I had the biggest reading slum to date during the month of August. I know what you are thinking, “you call reading 16 books in a month a reading slum? Get out of here!” Seriously though, I spent so much of my free time watching TV Shows, instead I am almost sure I could have read at least 25 books this month.
Regardless of my slum I read 16 books that amounts to 5,486 pages and I thoroughly enjoy some great five stars read! If I had to pick two standouts for the month, it would be “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou and “Us Against You” by Fredrik Backman.
“Bad Blood” gives an engrossing account of the Theranos/Elizabeth Holmes debacle. A bit of backstory: Elizabeth Holmes decided to drop out of Stanford to launch a company that would revolutionize the entire medical industry. As CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth aimed to build an at home device where with ‘one drop of blood’ you could be given a reading of any disease or illness you have… sounds plausible right? WRONG. Lauded as the next Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Holmes was given money by top investors to launch this device. Millions of dollars were pumped in Theranos’ research and development without anyone knowing for certain if the device works, much less if it should be regulated. Elizabeth Holmes pulled off the biggest scam ever. This book blew my mind. I could not put it down; I am enthralled at this story and how the fraud continued for so long. This book was the highlight of my August reads.
I am a huge fan of Fredrik Backman’s writing, but I was nervous to begin “Us Against You” which is the follow-up to “Bear Town”. I absolutely loved “Bear Town” and I know usually the second book in a series isn’t always as good–Backman proved me wrong here. “Us Against You” had me bawling, I was so moved by the writing and the characters. This book made me feel so many different things and I truly suffered from a book-hang-over after finishing it. If you’ve never read anything by Backman, I highly recommend you read Bear Town followed by “Us Against You”.
Honorable mentions from this month goes to “Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture” by Roxane Gay and “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row” by Anthony Ray Hinton both books cover some heavy but necessary topics, these books should be required reading by everyone.
In August, I re-read some of my favorite books and it felt like I was visiting some old friends. Two of my favorite re-reads this month were “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver and “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
There were a few books I was excited to read but they turned out to be a bit underwhelming, that is “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott and “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage. “Baby Teeth” was lauded as the modern day, “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, with a lot of hype surrounding it. This turned out to be my most disappointing read for the month. I did not like the characters, I felt a lot of the things they did seemed implausible or overdone to the point of it being ridiculous. I spent majority of the time rolling my eyes when I was reading this book, I am shocked I even finished it.
Overall, August proved to be a rollercoaster of a reading month, what started out as a strong month, ended a little flat and defeated, but I am looking forward to climbing back on for a wild ride in September!
See my ratings below.
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World by Adam Grant
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
I Cant Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race and other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyonce by Michael Arceneaux
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
There you have it, my August reads.