Goodbye, August! It may have been rough these last couple of weeks, but I had a pretty good go of it in the reading department.
Let's start with the August TBR:
The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian - Read it! I actually really enjoyed it. I'm not usually one for a thriller, but this one wasn't so thrilling that I couldn't sleep at night. It made for a good book club decision, too.
Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell - Read it! I mostly listened to this on audio from the library. When you bump it up to 1.5 speed, it's amazing how quickly you can get through a book. This one attempted to relate the writing of The Great Gatsby back to what was happening in the Fitzgerald's lives while it was being written, as well as a double murder that was in all the papers during that time. It doesn't look like Fitzgerald ever commented on the murders, but the author insists he must have seen the articles in the paper. It was an interesting book either way, but I got irritated by the number of times certain phrases or quotes were repeated in the book. It didn't seem necessary.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe - Read it! I had almost read half of this a few years ago and I remember enough of it to not have to reread the first part. When the author's mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he spent a lot of time with her at doctors' appointments and treatments so they decided to start a mother-son book club. This book chronicles the books they read and how they each responded to them. His mother had been a missionary to many war-torn countries in the world, trying to help women and children escape. At the end of her life, she was trying to get funding for a library in Afghanistan. She was something else and her experiences colored her readings of the books they shared.
Greater Syracuse: A Twentieth Century Album - Read it! It was fun to look at historical pictures of the place I had just been to.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkind Reid - Read it! I was blown away by this book. Evelyn Hugo is a fictional screen siren from the 50's who has contacted a journalist to tell her story to so that after she is dead, there will be a complete record of her life. Evelyn Hugo had been married 7 times, but the true love of her life was another major actress. Many of Hugo's marriages were meant to cover up their affair so they could maintain their careers. I was especially happy that the life of the journalist and her relationship with Hugo didn't interfere with the telling of Evelyn's story. Those parts were just little segments put in to break things up and remind the reader what was actually happening.
Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett - I actually started this on August 31, but I'm not finished yet. The first 50 pages are really good.
And here are the things I read that weren't on my August TBR:
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke - I think this was leftover from my July TBR. This is about a Texas Ranger who is under investigation for his part in an altercation between his friend and a white supremacist that ended in the death of the white guy. He gets a chance to get out of town and go look into a couple of murders in a tiny little town in East Texas. A black lawyer visiting from Chicago washes up on the banks of the river. Then a few days later, a local white girl shows up dead in the same river. The sheriff refuses to believe that the two cases are connected, or murder, even though the two of them were seen talking at the local KKK bar and even left together.
Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna - This is a graphic novel, current-day, retelling of Jane Eyre and I loved it! The ways the author updated the story was just fantastic. Instead of being abused at her aunt's house, she was just invisible. She moved to a big city to go to school and lived in someone's pantry closet. It was just fantastic.
That's 7 books! I feel like that is a win, especially considering everything else going on in August.