August Wrap-Up

Is it just me or does it feel like yesterday was August 1st? How did the entire month of August fly by so fast? I made it my goal to read as many books as I could during my last beautiful month of summer before I start back to work in September. I read a total of 15 books, I think that is the most I’ve read in one month. I hope that in this beautiful stack of books that you can find something you enjoy reading! 

Five Star

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah I couldn’t put it down. I would sit down to read a few pages and then before I knew it, I had read 150 pages. I’ve not encountered a book of this nature in a long time. It completely swept me off my feet. It made me cry. It made me sick to my stomach. It was a history lesson. It was a lesson on love, friendship, and family. But, most of all, it was a lesson on not giving up. It was a lesson on not losing hope when there is no hope to be had. 

Love on Lexington Avenue

What a fun read this was! It was the perfect light, heartwarming read that I needed after some pretty intense books. While there were times that I grew incredibly frustrated with Claire, Scott and their indecisive behavior, it was a fun book to read. I haven’t read the first book of the Central Park Pact series, I didn’t need to, but I plan to go back and read the first one because I enjoyed Love on Lexington Avenue so much. 

The Oysterville Sewing Circle

I loved this book for everything that it stood for. The author, Susan Wiggs, did a tremendous job writing this book in such a way that draws attention to domestic violence without making the entire book an uncomfortable read. While the main point of the Oysterville Sewing Circle is to give victims of domestic violence or sexual assault a place to feel safe and to discuss what happened to them, there is so much more that goes into this book. I didn’t want the story to end because I grew so attached to each character. I’m secretly hoping, with that ending, that it will become a series? Please! 

Four Star:

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

It was full of deliciously devious plot twists that it kept me on the edge of my seat until I finished the book sometime in the wee hours of the morning because I couldn’t put it down. There were times that I was reading with one eye open because I was anxious to find out what happened. If you’re looking for a good, suspenseful read that will keep you engaged in the story then this book is for you!

The Winemakers Wife by Kristen Harmel

It was such a real and profound book that I could have sworn it was based on a true story. For those of you who loved The Nightingale, I recommend that you check this book out. While there is not a lot of focus on what the members of the Resistance were doing but about how the lives of people were impacted while the Resistance was working. It had me holding my breath until the very last chapter. At times, it made me so anxious that I had to take a step back and do something to take my mind off of the heartbreak that I knew was inevitable. 

The Hidden Things by Jamie Mason

I often struggle with books that lack a lot of dialogue as, I think, it can become rather wordy. However, I felt that the lack of dialogue within the first few chapters of THE HIDDEN THINGS was warranted because it allowed for truly in-depth character development of each of the five featured characters. I did find that the book got off to a very fast beginning but then it tapered off in the middle and just when I was starting to lose interest it picked back up and took off at an even fast pace. Albeit, the story was a little far fetched but what art heist story isn’t? It was a captivating read that kept me on the edge of my seat.

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

It was also a heartfelt story about the realities of losing someone to events that are completely out of our control; drug addiction and Alzheimer’s. My heart broke for Grace as she had to suffer losing two of the most important people to each. If you are looking for a quick summer read that is full of tons of small-town politics, then look no further and add The Book Charmer to your TBR list now! 

The Whisper Man by Alex North

It was creepy in a way that kids can say some terrifying things and if my child had been saying the things that Jake had been saying, I would have packed up and moved out immediately. There would be no turning back, we would be getting the heck out of that house. The Whisper Man was full of a lot more than just a storyline that was intended to scare the daylights out of me. No, it was a story that circled loss. It seemed that every character in the story was grappling with some sort of loss in their life. 

The GoldFinch by Donna Tartt

This is a novel that is not meant to be read quickly. It is also not a book that one should anticipate being able to read multiple pages in one sitting or experience a point at which the story truly takes off. This book is a slow build; it is a slow build until the very last page. While there are moments of “action”, those moments are few and far between. What I learned is that this book isn’t necessarily about the painting of The Goldfinch, it is about Theo Decke and the life that he was thrust into the moment that his mother died. Her loss catapulted him into a life that he was not prepared for and awakened darkness in himself that he never knew existed. 

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

If you are looking for a book fast-paced, action pact book then this is for you. While this is the 8th book in the Karin Slaughter Will Trent series, you do not need to read to the other books before this one. The author did a tremendous job of bringing the reader into the loop of what was going on. I haven’t read the other books in this series and I didn’t feel lost at all. I loved this book and found that it kept my attention until the very end. I feel that I should say that this book does mention sexual assault and rape. 

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Wow! This book took me completely by surprise! I wasn’t sure what to think when I first started reading The Grace Year but it sucked me in. I sat down to read for a little while before dinner and then before I knew it, I had read 100 pages. It is a fast read that kept me on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, anxious to know what was going to happen next. This is a YA read but, in my opinion, it doesn’t read like one. For those of you who are a fan of The Handmaids Tale, Lord of the Flies or The Hunger Games then you will likely enjoy this storyline.

Three Star:

Ellie & the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

For those of you who have been fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and How Not to Die Alone this book will be your next installment of quirky but beautiful characters that you can add to your shelf. Dan is someone who, by the end of the book, I wanted to be friends with. He is the perfect man who loves to spend time by himself, make beautiful instruments and save sweet creatures from being killed by hunters. Confused? Just wait until you meet Phineas and then it will all make sense. 

The Last Post by Renée Carlino

There were some aspects to this book that I enjoyed; it was a fast read and it highlighted that everyone handles grief differently. I wanted to love the storyline but I just found parts of it to be unbelievable and thought that it was completely unrealistic. However, I will say that I know there will be readers out there who LOVED this book and I am happy for that because that is the beauty of literature, every book is viewed completely differently by each person who picks it up. 

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

I wouldn’t necessarily say that this book was my favorite of the year but it did keep my attention and keep me guessing. There were moments that I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to stop myself from jumping ahead so I could find out what happened. Overall, I did find the plot to be highly predictable but it was an entertaining read.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

It grabbed my attention within the first few chapters. I was left in awe of all of the research that Blake Crouch must’ve put into this book; his writing style had me wondering whether or not Recursion is based on something real. It was thought-provoking and mind-blowing all at the same time. The complex nature of the storyline lost me a time or two. I am not much of a science person and I kept having to go back to re-read as I wasn’t sure what I had read. If you are into science, especially neuroscience, then I highly recommend you read this one!

I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to read such wonderful books if it weren’t for the generosity of the following publishing agencies: Gallery Books, Wednesday Books, Atria Books, Berkley Publishing, Simon and Schuster, William and Morrow, Celadon Books, Crown Publishing and Dutton Publishing. 

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