book review, of interest

Show Us Your Books – August 2019 Reading Recap

I’m happy to report that I definitely feel back on track with my reading and was able to finish six books over the last month, including one re-read (a real rarity)! I have quite a few have-to-read books coming up — complete with deadlines — so I’m glad things are moving along nicely.  

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Last Month’s Edition & What My Ratings Mean

Here’s a look at what I read last month and what I’m reading right now:

4-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams — I cycled through a lot of feelings when I read this one. I went from hating the main character (or maybe more questioning all of her life choices) to rooting for her. I thought it was thought-provoking, and a much-needed voice. [full review + recipe]

Station Eleven by Emily St. John — I first read this novel around when it first came out. I think it was before I knew I loved dystopias / post-apocalyptic stories, but I must’ve really enjoyed it, because my Goodreads shows I gave it 4 stars. Well, it was a recent pick for my local book club, and I decided to give it another try (mostly because I already had a copy, but also because one of my reading goals was to attempt to re-read more, and I’m failing terribly at it). I’m so glad I did! Emily St. John’s writing is absolutely mesmerizing, and the story was well-crafted. 

**America for Beginners by Leah Franqui — Franqui’s story is about an Indian widow who takes a tour of the United States with a Bangladeshi tour guide and a young American companion. I just finished America over the weekend, and while I’m still working on my full thoughts and review, I really enjoyed it.

*If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (3.5) — This novel about three women in post-apartheid South Africa was a slow burn for me. Though I wasn’t immediately won over, by about a third of the way into the novel, I was fully immersed in the story and invested in the characters. I, of course, loved that it features three strong females with unique stories. Worth noting that it definitely doesn’t shy away from tough topics, including but not limited to: sexual assault, racism, AIDS and economic inequality. 

3-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal — I read this Pride and Prejudice retelling (I think my first retelling ever?) for my Long Distance Reading Challenge with Deanna, and it was really solid. Some of it was maybe too on-the-nose, but it did help for people who haven’t read/watched the Austen story in a while. There was no guessing who was who and what was what. I loved the author’s note in the back; it really shared her love of the story and why she decided to bring her perspective to it.   

The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett — I read this recently for book club and once again really enjoyed Patchett’s writing style. She tells the unique story of a magician’s widow (formerly his assistant) as she comes to know his estranged family and learns more about his past.

Currently Reading 📖

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante — I’m not terribly far into this one yet, but I’ve heard amazing things. I picked it as a book about female friendship for the Long Distance Reading Challenge. Mostly just hoping I get a grip on all of the character names… lot to keep track of! 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante


*I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

**I received a free copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review (to be featured on Literary Quicksand).

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  • Reply Lauren Becker August 13, 2019 at 11:00 am

    I’m glad you had a nice reading month. I haven’t read any of these, so thanks for sharing.


  • Reply SMD August 13, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I liked Queenie a lot. Station Eleven not so much!

    The last two in your four star category sound good!

  • Reply A Mindful Migration (@MindfulMigrate) August 13, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    I enjoyed Unmarriageable, especially the fact that the characters were Pakistani. But it did feel a little on the nose, which is what I dislike about P&P retellings. Nothing seems all that surprising because when I match a character with the original, I know what they will do, etc.

  • Reply kristen August 13, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    i’m awful about reading authors notes, i should go back and read the one for unmarriageable. i love P&P retellings, that one wasn’t my fave, but it was cute. i totally agree about queenie!

  • Reply Kay R.D. August 13, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    I really need to read Queenie. Ive heard such good reviews!

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says August 13, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    I got Station Eleven from the library. Twice. And never read it. I don’t think I’m meant to.

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