In Review: August 2010

August went by in the blink of an eye and I feel like I mean that literally.  This month, a lot of the time that I would have normally spent reading and blogging were consumed by work, The  Underground Literary Society (where Amy and I last talked about some of the books that have got our attention for September), and behind the scenes Book Blogger Appreciation Week stuff.

I think that it is safe to say that no one is happier than I am to have seen the shortlists for BBAW go up, except maybe Amy.  It’s so exciting to be getting on toward the fun of the entire week.  I am especially looking forward to the interview swap.  If you haven’t already, you can still participate by signing up today to exchange interviews with another blogger, which is the last day that you can do so.

With time and even the inclination to read being in short supply, I was super picky about what I spent my time reading this month. Mostly I just wanted to give my brain a vacation, but I did manage to read more than I thought I would, and as a result of my finickiness liked almost everything I encountered this month. August was the month of mood reading.  It felt fantastic.


  • Folly, by Marthe Jocelyn – I picked this up on impulse because I couldn’t resist the cover.  It intrigued me.  It turned out to be a great historical fiction read about a young girl who finds love and loss while employed as a kitchen maid in a wealthy household.
  • Song Yet Sung, by James McBride – This landed on my TBR pile after writer Mary Sharatt mentioned that she had enjoyed reading it.  I loved her writing, so it made sense to me that I might also enjoy what she read.  I was right.
  • Procession of the Dead, by Darren Shan – I got this one from Jamie Levine, Executive Editor at Hachette Book Group, after confessing that I had enjoyed Cemetery Dance. This is one of the most absorbing mysteries I have read, and I can’t wait to read more books about The City.
  • Perfect Peace, by Daniel Black Perfect Peace came to my attention when it was selected for one of about three book clubs that I am in.  I have never heard anything like this story before.  It was well written and offered up lots of food for thought, even though it was a bit of a sprawling narrative which, covered many stories – not all of which I could track.
  • Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks – My buddy Meg and I have taken a little break from Shakespeare to tend to a few other obligations (but we’ll be back!).  In the meantime, I was reminded that I had this on my shelf when she posted about how excellent this book was.  I can not agree more!
  • Gallows Hill, by Lois Duncan – I couldn’t read any of Lois Duncan’s books as a child because I was a big baby with a vivid imagination.  I decided to see if I could finally face up to her after all of these years.  I had a few uneasy moments, but for the most part I survived the experience intact.  I still haven’t worked up to Stranger With My Face.
  • Chosen, by Chandra Hoffman – While reading Laurie Tharps‘ blog she mentioned that she had just finished Chosen, a book I had just received in the mail, so I felt compelled to compare notes.  Some of the characters didn’t work for me in this one, but I still found it to be a compelling read. Tharps’ own book, Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain is one that  I got earlier in the year and am looking forward to reading.  She also has a new book out, Substitute Me, which looks fascinating as well.
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Stieg Larsson – While browsing the other day, I got this on impulse after seeing the hardcover, that I was about to leave behind.  Seeing a copy in trade paperback proved to be much more manageable to hold and too much for me to resist.  I found the size of the book daunting, but then easily read it in a few short days since I just couldn’t put it down.

Graphic Novels & Picture Books

  • Pride and Prejudice: The Graphic Novel, by Nancy Butler
  • It’s A Book, by Lane Smith

Other Reviews This Month

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Yummy: The Last Days of A Southside Shorty, by G. Neri & Randy DuBurke
Remembrance, by Jude Deveraux
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Man In The Woods, by Scott Spencer
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin
The Stand: Captain Trips, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Mike Perkins, Laura Martin & Stephen King – Book Review

Movie Trailers: The Black SwanTwelveBuried

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane I am looking forward to more of the same for September.  More of the same.

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  1. You are such a busy lady, it is a wonder you get anything read! The one thing that saddens me a little with BBAW is that there is a whole group of you that really needs to be on those short lists and aren’t. I loved that blogger interview exchange last year (I won the Lotto – I got Nymeth) and am really looking forward to it again this year.

  2. Looks like you had a really great reading month. I have not tallied mine, but I have a feeling it was pretty lackluster. I didn’t realize how much my reading time takes a hit in the summer months.

    I am so glad to hear you liked The Girl Who Played with Fire. The Millennium series is one of my favorites and Fire is my favorite book of the series.

    Thanks for pointing me to the interview signups for BBAW. I missed out last year and apparently came awful close on missing out this year as well!

  3. Seems to me that you have been superwoman this month. I’ve read so little these past few weeks that I have to struggle to figure out what to talk about on my blog!

  4. I read absolutely nada this month, and I find that more depressing than you could possibly know. Ugg. I’m resorting to short stories and other brief encounters to keep me going.

  5. Wow, what a month for you Nicole! For some reason, I am not interested in BBAW anymore! I think I appreciate the blogs, by reading them regularly and dropping a line religiously!

  6. Love the variety! Re Folly: I was just commenting on how much I enjoy books about domestic service (it cannot be because I love to clean – far from it). I have read other books by that author and enjoyed them, after discovering her in a bookstore while in Toronto for work.

    Glad you are trying Lois Duncan. I think Daughters of Eve is the scariest, however.

  7. Nicole, that was an awesome tally for the month. I enjoyed your review of Song Yet Sung, which was the 2009 choice for Maryland’s statewide read. Like you, I enjoyed the story — especially the sense of place that McBride provides. Maryland’s Eastern Shore still has a character all its own.