So did August go past incredibly quickly, or was that just me? Where did the month go? I swear, the longer I’m in lockdown, the more I believe that time actually doesn’t mean anything and we are all living in some sort of simulation. Because, what the actual fuck.
How are you all? What have you been reading? If you could only pick one, what was your favourite book of August? Let me know, I love talking with you all in the comments or over on twitter or instagram!
August was a pretty good month, I think. Let’s pretend I haven’t completely forgotten what I’ve read and what I did during the last month (TIME HAS NO MEANING).
In total, I read 11 books which is a really great number for me! Most of those books were fantasy, according to my storygraph. And I definitely did feel as though I read quite a lot of fantasy, so much so, that I have made it a point to not pick any up in the first couple of weeks in September, because I need a break.
These are not in any sort of chronological order, but shall we start with the non-fiction book I read?
I read 𝓣𝓱𝓮 2000𝓼 𝓜𝓪𝓭𝓮 𝓜𝓮 𝓖𝓪𝔂 𝓫𝔂 𝓖𝓻𝓪𝓬𝓮 𝓟𝓮𝓻𝓻𝔂 and this was technically the September non-fiction book for the Sapph-Lit bookclub. I love this bookclub and highly recommend it because we have been reading some amazing fiction and non-fiction books!
Anyway, this book was a slight miss for me. Still good and still one that I would recommend but I think I’m a tad bit young to understand all the references and I also thing that your geographic location (I was born and live in Australia) also impacts how you relate to the content of these essays. I was born in the 90s but I ‘grew up’ in the early 2000s. I had no idea what the L Word was until two years ago and that was because my thesis supervisor was talking about it. I didn’t understand the impact of Ellen DeGeneres’ coming out because I was too young. Glee was not a big deal when I was growing up – or maybe it was, and I just never watched it. I did love the Taylor Swift essay though – that was so fun!
But I did enjoy the way that Grace Perry wove together her lived experiences and the influence of pop culture on how she grew up and understood herself as queer. It emphasised the importance that representation has in the media! Something that the LGBTQIA+ community (and other marginalised communities) have been saying for what feels like CENTURIES. Perry explores this with humour and wit and I do recommend it.
Now, with this next book I am seriously contemplating writing a full review post for, because I didn’t really love it. And that was 𝓑𝓮𝓪𝓬𝓱 𝓡𝓮𝓪𝓭 𝓫𝔂 𝓔𝓶𝓲𝓵𝔂 𝓗𝓮𝓷𝓻𝔂. The rating that I have to the right is wrong, I gave it 3 stars and not 3.5 stars. But 3 stars is not horrible, it’s pretty solid. If you didn’t know, 𝓑𝓮𝓪𝓬𝓱 𝓡𝓮𝓪𝓭 is essentially about two writers, Gus and January, who knew each other from their university days. As a result of Gus seemingly only criticising January’s work at Uni, January has spent the past decade or so (I forgot the amount of time, exactly), not hating him exactly, but not liking him and not reading his books.
January annoyed me.
I just think that my problem with this book came down to me not being invested in their story. I really didn’t care. January was frustrating to me – she always seemed to do that whole, dramatic running away from a conversation and Gus chasing after her, etc. I can understand why people loved it, but I think I just don’t vibe with 𝓔𝓶𝓲𝓵𝔂 𝓗𝓮𝓷𝓻𝔂’s writing.
But let’s talk about 𝓐 𝓓𝓮𝓪𝓭𝓵𝔂 𝓔𝓭𝓾𝓬𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓫𝔂 𝓝𝓪𝓸𝓶𝓲 𝓝𝓸𝓿𝓲𝓴. I get that I gave it 3.5 stars and it was good, I guess. But I need to just rant about it for a second. I understand that for different demographics, author’s change the way that they write. But if you compare this book with Uprooted, for example, what the fuck happened?! Uprooted was so beautiful, not only the writing itself but the characters and the world buidling. Where was that in this book? There was just so many plot holes! The characters were mediocre! Where was the spice!?
I think in reality this was a 3 star book, but I added the .5 because the last third of the book, I couldn’t stop reading. This would definitely have benefited from being a bit longer but I do think it was setting up the sequel, which makes sense. But this was a slight disappointment.
And for the classics of the month! I read two, which is great. And they were both pretty awesome! I read my first 𝓜𝓪𝓻𝔂 𝓔𝓵𝓲𝔃𝓪𝓫𝓮𝓽𝓱 𝓑𝓻𝓪𝓭𝓭𝓸𝓷 book and it was so fun. 𝓛𝓪𝓭𝔂 𝓐𝓾𝓭𝓵𝓮𝔂’𝓼 𝓢𝓮𝓬𝓻𝓮𝓽 is a classic that I did not know anything about. I found it last year at an op-shop for a couple of dollars, and I remember picking it up because I had heard of the name of the author. I am so happy that I picked it up!
𝓛𝓪𝓭𝔂 𝓐𝓾𝓭𝓵𝓮𝔂’𝓼 𝓢𝓮𝓬𝓻𝓮𝓽 is a book that is a crime mystery, mixed with a light romance (?), mixed with a psychological thriller and a commentary on Victorian society. We have our titular character of Lady Audley who is one of the best villains I have read in a classic! She does some terrible things but honestly, you can sympathise with her plight. I was incredibly engaged with this story.
Our ‘main’ character is Robert Audley, who is Lady Audley’s husband’s nephew, who begins to be suspicious of Lady Audley after his best friend goes missing and some strange…encounters with the Lady herself prior and after his best friend goes missing.
What follows is Robert’s careful unraveling of the threads of Lady Audley’s life. It is compelling and engaging and I do recommend it! I think this might also be a good place to start as a beginner of reading classics because it follows the same tropes that one can see in modern thrillers.
I then read what has become one of my favourite classics! 𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓟𝓵𝓪𝓰𝓾𝓮 𝓫𝔂 𝓐𝓵𝓫𝓮𝓻𝓽 𝓒𝓪𝓶𝓾𝓼 was fascinating, enthralling and reflective. What I think I loved about this book was that it highlighted that, no matter where and when in history, humans react and respond in similar ways when confronted with similar catastophes/events/situations. It just emphasised to me the interconnectedness of humankind, right? Like, I was reading this book and I would constantly exclaim over the similarities with this book written in the 1940s and what was happening in 2021. It was insane and I wonder if 𝓐𝓵𝓫𝓮𝓻𝓽 𝓒𝓪𝓶𝓾𝓼 was alive today, what he would say.
Also, 𝓒𝓪𝓶𝓾𝓼 writing is out of this world.
Now to talk about one of my favourite books of the year. 𝓜𝔂 𝓨𝓮𝓪𝓻 𝓸𝓯 𝓡𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓡𝓮𝓵𝓪𝔁𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓫𝔂 𝓞𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓼𝓼𝓪 𝓜𝓸𝓼𝓯𝓮𝓰𝓱 was a complete surprise. I have already written about this in my mini review which you can check out here so I’ll keep it short. I loved this book so much. It was definitely not an easy read but I couldn’t put this book down and I am still thinking about it.
The next four books were adult fantasy so I’ll go through them quickly becase this has already been quite a long post. If you would like me to do a full review for any of these, please let me know!
Let’s talk about my five star reads. 𝓛𝓪𝓼𝓽 𝓖𝓾𝓪𝓻𝓭 𝓫𝔂 𝓝𝓪𝓵𝓲𝓷𝓲 𝓢𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓱 was exceptional. If you don’t know, I would read anything by 𝓝𝓪𝓵𝓲𝓷𝓲 𝓢𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓱 even if that was a shopping list. I love her, I love the Psy-Changeling world, so I am incredibly bias when it comes to this series because I’ve been reading it for so long. I loved this new installment to the Psy-Changeling Trinity world, espeically because it furthered the overarching arc AND further explored really interesting elements that I am excited to see in the future of this series.
𝓞𝓷𝓬𝓮 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓕𝓾𝓽𝓾𝓻𝓮 𝓦𝓲𝓽𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓼 𝓫𝔂 𝓐𝓵𝓲𝔁 𝓔. 𝓗𝓪𝓻𝓻𝓸𝔀 was mind-blowing. I did not know what to expect when I started this book and I am so happy that I kind of when into this blind. I should also shout out my sister from another mister, Hannah, for buddy-reading this with me or else I would not have read it.
This was fantastic and fascinating with incredible characters within an interesting historical context. Think witches and magic and the suffrage movement. You can really tell that the author was an ex-historian because the interweaving of both the historical with the fantastical was so seamless that it made sense and felt authentic. Absolutely recommend this book to those who have been wanting to read it.
𝓢𝓱𝓮 𝓦𝓱𝓸 𝓑𝓮𝓬𝓪𝓶𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓢𝓾𝓷 𝓫𝔂 𝓢𝓱𝓮𝓵𝓵𝓮𝔂 𝓟𝓪𝓻𝓴𝓮𝓻-𝓒𝓱𝓪𝓷 was absolutely a stand-out. This was so freaking amazing and I urge everyone to read it. I loved it. LOVED IT. Essentially, this is a historical reimagining of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty and it is also SAPPHIC.
This was so amazing. If you tend to not enjoy military fantasy, then maybe read some reviews as military conquest and war is a huge element to this story. But the characters and the world building, as well as the magical elements of this story, was absolutely wonderful.
𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓢𝓱𝓪𝓭𝓸𝔀 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓖𝓸𝓭𝓼 𝓫𝔂 𝓙𝓸𝓱𝓷 𝓖𝔀𝔂𝓷𝓷𝓮 was actually the first adult fantasy book that I finished in the month of august. This actually became kind of a slog to finish. I made the mistake of accidentally not reading this for a week to have a little break from fantasy, but the momentum I had up until that point then fizzled out. I still really enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it.
But I can say that the way that 𝓙𝓸𝓱𝓷 𝓖𝔀𝔂𝓷𝓷𝓮 constructs his characters and the world of his book was actually amazing. I loved these characters, Orca especially not going to lie. I am looking forward to the rest of this series though, because the way this book ended?! Definitely need to know what happens next.
Okay, well, that’s finished! I hope you enjoyed it!
Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,