My August Reading Wrap Up: #20BooksofSummer

20booksfinalHello readers!  My August wrap-up is also my 20 Books of Summer Wrap-Up, and it will tell you something about me that I ended up at exactly 20 books at the end of the month  (hint: I’m a bit on the goal-oriented side.)

I’m always sad when summer ends.  As a kid, summers meant long, lazy days spent reading in a hammock, days I didn’t have to go to school or see other kids (which will also tell you a lot about me and my childhood).


Here are my 20 Books of Summer  (My August reads start with Ghost Talkers.)

  1. League of Dragons by Naomi Novik
  2. The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese
  3. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
  4. Eventide by Kent Haruf
  5. The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
  6. Whom the Gods Love by Kate Ross
  7. Some Possible Solutions by Helen Phillips
  8. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
  9. The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel
  10. Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
  11. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  12. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
  13. Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst
  14. The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
  15. Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
  16. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
  17. Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
  18. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
  19. The Edge of the Earth by Christina Schwarz
  20. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

I wasn’t able to review a lot of these books, so I’m planning to do a mini-review post on some of them.

Of the 20, 9 had elements of fantasy or science fiction; 6 were contemporary fiction; 5 were historical fiction; 1 short stories; 1 nonfiction; and 6 were part of a series (a couple of them could be the start of a series).  You can see there’s some overlap in these categories. I read three Bailey’s Prize longlist nominees this summer, including the Prize Winner, The Glorious Heresies.  I also read Hugo Award Winner The Fifth Season (I was pleased to have read three of this year’s Hugo nominees for best novel).

My favorite book from August? The Glorious Heresies. I loved Amy Schumer’s book and highly recommend it if you like her comedy.  I was impressed by This Must Be The Place but had a big issue I’ll discuss when I review it.  Blacklands was good but not my favorite by Bauer. Taking the summer as a whole, I’d add The Sunlight Pilgrims and The Girl With All the Gifts to my list of favorites.

What’s next: September’s looking like a tough month for me, work-wise.  I thought finishing school meant my life would be easy!  But I think blogging and reading may be on the back burner for a little while.  Maybe I’m just feeling lazy. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my time management and how I should be spending my time at home – or whether I should even be worrying about it!

One thing I get to look forward to: at the end of September, Patricia Briggs is coming to Northern Virginia for a speaking event and I’m hoping I’ll get to see her.  I normally don’t do author events, due to my dislike of crowds and lines, and I’m just not terribly interested in having books signed.  But Briggs is one of my favorite fantasy writers so I’m planning to make an exception (if you’re in the area and want to meet up, let me know).

Favorite non-bookish find: The Perpetual Page Turner turned me on to a series on Netflix, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  It has so many things I love: gorgeous 1920’s aesthetic, a strong female lead, great dialogue and interesting mysteries.  PLUS it takes place in Australia (one of my favorite places) and the mysteries range across a lot of different cultural groups (the first few episodes feature Chinese, Jewish, and Latvian populations).  The series isn’t new, I just hadn’t heard of it before. It’s based on a series of mysteries by Kerry Greenwood, so it’s actually bookish after all (I try to be non-bookish and fail, which is kind of sad).

Thanks to Cathy at 746Books for hosting 20 Books of Summer and keeping me motivated!  Boo to the end of summer but that’s how it goes.  Happy Labor Day weekend and happy reading everyone!

More August wrap-ups here.

  10 comments for “My August Reading Wrap Up: #20BooksofSummer

  1. September 2, 2016 at 1:59 am

    You said Blacklands isn’t your favourite Bauer – which title do you rate highest? By the way Bauer lives near to me and I spotted her walking from our local library a few weeks ago…..

    • September 5, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      I’ve read three of her books, and my favorite is Rubbernecker, which was the first one I read (and a bit less dark than The Shut Eye and Blacklands). I think you’re always a bit partial to the first book you read by an author, plus I loved the main character. That’s really cool that you live in the same neighborhood.

  2. September 2, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Well done for getting to twenty! I’m going to fail by a couple but I’ll just extend the summer for a week or two. 🙂 I have Blacklands on the TBR, but I think Bauer is an author who has really improved as she’s gone along, so I’m not altogether surprised this one didn’t turn out to be a favourite. She’s never less than readable though.

    • September 5, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Nothing wrong with finishing the summer when you want to! That makes sense about Bauer. I’m not sure the plot of this one worked as well for me. For some authors, their first work is their best. I’m glad her books keep getting better!

  3. September 4, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Wow! It’s good that you’re goal oriented and managed to hit your target exactly. I definitely think that goals help motivate me, but they’re not quite that magical for me. 🙂

    • September 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Well, in fairness I should say that I didn’t read exactly the same list of books I started out with (but I did hit 14 of my original list) and also I knew I read about 7 or so books a month so 20 books over 3 months was a pretty solid target for me. But I do like to have a goal! Although I find I can be too number-focused sometimes.

  4. September 10, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    The only one of your books I’ve read is The Girl With All the Gifts, which I also consider a favorite of the summer. And Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries sounds awesome.

  5. September 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Amy Schumer’s book is one I’d like to read! Happy September!

  6. September 25, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    20 books of summer sounds fun! I do like a challenge. I am glad to see you met your goal too. I am curious to hear what you thought of #20…?

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