As I am writing this four-month wrap up, it is the 27th of August. My birthday is in three days and my grandma was cremated three days ago. Even though 2020 has been absolutely fucked, August has been even worse. I wanted to mention this mainly because I have been burying my head in books. Literally. I can’t seem to find myself without reading a book, be that an audiobook, a physical book or an ebook. If I don’t have a book I’m reading at the moment, I sort of panic. It’s become worse after my grandma died, so I think it’s become a way for me to deal with things outside of my control.
Does anyone else get like this?
Though I have been in this mindset of having to read almost constantly, I had read less books than the past three months. This is a direct result of me reading more classics this month than I have ever read, ever.
I started the month of August with the reading of Prometheus Unbound by Percy B. Shelley and wow was it an almost transcendental experience. How can such beautiful writing come from a human mind? 4 stars.
This month, I also began a new romance series called Black Knights Inc. by Julie Ann Walker. The first book I read was Hell on Wheels, followed by In Rides Trouble. Are these books incredible? Absolutely not. They’re not even written all that well. But they are super easy to read and give me an simple contemporary romance within a setting of military covert operations. I gave both books 3 stars because they were easy. I did have some issues with them (mainly being how it was written) so if you want to check out my goodreads reviews for those, check them out here and here for book one and two respectively.
Randomly, I decided to read Washington Square by Henry James. I have never read a Henry James book so I thought to start with this one as it was shorter than the other two I have on my shelf. I enjoyed this book, especially how melancholic it was. I found each of the characters to be unlikeable in their own way, which wasn’t an issue as I’m pretty sure that was on purpose. For a classic, I found that it moved quite quickly in terms of pace which was interesting. I also wish that we, as readers, were given more of the story overall. It finishes too quickly. I wanted to know more about Catherine as a middle-aged woman as that was the period in which she became this firestorm of independence in her own way. 3.5 stars.
The next classic I read was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was looking forward to reading this book and I had been able to not spoil myself as I had never read this book before this month. I am definitely in the minority for this book because I found it incredibly mediocre and boring. The unlikeablility of the characters wasn’t even an interesting aspect of the story, I just did not like anything about the content of the story and the characters. I do think this might be a mood thing, so I definitely do want to re-read this book sometime in the future. I did think that Fitzgerald’s writing was gorgeous, I just could not get into the story. 3 stars.
One of my favourite books of August and now one of my favourite books of all time, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. This was fantastic and I adored it so much more than I anticipated. Woolf’s writing is one of my all time favourite things. The characters were so tangible and the emotions that this book gave me! I just really loved it. Septimus has my heart. 4.5 stars.
A trend of this month was starting romance series. I started another one called the True-Blue series by Becca Seymour.
*from left to right: book 1, book 2, book 2.5 and book 3
I read all three books in this series, plus the novella and I rated the first book in the series 3 stars and book two and three 4 stars and the novella 3 stars. This series is a simple M/M romance series that gave me all the wholesome feels. I really enjoyed it because it put a smile on my face.
I then finally pushed myself to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have never read this book ever. And I wish I never did. I did not enjoy it at all. I gave it a 2 star. If you want to read my full review, check it out here.
Another fantastic classic I read in August was another buddy read organised by Becky on goodreads. It was for Villette by Charlotte Bronte. What a wonderful book. Though I have to admit it was an extremely slow start, in the middle of volume two, the story began to pick up pace and we start to see Lucy become more of an active protagonist and not just an observer of those around her. The developing relationship, the pining – oh, the pining – was stunning.
Wanting more romance, a picked up a historical romance called A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley. I can describe this book in one word: disappointing. If you want to read more of my thoughts, click here.
Klune continues to break my heart then put it back together then break my heart all over again. No other words, it was just so freaking wonderful.
My first and only graphic novel of August was Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Just read it. It has such an important message and explores manipulation and gaslighting in teenage relationships. I felt Freddy to be one of the most authentic and realistic characters in a graphic novel.
Her tumutluous relationship with Laura and the cycle she was stuck in with going back to Laura even though Laura kept hurting her emotionally – was so raw. I loved how it also then focused on friendship…so pure.
I then read A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. If you know me, you know I freaking love Hades and Persephone retellings. This book was a pleasant surprise. I honestly enjoyed this book; i thought the sexual tension between Hades and Persephone was great.
The plotline was interesting and the writing was good. Persephone’s logic and reasoning in some cases made no sense though which frustrated me but this was super cute.
I wanted to squeeze in another classic, so I finally picked up The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and goddamn did this surprise me.
how could it end like that?! im heartbroken but also satisfied. i wasn’t enjoying this book all that much for the first 150-200 pages. but then all of a sudden, i realised i was heavily invested in these characters, their feelings and gosh, their love.
i also thoroughly enjoyed the social commentary that edith wharton utilised in this novel to explore societal norms, gendered normative values, classism, marriage and change. it was so fantastic. i wish i studied this book in connection with history because it was so rich in its analysis of society and kin relations as well as being incredibly insightful.
The last book of August was actually Rev it Up by Julie Ann Walker, book three of the Black Knights Inc., series – which is the romance series that I was working through. I have decided to just stop. This book was actually a DNF. I actually couldn’t get through this book. For some reason, the writing actually hurt me on a spiritual level. The two characters were bland and had no personality.
DNF’d at 20 per cent i think. I might try to read it in the future. But that is a big ‘if’. The same goes for continuing this series.
I have then read 18 books in the month of August, coming to approximately 5,038 pages. In terms of ratings, I gave:
- one 5 star book
- two 4.5 star books
- seven 4 star books
- one 3.5 star book
- five 3 star books
- two 2 star books.
*i didn’t count the DNF, fyi.
Wow. I guess this ends my four month wrap up! This took me two whole days to write. Mainly because I procrastinate but also because I deleted so much of my thoughts – I didn’t want these posts to be tooooooo long.
I also announced a flash giveaway over on my twitter, so make sure you check that out.
I hope you are all taking care and staying safe.
Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,