I read eleven books in August! Here are some brief thoughts:
A Burning by Megha Majumdar
While quite bleak, I thought A Burning was beautifully written and a good examination of how corrupt political environments affect normal citizens in different ways.
It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han
I’m really glad the TV show has called attention back to this series. This is teen summer fiction at its best. The uncertainty, the sinking feeling of growing older so quickly, the firsts. YA contemporary is very hit or miss for me, but this one warmed my cold dead late 20s heart.
These Happy Golden Years (Little House #8) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
What a nostalgic ending (not fully acknowledging The First Four Years)! I’ve loved re-reading these books and seeing how Laura and her family grows and changes throughout the years.
Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
Enjoyable read, with many research-backed methods to create more happiness in life. There were a bit too many long anecdotes for my taste, and the philosophical bit tacked onto the end felt very out of place. Overall a helpful book, though!
Bunny by Mona Awad
This is a polarizing book, and I can definitely see why. I loved the writing from the first chapter, and ended up really enjoying the whole book. I don’t get a clear sense of what the author was really trying to say with some of the plot points around feminism, sexuality, loneliness and imagination, and groupthink, but I loved the ride.
The Trail by M.A. Hunter
You can read my full review here, but I wasn’t a fan of this thriller set in the Applachians. Poorly paced plot, awkward dialogue, shallow characters, clunky twists, and a very stereotypical and uninformed view on Appalachian folklore and thru hiking trail culture.
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Many reviewers I love and trust raved about this book, but I just can’t see why. It’s about incest – to be blunt – but doesn’t actually do a good job of really delving into the topic in a meaningful way, which makes it just feel like a romance playing on the forbidden aspect in a weird way. The ending felt unnecessary and emotionally manipulative.
A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2) by Kelly Keaton
This book has some really fun and unique twists on classic Greek mythology, all wrapped up in a lush New Orleans setting and well-drawn characters. I was annoyed by the choices our main character, Ari, makes here, but loved the setup for the next book. I also appreciate that what could have easily become a will-they-or-won’t-they thing between Sebastian and Ari was handled in a much more mature and satisfactory way. Direct communication! Wow!!
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
I’ve read this book before, but not with a real eye towards actually writing for my personal goals/with a novel in mind. It is chock full of useful tips, lovely meditations on life and writing, and plenty of humor and empathy for writers. I’ll definitely be making this book part of my (very small!) forever library.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
I was expecting a light summer romance, but this is so much more! It’s such a real and in turns heart warming/wrenching story about friendship, love, family, and home. I don’t think I’ve ever read about a relationship or friend group that felt so real to me. I’m fully convinced these people are living out there in the world somewhere. I will now follow Emily Henry to the ends of the earth.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m doing a little Jane Austen year for 2023, in which I read an Austen book every quarter. I’m pretty behind, with Pride and Prejudice being my 2nd Austen of the year (after Sense and Sensibility), but it is my favorite so far, as I expected it to be! So much drama, but so refined. I haven’t even seen a Pride and Prejudice adaptation, so I went in completely blind, except for knowing that Mr. Darcy is considered kind of a dick, but the main character falls in love with him anyway. I was happy to find Mr. Darcy’s redemption arc satisfactory and had much approbration for the book as a whole (try and spot the word in that sentence that is used a crazy amount in books from this period).
Dizzy by Dizzy (2023), favorite tracks: Are You Sick of Me Yet?, Jaws, Knock the Wind, Close, Birthmark
Feels like Phoebe Bridgers and Soccer Mommy (who gets a mention on one of the tracks)! Good sad girl music.
Volcano by Jungle (2023), favorite tracks: Candle Flame, I’ve Been in Love, Back on 74
This was a perfect album to listen to on the way to and from a hike, windows down in the last of the summer sunshine (hopefully).
Wilderado by Wilderado (2021), favorite tracks: Help Me Down, Outside My Head, Stranger, Mr. Major
Fun, granola music. Nothing to write home about necessarily, but I’m going to their concert soon and think they’ll put on a great live show.
- I Will by The Beatles
- Dad Dancing by Goodnight Goodbye
- So You Are Tired by Sufjan Stevens
- Automatic by Birdy
- Watchman by Gregory Alan Isakov
- Damage Gets Done by Hozier and Brandi Carlile
- Is It True by Tame Impala
- Settled Down by Watchhouse
- October Passed Me By by girl in red
- bad idea right? by Olivia Rodrigo
- Beach Baby by Bon Iver
This Changes Everything: Therapy podcast with my favorite TikTok therapist, TherapyJeff. I have high hopes for this one as my newest #therapydupe
Field Trip: I have an upcoming trip to Glacier National Park, and my lovely friend Maria found this podcast for us to listen to in preparation. Great history of the park, focusing on indigenous people and their rights to the land.
Lizard People: I LOVE a good conspiracy theory, so this podcast has been really fun. The episode on Stonehenge being set up by aliens was not particularly convincing, but was entertaining.
U Up?: A dating/comedy podcast that has hosts that go on a *little* too long for my taste. However, I think the hosts balance out each other’s opinions and I like hearing their takes on common dating issues.
Gilmore Girls: Tis the season! I started the season a while ago though, so now we are in the swamps of season six. But you know what that means! Soon: WHY did you DROP out of YALE?!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Kind of in the bummer era of all of my favorite shows: in season five for Buffy. I know what’s coming soon and I am not ready.
Notting Hill: Can’t believe it’s my first time seeing this classic! Pretty sure it was pulled straight out of my daydreams. I love Hugh Grant in his lil bookstore glasses <3
The Invisible Man: Elizabeth Moss really can’t catch a break. I loved the themes on women not being believed and then their invisible foes eviscerating all those bystanding naysayers anyway.