The Books I Read in August

by - 6:24 PM

Full transparency, this was a slow month and I only read a couple books that I actually enjoyed. I started three books that I just couldn't get into and around mid-August, I was concerned I wouldn't get a single thing finished before the month closed out.

It's cool. I did. And it's without regret that I put the other ones down. I'm going to die someday. I'm not spending the living part reading books I'm ambivalent about.



1 || JOYLAND - Stephen King
Fiction/audio

This was definitely my favorite book this month. It was really entertaining and centered on an interesting world I've never experienced. In the late '70's, Devin Jones spends the summer between his junior and senior year of college working in an amusement park that, of course, has some weird things going on. 

This one is more mystery than horror and I fell for the red herring more than once, so I was not expecting how things shook out. If you like mystery, I'd definitely recommend it.

2 || CARRIE - Stephen King
Fiction/audio

It's a classic, you know, and though I'm familiar with the storyline, I'd never read it. So I guess while I'm on a King binge, it seemed like a good time to cruise through it. If you're unfamiliar, I won't give it away, but basically a girl who is incessantly teased is simultaneously strengthening telekinetic powers. And you can only push someone's buttons for so long. I felt bad for Carrie and I also remembered what little shits high schoolers can be and so it was just kind of a bummer.

I wouldn't really call it horror. It was mostly just weird.

3 || EVERGREEN TIDINGS FROM THE BAUMGARTNERS - Gretchen Anthony
Fiction

So, this book. Several characters are obnoxious and the weird thing is that almost nobody in the book notices. They all just act like it's this totally normal if not maybe a little annoying behavior, but otherwise business as usual. It was infuriating. The general gist is this: the lesbian daughter of a control freak becomes pregnant. Her mother sorts through several pathological control issues and directs her frustration at the wrong people. She's a champion blame shifter. 

It's good enough. Not a particularly tightly woven narrative, but interesting enough to keep you turning the page. I would classify it as a beach read with a Christmas theme. 

4 || THE GREAT GATSBY - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fiction

Can you believe I've never read this book? I went to a Christian high school where all the gin and suggestion of adultery was enough to get you blasted by a lightening bolt right there in English class, so this was definitely not on the class reading list.  I didn't really enjoy it, the book, I mean, so I don't think I'll read it again, but at least I'm a little more cultured. In general, it's about a rich guy who's obsessed with a rich girl. Bootlegging and roaring '20s, and automobiles abound. I think the movie is better entertainment and better at creating that luxurious feeling that Fitzgerald was going for.

5|| IF I STAY - Gayle Forman
Fiction

Ugh, the worst. I read the entire thing, but man was this one a stinker. Which, I know. It's a movie, people love it, it's emotional. You now what though? When every character speaks and thinks and acts the same way and the dialogue is identical, regardless of who is "speaking" -- that's poor writing. 

But to each their own. I get that. For me though, poor characterization is enough to wreck a book. 

***

If you're interested in what I put down, I couldn't get through The 19th Wife, Little Bee, or My Coney Island Baby. They all have great reviews and are well loved books, so I thought I had winners in every single one. Oh well! There's only a million more books at the library, so we gotta move on. 


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