Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Books I Read in August

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August was a good reading month for me, I read 18 books.


I read both choices for August:


Tin Man by Sarah Winman 
This is a stunning little book about friendship, love and loss. The relationships are gentle and moving. The writing is engaging, and though it's melancholy at times, it's a beautiful story. One of my favourites of the year so far, if you liked The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne you may like this.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Room Little Darker by June Caldwell
A book of short stories with a uniquely Irish voice. June's writing is dark - and this collection is not for the faint of heart. Some of the stories went over my head a little, but my personal favourites were "SOMAT" (told from the point of view of a fetus inside a braindead woman - see? DARK) and "Natterbean" set on Dublin city streets (Natterbean as in "Natterbean down the clinic" - get it? It took me a while...). I did find elements of comedy in here too, it's a very strange but worthwhile read.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository


I started the Throne of Glass series in July, reading the first two books. I continued it in August and read the other three - they're beasts of books, over 600 pages each, but I devoured them. I'm all ready now for the sixth installment, Tower of Dawn.


Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (ToG #3)
Celaena is in Wendlyn, and is carrying a lot of guilt about events in the previous books. She meets ancient warrior Rowan Whitethorn, and agrees to train with him. I liked this book, I thought it did a good job of setting the scene for the next few books.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (ToG #4)
We're back in Rifthold for this one, and there's a LOT going on. There are some old friends to visit, and there are things that must be done to ensure the survival of the people. This one was my favourite up to this point, I liked the pacing and the character development.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (ToG #5)
My absolute favourite of the series, and it KILLS me that we have to wait a year to continue this main story arc. Tower of Dawn features a character that wasn't present in this book, and I could care less about them - but supposedly it's important because we find out new information that affects the rest of the story. There were a few very, very cringe scenes in EoS (bet you can't guess what "velvet-wrapped steel" is), but the story more than made up for it - we learned a lot of new information about how the world will be saved, and the sacrifices that must be made.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository


I've been trying to get through my Netgalley pile (I say this every month, then I get excited and greedy and request more). I managed to read six in August.


Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda (Published September 7th)
This is a thriller about a man who plans to kill his wife. It's written from his point of view, so while I didn't particularly enjoy his egotistical ramblings, it has been getting favourable reviews from people who liked You by Caroline Kepnes (I didn't). I found it a bit Scooby-Doo (zoinks!) towards the end, but it's around a Euro on Kindle at the minute so it's worth a go if it sounds like something you'd read.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Sneak Peeks & Previews by Electric Monkey
Funnily enough, most of the previews included are for books that are already published, but this did give me an introduction to some authors I hadn't read before (like Michael Grant and Kevin Brooks). I've added one or two to my wishlist - I love these preview editions, I wish more publishing houses would do them.

The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr by Frances Maynard
I was part of the blog tour for this book (my full post is here). I enjoyed it a lot, it's about a young woman on the Autism spectrum who has to fend for herself when her mother is taken into a home after an accident. Elvira needs rules and regulations to live by, but up until now she didn't realise that she could be the one to make them. Plus, she's obsessed with biscuits and discovers a family mystery - what's not to love?
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository


Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
This is a quirky mystery/crime book about a woman who works in a bookstore. One night while locking up, she finds a regular customer who has taken his life. In his hand is something very personal to the woman - so begins a mystery that will make her face a traumatic event in her past, and bring her into contact with people she has been deliberately avoiding. I liked this one a lot.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Where to even start with this one - I'm a sucker for anything recommended by Stephen King, so I was intrigued by this one. I think it's best to go in blind, but be aware that it's heavy, and it won't be for everyone. It's about a 14 year old girl, Julia "Turtle" Alveston, and her very, VERY dysfunctional relationship with her brute of a father. Julia is determined to survive at all costs - but what if the cost is too high? Highly recommended for those who have the stomach for it.

The Break by Marian Keyes (Published September 7th)
Marian Keyes is someone I really like as a human, and she was probably my introduction to proper "grown-up" novels that weren't horror. For whatever reason I hadn't been keeping up with her books, and half expected to be turned down when I requested this one - but I got it, and I was so happy I did. It's warm, funny, and easy to read. It's the story of how a woman copes when her husband decides he wants a "break" from their marriage to go and "find himself" on the other side of the world. Full of Keyes' trademark charm and wit, I really enjoyed it and now want to re-read all the earlier ones. This is standalone, not a Walsh family novel.


Did you know that if you have a library membership (free) that you can borrow from any library in Ireland, and return books to any library in Ireland? It's an amazing service and I think every child in the country should be given a library card when they're born. This month I've been requesting and reading like a mad thing, I read these in August:


Paper Girls Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn
I read the first volume of this Eighties graphic novel during the Booktube-a-thon in July, so ordered the second volume from the library. It continues where the last volume left off, with our paper-delivering heroes unsure of what the hell is going on. I won't pretend to understand exactly what's going on either, but I really enjoyed it and I've ordered my own copy to keep.

The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth about Healthy Eating by Anthony Warner
This is a joy of a book, the author debunks what he calls "Nutribollocks" - detoxing, fad diets, clean eating, wellness, going gluten free when you don't have to, and the nonsense peddled to us to make us buy more things. Some of the analogies used are hilarious (seeing an Easter bunny beside a pile of eggs and assuming it laid them) It's full of very sound advice - probably not the best recommendation for a Gwyneth Paltrow fan (actually I take that back - if Goop is your bible, you need to read this). Recommended.

The Other Side of the Wall by Andrea Mara
I borrowed this from the library at the start of August and brought it on holiday with me (the sense of responsibility was outrageous, never bringing a library book on holiday ever again). It's a well written, engaging thriller about a woman who suspects strange goings-on next door - but with the stress of a mess at work, a new baby and a toddler, is her mind playing tricks on her? Or is someone in danger? Really, really liked this (fans of the Office Mum blog may recognise the author). 


This very rarely happens, but I was lucky to have it happen twice in August. 


A Fire in the Dark by Philomena Barry
I've known Phil since I was in Primary School, so to see her achieve her dream of being a published author is amazing. It's really nice to see someone you know works hard doing well - this is her first published work, I know she has written some mystery/crime novels too. This is a book of her poetry - now, I'm not a huge fan of poetry. I like mine very dark - and this fits the bill. It's not all sunshine and lollipops - it's dark, angsty, deep observances on life. Easy to read, not pretentious, a great poetry book for those who don't like poetry!
Buy: Directly from Philomena via her Facebook page (also available at the library).

One Bad Turn by Sinéad Crowley
Sinéad very kindly sent me a copy of this, her latest book, a few weeks ago. It's the third book featuring DS. Claire Boyle, but it can be read as a standalone. This one focuses on a friendship over a couple of decades and how a terrible event changes it for generations to come. Really good read, very enjoyable (as are the other two previous books).
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository


If you're a Kindle user, and you haven't yet signed up for the BookBub daily emails, I'd recommend it. Granted, most of the time it's full of obscure romance or horror, but sometimes they have really good books reduced to €1/€2 - and there are usually a few free options too. If you're into light romance, this could be great - I requested this particular book because the synopsis sounded good and it was free.

The Day We Met by Barbara Bretton
Judge not lest ye be judged - I saw that cover, I thought "ooh!" and I got it. Alas, 'twas not to be - that cover is WOEFULLY misleading. All wasn't lost, though - although this was written in the nineties and comes across quite dated at times, it's actually a pleasant enough read if you want something light and easy. I like books like this after something difficult, so I was perfectly happy to read about two people in their mid-thirties/early forties trying to deal with a new romance and the pressure of family life. I could've done without the words "mound" and "succulent", mind. 
Buy: Kindle


Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
This is a young adult fantasy novel based on The Snow Queen. Snow has spent a large portion of her life at Whittaker Psychiatric Hospital in New York. One night, she encounters a young man who calls her 'Princess' (haven't we all) - she follows this young man and ends up in a snow-covered world, surrounded by people who seem to believe that Snow is the key to an ancient prophecy. This was lacklustre - the world building wasn't great, and while I enjoyed the part set in the hospital, the rest was a bit of a let-down for me.

So - that's it. August was the month I completed my Goodreads challenge to read 100 books in 2017, I've gone passed that now and I'm delighted, because it's almost crafting season for me and my reading will suffer (I think I read about four books between November and January last year).

Anything catching your eye this month? Or are you reading anything good that you'd like to recommend?


  1. 18 books! Right, I'm making a plan for September - I'm going to finish White Villa, Holding and Brothers and Sisters, and possibly start a new book too #aiminghigh
    Thank you so, so much for including me in your round-up and for the lovely review!

    1. The very best of luck with the plan, you can do it! And you're welcome, the book was brilliant, looking forward to the next one! #nopressure

  2. Some nice reads in August for you.


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