August has been a weird month for me. I moved out of London at the start of the month, and am now living back in Oxford. It definitely suits me more as a lifestyle (it’s quieter, there’s countryside, I now have a car, everything is a little closer and there are lots of things I enjoy doing nearby). We’ve settled into our new house and I’ve enjoyed getting used to my new life over the past month!
On the other hand, there is the small matter of not having a job. I left my job in London to move to Oxford (and my partner has a new job here too), and I had hoped I would have something sorted by now. I can manage without for a while, but in the meantime I need to keep applying and hopefully something will come together soon!
(You might think it was a bit of a risky move, leaving an existing job for nothing … you might be right … but if I stayed, I would have locked myself into another 2 years at the school, and I really just wanted to get out of London and get on with a different part of my life).
How about those August books?
Apparently I’m quite a consistent reader – in July I read 8 books, and in August I read … 8 books.
Total Number of Books Read: 8 (same as July)
Total Number of Pages: 2729 (+300 on July)
Number of ARCs: 7 (same as July)
Number of Physical Books: 1 (same as July)
Number of e-Books: 0 (same as July!)
Five Star Reads: Mooncakes and the Art of Taxidermy – I’m nothing if not inconsisent in my book tastes and these two lovely short reads illustrate that perfectly. Mooncakes is a graphic novel that gives off warm and fuzzy feelings of diversity, family and witchiness. Whereas the Art of Taxidermy is a verse novel of a girl struggling to cope with grief over her mother’s death, as well as exploring a morbid fascination with dead things.
I also love a short book – if you can tell a story well without spreading it out over 400 pages, then I’m happy.
Four Star Reads: Lord of Secrets and The Sword Saint – these were both enjoyable fantasy novels, but I don’t think I’ve read anything that has felt completely flawless in a fantasy genre for a while now. I’m hoping that will be fixed during September!
Three Star Reads: 100 Days of Sunlight , Widow’s Welcome and Polite Society – 100 Days of Sunlight would have been an adorable story, except it had some problematic elements and stereotyping for me. I really felt that Widow’s Welcome had some incredibly moments, but the grey ‘meh’-ness of the main story just pulled it down. And I really wished that Polite Society had stuck to its own (more interesting) story, rather than depending on Jane Austen’s Emma for inspiration.
Two Star Reads: None!
One Star Read: Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi. I’m probably being a bit harsh, because I did read finish it. But I also spent most of this book rolling my eyes and sighing about how REDONKULOUS it was.
Sorry if this is one of your favourites – I know some people really rate it – but I could find very little that I actually enjoyed about the story, the characters, the writing … yeah, one star.
In more exciting news, guess who completed their Goodreads reading challenge goal 4 MONTHS EARLY???!
Last year, I just managed this in time for the end of December. This year I’m four months ahead – say what?
And if I keep up my 8 books a month rate, (that feels like a lot for me – 2 a week?), I could reasonably be looking at 82 completed this year …?
I’m really excited to see how many I can read this year, especially as I can then set a new challenge for next year!
I’ll let you know what I’m reading and what new books I’ve added to my TBR (oops) tomorrow, when I write my Weekly Wrap Up post. But for now, that’s August all wrapped up!