August 2017 Reading
As summer begins to wind down, I have to say that the final full month of the season netted some of my best reading this year. With eight novels and one audio book, I had plenty of opportunities for success; thankfully, they were all solid choices and I'm having trouble choosing a favorite.
Yesterday by Felicia Yap (ARC provided by Mulholland Books) - This was the only semi-disappointment of the month, and I use the term "semi-disappointment" because the premise behind the story was fascinating and it was an impressive debut effort; however, I had very high expectations for this novel, having placed it on my list of Top Ten 2017 Debut Novels, and it didn't quite hit the mark.
Set in a world where people are classified by how much they are capable of remembering ("Monos" only remember one day prior; "Duos," in the minority and much more highly regarded, are able to retain two days of memories), this whodunit told from the perspectives of four different individuals took off with plenty of steam and I longed for it to continue to power through. Unfortunately, it fell a bit flat for me in the second half and I really struggled with the ending.
The Lauras by Sara Taylor (ARC provided by Hogarth) - The sophomore effort from the author of the highly-acclaimed The Shore, I could hardly wait to get into this one and it was the first 5-star read (I had more than one!) in August. You can read more of my thoughts on this one here; highly recommend!
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (personal copy) - After receiving recommendations for this one from two of my go-to reading friends (Sarah's Book Shelves and Novel Visits), I decided I was ready to try a "thriller;" this one did NOT disappoint! I could hardly turn the pages fast enough, and sped through it in no time; a great weekend read, for sure!
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby (borrowed from library) - While I'd heard of Irby's work, and read a few bits here and there, this newest release was featured on a summer reading list I found earlier in the season and I added my name to the hold list of my local library system. What a profound, thought-provoking and hilarious read; I'd love to get into some of her other work after having enjoyed this one so much.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio (personal copy) - Another great recommendation from both Sarah's Book Shelves and Novel Visits, this one has been on my TBR list for quite some time and, in an effort to keep my great reading streak going, I purchased a copy on a whim. WOW. Okay? WOW. It's a debut! Definitely another 5-star read for the month of August and I can't say enough good things about this one; check out Sarah's full review here, and Susie's here, for more details...and then read this one and let me know what you think!
Bolt Action Remedy by J.J. Hensley (ARC provided by Down and Out Books) - Another bias confession: J.J. is not only a great author, his social media posts keep me entertained regularly and he's a super smart guy. Having fully confessed, I must say that I have read all of his novels and his characters continue to intrigue and pull me in. More on this one to come later this week!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (audio book; personal copy) - After reading so many great reviews about this one, and seeing lots of support by people I know, I decided this would be a great audio selection for my commute; another 5-star choice. A novel that reads/listens like a memoir, if this one doesn't prompt you to dig deep then you're probably not paying enough attention to what you're reading. This is an excellent contribution within the current climate of our culture; kudos to Thomas for sharing this story and I'm so excited that it has been optioned for film.
Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito (personal copy) - Another recommendation from Sarah's Book Shelves, this Swedish "courtroom thriller" was much more than I could have imagined! An account of a school shooting, both in and out of the courtroom proceedings, that will have your heart beating quickly and, as Sarah said, reminiscing on the days of Cruel Intentions. A surprising win for me!
Favorite Book of the Month:
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (ARC provided by Scribner) - I'll confess my bias: I grew up along the Gulf Coast and have witnessed my fair share of Southern racism; I have a personal connection with those who have been incarcerated; and my professional life regularly puts me in the path of those who suffer from both cancer and addiction. For me, this novel hit the spot; I may have highlighted half the book, and that is no exaggeration. I plan to post more on this one in the coming days, but it definitely earned 5 stars from me and I hope you'll read it. This is also a September selection for the Book of the Month Club; check out my friend Sarah's post for more information and her expert opinion on this month's choices.