9.08.2015

What I Read In August

I was back to my regular reading speed last month, but I think I'm still doing pretty awesome. I've read 103 books so far this year, so I'm easily going to to surpass my Goodreads goal of 110. I read some really great books in August. Check it out.



Modern Romance (Audiobook) This is not a memoir at all. Aziz worked with sociologists, conducted interviews, and studied behavioral data and surveys to find out about finding love in the digital age. It's a sociology book with a comedic twist. I've seen Aziz do stand up three times in the last three years so I'd heard a lot of this information already, but it was still such a fun, informative read, even for this married old lady.

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town I wrote a lengthy review here. I definitely recommend this book! 


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian This book follows Arnold, a 14-year-old Native American boy living on a reservation in Washington, for one year, as he attends public school for the first time. I'd heard tons of buzz about this book and when I saw that it has been banned, I had to finally read it. It definitely deals with heavy stuff (alcoholism, racism, violence, bullying, death, poverty), but I liked the way the story was told and enjoyed Arnold's positivity. It made me laugh but it was also really sad. 


Everything I Never Told You Sixteen year old Lydia's body was found in a nearby lake and her family is left to deal with questions about the tragedy and their family. The story is a little slow at times, but the characters are engaging and issues around this mixed-race family in the '70s were really sad. It was a heavy book that stuck with me for days after I read it. 


How to Start a Fire This book is nonlinear, which was hard for me to get into at first, but I ended up liking it because of the constant time jumps. It was fun to see how things turned out before the reasons were revealed. The story follows three college friends for 25 years as they deal with careers, relationships, families and friendship. Although the characters weren't always likable, they felt real to me.



Pretty Baby (Audiobook) Heidi is on her way to work when she spots a homeless teen with an infant and feels compelled to take her in and help them. The story is told through three perspectives: Heidi, her husband, and Willow, the runaway teen. (They each had a different narrator in the audiobook, which is always nice.) As you learn more about each of these characters, the story unfolds in a twisty way. It's all very slowly revealed and the characters are pretty annoying, but once the mysteries started unfolding I liked the story a lot more. 


Not My Father's Son: A Memoir (Audiobook) I love Alan Cumming and had no idea he had such a miserable past. This book isn't a classic celebrity memoir about rising to fame and life in show business. It's about his childhood and the physical and mental abuse he endured from his father well into adulthood. At the time he wrote this, he was filming the show Who Do You Think You Are? which really made him look at the issues from his past. It was heartbreaking and made me love him even more. I just want to give him a big hug! 


Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy I love Judd and his work and his family and his love of comedy, so this book of interviews with comedians was right up my alley. I really enjoyed his conversations with Amy Schumer, Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Louis CK, Michael Che, and his wife, Leslie Mann, but skipped over some of the older comedians I don't really care about. My absolute favorite chapter was the oral history of Freaks and Geeks. For a book about comedy, it was a lot more serious than I assumed it would be. ★ 



Pretty Is Lois and Carly May were twelve years old when they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and kept in a cabin for two months. Now Lois is a professor who wrote a book about the ordeal and Carly May, a struggling actress, is taking a part in the movie adaptation. The book bounces back and forth between how they've coped as adults and what happened during their time in the cabin. Without giving anything away, the circumstances surrounding the abduction were weird, the girls sort of bugged me, and the ending felt rushed, but I thought it was an original concept. 


The Status of All Things Thirty-five year old Kate is dumped by her fiancé on the eve of their beach wedding because he's in love with one of their friends. When she goes to write about it on Facebook, she realizes that everything she posts comes true, so she decides to go back in time to try and save her relationship. Does that sound stupid? Because it was. I was hoping for a fun, easy, quirky read (it has such high ratings!), but the characters were one-dimensional, Kate annoyed me, and I figured out the ending within the first thirty pages. There were some nice lessons about how you shouldn't live on social media though. 


Where They Found Her (Audiobook) This story, mainly about a dead baby found in the woods, is told from the perspectives of a journalist, a high school drop out, and a PTA president/Sheriff's wife. I thought the book started out great, but about halfway through, I just sort of stopped caring and it took me a long time to finish. There were lots of twists and I liked the way everyone was connected, but I didn't really care about any of the characters (and there were many).

 I can't wait to see what you read!


Life According to Steph

26 comments:

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I finally picked up a book again this past weekend. I'm so behind.

Kimberlee VDW said...

Wow you read a lot of heavy books! I'd be curious about Judd Apatow's book since I'm a huge Freaks & Geeks fan. I too love Alan Cumming so will have to check out his book. Congrats on meeting your goal!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I feel terrible for Alan Cumming.

The Mary Kubica is on my list of things to read.

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I am going to get Pretty Baby now- looks good and you are the second person to recommend it today!

Nadine Lynn said...

You have a ton of books!!! You are the third person to talk about Modern Romance so that is certainly going on my list!!! The Status of All Things sounded like a decent plot idea if it could have been executed properly. You have a lot of super heavy reads on this list! I usually have to break those up with a few light and fluffies!

lisacng @ expandng.com said...

Seems like a great month for books. I also loved Everything I Never Told You and heard great things from others regarding the Aziz book. How to Start a Fire sounds interesting.

Gracey Williams said...

Ahh my book list is overflowing! Every time I visit your blog something gets added haha.

Breakfast at Gracey's

Karen Peterson said...

I am SO behind on reading. I haven't finished a book since May or June. Pathetic!

That Part-Time Indian book sounds interesting. Anything that finds its way to a "banned" list is a must for me!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I have so many of these on my to-read list. Alan's sounds really interesting I am going to see if my library has the audiobook.

Gwen said...

Lots of interesting books here! I may read Alan Cumming's book; I think yours is the second good blogger review I've seen. I added Missoula too, but I'll stay away from The Status of All Things. Thanks for taking the hit on that one!

Rose @ Ramblin' Rose said...

Pretty much all of these are already on my list. That Sherman Alexie one has been since it came out like 10 years ago lol
Also way to kill the reading this year!

NY Foodie Family said...

I read Pretty Baby, Where They Found Her and The Absolutely True Diary of A Part Time Indian. I added Modern Romance to my to read list after several people have recommended it. Everything I Never Told You was already on my to read list.

Nicole Marica said...

I read the Part Time Indian book as a potential for my teen book club. It was a bit too heavy for them to read but I did enjoy the book. Congrats on reading so many books! I'm still trying to hit my goal of 50 but I'm almost there!

Pleas(e) and Carrots said...

I didn't know Aziz wrote a book, I need to check that out! You read so many books!! I'm jealous! I need to get back in the reading swing of things!

Lauren said...

Have you read or listened to The Good Girl by Mary Kubica? I'm listening to it now, and same thing, different narrators for each perspective, which is nice. People were really mixed on Everything I Never Told You but I really liked it. Adding How to Start a Fire as it sound like my kind of book!

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

Everything I Never Told You had me thinking for days after I finished as well. As I was reading it, I was shouting at the pages "c'mon people! communicate!"

Almost all the others you've listed are on my to-read list that seems to be never-ending!

Heather said...

You read so many heavy, yet diverse books. How to Start a Fire sounds pretty interesting to me. I'm going to surpass my goal too!

Marie said...

Wow you read so many books, that is so fantastic. I totally want to read Alan Cumming's book, I love him.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

oh wow, Alan Cumming's book (and past) sounds heartbreaking.
I had no idea that's what Aziz's book was about, so thanks for explaining!
Everything I never told you is on my list to read :) hopefully I get to it one day soon!

Kristen said...

Everything I Never Told You, Pretty Baby, and Where They Found Her have all been on my "To Read" list for at least a month or longer. I'm glad that none of them were terrible (especially Pretty Baby, since I was so disappointed in The Good Girl!).

Pretty Is has been popping up as "recommended for me" on Goodreads a lot lately, so I may give it a try. I know you didn't love it, but 3 stars is still a decent rating.

My husband doesn't read much fiction, but I know he loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It's one of the few novels he actually owns! I may have to give it a try … I really didn't know much about it (other than the fact that he thought it was awesome).

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I love to read, and at the moment I am listening to a Dick Francis book and just about finished a Danielle Steel book

Abby Abby said...

How do you find the time to read all these books?! I'd be lucky to even read one!

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Kathy@MoreCoffeeLessTalky said...

i've been waiting forever for Everything i never told you from my library; i've heard it was so good from a lot of bloggers.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I cannot wait to read Aziz's book. I've been waiting forever for it. I'm starting to get angry.

I've read many of these/have several on my TBR but I'm nervous about Judd Apatow's. I adore him and everything he does is basically gold but the book is giving me anxiety. Like I'm afraid I'm going to hate it and then it'll make me mad or something.

Teh Megan said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed Modern Romance! It brought me so much joy.
I also liked Everything I Never Told You.
How to Start a Fire is now on my TBR list!

Cole said...

Wow, you definitely had a heavy reading list this month! Everything I Never Told You and Pretty Baby sound really interesting; I think I'll add them to my list. :-) I love Alan Cumming - but usually don't really enjoy memoirs too much. I might need to read it though.