August is over, which means it is almost fall and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, I know we have a few more weeks until it is officially autumn, but September means fall in my head so let me have this. Even though it is still definitely summer outside, I can pretend sweater weather is almost here.

Anyway, another month is over, and it’s time for my wrap up. I read fourteen books this month. Which isn’t too bad considering one of them was a nine-hundred page classic. My brain does still hurt, thanks for asking. But overall it was a decent reading month. I didn’t finish everything I was planning to read, but I was probably being a little too ambitious (what’s new?).

What I Read

I Read All 11 Books on Harvard’s Summer Reading List

I read nine of the books from this list in August (the other two I had read earlier in the summer). Most of them were medieval classics, one was a mid-century fantasy, and the other was a contemporary memoir. I won’t say it was fun, but I do feel accomplished for having competed it. This post was ridiculously long, so I won’t try to summarize it here, but go check it out if you’re interested (because it took me pretty much all month and I’m shocked I was able to read anything else).

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – ★☆☆☆☆

I didn’t go into this thinking I would love it. But I feel like I keep reading Silva Moreno-Garcia’s books because I really loved Gods of Jade and Shadow. I thought Mexican Gothic was fine. But this one, this one I did not like. I didn’t enjoy the story or the characters, and the writing really didn’t do it for me. The stubborn part of my brain wants to keep reading her books because I’m convinced I’ll enjoy them more, but maybe she’s just not for me. Which makes me sad.

*this book was provided to me by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum – ★★★★☆

I read this for reasons that I will not be sharing for another few months. BUT I did enjoy it. It was an interesting perspective on the current state of democracy in the world. Because we all know what’s been happening here in the US and it’s not pretty.

Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey – ★★★★☆

This is a really great memoir about the author’s young adulthood after her stepfather killed her mother. It is not a happy or particularly enjoyable read, but it was really impactful. I don’t really have much to say about this one, but if you like reading memoirs, I’d add this to your list.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – ★★★☆☆

I am so sad that this was a three-star read for me. I loved Red, White, & Royal Blue, and was really anticipating this one. But it took me months to get through. I just wasn’t getting into it as much as I wanted to and kept putting it on hold. But I finally got into it this month… and I didn’t love it like I wanted to. I am very disappointed. I still really liked it, it just wasn’t the new favorite I was hoping for.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – ★★★★★

This however, was a new favorite. This book is the perfect combination of dark academia mystery and really weird, which you know I love. It also felt kind of mythological, which isn’t what this is, but it has that vibe. But it’s weird and crazy and dark and I loved the writing so much. I think this has finally given me the push I need to read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

What I’m Currently Reading

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I have decided that September is the month I will finish this. I made it through The Decameron in August, so I can definitely do this! At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Really, though I do want to make an effort to finish all the books I’ve put on hold before the end of the year, and this is definitely one I would really, really like to get off my “currently reading” shelf.

Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore

I meant to finish this at the end of August, but I’m just not in a romance mood at the moment. So instead of forcing myself to finish it so I can tell you what I think about it before it comes out, I decided to just take my time with it so I end up liking it more. It is really fun so far, though.

The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and once I finally had the emit to read it I just wanted to binge it. But I am forcing myself to go slow because this is a really beautiful book and I want to savor it. While I fly through my next reading experiment books (I’m not looking forward to most of them).

What I Watched

WandaVision

Yes, I finally watched WandaVision. I really enjoyed Loki last month, I figured it was time for me to catch up on all the Marvel things. I still have I think two movies (not counting Black Widow because I refuse to pay $30 and will wait until it’s free on Disney+) and one of the shows? I don’t know. But I’ve seen most of them so it’s not too bad. And I really liked WandaVision and will definitely watch season two if/when it comes out.

The White Lotus

This seemed like my jam. It’s a mystery with kind of a quirky cast of characters. And I did enjoy it. Until the end. The ending was simultaneously really unsatisfying and very disappointing. I’m still kind of mad about it. If you’ve watched it, what did you think?

Blog Highlights

I Read All 11 Books on Harvard’s Summer Reading List

This took FOREVER. It was the longest reading experiment I’ve done so far (I have a bigger one coming in December, but I’ve been working on it all year, so it’s not all in three weeks). This was a lot of books and a lot of pages read. It wasn’t fun, but I do feel very accomplished. I’m still never ever doing it again, so go check this one out if you missed it.


And that’s it for August! I cannot believe we are two-thirds of the way through 2021. But I am very excited for fall and winter. It is time for sweater weather! At least the six days of it we get here in Southern California. But right now I’m gonna go back to my Gilmore Girls marathon, so thanks for reading!

What was your favorite book this month?

17 thoughts

  1. aw shoot. Sad to here about Velvet Was the Night. I wonder if I’d like it because I actually struggled with Gods of Jade and Shadow beside really enjoying the protagonist and the god dynamic. The author’s writing is very distinct, like I feel like I have to be in a very specific mood depending on which story of hers I pick up.

    That being said, I need to read Piranesi ASAP. It sounds up my alley.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. September also means fall in my head, so I totally get it!
    As for WandaVision, I don’t think it will get another season. They announced Loki and What/If Season 2 right away, but always treated WandaVision as a limited series. I guess a lot of it depends on the next couple of movies up until and including Doctor Strange.
    I didn’t hate the ending of White Lotus, but it definitely wasn’t satisfying. I did enjoy that the person who died wasn’t the one I expected to? Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally makes sense! Kind of wish it was someone I cared about, though. Or the killer, because they suck. But the other thing that happened at the very end was my main issue with it. I didn’t hate it, but it kind of felt like “really? that’s it?”

      Liked by 1 person

        1. YES! I was very disappointed in one specific person who should have punched their significant other in the face instead of staying haha. I think if that had gone differently, I would have liked it a lot more.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I gave up on One Last Stop. I also loved Red, White and Royal Blue. It was light, it was fun. This just didn‘t grab me.

    Disney+, I got it to watch Wanda Vision and liked that one. Loki was ok, but not really my thing. I still have to watch Falcon & Winter Soldier (is that the name?) and also refuse to pay extra for Black Widow. In the meantime I rewatched all Star Wars movies…

    Liked by 1 person

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