And here’s the August Reading List:
1. Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran, finished 8/1/13 A collection of Caitlin Moran’s columns from The Times, which we unfortunate Americans can only access behind a paywall. She really shines when she does profiles of celebrities like Lady Gaga and when she does her eye-rolling recaps of Downton Abbey.
2. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion, finished 8/2/13 A truly enjoyable and truly unusual love story. Professor Don Tillman is less 50 Shades of Grey and more 50 Shades of Quirk, possibly even Asperger’s? He decides to find his perfect mate through a lengthy questionnaire administered to potential applicants to his heart… but then there’s Rosie, who answers every question wrong, and whom he still irrationally wants to be around. A fresh yarn in the rom-com genre.
3. “Swim,” by Jennifer Weiner, finished 8/2/13 (short story) A freebie from iBooks! It’s a short story that takes place in the same universe as the novel The Next Best Thing, and a reminder to me that I probably would like Jennifer Weiner novels since I like all her short stories and her Twitter. Funny in all the right spots, true in all the right places, and gut twisting in the worst best way.
4. “The First Star to Fall,” by Diana Peterfreund, finished 8/3/13 (short story) Ahhh! I am so excited for Across A Star-Swept Sea! Go read this short story that takes place in the same universe for a taste of this futuristic re-telling of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
5. Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman, finished 8/4/13 I think I already my opinion on this clear.
6. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain, finished 8/7/13 Written before he was famous, I think? Anyway, it’s like Punk Rock meets Top Chef.
7. Past Perfect, by Leila Sales, finished 8/7/13 This is everything a lightweight YA about a summer job at a historical reenactment village should be: after hours battles with competing history sites, forbidden romances and heart-wrenching exes, gossipy girls in period costume, and ice cream. Really delightful.
8. Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson, finished 8/8/13 And this is everything a serious YA taking place at the family’s summer lake house where your dad is dying and your childhood friends aren’t happy to see you should be: hot neighbor boy who gave you your first kiss back to give you tingles, a mystery about why exactly your former BFF and BF can’t stand to look at you, pointless summer jobs with fun banter, a few kinds of fireworks on the Fourth, kissing in a TREEHOUSE in the RAIN, and some moments with your dad that will leave your hapless reader hiding sniffling sobs at her desk at work. Another touching one from Morgan Matson.
9. Between the Lines, by Tammara Webber, finished 8/10/13
10. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, finished 8/10/13 If you’re a writer, this is a must. It’s in the same league as Stephen King’s On Writing. I really can’t say enough great things. Anne Lamott just has a way with words, and she explains writing and the writing process in a way that makes you go, “Yes, I’ve had that thought exactly, but it didn’t happen in my mind in such eloquent words. Why am I not Anne Lamott?”
11. The Season, by Sarah Maclean, finished 8/12/13 Frothy little Regency teen romance with a trio of fun and sassy smart BFFs stepping out for their first London season, plus a little murder mystery thrown in for good measure. Just fun.
12. The Sweetest Spell, by Suzanne Selfors, finished 8/15/13 For those of us who dig on the Fairy Tale re-tellings. Sweet story, in a couple of ways, as you will see.
13. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey, finished 8/19/13
14. Ruined, by Paula Morris, finished 8/20/13 YA ghost story taking place in New Orleans. Since I grew up in Louisiana, I got all excited about all the little local NOLA details, and I was shocked to learn the author is from New Zealand!
15. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, finsihed 8/27/13; 16. The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner, finished 8/28/13; 17. The Death Cure, by James Dashner, finished 8/28/13 Oh dystopia, I can’t quit you. Like all good dystopias, it’s a page turner. This one differentiates itself by starring mostly boys and starting off in a deadly maze.
18. The Emperor’s Tomb, by Joseph Roth, finished 8/29/13
19. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell, finished 8/31/13 Set in the 80s , Eleanor & Park is about an Amazon redhead new girl returning to her broken family and starting a new high school, where she is immediately ostracized. She starts to build a tentative pop-culture based friendship with the guy she sits next to on the bus, Park, and it builds to something more, despite her hesitant heart. Ooshy-gooshy romance, some painful scenes with Eleanor’s family, and an author to be applauded for finding her own writing voice and sticking with it.
Total Books Read in 2013 (so far): 99
Last month’s list: July