Monthly Wrap Up: August 2018

August has still been a pretty busy month for me with social activities and work–we’re short staffed and for two weeks out of the month I was pretty much on my own and it left me feeling burned out and not like doing much of anything once I was home. Yet, somehow I managed to catch up on a bunch of things with the free time I had available–got a lot of reviews written and a lot of reading in whenever I could.

I’ve managed to finish 20 books in August! Holy moly! 15 SFF, 2 YA Romance, 2 Adult Romance, 1 Mystery. It’s helped that some of these books were fairly short and/or quick reads/listens. I did go off my reading schedule a bit near the end of the month getting distracted by romances, but once in a while I need a palate cleanser from SFF.

We also wrapped up our Kushiel’s Dart read along on r/fantasy this month and we’re taking a bit of a break before moving on to the second book sometime in October. (Really looking forward to this break!)

Overall I read many great books this August, a lot of which I’d been anticipating and my expectations were not let down.

Favorite Reads of the Month:

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. This series has such heart and even when bad things happen there’s always an underlying sense of hope. It would be easy to take a cynical route with some of the stuff covered here, but the fact that I came out feeling hopeful says a lot. We could all use a little more hope, imo.
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. This book is so unrepentantly feminist. There were times things happening in it made me so angry! But in a good way. I’m a fan of Kowal’s but I feel like she’s hit on something really special with this one. Can’t wait to dive into the second book!
  • The Nightmare We Know by Krista D. Ball.  This a sequel that I was highly anticipating since the last book left off on a bit of a cliff-hanger. It was totally worth the wait. It has everything I love–romance, small doses of well-written battle scenes, and politics!
  • Year One by Nora Roberts. Oh man, I really did not know exactly what to expect from this one. Despite reading a lot of romance and Nora Roberts being a somewhat local author I have never read any of her work until now. This was kind of like Contagion meets X-Men, but with some more fantasy tropes like prophecies thrown in for good measure. Somehow it works. This also a very hopeful book even though it showcases humanity’s darker side at times.
  • The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dmitri. This book was so weird. I don’t know if I’d call it magical realism, but it definitely has a more literary vibe. Honestly, I think whether it’s even fantasy may lie with the mind of the reader and how they interpret the events of the book. This book was creepy, at times horrifying, and a roller coaster of emotions. I can’t wait to write my full review of it.

August’s Book Reviews:

Here are all the book reviews that went up in August in case you missed them. I managed to get out a whopping eleven book reviews in August–phew!

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Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

 

 

 

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The Holtur Curse by Cameron Wayne Smith

 

 

 

 

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

 

 

 

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The Nightmare We Know by Krista D. Ball

 

 

 

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Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

 

 

 

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Clock’s Watch by Michael Reyes

 

 

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Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

 

 

 

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The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris

 

 

 

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Star Touched by A.L. Kaplan

 

 

 

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

 

 

 

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Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

 

Other Posts:

I did a couple of book tag posts and wrote about the book club I run.

You can also find my collected Friday Favorite Five posts linked on my FFF page in case you missed any or if you want to see upcoming topics. In August I wrote about favorite sequels, publishers, guilty pleasure reads, cover artists, and non-sff authors.

Plans for September:

I have three review requests I have scheduled for September so I’ll be reading those books. I don’t have any read alongs but I’ll also be tailoring some of my reading for upcoming book events. I’ve already talked a little about the World Fantasy Convention coming up in November, but there’s something coming up even sooner.

At the end of September I have The Baltimore Book Festival which is a fairly large event over three days in downtown Baltimore. SFWA has a tent and there are panels and such just like a convention. It’s a great (totally free) event and we have a ton of authors coming this year including Theodora Goss, Charlie Jane Anders, Lara Elena Donnelly, Sam J. Miller, Michael Underwood, Malka Older, Justina Ireland, Lawrence M. Schoen,  Kosoko Jackson, Andrea Tang, Vivian Shaw…just to name a few. Guys, BBF is going to be so amazing this year. I’m so excited! I’m going to buy so many books! 😀

So, that was my August and my plans for September. How did your month go? Got any exciting book-ish plans for September? Leave me a note in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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18 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap Up: August 2018

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  1. Twenty books??!! Congrats on that, that is my dream, to have enough time to read that much😊 Have fun at the Baltimore Book Festival, what a great line up of authors!

    1. Yeah, I don’t know how it happened lol. Well, probably half of them were either shorter reads or really quick reads which I managed to to get through within a day or two.
      Thanks! I think the festival is going to be really good this year. 🙂

  2. Oh I think I’ll attend the Baltimore Book Fest this year. I’ve never been and I’ve been wondering about it. I plan to attend the National Book Festival today though I’m a little disappointed that they don’t seem to have many SFF authors attending.

    1. I’ve never been down to the National Book Festival either, one of my other friends is going today too. Have fun! I know for BBF this year some of the authors are here attending not only that but also Capclave which is put on by the Washington Science Fiction Society and splitting their time between the two events so be sure to check the schedule on the BBF site if you’re interested in seeing anyone in particular. Hope you get a chance to come up for it, it’s usually a pretty good event. 🙂

      1. This will be my second time going, or my first time (depending on how you look at it) since I only popped in to get a book signed last time.
        It’s the first I’m hearing of Capclave or the Washington Science Fiction Society. Now I gotta go look them up. Thanks!

    1. I thought I would have another slow month this past month two but I did wind up getting just a bit of free time on the weekends so that helped.

      With all the books I read, I enjoyed most of them, so that was a huge bonus! 🙂

    1. I’m actually really excited to write my review for this one. 🙂 Yes, totally understand what you mean about the characters making you angry. I was really frustrated with certain characters at certain points of the story. I think I really wanted to punch Art in the face near the end. A few times. lol

  3. Flipping ‘eck 20 books. That is a woo hoo moment indeed. I think the most I’ve ever managed would be somewhere around 12-14 – very impressive. I so want to get to the Becky Chambers book – why oh why can somebody not invent a way to buy time. I would buy it. Now.
    Lynn 😀

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