Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Backwards glance - July, August & September Reads

Looking way the heck back, as in 3 months' worth of reads . . . with apologies. I've reviewed all but two of the books I read from July to September, but many of them were included in multiple-mini-review posts. So if you follow the link and find that I reviewed three or four books in the same post, that means there is not a full-length review, elsewhere. In one case, the same book was read twice and therefore both links lead to the same review.

Of the two I have not yet reviewed, one will be reviewed shortly and the other is unpublished (my friend Greg's book, Riding with No Hands).


July was not bad for a summer month! Favorites were The Summer of the Bear, Everything Beautiful Began After, The Help and Divergent. I really enjoyed When She Woke, Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: Great Britain and Gone. Avebury Avenues was very informative (but tourist-book length and most interesting to those who have visited or plan to visit Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire, England). Agonizing Love was pretty fun but you can't think about it too hard if you're a feminist or it'll make your head hurt. One Second After was decent in a post-apocalyptic horrifying way, but the characters all sounded alike and that drove me nuts. God Gave Us You is directed at a very narrow crowd. The Ghost of Greenwich Village is probably the one book I regret reading.


August was not bad for a month of few books. My two favorites would have to be Horoscopes for the Dead (poetry) and Inside Out (YA) but What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and Maman's Homesick Pie followed close on their favored heels. I always love the Grandma's Attic books and I liked The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. The two Blue Envelope books (both YA) were, I thought, disappointing in spite of the fact that I really like Maureen Johnson's unique turn of phrase. Pillow Talk was really very well written and not deserving of its fluffy pink cover, but the language in a couple portions offended me so greatly that it couldn't possibly end up a favorite. A little cleaned up and it would have been close to the top; the story is much deeper than I expected and Freya North is a very sharp writer.


104. The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
109. Riding with No Hands - Gregory K. Moffatt, PhD

August shocked the heck out of me. Seriously. I thought with all the travel (two weddings and a trip to Boston) I'd get next to nothing read, but instead it turned out to be a solid reading month. Favorites were Everything Beautiful Began After (which I loved even more on the second reading), Learning to Bow, To the Moon and Back, The Oracle of Stamboul, The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, The Call and The Lost Wife. I'm disappointed with my ridiculously brief review of The Lost Wife. It deserved a better description. There were some minor problems but it was a very good book and I whipped through it, completely engrossed in the story. Haiku Mind (poetry/spirituality) was enjoyable but best taken in small doses and I enjoyed my friend's book, Riding with No Hands, but don't feel like I can say much about it, so . . . it goes in the generic very-good file. I'll review Ernestine Buckmeister, soon. Lord & Lady Spy had some great adventurous moments and I do think it would make a great series if the characters go on to do more spying and less arguing, but it wasn't my favorite book by Shana Galen.

My two disappointments were Juniper Berry and The Taste of Salt. Both started out good and then went downhill.

October has been pretty good, so far, with 6 books finished! I can't seem to keep up with reviewing the way I used to and it's going to get worse for the rest of the month. But, then November should be normal, I hope. How many times have you heard that? Well, I'll do my best to crank out reviews of the books I've read, so far, although they will probably be brief reviews, for the most part. In a few days, I think I'm going to have to go on a blogging break. The cooler weather is motivating us into a cleaning frenzy, here, and I am truly enjoying seeing little spaces open up in my cluttered house. So, I have to keep rolling with it, while the urge lasts. I've even put myself on holiday at Paperback Swap, so that I won't have to spend time wrapping parcels and running to the post office, although I'm going to have to make several runs to the library to get all my donations hauled to the perpetual sale corner. Those bags of books are heavy!

How is your reading month going, so far?

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  1. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Nancy, you got a lot of reading done this summer. Don't even worry about the reviews. Short ones are fine - even two sentence ones if you feel you must. Or don't even do the reviews. Do a little paragraph like you did to summarize the month. People can always search out books that sound appealing.

    Isn't it satisfying to do clearing out and tidying up? I know it is for me. Take care and enjoy the fact that cooler weather is coming. I'm so glad that we're out of the triple digit temps and hopefully out of the 90's as well. :-)

  2. Kay,

    I did! I'm very happy with what I got read because summer heat always makes me slumpy, at some point -- often more than one month. I'll have to keep the reviews short. Some I probably don't even have much more than two sentences worth to say about them, so I might do a combination review, just because that's what will work best. Thanks, I'm glad you think that's acceptable.

    Yes, the clearing out is extremely satisfying!!! It's a very freeing feeling. We've got a very small house (no basements, here, and our closets are small) and we reached overload level. It's really fun making spaces.

    I know what you mean. Such a relief to get past the nastiest summer weather. We're headed back up, again, but only to the high 80s, so I'm happy. When we get past that, I am a grumpy girl. LOL Hope your temps stay lower, from now on, too. :)

  3. Reading is easy. Reviewing is hard.

    You've had several good months of reading, and that is the best part.

    It is a little cooler here this morning, and I can feel the increased energy!

    So far, my reading this month is just OK. Plenty of books read, but not as many books loved. There is still time left to find something memorable!

  4. You certainly did get a lot of reading done, and I am very excited that you got a chance to read so many good books during these last few months. I feel like I have sort of been in a reading slump for the past few weeks, and am hoping that I can begin to get back up to speed before too long. It's hard when you know that you can't read, but you have so many books that you are interested in getting to. I hope that you have a nice little blogging break coming up, and that you get everything all sorted out and come back to us!

  5. Jenclair,

    It sure is! And, sometimes, don't you just feel like you don't have much to say about a book? I do, at least recently.

    I definitely had a good reading summer. Fall may be a little less exciting because I like to get out and do things when it's cool, although I do most of my reading at night. We'll see. :)

    It's only 71 degrees, here, but the sun is intense, so I don't think it's going to stay all that cool. Better than 90s or 100s, though, any day!!!

    I hope you find something wonderful, soon!


    I'm sorry you're slumpy! Yes, that is the worst feeling, wanting to read but not feeling like it in spite of being surrounded by books. Sometimes you just have to walk away from the piles and do something completely different, like dig in the dirt or watch a movie. Or just read magazines. I hope you get back in the swing of things, soon.

    Thanks! It'll take us a long, long time to really get things in order but I figure I've got to run with it while I'm in the mood to clean and purge like crazy. I just dropped off another load of books at the library. Ah, so nice to bring home empty bags!!! :)

  6. I always start the year off really well with reviewing, but come later in the year I slow down a bit. Before the year is out I need to decide what I really want to get reviewed because I always regret not having things to link back to when I talk about previous reads or read a later book in a series.

  7. Kelly,

    I know exactly what you mean. That's why I've been trying to review absolutely everything, this year. There've been times I wanted to refer back to something, but there's nothing to link to. So, I figure a brief review is better than nothing. I don't know that I have any kind of pattern, though, other than usually getting slumpy in the summer. And, that's partly because of the heat, partly because it's when we tend to travel.

  8. wow. Lots of good tracking here, well done. My reading month is going OK. I am behind abt 4 reviews and prefer to just keep reading.
    In fact, I think I will shut down the pc and go back to my book now.

  9. Carrie,

    Sounds like a plan. I did the same, last night. Reading is a lot more fun than reviewing.


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