The Month in Books: August 2020

It’s the end of August. It’s the end of August. It is THE END of AUGUST. 😱😱😱

Yeah, sorry about the drama. School starts again in September, and I can’t believe summer is drawing to an end already. On that note: I’m not sure what’s going to happen to my blogging schedule once school starts, so just warning you in advance. Let’s see how well I can juggle blogging with real life!

Anyway, all this leading to: Let’s get started with August’s monthly wrap-up!

Books Read

  • My Dear Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie. Everything historical fiction should stand for. Meticulously researched and featuring three-dimensional characters — a new favorite for sure. Also, side note: I completely forgot to copy-paste the final version of my review into the actual post, and I’ve been beating myself up for that ever since, so here‘s the text of what should have been my final review if you want to check it out. (It’s actually not all that different from what was published, but still.) ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑
  • The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater. Perfection. Absolute perfection, with elements including but not limited to beautiful writing, characters so real that I wouldn’t be surprised if they jumped off the page, and a fascinating storyline. ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑
  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown. West African-inspired world + suspenseful plot (those plot twists!!) + sweetheart characters I’d do anything for + some intense chemistry = need the sequel. ASAP. ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ½
  • The Voting Booth, by Brandy Colbert. A charming story with a passion for social justice in every line and a cute romance on the side. I did have a bit of trouble connecting with the main characters, but a lovely read nonetheless. ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ¾
  • A Love Hate Thing, by Whitney D. Grandison. A hate-to-love romance that would’ve been a solid read if not for the author’s juvenile writing style. ⭑ ⭑ ⭑
  • Royal Holiday, by Jasmine Guillory. A lovely, fluffy romance set in the United Kingdom. Plenty of cuteness, but not a lot of substance. Not that I minded. Review to come. ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Reread for my school’s book club. I enjoyed it more than the first time, I guess? I find the entire premise fascinating, but I don’t have a whole lot of feelings about the book. Review to come (maybe)? ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ½
  • Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Required reading that I enjoyed a whole lot more than I was expecting to. The constant push-and-pull between cultures felt by immigrants was thought-provoking to see on page. ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑

Movies & Musicals

The Greatest Showman. Disney+ is really making it hard for me to quit my subscription. This movie was incredible. Live-action movie musicals are rare enough these days, much less live-action movie musicals with songs as memorable as Pasek and Paul’s. And of course the characters all managed to capture my heart as well. Seriously, what is it with me and musicals about the rags-to-riches stories of historical figures possessing unhealthy amounts of ambition?

Hamilton. Speaking of which… look, I know I mentioned this in July as well. What can I say? It’s just as good as it was last month. 🤷‍♀️ 😂 I rewatched it for the fourth time a few days ago and had my heart broken by Phillipa Soo’s smile when she sees Alexander onstage during “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” So tender and hesitant and beautiful.

Blogging Highlights!

So I started saving the posts I wanted to include in this section in my Reader, and I’m at a loss because there are so many????? I did my best to narrow my favorite blog posts of the month down to a manageable number, but please know it was a painful process. I love all of you ❤️

Books to Read

I’ll keep this section to a minimum this month as well, because remember what I said last month about the holds I have at my library? Yeah, well, I may or may not have another half dozen books due to arrive within a few weeks. What even is moderation.

  • Vaclav & Lena, by Haley Tanner. Presenting my first audiobook ever! I’ve been listening to this off and on throughout August, and I still have…… 4 hours to go. It’s nice to rest my eyes though, and the story is interesting as well. (CURRENTLY READING)
  • Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. I’m in the middle of this one, and I am astonished to say that I’m actually enjoying it??!?!?!? Dickens does have a penchant for run-on sentences and excessive use of semi-colons, but I want to know what happens next, which is more than I can say of my other attempts at reading his books. (CURRENTLY READING)
  • Spin the Dawn, by Elizabeth Lim. I’m finally giving into the hype after all the publicity the second book got when it released earlier this year. From the blurb, I gather that there’s court intrigue, slow-burn romance, and a quest? Like, yes please?
  • Stitches, by David Small. Another required reading book. I rarely pick up graphic novels, so I’m interested to see how David Small uses the visuals for this memoir.
  • The Flatshare, by Beth O’Leary. I’ve been seeing Beth O’Leary around a lot in the blogging community, and for good reason if this book is anywhere near as good as what that blurb is suggesting.

Verse of the Month

Today, I’d like to share a passage from the Bible that I read this month that really resonated with me. (Don’t worry, you can still subscribe to YouVersion’s Verse of the Day here!)

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lamentations 3:20-23 (NLT)

We are going through an awful time in the world. In the United States, yet another instance of police brutality has been brought to light, the number of coronavirus cases has exceeded 6 million, the country is divided in hatred over politics — it’s awful, to say the least. But God’s faithful love and mercy will get us through this. It’s because of Him that we remain standing, and it’s because of Him that we have hope for the future. God bless you all.

That’s it for today, everyone! How about you? What did you read in August? Did you love or hate any of the books I mentioned? Share with me in the comments!!

Stay safe, everyone. Sending all my love! ❤️❤️❤️

PS: The book I described in emojis in this post was The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater! Congrats to those of you who got it!

31 thoughts on “The Month in Books: August 2020

    1. Ah, a fellow addict! I’m listening to “The Room Where It Happens” as I type this, and this level of obsession probably isn’t healthy, but oh well 😂🤷‍♀️

      I loved reading that post, it was hilarious 😆 Thanks for reading and commenting, Naemi! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My daughter is OBSESSED with The Greatest Showman! We’ve watched it I don’t know how many times. lol She’s 9 and loves musicals. This is Me is her favorite song, though Rewrite the Stars is a close second.
    Thanks so much for the shout-out! I hope you enjoy your books this month. I’m curious to hear what you think of The Flatshare. It sounds so good! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your daughter is on her way to becoming a proper musical theatre expert! 😂 I can relate to her obsession — particularly with Rewrite the Stars!!!! There’s nothing like a romantic duet on a trapeze to make me smile from ear to ear *sighs dreamily* 🥰

      Yep, I’m super excited to read The Flatshare, as I’ve been hearing tons of great things about it! I hope you read lots of good books this month as well. Have a beautiful September! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You had a great reading month! 🙂

    I love The Greatest Showman so much! But I haven’t seen Hamilton yet… I do have Disney+ at the moment so I really need to watch it!

    I really enjoyed Spin the Dawn and it went in an interesting direction at the end so I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    Like

    1. The Greatest Showman was amazing!!!! I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for quite a while now, but seeing it on screen was a totally different experience 🤩

      AHHHHH HAMILTONNN — it’s not for everyone, but I’ve been high-key obsessed with it for years, so I really hope you love it!! 🥰

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Spin the Dawn! I’m actually planning to start it today, so that’s yet another reason I’m seriously hyped for this book!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, MT! Have a beautiful September ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Books:

    1. Anna Karenina- started the book all the way in June (I think). Finished it on the 2nd and 3rd of August.

    2. Shades of Magic series- started and finished all of them pretty quickly

    3. Bleak House- started this book in August, but still reading

    About musicals:

    Just want to say, Greatest Showman is an incredible movie musical. The same can be said for other musical movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You finished up some great reads this month!! I hope you enjoy all the books you read in September!!

      Yesss! The Greatest Showman was amazing. The character arcs, choreography, cinematography, and of course Pasek & Paul’s stunning soundtrack. A work of art. 👏

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope you have a beautiful September! 💛

      Like

      1. September will probably consist of just that one book- Bleak House

        If I literally just include the musical movies that are not stage shows: Greatest Showman would easily be my favorite

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Sofii! I’m glad you enjoyed 💛 A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is definitely one of my top reads this year! It exceeded all my expectations 🥳

      I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed The Greatest Showman as well!! By the end, it had managed to leave me on the floor crying but somehow also feeling happier than when I started it? Such a wonderful movie 🥰🥰

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Sofii! 💛💛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely wrap-up, Abby! I can’t believe it’s September either…🤯

    I’m so glad you were able to read lots of good books in August. I hope you have a lovely month ahead and good luck with school. I work full time so I completely understand how hard it can be to balance all of that with blogging.

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post! I’m so happy you liked it 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed, Stephen! Time just feels surreal, doesn’t it? Where have all the months gone?! 😨🤯

      I hope you have a beautiful September as well! And thank you for the kind words. As a matter of fact, the mayor just announced that all schools are to open a bit later than planned, so it seems like I’m probably going to be free for most of the month. 🤷‍♀️😂

      I loved reading your post! So informative, and I loved how you went in-depth for each step ☺️ Thank you for reading and commenting, Stephen! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So happy that you loved The Raven Boys, since it’s one of my favorite series! 😀

    I relate to struggling to cancel my Disney+ subscription. The Greatest Showman! And Hamilton! I’m always a fan of well-made musicals that I can watch from the comfort of my living room.

    And I DEFINITELY relate to having way too many library holds. I may have gone a little overboard when my library reopened. I really hope you love Spin the Dawn – I had so much fun reading it, and I just got my hands on the sequel!

    Happy September and happy reading ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Raven Boys!! I’m so excited to continue the series!! And I am not alone in my struggle with Disney+ 😂😭 It’s getting harder and harder to cancel with every passing week….

      I’m in the middle of Spin the Dawn right now, and I’m having a hard time putting it down! Can’t wait to see how this all plays out!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Margaret! Wishing you a beautiful September ❤️

      Like

  6. that’s such a beautiful verse, abby! thank you for sharing it with us ❤ and thank you so much for mentioning my post 🥺 i'm glad you enjoyed the books you read in august! i'm currently reading a song of wraiths and ruin and not liking it though 😭 i see so many things to love about it, but i'm just… not invested at all and i feel like some aspects of it are a little childish fdjfkdjf idk why i'm so picky with books *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s my pleasure, Caitlin! I’m glad to see someone else thinks the verse beautiful ❤️

      Your post should be required reading for the entire community! Such a well-written, helpful post 🤩

      Oh, that’s too bad 😣 It’s definitely not for anyone, though, so don’t stress about not liking it! We all have different tastes after all 😀

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Caitlin!! ❤️❤️

      Like

  7. It looks like you had a great reading month in August! Ooh, I’m happy to see that you liked A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, it looks so good I can’t wait to read it 😄 Omg I am going through the same exact thing with my Disney+ subscription! Every month I’m like hmmm I don’t really use it and then they add something else or announce ONE upcoming show that I’m interested in 😂

    Ah, thank you for sharing our post! I’m so happy you enjoyed it ❤ I hope you’ve been having a great September!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin was amazing! I hope you enjoy it when you get to pick it up!

      SAME!!! Every time I start to consider canceling my subscription, they add one new thing I really want to watch 😂 Every single time 🤦‍♀️

      I love reading everything you and Malka post, so it was my pleasure! 😊 I hope you enjoy the rest of your September! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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