Time for another monthly wrap up! Some duds, some hits, mostly new releases. Sounds like a typical month to me!
I almost always have at least 3 books going at the same time: a physical book, an audio book, and an e-book. I found myself on a train ride one day without the physical book I'd been working through, so I thought I'd pick up The Life-Changing Magic. This one, not the Marie Kondo one about getting rid of all of my books. I don't need that kind of negativity in my life.
I tend to like books that are in the non-fiction, female empowerment genre but some are way too bubblegum for my taste. Such as this. I thought some of the constructs were interesting- say no! Don't do things you don't want to do! Stop caring about what other people think! But in the end, I kept finding my mind wandering and wondering how in the world this was turned into an entire book and not just a blog post. But hey, good for her for getting paid.
I am such a Mary Kubica fan. She lives in Chicago and is the author of one of my favorite thrillers (The Good Girl) Win/win! She seems to write a book every summer or so, which is really impressive. Most are great, but I really didn't like one (Pretty Baby), so I was very interested to read Every Last Lie. Right off the bat, it's super sad. We find out that Clara's husband, Nick, has died in a car wreck. Their daughter Maisie was also in the car, but she is unharmed. The circumstances surrounding his death are questionable. Clara was just on the phone with him and the just had a baby 3 days ago- this couldn't possibly be happening. Can it? It was a very good Kubica book, a story told from alternating perspectives that's really sad. Not my favorite, but certainly one that made me tear up and think about what's really important in life. 3.5 stars.
This is the book I was most excited to read this month! It's written by Anne Bogel, also known as Modern Mrs. Darcy. Her blog is probably the first "reading" blog that I discovered, and she genuinely inspired me to go for it here. So, of course I knew I'd be getting my hands on her first book. Happily, I was also chosen to be a part of the Reading People Launch team, so I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have already read it, loved it, and written my review, but I won't be posting it until my Blog Tour on 8/30. For now, I'd say if you are familiar with Modern Mrs. Darcy or enjoy reading non-fiction or books about personality, this might be the one for you. She is also offering cool bonuses to those that pre-order, including a free audio version of the book and access to Anne's online "What's your personality?" class. It comes out next month, on September 19th. Preorder here!
I hope to write a longer review of The Lying Game. I enjoyed the first book I read by Ruth Ware, The Woman In Cabin 10, so I knew she is a skilled thriller writer but had no idea what to expect from this one. I still added it to my library's wait list and luckily got to read it right away. The Lying Game is about 4 female friends from boarding school who play a game with one another. The game is The Lying Game, sort of a higher stakes version of the Mean Girls Burn book. The main rules are: don't get caught, and don't lie to each other. And- no matter what- if someone says "I need you", you show up. We catch up with the girls some 10 years later after Kate sends that iconic text. They haven't seen each other for years, but human remains have recently been found on the beach where they spent their summers and the girls might have something to do with it. I thought The Woman in Cabin 10 was alright- probably 3 or 3.5 stars. In that one, there were far fetched plot points and the ending was too rushed. There are similarities to this in The Lying Game, but I found this plot in this one more palatable.
This was possibly my standout new release for August. See What I Have Done is truly a weird book. Sarah Schmidt is an Australian author and this book is her debut. I love it when debut books are well done, but what I loved the most about SWIHD is the story's origin story. We've likely all heard about Lizzie Borden and her axe, but Schmidt says that Lizzie kept visiting her in her dreams and served as her muse to write this story. The idea that an alleged murderess could come to bother an author some 100 years later to write the true story was just too tantalizing for me to pass up. I received this as an ARC as well, but it came out earlier this month on August 1st. Full review here.
I finally got around to finishing On Writing! I'm moving this month, so i've had the chance to get through a lot of audio books. I'm pretty sure On Writing was one of the first audiobooks I bought from Audible, mainly because I heard it was narrated by Stephen King. I loved this book so much. it's part memoir and part writing encouragement. He says that no one needs permission to be a writer, and if you feel like you do need a permission slip, consider permission to write granted by him. I also loved hearing about his behind the scenes process, his wife, and life before becoming one of the most prolific authors of our time. So so good!