I think my feelings about August can best be summarized by a recent tweet:
The closer we get to September, the more I feel my motivation returning. I swear, there's an August demon that feeds on productivity.— Shaina (@shainareads) August 27, 2015
About the only thing that went right this month was the blog. I read a bunch, reviewed it all, and churned out a few good discussion posts, if I do say so myself. Let's recap:
I finished six books this month, with two of them weighing in at about 500 pages each! August was for chunksters.
- The Dust That Falls From Dreams, by Louis de Bernières — A sprawling family saga set during World War I. This was my first read from de Bernières, and I've already picked up my second. (my review)
- The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes, by Anna McPartlin — Yet another family drama, this one revolving around a woman's battle with cancer. The story tackled a hard topic with often spot-on black humor, but ultimately it was not my cup of tea. (my review)
- Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen — I finally read it! It only took a whole event dedicated to Austen to make it happen. (my thoughts)
- Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel — The hype train had finally moved on to other things, and I gave this one a go. It was so, so much more than its post-apocalyptic premise. (joint review with The Book of Strange New Things)
- The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber — I snapped this one up right after finishing Station Eleven because I had it on good authority that they paired well. It was different (less world devastation, more religion and aliens) but also quite good. (joint review with Station Eleven)
- Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng — Another long-time passenger on the hype train that I finally checked out, another heavy dose of excitement well-deserved. (my review)
On the blog:
- I finally shared my review of The Library at Mount Char along with a brief Q&A with author Scott Hawkins.
- I participated in Top Ten Tuesday twice, sharing my most-read authors and the syllabus for my forthcoming class, Giving a Shit 101, to be funded by Lauren of Malcolm Avenue Review.
- I shared the fall ARCs I'm most excited for (none of which I've read yet, oops).
- I confessed that I've never read Shakespeare, and y'all seemed pretty OK with that.
- I asked you whether there are "wrong" ways to encourage reading, focusing on a reading program being promoted by McDonald's.
- I participated in Bout of Books 14 and took a huge chunk out of my TBR pile!
- I sent my boyfriend off on a business trip with some delectable chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Jenna of JMill Wanders knows what I'm talking about.
- GRE math. Ugh.
- Last Friday, my boyfriend got the news that his grandfather died overnight. Friday evening was spent doing laundry and getting him ready for a last-minute trip to California for the funeral.
- The very next day, I found out that one of my father's ex-girlfriends got sentenced to a whole bunch of prison time. This wasn't unexpected, but it doesn't make for a happy phone call.
- I watched a whole lot of Cupcake Wars and Next Food Network Star this weekend. See last two bullet points and "stress and anxiety" above.
- Get over the crap month that was August. My boyfriend's return and the upcoming long weekend should do wonders for that.
- Get crazy busy at work (which should help with the above too—I'm happy when I'm occupied). My boss's three new graduate students arrived this month, and with them came a much heavier need for new research participants. I also need to hire a handful of new undergraduate research assistants and coordinate schedules for my returning ones. Bring it on.
- Figure out where my reading is taking me. I mentioned that I've had a hard time finishing and/or getting into anything recently, so we'll just have to see what sticks.
Tell me about your August! I sincerely hope it was better than mine.
, by Shaina