August Book Round-up

Probably the last month where it will be a relatively long list for a while…

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson

I was skeptical that this sequel to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo novel could live up to the original but I was pleasantly surprised. I actually felt that this one was better organized than the first, sucking me into the suspense much faster and keeping me on my toes for much of it. I am anxiously awaiting a free few days so that I can pick up the next and last book in the original Lisbeth Salander series.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Funnily enough, I didn’t realize this was an autobiographical account until about halfway through the book, when I thought to check the spine label.  I liked the clinical, abrupt writing style of this novel and the brief vignettes into life in a psychiatric hospital in the 1950s. I also really liked the aura of mystery around exactly how she ended up in the mental facility. That said, I felt like the structure of the book was a bit disjointed, suddenly transitioning from a collection of memories to a present-day reflection on the state of mental treatment in the last quarter. At the end I wasn’t quite sure what I was taking away from the novel.

But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

I was pleasantly surprised by this recent Klosterman release. This book asks a series of questions about how people in the future will view different aspects of present day culture and knowledge. I like that he takes a look back at the things we’ve been wrong about in the past and then takes a topic-by-topic example to examine potential areas of wrongness.

It’s Not Summer Without You & We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han 

After finishing the second book in the “Summer I Turned Pretty” series I *had* to read the final book. I officially love Jenny Han as a YA author – her writing and characters feel very authentic and I always need to see what happens next. This series was the perfect summer read and after finishing the last book I had a book hangover like nothing I’ve felt in recent months.

After You by JoJo Moyes

This book had a lot of similar problems to its prequel – Me Before You. It seemed to me that a lot of the main character’s self-worth came from the people around her, especially the man she fell in love with, and the child who still had ties to her ex-love. It compelled me enough to keep reading, but I once again was not very impressed.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

A beautiful, beautiful depiction of Thompson’s life growing up in a super-religious family and questioning his families beliefs, through the lens of a first love. I loved his illustrations (it’s a graphic novel) and his questioning but not judging tone.

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