Looking Back: An August of Reading

Summer has slipped away to somewhere else, and here we are facing down fall: season of crock pots and boots and cardigans and apple cider and really big buzzy books, oh my. But before we wave goodbye to August, a quick recap of some of the best books I read this month:

August 2015 Releases:

Barbara the Slut and Other People, by Lauren Holmes

Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal, by Wendy S. Walters

The Beautiful Bureaucrat, by Helen Phillips

Zeroes, by Chuck Wendig (review to come in Shelf Awareness)

No House to Call My Home, by Ryan Berg (review to come in Shelf Awareness)

Backlist Highlights:

Church of Marvels, by Leslie Parry: Church of Marvels was everything I wanted Geek Love to be: a quirky, somewhat-circus-y story of love and family and identity and the convergence of lives in unexpected ways. I can't put my finger on what worked so well in this book, but trust me: it works. (Great on audio, too.)

Instructions for a Heat Wave, by Maggie O'Farrell: I grabbed this from the library on a whim because the title included the words "heat wave" and it was 96 degrees with what felt like 100% humidity here one week in August. Not knowing what to expect, I was blown away by O'Farrell's prose; her multi-layered, complex characters; the way she weaves together individual strifes with family drama with political and historical context. (Another one great on audio.)

Preludes and Nocturnes: The Sandman, Vol 1, by Neil Gaiman: As many warned, it took me a few issues to find my footing in this comic, but by the end of this first volume, I was hooked. Books two and three are on deck for this week's beach trip.

...and stay tuned for reviews of The Food Lab, Did You Ever Have a Family, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, SuperBetter, Not on Fire but Burning, The Dead Ladies Project and others coming up in September and October (these formed the bulk of my August reading, looking back at my lists...).

Here and elsewhere, my favorite things on the internet this past month:

  • I can't emphasize enough how wonderful, incredible, amazing, and did-I-say-wonderful? this list of books from Shaina Reads is: Giving a Shit 101. As I said on Twitter, go, read, add some books to your list. Be part of this crazy world we live in.

  • This is perhaps more interesting to me because of my profession, but I love this Nonprofits With Balls look at how grant applications can perpetuate inequity. It really makes one think about inequality not just on a personal level, but on an organizational level. As a grants manager in my day job, I'm hoping to learn from this and better our funding process based on the comments here. 

  • I've long loved Lyndsay Faye's Timothy Wilde trilogy: here's why.


What were the best things you read this month, online and off?

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