The Books I Read in August

Oh I just hate that summer is coming to an end!  I found so many wonderful books this entire summer that I am sad to see it ending.  Of course I'll still make lots of time for reading and while I'll still squeeze in plenty of fun little romance novels and beach reads it just won't be the same.  I really lucked out with some fantastic books this month; in fact I'd be real hard pressed to pick just one or two favorites!  They were all so good in their own way.



1. The Spectacular by Fiona Davis-- Oh I just loved this historical fiction mystery about Marion who tries out to be a dancer for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in the mid 1950's. In that same time frame the city was plagued with a bomber that was randomly attacking popular, crowded spaces. Dubbed "The Big Apple Bomber" by the press. Marion and her new friends get caught up in helping the police search when Radio City Music hall is bombed. It was so interesting to read about the development of the case, the first use of psychological profiling, and to find out that all these story events were based on real life happenings. 


2. Hidden in Snow by Viveca Sten (the Are Murders book 1)-- This was such a great mystery book that at even over 400 pages I read it in one weekend.  Stockholm police officer Hannah has her whole life upended when she's dumped from both her boss and her boyfriend in the same day.  Licking her wounds she retreats to her sister's ski lodge in the Swedish town of Are. While she's there a local girl goes missing and Hannah ends up joining the local police force to help them.  I can't wait to read the second book in the series!  


3. All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers-- I listened to this book on my Libby app and enjoyed the duo timeline and the suspense.  Margot has moved home to care for her elderly uncle struggling with dementia. Margot is a journalist and while there a local girl goes missing; the case reminds Margot of her best friend and next door neighbor January Jacobs who went missing at age 6. She decides to dig into both cases and find that everyone seems to be hiding something. 


4. Summer Stage by Meg Mitchell Moore-- This story about Amy, Timothy, and Sam was so cute!  Timothy is a famous yet aging actor who has agreed to direct summer theater for his ex-wife on Block Island.  He ends up getting his sister Amy to be the production manager despite some tension between the two over past events. Amy's daughter Sam decides to live with her uncle on the Island while recovering from whatever trauma happened in New York that sent her home for summer in the first place. With the play and it's success central to all the characters and their real life drama cropping up quite often it was a very entertaining summer read. 


5. I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program & Cookbook by Sarah Wilson--  Building on what I learned last month in Glucose Revolution, I'm delving more into how and why to give up all sugar.  I'm still not 100% sold that this is what I want to do but I figure every little bit helps in cutting back on my sugar consumption. I do find it fascinating to read about how sugar (and so many of those hidden sugars/fructose/etc.) all impact our health. Unfortunately, so many of the recipes in all these books do not appeal to me at all.  I have a real problem with texture so things like avocado, chia seeds, and kale are hard no's for me. 


6. Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter-- A completely predictable and totally adorable story complete with quotes from all the famous Rom Com movies.  I loved that this book brought in little snippets of every rom-com trope-- boy next door/ fake dating/ mini makeover/ enemies to lovers.  It was so darn cute and I loved the main characters. I honestly think it would make a fantastic rom com and could see the whole thing playing out like some adorable movie I'd happily watch over and over again. 


7.  Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto-- This book was hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Vera Wong owns a tea shop in Chinatown in San Francisco. When she stumbles over a body in her tea shop one morning she calls the police and decides to start her own investigation into who murdered this man when the police don't seen to suspect any foul play.  She figures the murderer will return to the scene of the crime so she begins by taking note of her new customers and asking them questions.  


8. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson-- Amy's family is struggling after a major loss and everyone has scattered; her brother is in rehab, her mom moved across the country from California to Connecticut and Amy is expected to move with her mother as soon as her school year wraps up.  Amy's mom needs her car though and since Amy no longer drives her mom arranges for a family friend to drive Amy cross country in Amy's mom's car.  Roger and Amy end up taking Amy's mom's itinerary and figuratively tossing out the window while coming up with their own plan to make it across the country  while making up their own stops and memories. It was a really cute and sweet story and the unexpected journey turned out to be just what both main characters needed in order to heal. 


9. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy-- I listened to this book on my Libby app and hearing the story told the author herself was very powerful.  I felt so sad listening to how dysfunctional Jennette's relationship with her mother was and while I think many people are shocked at how harsh the title is... I really do get it.  


10. The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont-- Told from the point of view of "the mistress" this book was a captivating tale about the week and half that Agatha Christie went missing in 1926. Hurt and spurned by her husband Archie's desire to leave her for a younger woman, Agatha's household wakes the next morning to find her missing.  The police get involved and quite a little mystery unravels.  It was a fun historical fiction novel and unlike any I had read before. I knew nothing at all about Agatha Christie (other than that she wrote murder mysteries) so this was really fun to read. 


11. Mrs. Nash's Ashes by Sarah Adler-- Oh this was such a cute story!  Millicent is trying to take the ashes of her dearly departed (and MUCH older) roommate's ashes to be reunited with her one true love.  Only Millicent is racing against the clock as Mrs. Nash's love is in hospice.  Then an airport snafu finds her spending a mutli-day journey in the car with an old acquaintance Hollis, who definitely does not believe in happy ever afters.  It was actually 2 cute love stories in one and I read the story in record time. 


12. The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch-- This was a cute book; it reminded me a bit of the movie The Hangover. When both Frankie and Ezra wake up in the same dorm room bed one morning after a raging party celebrating their friend's upcoming wedding they are startled to find themselves wearing wedding bands.  Neither one can remember what happened the previous night and spend a day running here there and everywhere trying to piece together their night.  Making everything a bit more tense is the fact that both Frankie and Ezra had a horrible breakup 10 years earlier on graduation day and have never spoken since. 


13. Don't Forget to Write by Sara Goodman Confino-- I have enjoyed both of Sara's other books so when I saw this book as a Kindle First Reads pick I just knew I had to give it a go.  It was really cute!  Marilyn is making out with the rabbi's son when the whole congregation sees them & her father tries to get her to marry the boy. Marilyn argues it's 1960 not 1860 an refuses to get married so her parents ship her off to her great aunt Ada for the summer.  Ada turns out to be nothing at all like Marilyn pictured her to be and as the summer unfolds Marilyn starts to realize that she can do more to shape her own future than she had originally thought. The ending was just brilliant too and I loved these characters so much. 


14. Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley-- Another Libby app audiobook that I just loved! Daunis is only 19 and struggling to settle into a new normal after her uncle dies and her grandmother has a stroke. Changing up her college plans and preparing to start school with her best friend by her side, Daunis starts falling for the new guy on the hockey team. Though she senses Jamie is hiding something Daunis starts to feel seen in a way she usually isn't. Part Ojibwe/ part Caucasian, Daunis struggles to fit fully into either world and Jamie has admitted the same. Then Daunis witnesses a murder and is thrust into the middle of an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly going undercover to help track down the source Daunis struggles with balancing the loyalty of family and her people with the investigation that doesn't always feel right and just. A very powerful young adult novel.


15. Silver Alert by Lee Smith-- This was a sweet story but the ending left me wanting more.  Herb and his wife Susan have lived a very good life but with Susan needing full time care and Herb's own health deteriorating things are slowly starting to fall apart.  Then Renee shows up one day to paint Susan's toe nails and Renee has a wonderful way of reaching and dealing with Susan that seems to bring some peace to the household. But there is more to Renee's story then anyone knows and as Herb and Susan's family stages an intervention to put them both in a long term care facility it seems like both Herb and Renee's lives are unraveling.  When Herb suggests one last joy ride in his Porsche, Renee happily agrees and the two take off not knowing they've set off a silver alert. 



16. Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J D'Adamo-- Not actually knowing my blood type I probably didn't get as much out of this book as I should have but I am really enjoying taking a book about nutrition/ diet/ healthy eating each month and broadening my horizons. 



DNF-- It. Goes. So. Fast; The Year of No Do-Overs by Marie Louise Kelly-- I figured I'd relate a lot to this book written during her son's senior year of high school and all those milestone moments of college tours and whatnots but maybe because I'm not a working mom I really didn't relate that much.  I've noticed that I have a very different look at parenting than most people and while so many are sad to see each stage of parenthood ending, I often feel an overwhelming joy--  perhaps because, by default really, I learned early on to enjoy and embrace each stage of parenting and I'm excited to see what happens next.  I don't feel like this is my last year to get thing right or my last chance to show up big because I've been so fortunate to have done that right along. I'm touring campuses with Alec this summer and more than anything I think he looks like he belongs there and he is so excited about each of the schools we have toured and the opportunities there.  I'm sure I'll be so sad when move-in day rolls around but I also know we're ready for it.  He's got this; so I don't need or want any do-overs and time seems to be moving at just the right speed. 

With 2 more books fitting the challenge this month, I just have 2 more left for my 52 books challenge! 


Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, Weekend Traffic Jam Reboot, 











Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing- adding a few to my queue!

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  2. Wow you read so many books!! I'm saving this to come back later and add to my "to read" list on my phone. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Your take on It Goes So Fast is interesting! I enjoyed the book but also felt a little bit disconnected because I'm not a working mom and I didn't miss out on too much of the kids' childhoods because of that. I read and loved a few others here as well!

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    1. Yeah, I think it's just so different when you're trying to juggle a full time job too and feel a bit more of that mom guilt.

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  4. I added quite a few to my list! I am currently loving the Class Mom series, I read through them in a few days. They're just so funny and happy.

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    1. I have heard great things about that series but just figured I wouldn't relate not having had my kids in school-- but maybe I'll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  5. It sounds like you had a great summer of reading. What great sounding books.

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    1. Thank you! I feel like I've been hitting a real streak with reading lately.

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  6. I read Jennette's book and it was just so heartbreaking what she went through.

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  7. Pinning this! I love book recs and some of these are right up my alley. I need to read that book from Jeanette McCurdy. I find family dysfunction intriguing and it's so interesting to me to see how it is handled and how so many people appear to be living normal, if not exceptional lives. When the curtain is pulled back and the truth is revealed, I wonder how it all happened.
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. I felt so bad that it seemed like no one noticed how messed up that whole family situation was. So many kids really fall through the cracks like that.... I find family dysfunction (and how it is/is not dealt with or overcome); I think it's the psychology major in me.

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  8. I read that eat right for your bloodtype so long ago, and I tried it for a couple of years but I'm not sure I really gained anything by it. I do believe that sugar is evil and I'm sure you can find tons of recipes that will fit the bill. I feel like this day and age of internet makes it easier to have the resources.
    XOOX
    Jodie

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  9. Thank you so much for all the recommendations! Some of these were new to me, and I added them to my very long list!

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  10. I feel the same way you did about Jennette McCurdy's book...so sad. I am like you as far as food texture goes. If it's a certain texture, it won't matter how good or bad it tastes! Lots of good books here, Joanne! I'm always looking to add to my TBR list.

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. I am too; even though my TBR list is very, very long.

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  11. Yours is the second recommendation for Fiona Davis' book. Adding it to my Goodreads list.

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  12. Hi, Joanne - I am totally with you on not wanting to let go of summer. Congratulations on your success with your 52 Week Reading Challenge. I can't believe that I only read two of the books that you have read so far for your challenge (and none of the books that you featured in this month's post). But that book with Agatha Christie in it does sound very appealing!

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    1. I love seeing how many different books fit each of the challenge categories too because I feel like so many of us attempting this challenge pick completely different books!

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  13. I am sending you over the "far too warm September days" we have right now. Dry and hot is the forecast for this summer and now we live further inland, no beach to visit with ease. It was great to see your blog post this week at Denyse’s Words and Pics for #WWandPics. Thank you for being part of the community. Warm wishes and appreciation from Denyse.

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  14. Thanks for joining us for WOYBS Joanne, there are some great sounding books here. I've read many of the Viveca Sten series and enjoyed them.

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    1. I definitely plan to pick up more of her books this winter!

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  15. I noted several of these to look at the library.
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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  16. What a great list. Vera Wong and The Christie Affair sound right up my alley. I read Sarah Wilson's book several years ago when it first came out but like you the recipes did nothing for me.

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  17. HI Joanne what a great collection this month. I'm a Viveca Sten fan and have read many of her books. I discovered her through the 52 Book Club Challenge. I've read also The Christie Affair but none of your other recommendations so I'm keen to explore your selection and add more books to my TBR file. I get what you mean about Summer as you all have quite long summer holidays in the US. I would think that Winter is also a lovely time to read especially curled up by the fire. Thanks for joining us each month for #WOYBS? and I look forward to reading your selections next month. x

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    1. I discovered Viveca Sten from the 52 Book Club Challenge too when I needed a Nordic noir; this was my first book by her but it will not be my last. I do find that I read a lot in winter too; it's just fall and spring that are usually quite busy with less time for reading.

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  18. Joanne,
    Thanks so much for stopping by!! You said I made you feel like a slacker because i started decorating for Fall...Well, you made me feel like a slacker with all the reading that you have been doing...I wanted to read 10 books this Summer and I failed miserably and only read 4 books....I just could not seem to find the time...I hope you have a great weekend!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Aw, thank you! That is true that I spent less time decorating and more time reading.

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  19. You read some amazing books in August! I like the sound of most of them. I've read Sarah Wilson's sugar books - remember spending a fortune on substitute products! I hope to have more time for reading as the days get darker earlier. Thanks for linking!

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    1. Thank you! Isn't it amazing how much more expensive it is to eat healthier? Here the United States all the junk food is so much cheaper than fruits and veggies and forget about all those sugar substitutes or "healthy" fats versus highly processed ones...

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  20. I really liked Firekeeper's Daughter, though I wasn't a huge fan of the romance. I'm curious to read the companion.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I didn't realize there was a companion! I would definitely be interested in that.

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  21. I really enjoyed The Christie Affair. I'm not familiar with the others and am adding The Spectacular and I Quit Sugar to my library list!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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  22. You were on a roll, a fantastic roll! Summer Stage and The Spectacular really appeal to me. The only one I've read is The Christie Affair.

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    1. I sure was! Luckily, that roll has continued into September.

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  23. Somebody else was recently telling me to read The Spectacular. I'll have to add it to my list!

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  24. Viveca Sten's book is on my list. I enjoy all her books.

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    1. It's the first book of hers I've read and I really enjoyed it.

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  25. Nice looking variety of books. I've read The Christie Affair and Firekeeper's Daughter and really liked both of them. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  26. Great reading month. I loved The Firekeeper's Daughter and its follow up.

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