August Wrap Up – I Binge-Read (Almost) an Entire Series

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I have no idea how, but somehow I read seventeen books this month. SEVENTEEN. I genuinely don’t understand, but I am definitely not complaining. Especially since I loved so many of them. Since this is a ridiculously long wrap up, I’ll just get right into the books:

What I Read:

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton  – ★★★☆☆. I’ve been meaning to read this since high school, when it was assigned to one or two of the senior English classes, and I kept hearing everyone talk about it. I don’t know why it took me ten years, since it is so short, but I finally got around to it this month. It wasn’t a favorite, but it definitely sparked my interested in Wharton’s writing. I’m planning on reading The Age of Innocence by the end of the year. I hope.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – ★★★★★. This is another really short book that took me way too long to start reading. Especially since it is just as good as everyone says it is, and I ended up absolutely loving it. I am planning on reading the first companion novel in this series, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, very soon.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss – ★★★★☆. Thanks to Tome Topple, I FINALLY read the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle. And while I didn’t love it quite as much as the first (it felt overly long, and there was a whole section I just didn’t enjoy), I did really like it. Now to join the rest of the world in the long wait for book three.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow – ★★★★★. I put off reading this book for far too long, but I’m glad I finally decided to pick it up. It took me nearly two months to read, which I guess isn’t that bad for an 800-page biography. It is easily one of the best bios I have ever read, and I’m not just saying that because I love Hamilton. If you’re on the fence about this one, read it. It was so interesting to see how our country began in contrast to whatever the hell is going on now.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – ★★★★★. It only took me two months to read this book, which, in comparison to the rest of the books on this list, is not bad at all. If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t quite as drawn in as I was with book one, but it was still a really great book, and a fantastic conclusion to the duology.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit – ★★★☆☆. I was a bit disappointed by this book. Yes, it was relevant, but it was also repetitive, and I only really enjoyed two of the many essays. I think this might be a good place to start for people who maybe don’t see themselves as feminists or don’t realize mansplaining is a thing, but I personally don’t think it really added all that much to the conversation.

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie – ★★★☆☆. As much as I want to like his work, I’m just not the biggest fan of Rushdie’s writing. I wanted to give him another chance, and picked up his newest release because it’s a political satire, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. You can read my full review of The Golden House if you’re interested.

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman – ★★★★☆. I’d heard a few things about this book, and decided to give it a shot. It’s gotten pretty mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. It was a fun, interesting book that’s unlike anything else I’ve read. I finished it in a single sitting.

Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon – ★★★★☆. I have no idea how I managed to finish this book this month, but I did. And it was really good. I’m a huge fan of both Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, and I loved learning about both of them. I definitely recommend this book if you have any interest; it was so fun to learn about the women behind the literature.

The Tempest by William Shakespeare – ★★★★☆. This was my Shakespeare play for the month of August, and I really enjoyed it. I hadn’t read any of his more fantastical works, but this one was a lot of fun.

Hunger by Roxane Gay – ★★★★★. I had never read anything by Roxane Gay, so this was a surprise favorite. It is absolutely brilliant and brave and perfect. I loved this book so much, and I am already making plans to read everything else she has ever written.

Jackaby by William Ritter – ★★★★☆. Yet another book that had been sitting on my shelf for a long time before I actually decided to read it. I didn’t even really know what it was about when I bought it (discount bookstores are dangerous places), but I’m glad I did, because I ended up really enjoying this one!

Beastly Bones by William Ritter – ★★★★☆. The sequel to Jackaby, which I had to read immediately.

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter – ★★★★☆. And book three, which is my favorite so far (I will be reading the fourth and final book soon).

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace – ★★★★☆. I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while – especially since everyone has been raving about it – and I finally got myself a copy. It was just as good as everyone’s been saying. I don’t read a ton of poetry (something I need to work on), but this is easily my favorite contemporary collection.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly – ★★★★☆. I think this is the month of knocking books off my TBR, because this is another one I’ve had for a while. I actually got the ebook over a year ago, but saw the hardcover on Book Outlet for like $3, so I picked it up. It’s gotten some mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. I’m definitely going through a dark, Victorian YA lit phase at the moment, and this was perfect.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – ★★★★★. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to love this when I started reading it. Which was kind of disappointing seeing as so many people love it. But they were right and I was wrong, and despite a slow start, this book was kind of amazing. I’d never read anything by Maggie Stiefvater before, and I really just loved how she created these characters. I am definitely a fan!

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I finally got into this one yesterday after attempting to read it multiple times over the past few years. I’m definitely enjoying it so far (no surprise, it is a Victoria Schwab novel), and I can’t wait to see what happens.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I started this book earlier in the week on audio, and I think that might just be the wrong format for this book. It just took me a couple hours to get into, but I think it’s picking up. I still might switch to the hardcover this weekend.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastri. This book has been on my radar for a while, and when I saw it was available on Overdrive (because I don’t have enough books), I decided to go for it. And I’m glad I did, because it’s such a fun book!

The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I DNFed this about three years ago when I first attempted to read it immediately after reading The Magicians. I enjoyed the first book, but got impatient reading this one. I think I’m going to finish it this time around, but it’s just not my favorite. I’m enjoying the story a bit more this time around (I think), but I definitely like the writing a lot less.

What I Watched:

Drew Lynch on Tour. If you watch America’s Got Talent, you may know him as the stuttering comedian. And if you don’t Google him right now, because you’re missing out. I got to see him in person last night, and I laughed so hard I cried. For a full hour. I loved it, and it is definitely the highlight of the month for me.

What I Did:

Read SEVENTEEN books in a single month. That’s the most I’ve read since September 2015, when I was unemployed and basically read one book a day for the entire month.

Non-Book Favorites:

Trader Joe’s Vegan Tikka Masala. I. Am. Obsessed. I tried this frozen meal for the first time this month, and I already eat it at least twice a week. It is by far the best vegetarian or vegan frozen meal I’ve tried, and it’s better than a lot of non-frozen meals I’ve tried. Plus, it’s so easy to bring to work for lunch. (Side note: my non-vegetarian/vegan friends hate the fake meat in this, but they do have a real chicken version.)

Blog Highlights:

Trilogies vs. Duologies. In which I discuss the structural differences between the two. I had fun writing this post, and many of you seemed to like it, so I’m planning on writing a few more similar posts in the future.

That’s it for August! Overall, I think it was a pretty great month!

I’d love to hear what your favorite book was this month. Any new releases on your radar? Let me know in the comments!

29 thoughts on “August Wrap Up – I Binge-Read (Almost) an Entire Series

  1. OMG! Congrats on reading so many books, that is just – wow!!! Also, I still have to read Our Dark Duet. I have a physical copy and the ebook, but I keep putting it off and I don’t know why. It’s been so difficult to read lately. I have an eARC I am trying to get through right now and I am beyond slow.
    I can’t wait for you to discover the rest of the Raven Cycle!!

    1. Thanks!!! I put of ODD for a while, too. I still don’t think I was ready for that series to end. But I am definitely excited for the rest of the Raven Cycle. I’m waiting for my next paycheck and then I might just buy them all, because I definitely want to read them all together.

      1. Dream Thieves is like a make it or break it book in my opinion, because it has a completely different focus and it kind of determines how you’ll feel about Ronan moving forward. Each book is different somehow, but they keep the slow pace. I love those books.

  2. What an amazing reading month Stephanie! I’m especially impressed that you managed to read both Alexander Hamilton AND Romantic Outlaws!

    Ethan Frome is probably my least favorite Wharton. If you enjoyed her writing style, I think you may like her other works more. The Age of Innocence is a stunning novel.

    My favorite reads this month were The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

    1. Thanks! To be fair, I just finished the tail end of Hamilton this month – I started it in June. And Romantic Outlaws was a fun read, so it went quick.

      I’m looking forward to reading more Wharton. I’m already planning on picking up The Age of Innocence next. I can tell I’m going to like that one.

      I loved Gentleman’s Guide, too! Such a great book! I think I have a copy of The Paying Guests somewhere (maybe). I’ll have to find it.

  3. Great reading month! So pleased you enjoyed ‘The Raven Boys’ as it’s one of my favourite series.

    1. Thanks! This was a particularly good month, but I’m hoping I can keep it up.

      I think my feelings about The Bear and the Nightingale are pretty similar to yours. I struggled through the first few chapters and I’m finally starting to get more into the story, but I’m still not enjoying it as much as I’d hoped.

  4. I read the first two of the Jackaby series, but haven’t really decided on the third yet. But I’m more inclined now that I know it ends after the fourth book. I also just added three of Roxanne Gray’s books to my maybe TBR 🙂

    1. I think the third might be my favorite, and it definitely set up a big ending for book four. I’m hoping to get to it soon! What books did you add? I really want to read Bad Feminist and Difficult Women.

      1. I added Hunger, Bad Feminist, and Difficult women. It’ll probably be awhile until I get around to them since I’ll have to get to the library or buy them.

  5. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Raven Boys. It’s one of my favorite series and I’m just in awe of Stiefvater’s ability to create such flesh and blood characters. I still need to read Our Dark Duet. I’ve had it since its release, but haven’t been able to fit it in. Your August looks pretty amazing. Hope your September turns out just as fantastic!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I finally read The Raven Boys. And I can’t wait for the rest of the series. I had ODD since it came out, but it took me so long to get to it. I was not ready for that story to end. I hope you enjoy it!

  6. I loved These Shallow Graves! I picked it up on a whim when I was in Stockholm. I hadn’t heard anything about it beforehand. While I understand the mixed reviews, I think it’s so unappreciated.

    I don’t think I had a favorite book this month. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read much. The one book on my radar is The Big F. I’m debating whether to buy a copy. I probably will eventually though.

    1. It was so much better than I was expecting! I honestly wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it based on the reviews, but I’m so glad I read it anyway.

      I’ve heard of The Big F, but don’t really know what it’s about. I’ll have to look into it.

      Happy reading!

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