Month in Review: August 2017

Laurie has started a new event, Blogging the Spirit, which I’m participating in on the last Sunday of the month, and so my monthly review will now be on the first Sunday of the following month — just in case any of you were desperately waiting for its appearance.

Since I asked for recommendations of contemporary fiction, I’ve been sampling quite a lot and enjoying how this adds some variety to my reading life. I’ve also visited a few far-flung countries for the Reading All Around the World project — this month, Lebanon, with An Unnecessary Woman — and that’s been very rewarding. I’m making some progress with my Mount TBR shelf, but as usual polishing off one book tends to lead me to acquire even more — as when reading a Blandings Castle omnibus made want to find more unread P.G. Wodehouse, and I discovered the delightful Uncle Fred series. The quest never ends!

Where has your reading been taking you this month?



  • I found Frankenstein to be a more subtle, psychologically astute tale than the image in the popular imagination.
  • Listen, Liberal offered a blistering critique of the trajectory the Democratic party has taken over the last half a century.
  • I really wanted to like The One That Got Away, an update of Persuasion, but it wasn’t a good match for me.
  • For Blogging the Spirit, I wrote about my current daily reading, Everyone Belongs to God.


Other Books Read

  • The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
  • Life at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse – Mount TBR
  • The Shore by Sara Taylor
  • Uncle Dynamite by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Excellent Women by Barbara Pym – Mount TBR, Classics Club
  • An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine – Reading All Around the World
  • Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken – Reread, Mount TBR, Austen in August
  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Other Features and Events

  • I created a video of my recent Folio Society acquisitions, which was surprisingly enjoyable.
  • A trip to the Niantic Book Barn in Connecticut meant I had to post about my book haul and the wonderful bloggers I met up with.
  • My discussion question this month was Do you read in other languages? Seems a lot of us wish we could!


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Month in Review linkup at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

40 thoughts on “Month in Review: August 2017

  1. You’ve read an interesting mix of books which I suspect is what you normally do. My uncle loved P.G. Wodehouse and I always think I’ll read some, but haven’t so far. I like the idea of Reading Around the World. I may have to try that next year. Right now I’m listening to an audiobook of a mystery by an Icelandic author and I have another mystery to read taking place in Africa.

    I love baking with sourdough so I’m going to go check out your book! Hope you have a great week.


    1. Yes, I like to read all kinds of books! I hope you might try PG Wodehouse, a longtime favorite – and thanks for checking out my sourdough book. It’s always nice to meet another baker.


  2. What a lovely mix of books you’ve been reading! I haven’t reread The Forgotten Beasts of Eld in ages.

    “…polishing off one book tends to lead me to acquire even more…” Oh, isn’t that the truth!

    Where has my reading been taking me this month? Hmm… [consults Goodreads] …the lands of Faery (Dennis McKiernon’s Faery series); Washington, Baltimore, and Great Britain in 1814, during the War of 1812 (Mary Jo Putney’s Once a Rebel); modern-day Baltimore (Wicked Deeds by Heather Graham); and England, China, America, and the Carribbean – with dragons (Naomi Novik’s Golden Age, and Other Stories); plus a scattering of other locations. Books can indeed take us anywhere and everwhere!


  3. I loved Small Great Things and have marked Eleanor Oliphant into my Audible wish list because I read the audio was a good way to go. Now off to explore a few of your links. Happy September reading.


    1. I liked it – and thank you for the recommendation! The way the stories wove together was a bit confusing, and I definitely needed the family tree (I had to download and print it because I was reading an e-book where it was too small to see), but I loved how it made me really feel what it would be like to live in that place, through multiple generations.


  4. I didn’t do much reading in August! I’ve been decidedly slumpy, and it’s been displeasing me. BUT I have a massive stack of library books that look amazing. I’m hoping I can knock out my most pressing tasks early on today and get down to some serious reading — also cause if I don’t, I will run out of time to read some of these books that I’ve kept renewing throughout this stupid month of August. :p


    1. Library pressure! I keep adding books to my hold list, then suspending the holds because I know I’m not actually going to be able to read 25 books when they all come in at once. But at some point I’m going to have to face the music.


    1. It was not easy to get into. The whole part at the beginning about the polar exploration seemed irrelevant and distracting…and there were other digressions along the way too. I’m glad I persisted, but I can understand giving up. Maybe have another go!


  5. Frankenstein is one of my favorite classics. I’ve always wondered what Shelley would think if she could see the world todayโ€“AI, the current exploration into brain implants and bionic limbs, etc. Her book is more relevant than ever.


    1. It was very prescient indeed. I only wish people would actually read it — The other day I started listening to a Book Riot podcast about “the 19 year old who invented science fiction” and was annoyed to hear the story described AGAIN as being about robbing graves for body parts (implied, but never actually stated) and zapping them with lightning (definitely not stated). Get your facts straight, podcasters!


  6. I love P.G. Wodehouse! I don’t remember loving Frankenstein that much in high school English, but I see what you mean about the subtle, psychologically astute aspect!


    1. I don’t think I would have loved it in high school either — the construction was too cumbersome. But are definitely were some interesting ideas in there.


  7. I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned for August. I focused on middle grade and YA this past month. I hope your September is going well.


    1. I’m enjoying a lot of middle grade and YA books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf this month. Because they’re quick reads, it’s a good way to read down my list!


  8. I’m really interested in Listen, Liberal (despite not being American, I’m definitely a politico) and I adore your description of Frankenstein there- my thoughts exactly! (though I never would have worded it so well ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


    1. It’s been interesting to do a bit of political reading, since that’s a field I have studiously avoided, but so far nothing tops the wise words of Douglas Adams from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”


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