Every month I try to read at least one book from the following categories: nonfiction, devotional, and fiction. And this year I’m participating in the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenges, so I’m also going to be listing which category my books fulfill. If you want to join in on the fun, you can check out the list of categories here! This is my August 2017 Reading List, my brief reviews and book recommendations for August 2017. Hopefully I’ll provide you with some inspiration for your future reading as well!
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I’ve been waiting to read this book for quite some time. The bit that I heard about it (you’ll like it if you’re a fan of Stranger Things on Netflix) made it irresistible. And the book absolutely did not disappoint. It was a totally mind-bending and mind-blowing at the same time. And just when you think that things will be wrapped into a nice tidy ending, Crouch sends you reeling yet again. So, so good!
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Read by the author, this book on Audible was a no-brainer, for someone like me who really likes music history/music biographies. I didn’t like this one quite as much as Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes, but I still really enjoyed it. Springsteen is quite a good writer, and his love of language comes through in the book. I would have liked a bit more about the why and the background for individual songs and albums, but it was still well done.
When God Says Wait by Elizabeth Laing Thompson
I’ve been working on this book for a couple of months now, and am glad that I read it. In each chapter the author breaks down a bible story and links it to what a modern person may be struggling with during a waiting season of life. I really liked the personal stories of the author, and how she describes the struggles, and sometimes even the blessings, of waiting for something that you desperately want.
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman
I’ve heard of Anonymous…how could you not, when their operations and stunts are featured in the media, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. Gabriella Coleman is an anthropologist who spent a considerable amount of time within Anonymous, studying the organization (or lack thereof) of the group(s), the major players, the moral codes and rules of the group, its motivations for ops, and the particular operations that it runs. It’s an enlightening look at a group that is not so easily understood, especially in simplistic media coverage.
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
My book club’s pick for August, this book was not at all what I expected. From the title, it seems as if it will be a lighthearted, fun book. It is anything but that. It deals with child sexual abuse, incest, suicide, and mental illness. But it is a total page turner that I finished in one single evening. I struggle with whether I even liked this book, but that may be because I’m dealing with many of these issues in a case that I’m working on at the present time, and it just feels a little to close to home. It is extremely readable, but it was also uncomfortable and often gross.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
After reading The Roanoke Girls, I needed a palette cleanser, and Fannie Flagg’s books feel that way to me. I’d seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, but had never read the book previously. I loved it even more than the movie, and about as much as The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. Wonderfully written with characters that are incredibly loveable, if you’ve not read this book or anything by Flagg previously, you should start now.
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes
2017 MMD Reading Challenge: a book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit
I picked this book up after re-watching the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, and assumed that they would essentially be the same story, but with much more detail in the book. I was wrong. The book differs in significant ways from the movie, and the only real similarity is that they both involve a woman who purchases a house in Tuscany. In the book, she’s a professor who is in a serious relationship with (married to?) a man who she buys and renovates the house with. The bulk of the book is about the renovations of the house and the food that they eat. I almost quit reading a couple of times, because it didn’t really feel like it was going anywhere, but stuck with it because I enjoyed the descriptions of the food, the house, the people, and the land. It did feel a bit like being there with her.
The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person by Judith S. Beck
This book is not a diet book, per se. It doesn’t tell you what you can or can’t eat, or a particular diet that you need to follow. Instead, it utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to aid you in being successful with whatever diet you choose for yourself, and to keep weight off. I’ve now finished this book for the first time, and have started over at the beginning again. I found this book to be very helpful, and am just starting to be able to counteract some of the sabotaging thoughts in my head that say it’s okay to eat what/when I didn’t plan to. I want to read through this again, because I think it’ll only make me stronger at resisting those dumb thoughts.
The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
This book walks through the author’s year of trying to be happier in her own life. Each month she focuses on a different facet of happiness, and explains what she did, what it felt like, and what some of the challenges were. I really liked the book, and found it to be a pretty quick, simple read. And the strategies that she uses are simple to incorporate into your own life, if you’re interested in doing so.
Little House on Rocky Ridge by Roger Lea MacBride
As a child, I was a HUGE fan of The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In fact these are among the few books in my life that have warranted a re-read. In addition to the series of books about Laura, I also had the second book in the Rose series, Little Farm in the Ozarks. For some reason though, I never had the first book in the Rose series, this one. I was visiting with my mom about it, and we can’t figure out exactly how this happened. Anyway, I decided to finally purchase (in the same edition as Ozarks) this book to fill out my collection a little more. I loved it just as much as the rest of the books. Frankly, these books just make my heart happy. But now I feel as though I need to purchase the rest of The Rose Years series…and then maybe the books about Laura’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I may be in Little House books for the rest of my life. 🙂
Books in Progress:
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
New Enlarged Anthology of Robert Frost’s Poems by Robert Frost
2017 MMD Reading Challenge: a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
2017 MMD Reading Challenge: a book published before you were born
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
Books I’ve Abandoned: