August Reading Roundup

When I first started this blog (over ten years ago now!), I intended to review every book I read. Even by September 2008, I was already talking about that intention in the past tense, and by now I have to admit that it’ll never happen. I read too much and blog too little.

But perhaps I can manage a monthly roundup? A few sentences on each book? We’ll see. Inspired by A Cocoon of Books, anyway, I’m going to try. So here’s what I read in August. How was your reading month? Let me know in the comments below.

The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov

A wry, darkly comic novel about Moldovans desperately trying to emigrate to Italy. I found it more sad than funny, but very much enjoyed the ride. It also gave me an insight into the country I was travelling through.

The Good Life Elsewhere

Syrian Notebooks by Jonathan Littell

A journalist’s account of the Homs uprising in the early days of the Syrian civil war. It’s pretty much just a printing of his reporter’s notebook, so some parts are more interesting than others and it can get quite repetitive, but it gave a good insight into both the situation in Syria and the day-to-day reality of being a war reporter.

Syrian Notebooks

Eye by Marianne Micros

A collection of short stories by a Greek-American retired English professor. Many of the stories are inspired by classical mythology and folk tales, but most have contemporary settings. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of different elements and the inclusion of myths from various cultures. (Update: full review now available here.)

Eye by Marianne Micros

Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara

Wow, I actually managed a review of this one! Read it here.

Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara

Radical Happiness by Lynne Segal

What if all our attempts at happiness were failing because we take an individualistic approach to something that can better be achieved collectively? It would explain a lot about the state we’re in.

Radical Happiness

The Verdict

Overall, my favourite read of the month was Marie Munkara’s, for the reasons I gave in my review. But it was a satisfying month’s reading overall, with a nice balance of different types of book. To be honest, I may even have missed one or two because I am piecing this together retrospectively. This month, I plan to keep better records.

What was your favourite read last month? Let me know in the comments.

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There are 15 comments

  1. It is really difficult to blog about every book that one reads. It is so time consuming.

    You read an interesting looking bunch of books this month. Radical Happiness seems particularly intriguing. I might give it a read.

    1. You’re right, Brian! I see Emma and other people doing it, and I am in awe. I never seem able to keep up. But I hope this monthly roundup will be more practical. Radical Happiness was very thought-provoking—hope you enjoy it if you do read it!

  2. I managed one or two years reviewing everything and it’s nice to have all those thoughts written down but it’s difficult. I had more time then.

    I know only a little about the stolen generations so that’s going on my list, very interesting review.

    My favourite in August was The Theatre of Dreams, fiction about a community trying to save a historical building.

    1. Yes, it’s great to be able to look back on it all, isn’t it, Charlie? I remember you used to do that in the early days. It’s true that it’s all about time and other commitments. Maybe I’ll be able to do it one day, if my life becomes simpler. I like that story premise for Theatre of Dreams. Who’s it by? I found quite a few books with that name.

  3. Beautiful short reviews, Andrew! You have read some really interesting books last month. I want to read ‘Eye’ by Marianne Micros. It looks so fascinating! My favourite reads from last month are probably ‘Travelling in a Strange Land’ by David Park and ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ by Jesmyn Ward.

    1. Yes, I think you’d enjoy ‘Eye’, Vishy. I plan to review it soon. Those two books you read look excellent! I didn’t know the books or the authors, so thanks for the introduction 🙂

  4. I’m very glad that you named Munkara as you best read of the month. Such an interesting read. I wrote more posts than usual in August, but read fewer books! My first book of the month was Michelle de Kretser’s The life to come. BY the end of the month it had been awarded our most prestigious prize, the Miles Franklin. I enjoyed its satire immensely. My last book of the month was WG Sebald’s Austerlitz. I loved it – so intense and yet surprisingly easy to read (despite its lack of paragraphs – just about 5 in 400+ pages.) Anyhow, it’s a memorable read that is likely to be in my top books for the year.

    1. You know, I’ve been hearing great things about Austerlitz for so many years now and meaning to read it! I can’t believe I never have. Maybe this will be the nudge I need 🙂 The Life to Come sounds good too!

  5. You did have a diverse reading month! These are all new titles to me. My favorite book of August was an ARC I read and finished the last few days of the month–The Pioneer by debut author Bridget Tyler, to be published March 2019.

    1. Hi Danielle
      Yep, it was pretty diverse! I like it like that. I don’t read much sci fi, though, so maybe I’ll check out The Pioneer. I saw your Goodreads review, and you really made me want to read it!

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