What I Read in August

beach reads

As summer winds down (it’s not over! it’s not over!), so does my reading list. I tried to cram in as much beach reading as I could this year, trying to balance reading with writing. But as edits and revisions took over my life for this new novel, I was only able to read five books. Still, they were good ones:

summer 69 Elin Hilderbrand (Queen of the Summer Beach Read) released this one in June, just in time for a summer beach read. As the author herself turned 50 in July, she tells a story about four siblings (sisters Blair, Kirby, and Jessie, brother Tiger) who each experience that memorable summer in different ways. The moon landing, Woodstock, and the Chappaquiddick incident on ‘the other island’ are all featured. Definitely a must-read. I bought my copy at Ink Fish Books

before I stopped by my other favorite local bookstore, Stillwater Books, and found this one. Looked good, so I picked it up. OMG. This book! As soon as I finished it, I told my husband he had to read it. He’s really into it. It’s a novel based on a real-life scandal, involving the kidnapping of poor children and selling them to wealthy families. Heartwrenching but ultimately hopeful.

blessings She’s probably my favorite author, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read this book. It was part of my library’s big book sale (yes, I filled a giant tote bag!). It took me a little longer to be invested in this one, but Quindlen never disappoints me. This book was first published in 2002, and delves into family secrets and why they’re kept. Beautifully crafted, with rich descriptions and characters you can almost feel sitting next to you.

Winter This one I downloaded through my library’s program (I don’t think Hilderbrand needs the money, so why not spend on local and indie books?). Maybe I missed it, but this is part of a series. The ending left me feeling unsatisfied, but that was because there’s a sequel coming. Apparently the sequel drops in early October. Still a good book, but if you’re a fast reader like me, maybe it’s better to wait until all the books are out.

kitchen yarns I also downloaded this one through my library. It’s a collection of essays, with recipes. Unfortunately, I knew most of these stories already, and they seemed somewhat disjointed (introducing us to her grandmother Mama Rose once was sufficient). The recipes were fine, although a chapter devoted to butchering a pig was, to me, revolting. Still, Hood can write, and many will find this book charming.


So, no more “What I  Read” posts for a while. I need to get this book done!

However, if you love reading as much as I do, and if you’re on Facebook, we’ve got a great event coming up November 18. It’s a Rhode Island Authors Showcase featuring a variety of authors. Each one will have something to give away, and the Grand Prize is a $250 Amazon gift card, just in time for some serious shopping. You can find the link HERE and it’s all online. I hope you’ll join us!


6 thoughts on “What I Read in August

  1. I’m so far behind, I just read Where the Crawdads Sing and All the Light We Cannot See. I also read “Paris, the Novel” whose author I cannot remember. All three were excellent, but I’m sure you’ve already read them. Think of you often. I’m so fat I can’t stand myself, but I love reading about the successes of friends. Love to you and Jim.

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am always charmed by friends’ book recommendation and this post did not disappoint. I have not yet read Summer of 69, but it is definitely on my list. I’m not much into beach reads, but the fact that this summer was just before I entered my senior year in high school and such a touchstone time for our country make it irresistible.

    My book club’s next selection is Before We Were Yours. I have a library copy sitting on the table by my reading chair waiting for me. I need to finish <Alexander Hamilton a hefty volume by Ron Chernow, first. 200 pages left…BWWY is sure to be emotional, especially as it is based on a horrific real life situation, though it is fictional.

    I, too, am a huge fan of Anna Quidlen. I have not read her last couple, but have all her early ones, including Blessings, a treasure. Have you read the collected columns? Fantastic. That she was born the same year as I make her all the more relatable for me.

    I am also a big fan of Ann Hood. I am proud of our fellow Rhode Islander. I’ve heard her speak on numerous occasions, including coming to our small book club at LSA. Despite the heavy themes of her books, she is self-effacing and very funny. I loved Kitchen Yarns. By my favorite is <i.The Obituary Writer.

    In August I read Fosse (possible end of July), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, The Miller’s Dance by Winston Graham (a Poldark book0. The Neon Rain, by James Lee Burke, and Angel’s Flight by Michael Connelly.

    Never enough time.

    It looks like I’ll be on a panel at the ARIA Expo in December. If I don’t see you before then, see you then. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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