This haul does not count the stack I bought on vacation July 29 – August 4. It would’ve felt a bit like cheating to celebrate reaching my 3-books-or-less-per-month rule by starting over after vacation, so I didn’t try very hard to hold myself accountable this month. Which is good, because it would have been a fail. I ended up nowhere close to 3 books. Again.
Here’s what’s new:
- The Line That Held Us by David Joy. This was my Book of the Month Club selection for August. I’ve already read this one, and it was probably my favorite suspense novel out of quite a few thrillers I read this month. It’s about a hunter who accidentally kills a human instead of a pig, and the vengeful brother who hunts the hunter. There are some fascinating psychological aspects to this one, as well as some gore and a whole lot of Appalachian culture.
- Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I’ve heard so many great reviews for this horrifying thriller that I finally broke down and bought it. I’m saving this as one of my spooky reads for October, which I’m getting really excited about already. I don’t remember anything from the synopsis except that the characters have to be blindfolded to go outside? I don’t like knowing much about thrillers going in, so that’s enough info for me.
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Book Outlet had a sale this month that I couldn’t resist. This is one of the six books that I ordered. It’s the collector’s edition, which I didn’t strictly need because I did already have a paperback copy of this book, but I gave that to a friend so I could have all hardcovers in the Shades of Magic series. I’m not usually too matchy-matchy about my books, but I do love a good collector’s edition. This one’s a YA fantasy about a series of Londons that only certain characters can travel between.
- Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong. I read this book earlier this year from the library and adored it. It’s about a woman who returns to her parents’ home to take care of them as her dad falls deeper into Alzheimer’s. I really connected with it and I know I want to lend it to my mom because she’ll enjoy it, too. So I’m glad I found a copy on Book Outlet that’s decent and cheap. The dustjacket is crooked on the book, which annoys me, but I’ve done my best to refold it. I’ve definitely been happier with the condition of my Book Outlet books, but they were cheap, at least.
- The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I read this book in 9th grade and it was the reason I went on to read Gone With the Wind, one of my all-time favorite classics. I’ve been wanting to reread it for a while, and I’ve been interested in this 50th anniversary edition, so when I saw it on Book Outlet, that was one of the reasons I couldn’t resist this sale. I don’t remember a lot of the plot, but I know there are themes of friendship and identity and what I do remember (a knife fight, a fire) I’m intrigued to rediscover.
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I’ve been slacking on my classics reading this year, but this is one classic title I’m still hoping to get to soon. I saw this centennial edition in Barnes and Noble for full price, and loved it but couldn’t condone buying it when it was sitting right next to cheaper, less pretty copies. So I was excited to find this one on Book Outlet, though it is a bit dinged. Again, I’ve been happier with Book Outlet. If I remember the synopsis correctly, this one’s a sort of Adam and Even retelling set in the early 1900s that features multiple generations of an American family.
- Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. This is a short story collection I’ve had my eye on since it’s release, and I’ve been holding off because I’ve heard mixed things and also because I hardly ever read short story collections lately. But I would love to get back into short stories, and I’ve decided I’ll have to take a chance and decide for myself with this one. It sounds right up my alley (spanning several of my favorite genres and feminist besides), but I’ve heard (as with many story collections) that some of the pieces are much stronger than others. We’ll see. I’d like to get to this one soon.
- The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. This is a YA book I’ve had on my radar for a while, which I’ve seen recommended for fans of The Female of the Species, which I loved. The synopsis for this one starts with, “Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate,” which was really all I needed to know to pick this one up, along with it’s 4.4 rating.
- The Idiot by Elif Batuman. I’ve been slowly making my way through the Women’s Fiction Prize nominees that caught my eye on the 2018 list, with the rule that I finish reading one before I buy another. I just read Home Fire (and loved it), so I allowed myself The Idiot: one women’s unexpected experiences with college (Harvard) both in America and abroad.
- From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan. This author has been on my radar for a couple of years now but I haven’t managed to pick up any of his work. When his most recent publication made it onto the Man Booker longlist, I thought now is the time. All I know is that three men with very different histories come together in this story, and Ryan’s prose comes highly regarded. This is a very short book that I’m planning to read ASAP.
- Everything Under by Daisy Johnson. This is another title from the Man Booker 2018 longlist, a retelling of a Greek myth that I’m excited to revisit. I believe this one has some fantasy/magical realism elements and some additional fairy tale parallels, which sounds intriguing. I’m intending to read this one within the next few days, as well.
I definitely bought more books than I should have this month, and I do know I probably won’t stick to my 3-book goal in September, either, which is a great month for new releases. I am glad though that even though I added 11 books to my shelf with this haul, I only added 8 to my TBR shelves (since I’ve already read Goodbye, Vitamin and The Outsiders, and this new copy of A Darker Shade of Magic is just replacing one I already had), and I did read my Book of the Month book already, which puts the number of new unread books down to 7. Then there’s the fact that I did read 7 unread books from my shelves this month, so I didn’t actually increase the number of unread books that I own. So I’m not feeling too bad about any of this, really. Still, I’m hoping to make better progress on my TBR shelves in September.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
The Literary Elephant