August Wrap-Up

Happy September everyone!

I know I’ve said this a lot this summer, but this month just flew by, didn’t it?

I’ve been trying to make the most of my last few weeks of summer before heading back to my classroom, and I think I was successful! I’m nervous to go back to what is sure to be another unusual school year (though hopefully more normal than the last year-and-a-half?), but I’m also really excited to get back into a routine and meet my new students!

I managed to relax a lot during my last few weeks of vacation, but unfortunately that relaxation didn’t always involve reading, as this was one of my worst “reading months” so far this year. However, I’m not really surprised. Honestly, what surprises me is how much I managed to read in June and July! I always read less during the summer even though I have more free time; I just get distracted by other hobbies and activities. But I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing! I do love to read, but it’s important to be well-rounded and have other hobbies, so I’m glad I was able to make time for some other things. Another reason I’m not surprised is because of how much I read in the last couple weeks of July. When I read really intensely, I tend to feel burned out for a while afterward. The same thing happened to me in January of this year after reading a ton at the end of December 2020 (I also only read 3 books in January after reading about 20 books the previous month). I’m sure I’ll get back on track in September though! Especially since I’ll be commuting and listening to audiobooks again.

While I didn’t read a lot this month, I really enjoyed what I did manage to read! I also managed to work on my blog a lot and get caught up on reviews, so you can expect to see those soon!

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in August:

To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

Stats and Overall Thoughts:

Books read: 3
Physical books: 2
Audiobooks: 1

Fiction: 2
Nonfiction: 1

Average monthly rating: 4
Top Book of August: The Flatshare

*To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

4.5-star books:

The Flatshare: A Novel: O'Leary, Beth: 9781250295637: Books
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (Romance, Audiobook)
    • (TRIGGER WARNING: Emotional abuse). I was a little nervous going into this one for a couple reasons. For one, I was worried it would turn out to be like The Hating Game (which I, well, hated). I also was kind of irritated initially by the writing style for the male POV in this novel, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get past it. Luckily, neither of these things ended up being an issue! The format of the book (where the characters get to know each other before actually meeting through the little notes they leave at their shared apartment) reminded me of Call Me Maybe, which I adored!

      I thought it was cute, but it also had some heavier themes than I had anticipated. It dealt with emotional abuse, and I liked how it portrayed the experience for both the victim as well as her friends. It seemed very realistic for all involved. That being said, there was maybe a little too much exposition surrounding this topic (very explicit statements from the characters about the emotional abuse, gaslighting, etc.). At times, it seemed obvious enough to me without needing the characters to tell me what to think. However, I think for someone going through this situation in real life, it could actually be really helpful to see those experiences and terms very explicitly outlined and described. I also thought the ex-boyfriend was maybe a little overexaggerated. On the one hand, I’m glad he was because it made it very clear what emotional abuse is and how harmful it is. But on the other hand, I think emotional abuse can often be a lot more subtle, so it might have been helpful to see that as well.

      I really loved the two main characters: Tiffy and Leon. They’re complete opposites, but they balance each other out and bring out the best in each other. I think my favorite part of the book was Leon! Probably because he reminded me a lot of my husband (so I’m a little biased). Leon was described as an introvert, and I thought the author did a good job of differentiating between being an introvert and being shy (something that can be confusing for many people). I just loved seeing introversion being portrayed in such a positive (and attractive!) light. I also loved how Leon was hardworking, respectful, and a perfect model for consent (which is great to see in a popular romance novel). I also really enjoyed Tiffy. I was worried at first that her quirky personality would be annoying and over-the-top, but it didn’t end up being an issue at all. She was fun and spontaneous, and I think it was important for her to have a more flamboyant personality to contrast with the person she was while in an emotionally abusive relationship (and how that liveliness was kind of sucked out of her). Finally, all of the side characters were fantastic and well-developed too. I really loved this book!

      You can check out my Travel Thursday post about this book HERE!

4-star books:

The Answer Is . . . | Book by Alex Trebek | Official Publisher Page | Simon  & Schuster
  • The Answer Is…:Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek (Autobiography, Hardcover)
    • Alex Trebek just seemed like such a wonderful man, and I can’t believe he’s gone. This autobiography was more of a collection of vignettes or short stories from his life, and I really enjoyed each and every one. They were short and there were lots of pictures throughout. The short chapters and abundance of pictures should have made this a pretty quick read, but it’s not really something you can sit down and binge-read (nor will you want to). I reread the last couple paragraphs of the book several times because I didn’t want to have to say goodbye. There’s a good balance in the stories that range from his childhood and early life, to his career with Jeopardy!, to his love for his family. My only very small gripe with the book was just that the writing itself wasn’t great, and some of the commentary felt a little preachy or forced. However, it was a very small issue because, as I read it, I felt like I could hear Alex Trebek’s voice in each word, and I loved that. I didn’t pick it up because I wanted to experience the best literary writing ever, I just wanted to get to know Mr. Trebek a little better. And that I did! For any fans of Jeopardy!, I would highly recommend this wonderful autobiography!

3.5-star books: The Unwanteds (1): 9781442407695: McMann, Lisa: Books
  • The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (Fantasy, Middle Grade, Paperback)
    • I was excited to finish this one because it meant I had completed my Goodreads challenge for 2021! My goal was to read 72 books this year, and this was my 72nd book. I can’t believe I already managed to meet my goal just over halfway through the year! As for the book itself, I have a lot of thoughts about it (which I will share in a full review soon). In general, I thought this book was okay. The strongest aspect of it was the worldbuilding and the overall concept (art being used as magic? So cool!). However, the pacing was off and the third person omniscient POV just didn’t work for me. It is a series, so I’m confident that the next books will improve upon most of the things that didn’t work for me, but on its own this one was just okay. Review coming soon!

August Book Haul

I may not have read a lot in August, but I did add many new books to my collection! My birthday was this month, and my friends and family were so thoughtful in picking out books for me as well as gifting me some Powell’s gift cards (as it’s my favorite book store)! They do online ordering and shipping, so definitely check it out if you haven’t shopped there before!

Check out the photo below to see the books I picked out (left stack) and the books I received as birthday gifts (middle and right stacks). I also purchased several new books for my classroom library this month, but those are not pictured below. I will review them once I’ve read them, though!

August book haul! Almost all the books above came from Powell’s. Any recommendations on what I should read first?

How did your reading go in August? Any stand-out books to recommend?

Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!

4 thoughts on “August Wrap-Up

  1. That’s great that you had some time to relax before school starts! I totally understand what you mean about burning out when reading heavily for a stretch. Balance is the key to happiness in all things, I just don’t do balance very well, personally! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Wishing you all the best for the school year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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