August Wrap Up – Popular Books I Didn’t Love

I don’t know how August is already over, but I’m not mad about it. Because I am one-hundred percent ready for fall. It’s my favorite time of the year, because it means months of colder weather and cozy sweaters. And cups of tea with good books and fuzzy blankets. I can’t wait! But, before that happens, we have to talk about what I read and did in August. Keep reading to see fourteen books I read in August.

What I Read:

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz – ★★★★★. I really enjoyed this one! It’s the dark, feminist, mystery I didn’t know I needed. Plus, there are a ton of literature references that just speak to this book nerd. I loved it.

Love and Friendship by Jane Austen – ★★★☆☆. Last year, I finished reading Jane Austen’s six core novels, and thought I’d jump into some of her lesser-known work. This was written while she was pretty young, so it’s not as developed as her later writing. Not my favorite, but I still liked it better than Emma.

Eleanor Oliphant is Complately Fine by Gail Honeyman – ★★★★☆. After a year or so of seeing this book everywhere, I finally picked it up. And I really liked it. It wasn’t a favorite, but it was really good. I can see why people love it so much.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – ★★☆☆☆. I’ve been meaning to finish the Iluminae Files for almost a year, and finally did it. I really liked the first two books, but this one just didn’t work for me. It felt like the same story all over again. Maybe the novelty of the format wore off by book three? I just wasn’t a fan, unfortunately.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie – ★★★★★. I picked this up totally on a whim, and absolutely loved it. I’m kind of obsessed with Catherine the Great now. Because she was a badass and I love her. Seriously, if you’re looking for a great biography, I would definitely recommend this one.

A Keeper by Graham Norton – ★★★★☆. I will fully admit I only picked this up because it was written by Graham Norton. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a family mystery that is really well constructed and written. If you enjoy mysteries that center around family, I would definitely recommend this one.

Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright – ★★★★★. It seems that the books I pick up just because they sound interesting end up being favorites. And this one is no exception. I loved it. It’s not a pleasant part of history, but Wright makes it entertaining.

The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan – ★☆☆☆☆. This one had a great premise, and that’s pretty much all I liked about it. I wasn’t a fan.

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters – ★★★★☆. After a book about plagues and another about a man being kept captive, I needed a fun read. I decided to pick up this one because I have an ARC, so I needed to read it anyway. And I really loved it. It’s so much fun! I’ll have a review up closer to the release date in December, but it’s one to look for if you like romance.

The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien – ★★★★★. Because I did not have enough reading goals this year, I decided I wanted to finally read The Lord of the Rings. And, this month, I finished it. I was actually surprised by how much I loved it.

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor – ★★★★☆. I have no excuse for not finishing the Binti trilogy after reading book one over a year ago, but I made myself do it this month. The first book is definitely my favorite of the three, but these were pretty great, too.

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor – ★★★★☆. Ditto.

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting – ★★★☆☆. This is the year I read all the romance books. This one was really cute, but also pretty cringeworthy. The secondhand akwardness is strong with this one.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – ★★★☆☆. This book took me over three months to get through. And I’m still not convinced it was worth it. I didn’t dislike it, but I also didn’t really enjoy it that much.

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get around to reading this book (okay, fine, I was afraid of the size of this book). But I’m so glad I forced myself to pick this up, because I am loving it so far! I’m predicting a five-star read.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. To be honest, I don’t quite know what’s going on with this book. BUT, I think that’s because I started reading an ebook version, and I feel like there’s something I’m missing. So I ordered a paperback, and it’ll be here today, so I might start over (I haven’t read very much yet). I’ve heard great things about this one, and I really want to give it a fair shot.

What I Watched:

Orange is the New Black Season 7 (Netflix). I still can’t believe this is over. It’s been seven years! The ending wasn’t entirely satisfying, but it was good. I think I would definitely rewatch the entire series at some point.

Falling Inn Love (Netflix). Have I mentioned I love rom coms? And Netflix has been kind of killing it (if you haven’t seen Always Be My Maybe, go watch it right now). This one wasn’t my favorite. It was pretty predictable and very cheesy. But one of the characters is a literal goat, so it’s still worth watching.

What I Did:

Saw ‘The World of da Vinci’ exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. I was so excited for this, and, honestly, it kind of fell flat for me. 99% of the exhibit was recreations of things da Vinci never actually built. And, while his ideas were impressive (his scorpion ship was badass), the exhibit itself didn’t feel like anything special. The coolest thing was the fake da Vinci painting of Danielle from Ever After. Which was the authentic movie prop. There were two pages from actual da Vinci notebooks, but they were so faded, you couldn’t tell what was on them. Oh well.

Went to Disneyland. It was only for a few hours, but it’s been so long since I’ve been, and I forgot how much fun it is. Plus, I got to see Star Wars land for the first time, and it is pretty impressive. I was signed in (so I didn’t have to pay for a ticket) and we decided to just walk around instead of waiting in line for anything (though I did go on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, because it was my favorite when I was a kid). And I got a frozen banana, which is totally worth going to Disneyland for.

Booked a trip to Prague! I am officially going to Prague in February, and I am unbelievably excited. Partly because I found a tour company that does Narnia hikes. I don’t hike, but I will spend all fall/winter getting ready to hike through Narnia (it’s where the filmed parts of the film, but no one can crush my dreams of going to actual Narnia). Also there is weird Kafka stuff kind of everywhere and beer is cheaper than water and there is a pretty amazing library. Obviously, I plan my trips around books. I seriously cannot wait!

That’s it for August! I think it was a pretty good month. I read a lot of great books, did some fun things, and made some amazing plans. I have even more exciting reading planned for September, so be sure to check back tomorrow to see what I’m planning on reading next month.

What was the best book you read in August?

In case you missed it, go check out my July Wrap Up!

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