Month in Review: August 2015


I’ve been wanting to create some new post graphics, and above you can see my latest design. What do you think? I’m especially proud that I figured out how to change the colors of the balloon and some of the books in Photoshop — some of those books went through quite a few changes, and I’m still not completely convinced about all of them. But I’m leaving them this way for now.

This month I asked, Are there too many book blogs? The question was a bit provocative, but I was glad to receive so many thoughtful and many-faceted responses. I value every one of the connections I’ve made through blogging, and I only hope the community doesn’t become too huge for us to continue to find one another.

Much as we love blogging, sometimes we all need to take a break. I’m taking a week or two off to recharge my reading and blogging batteries. I’ll be back after Labor Day with some news about an exciting upcoming event. (What is it? Check out the sidebar.)



MrsD Wolves Armadale TrueDeceiver Voracious


  • I finally met and and loved Mrs. Dalloway.
  • I reread the first five books of Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles, a wild and wonderful ride.
  • I indulged in melodrama to the max with Wilkie Collins’s Armadale.
  • The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson was my pick for Women in Translation Month.
  • I took a brief look at some new and noteworthy titles, encompassing dark fantasy, memoir, nature writing, cookery, historical fiction, and literary pastiche, as well as various combinations thereof.


Other Books Read

  • A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of George III by Janice Hadlow
  • Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart – Review to come in Shiny New Books
  • Emma by Jane Austen – Reread, for Austen in August
  • If I Were You by Joan Aiken – Reread
  • Goodbye, Stranger by Rebecca Stead – Review to come
  • Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken – Reread for Austen in August
  • A Visit to Highbury by Joan Austen-Leigh – for Austen in August
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach – for Doing Dewey’s Nonfiction Book Club
  • Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos – Review to come


Other Features and Events


Favorite Posts from Other Bloggers

  • Nicole of Feed Your Fiction Addiction had the excellent idea to do a round-up of monthly wrap-up posts! I’ll be guest hosting for the September linkup, so please watch for the sign-up post and giveaway announcement. And be sure to check out this month’s round-up.
  • Another new feature over at Doing Dewey is a Nonfiction Book Club. This month’s pick was Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. Please join us for next month’s read, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.
  • While we’re on the topic, Sophisticated Dorkiness shared some helpful Resources for Finding Nonfiction. I’m always a sucker for a good book list.
  • The amazing Ashley of Nose Graze sponsored a Who Wears Tweak Me Best? contest, featuring over 40 fabulous blogs that all use her Tweak Me theme. I was honored that ECBR was nominated (though not the winner, alas).
  • At Tales from the Reading Room, Your Experience is Not My Experience gives a thoughtful examination of how personal response colors our reading — and may be transforming what gets written in the first place.
  • Two of my favorite posts from Austen in August were these very personal responses: Learning to Love Jane Austen. and Me and Jane Austen.
  • Another great Austen-related post was a reconsideration of the 1999 Mansfield Park film, at Majoring in Literature.
  • Delving further into the past, following last month’s Shirley Jackson Reading Week, Simon from Stuck in a Book did a great compilation of Shirley Jackson Covers. I never tire of looking at cover art fashions through the years.


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

22 thoughts on “Month in Review: August 2015

    1. Hm, it was interesting to read the two retellings in close succession and I also watched the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, which took certain liberties with the story…but the original always comes up trumps for me.


  1. Enjoy your break.

    As I often say when I see folks who finished many books on a a month, I am jealous that you managed to read so much!

    I have also been reading a bot about George III and as we discussed, the Hadlow book looks really interesting.


    1. Part of the month I was on vacation (from work, not from blogging), and that helped. I hope you get to read the Hadlow book before too long, I’m sure you will find it of interest.


  2. Enjoy your break! Glad to hear you’re taking some time for yourself. You’ve posted a really interesting roundup of links — I’m glad to know about the list at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and really enjoyed the post on personal responses to reading.


  3. Have a good blogging break! I always find them to be wonderfully restful, and I always end up missing blogging and bloggers and being so so happy to come back at the end of the break. Which is I hope what happens to you too!


    1. Thanks, Nicole! The thing is I use PS so infrequently that I tend to forget what I learned the last time and have to re-learn it all over again. I’m glad I figured it out this time.


  4. It sounds like this was a good month for you. I really love the new graphic! I might like to see slightly larger font, if there’s space for it, but I wouldn’t change anything else about it 🙂 Thanks for sharing about The Sixth Extinction read-along!


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