August Reading Recap

August Reading Recap

One challenge completed (Bookish). Up to 172 books for the year, 21 this month alone (23 less two DNF); twelve fiction/nine non-fiction. I start school on Tuesday, so this will likely be the last big read month for a while.

Completed in August:

  1. Alex & Eliza (audiobook, fiction). Meh. This book didn’t do it for me. It did wrap up my Bookish challenge for the year, though, with its ampersand title!
  2. The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook (ebook, nonfiction). DNF. This looked like it would be fascinating, but it felt a little bit “let’s throw in a random curse word so we seem cool” while also being incredibly dry. Emergence was so much better.
  3. Not Your Average 5k: A Practical 8-Week Training Plan for Beginning Runners (ebook, nonfiction). I was trying out Kindle Unlimited this month, and grabbed this on a whim, because Running with a Police Escort got me so excited to actually try C2k5 again. But this book was just gross. It tried to be inspirational, I guess, but it was really just a push to get you to the author’s website. Heck, the training plan mentioned in the title wasn’t even in the book.
  4. Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (audiobook, fiction). I did not know how much of a marshmallow-shaped hole there was in my heart until I stumbled across this book. Set after the events of the movie (of which I was a proud backer!), I loved how they addressed the tension between Veronica and Keith over her move back to Neptune. And, while the LoVe shipper in me was sad that there wasn’t more Logan, I loved seeing Veronica have a life outside of her relationship. Extra points for alllll the Wallace and Mac. The audiobook was read by Kristin Bell, which made it even better.
  5. The Hate U Give (ebook, fiction). FUUUUUUCKKK. There is not a damn thing I can say that will do justice to this book. Every. Single. Damn. Person. Needs. To. Read. This. Now.
  6. The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations (paperback, nonfiction). This was more entertaining than I expected! The title is clickbait-y, but the contents are solid, if a little outdated. (In fact, it was quite shocking to see how much has changed since 2005…Napster’s downfall isn’t exactly a current pop culture reference.)
  7. Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, & my Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker (audiobook, nonfiction). If I had to sum up my feelings about this in one word, that word would be “conflicted”. As someone who took adult beginner ballet classes last year and loved every minute of it, there was so much about this memoir that sang to me…and yet. The author talked her way into performing with a professional ballet company, but then blew off rehearsals. And then! She got a part in their touring performance of the Nutcracker, but bailed on some shows because “Thanksgiving is important”. I really wanted to shove her disrespect for the company right up her…nutcracker.
  8. Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (ebook, fiction). I just adore Sarah MacLean’s writing, and Chase’s story was delightful.
  9. Storm Front (audiobook, fiction). I loved the old-school noir detective approach, and I absolutely adored that James Marsters read the audiobook. The plot wasn’t quite as tight as I would have liked, and it seemed to drag in places, but that could be because it’s the first in the series. I’ll definitely listen to the next few – at least the ones my library has – but I don’t know that I’ll ever sit down and read one.
  10. Uprooted (audiobook, fiction). DNF. I really wanted to love this, but after about two hours, I just gave up. It was a little bit Hunger Games (the dragon picks a girl from the village!), a little bit Rumple-from-OUaT (at least, the dragon was Robert Carlisle in my mind), and a lot of dragging story.
  11. Canto Bight (audiobook, fiction). What fun! This was effectively four novellas in one book, and they were all fantastic. The production quality was on point – I squeed with happiness at the opening crawl. While this takes place in the casino from The Last Jedi, you don’t need to have seen the movie to enjoy this.
  12. Hope Never Dies (ebook, fiction). Old school hardboiled detective noir meets Obama/Biden bromance. So much love.
  13. Wicked and the Wallflower (hardcover, fiction). Sarah MacLean has, once again, captured me with her fierce, funny, feminist characters and allll the snark. Love it.
  14. The True History of Paradise (hardcover, fiction). I really wanted to adore this the way I did The Pirate’s Daughter, but it just didn’t come together for me. Still a beautiful read, but not a five-star book for me.
  15. Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation (hardcover, nonfiction). Every page had snippets of tweetable text. In a physical book. That was only part of what was wrong with this, but it gives the general flavor. Meh.
  16. The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House (audiobook, nonfiction). This book told a lot of very important stories from our history that we need to acknowledge and deal with as a country. But! Oh, man. This book also desperately needed editing. At times it felt like the author had dropped a stack of notecards and didn’t have time to put them back in order before the book was finalized.
  17. Hocus Pocus & the All New Sequel (hardcover, fiction). Love Halloween, love Hocus Pocus, love that they gave us a sequel in book form rather than trying to reboot and recast the original. Because even if they’d pulled most of the original cast, SPOILER it just wouldn’t be the same with a recast Binx, and they’d have *had* to recast him, because Probie doesn’t look like a teenager anymore.
  18. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (paperback, nonfiction). This was a book club pick, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it, as rough of a read (emotionally) as it was. I do wonder, though, if the author found a way to give back any of the proceeds of the book to the people whose story it told. If not, it feels very exploitative.
  19. The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software (paperback, nonfiction). Ugh. The best thing I can say about this is that it was a quick read. If you’re completely new to Agile as a concept, and if you’re not opposed to completely racially insensitive dialog and illustrations, you might enjoy this. It was not the book for me.
  20. Organizational Analysis (ebook, textbook). This was the textbook for a free Organizational Analysis course I took online to get myself ready for going back to school. The course was great, but the textbook was almost word-for-word the lectures. I was hoping for something a bit more in-depth.
  21. Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality (hardcover, nonfiction). This book made me ugly cry for so many reasons. Sarah McBride is an amazing woman doing such important work.
  22. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure (hardcover, nonfiction). Eh, this was okay. I’ve read most of these stories and lessons elsewhere, and they were better told there.
  23. Just Like Heaven (audiobook, fiction). Sarah MacLean has clearly spoiled me for all other historical romance; this was good but I missed MacLean’s snark.

Started in August (or before) and Still Going:

  1. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (paperback, nonfiction)
  2. Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation (hardcover, nonfiction)
  3. The Confessions of Socrates (ebook, fiction)
  4. The Duchess War (ebook, fiction)
  5. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (paperback, fiction)
  6. Hogfather (paperback, fiction)
  7. The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All (nonfiction, paperback, textbook)
  8. My Plain Jane (audiobook, fiction)
  9. Organizational Behavior (paperback, nonfiction, textbook)
  10. Principles of Managerial Finance (nonfiction, ebook, textbook)
  11. Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature (hardcover, nonfiction)
  12. The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling (paperback, nonfiction, textbook)
  13. The Things They Carried (fiction, paperback, textbook)
  14. Wonder (paperback, fiction)
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