Friday, September 01, 2023

August: What I Read

August was an EXCELLENT reading month. I revisited some vintage horror novels from my tween years, and I read books by all-time favorite authors. A new Ann Patchett and  a new Richard Russo? WOW.

You can skips these:

How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens Will Talk by Adele Faber: Meh. **Audio

 In the Likely Event by Rebecca Yarros: Maybe a little better than Colleen Hoover? Maybe not. **Audio *2023

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski: A very random skip-the-line on Libby, but I loved her stress book, and this was good, too. **Audio

Solid Meh

The Menopause Manifesto by Jen Gunter: Did this book make me more anxious or less? HARD TO SAY. **Kindle

The Spare Room by Andrea Bartz: Too many twists. **2023

Nostalgic Faves

The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney: Dorothy mentioned in passing that she wanted to read scary books but that Goosebumps were too baby-ish, and I hunted down 4 of my very favorites from my own childhood. LOVED this book when I was a round her age and could not read it often enough. I spend through a re-read, and it still satisfies.

The Return of the Vampire by Caroline B. Cooney: OH THIS ONE! THIS IS THE ONE that I remember so vividly from 4th or 5th grade.  (this one is also called Evil Return)

Yes. I liked these.

What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall: I really liked this COVID thriller— scary, gripping, twisty— all of the things. **2023** Audio

Dark Corners by Megan Goldin: This was a perfectly great thriller. **2023

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott: Yep. Liked it lots. **Audio

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas: YES, please! A new fantasy series I really like? BRING IT. **Audio

Oh yes. I liked these a lot.

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman: So good! I am a big fan of the Thursday Murder Club, but I just read that the author is taking a break. Still! I like this series so much I will check out his new stuff when it comes out even without my favorite elderly crime fighters. **Audio

Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls: This is really great for about 3/5 and then just great after that. **2023

Prom Mom by Laura Lipppman: YES, you should read this one. It’s so well written and plotted. **2023

Book-of-the-Year Contenders, All (Yes, all. I lurve the Will Trent series, especially on audio)

My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin: LOVED this coming-of-age novel. New England academic setting! Back-biting English department! Friend and professor dramZ. All of my favorite things. **2023

 The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand: SO GOOD. Might surpass 28 Summers as my favorite of hers. **2023

After That Night by Karin Slaughter: To be fair, I would listen to ANYTHING Kathleen Early wanted to read to me, but this 11th Will Trent book is the very best one. **2023 **Audio

Somebody’s Fool by Richard Russo: A NEW RUSSO? AND WE ARE BACK IN NORTH BATH? Pinch me already. **2023 **Kindle

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett: I think this is my new favorite book ever, and Meryl Streep as the narrator? Heavenly. **2023 **Audio

This Month:

19 books

11 books published in 2023

8 print, 2 Kindle, 9 audio

This Year:

153 books

79 books published in 2023

83 print, 9 Kindle, and 61 audio


  1. I liked a lot of the Menopause Manifesto, but other parts not so much. I get it, I do, but sometimes I just want a goddamn natural remedy that has a placebo effect. I am a placebo effect kind of person. But I like Jen Gunter a lot.
    I put Tom Lake on hold at the library and I have 47 weeks or so to wait. By that time I'll have forgotten I ever put it on hold, so that will be exciting.

    1. oh saaaaaame-- give me a scented oil and some kind of vitamin already.

  2. oooh excited for the Patchett AND that Hildebrand!!!!

  3. Anonymous5:46 PM

    Lisa here! I loved Tom Lake, too! I have heard mixed reviews but it was a hit for me. I did like Come As You Are. I kind of feel like it should be required reading for women

    1. I liked the tone and the way she writes, but this was all information I had already encountered.

  4. Wow! Amazing line-up. My question to you is HOW? How do you get to read so much? Please share any tips. I love reading but don't get nearly enough time to read.

    1. I read ALL THE TIME and usually have an audio book, a kindle book, and a real book (LOL) going at once,.

  5. I'm excited for Tom Lake (Michigan connection) and My Last Innocent Year (English department connection)!

  6. so many books you flew through. amazing. And some yearly contenders. That is great.
    I don't know a single one of the ones you read though.

    1. Do our reading interests overlap?

  7. Oh my, we had vastly different experiences reading Come As You Are. That book changed my life and, like Lisa, I think it should be required reading for women. We just don't talk enough about sex and women's desire.

    1. I think I have already encountered most of this info-- in a women and health class in grad school actually. But I agree-- we need to change the conversation re: women's sexuality and desire.

  8. I adore Jen Gunter on Twitter (or did, when I was on Twitter, when it was Twitter), but I've heard a few people think the book was meh. I read Andrea Bartz's other book - also too many twists, and not good enough writing.
    I always looked at the Caroline B. Cooney books when I worked at the bookstore (I think I was too old for them to be contemporary with me) and thought they looked good.
    I loved The Night Swim by Megan Goldin - excited for this one. But a couple others of her books have been shockingly bad, IMO. Weird.
    I love a lot of recent Karin Slaughter, and I love Laura Lippman, and I read one Elin Hilderbrand and assumed I didn't need to read any others, but maybe I'm wrong.

    1. I feel the very same way about Megan Goldin!!!! But I also liked The Night Swim, and this was a good follow up.