August Reads


August was a particularly good month for reading, both in terms of getting through eight books despite starting my school year a few weeks ago, but also in terms of the quality of text. I don't ever find myself in reading slumps, but this is the type of month that would give someone who does so much positive momentum. 

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo and I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O'Farrell were both runaway favorites for me. I wrote about the Lombardo book here, already, but must reiterate that it was like reading the show Parenthood, which made me happy. I Am I Am I Am is a memoir that discusses the author's "seventeen brushes with death," some of which are literal, some not quite as much. They are all wonderfully written and the collection reads more like fiction that anything. I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but I wouldn't be surprised if both of these make my end-of-year top-ten list.

In all, I read quite a bit of non-fiction this month, four others besides O'Farrell's above. Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss was a look at teen-fiction of the eighties and nineties, which I hope to devote an entire post to soon (I wrote it but accidentally deleted it... womp womp womp). If you were a fan of The Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High, RL Stine, or any of those from back in the day, you'll love this nostalgic exploration of common themes. Don't Feed the Monkey Mind by Jennifer Shannon was considerably less fun, a short book viewing anxiety from a sort of evolutionary-monkey sort of approach. It won't dramatically change my life, but it did serve as a good reminder of how to approach obsessive worrying. It definitely has caused me to slow down when I feel my mind start running and ask why I am feeling the way I'm feeling. I might do a post on this one, too, time-permitting. 

Alaxander Chee's How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, a collection of essays that focus loosely on the author's writing journey was solid. There were brighter spots than others, but I found his journey interesting and appreciated his humility. Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin retold Iftin's journey from Africa to America, showing the struggles of his homeland and also the ones he faced trying to immigrate. 

I finally read Sally Rooney's debut novel, Conversations with Friends, and, I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed. It was well-written, but I think a big part of the disconnect is probably with her target audience- younger millennials. I enjoyed her most recent one, Normal People, more. 

And finally, I reread Macbeth for the 32953592305 time, since I am teaching it again. Man, that Lady Macbeth. Such a bad bitch. 

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