different city. I need to have a well-ordered space in order to have a well-ordered mind, and right now I can’t find the focus necessary to sit down and write or even to read more than a few pages at a time.

Books Read

August Reads

1. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. A dreamy, lyrical portrait of a marriage.

2. Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. The story of America’s first female deputy sheriff, set in 1915. A fun, gutsy romp.

3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (audio). A biologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist, and a surveyor mount an expedition into the mysterious, dangerous Area X. Intriguing and suspenseful.

4. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. The War of the Roses as seen through the eyes of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV. Plots, intrigue, and witchcraft!

5. The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (in progress). A fictional account of the 1066 Norman Invasion of England, written in an updated version of Old English. A bit difficult, but fascinating and atmospheric.

6. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (audio, in progress). Beryl Markham, racehorse trainer and pilot extraordinaire, tells the story of her life growing up in colonial Kenya. Stunning and evocative, in the vein of The Paris Wife.

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (in progress). Jane, an orphan brought up in a strict boarding school, takes a governess position at Thornfield, where she meets the abrupt Mr. Rochester. (That’s as far as I’ve gotten, and I’m loving it!)

September Plans

I’ve been mood-reading like whoa recently, and I plan to continue reading whatever I fancy in September. I have quite a few fall BEA books to read, but once I get through them (or not; we’ll see), I plan on taking a break from reviewing new releases. I don’t have many review commitments outside of the books I picked up at BEA, and I’m going to try to refrain from requesting anything new for a while. Now seems like the right time to dig into backlist and read some of the classics I’ve had on my list for years. Self care, yeah!

Hopefully things will settle down in my personal life this month. I have a few leads on jobs that I’m hoping will pan out. I could really use some structure right about now (not to mention the paychecks)!


29 thoughts on “August Reads

  1. Living out of boxes is the worst. It’s unsettling and aggravating and just the worst. I hope that September, a month well known for fresh starts and order, will restore your life to some kind of rhythm.

    And yeah, self care sounds like an excellent strategy in the interim. Read whatever strikes a chord with you.

    I hope you start getting a paycheque soon!

  2. I’m so sorry so much is still up in the air – I totally get what you mean about needing structure, so I’m impressed that you got so much reading done without it! It sounds like comfort or mood reading is a great way to go. Here’s hoping everything aligns!

  3. I hear ya on a disorderly life leading to a disorderly mind. I’m the same way and really rely on routine. I have my fingers crossed for you that your leads will pan out. But, you did get a lot of reading done for being scattered!! I don’t have many review books after September either and I’m really looking forward to digging into some of this year’s books that people have been raving about, but that I haven’t gotten to yet!

  4. I totally understand the disorderly life thing. I border on ridiculous, i.e. if my house is I mess, that has to be picked up before I can sit and concentrate on reading. Fingers crossed that a job pans out soon!

  5. I hope things settle down soon. Chaotic surroundings always leave me in a lurch, too, and you’ve had enough chaos for a year this month. I love your plan of reading on *your* schedule—no need to overload yourself with unnecessary commitments right now! I know I’m going to be doing something similar… nothing is holding my attention right now! I hope you find some fabulous backlist gems.

  6. Keeping my fingers crossed for a calmer September! You still read some great books – I’m especially eyeing Girl Waits With Gun. Jane Eyre is one of my favourites. Enjoy it. 🙂

  7. That’s a great stack of reads from August!

    I hear ya on focusing on backlist more. I’ve had a lot of fun reading the galleys I got at BEA, but I’m ready to slow down a bit and read the lovely books staring at me patiently from my shelves.

    I hope everything pans out well for you on the job front! (PS Have you seen anything good posted at MacMillan? I have a friend there I could reach out to if there’s anything posted that looks interesting!)

  8. Being displaced is the toughest! Yikes! Sending positive energy to you and hoping you get to settle somewhere soon! I’m totally fascinated by Girl Waits With Gun and Circling the Sun. Really should reread Jane Eyre–it’s been 44 years!! 🙂

  9. I’ve had the same kind of August, and that focus has been really really elusive. I think I’m finding my way back into the reading groove with middle grade novels. Hoping things will settle down soon for you!

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