Books – August 2018 Roundup

Yes, I know.  It’s September, and I’m not following my own rules about when to post my book roundup.  The problem is that last week I was on vacation, and really, that’s when I’m able to get more reading done than any other time of the year.  And since I was away, I wrote a weeks worth of posts in advance, and thought to myself that if I only included those books which I had completed up to the time in August when I wrote the post, I would be doing both myself and my readers a disservice.  Because I want to know for sure what I will be reading and what I will have completed.  Sadly, it turns out that when you are the baby’s mommy, even when there are times you think you might get to read, you don’t.  So those 3+ hour plane rides were mostly spent bouncing a baby.  Most of the time when other people got to read, I may have gotten to read a little too, but it wasn’t for as long, because I was usually the one putting the baby down for a nap, or listening for her to wake up, and then getting her when she did.  Not to complain – I love Baby B to pieces.  I just miss finishing 4 books at a time on vacation – even packed ones!  And with that, lets get right to it.

FINISHED:

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Friends, I am DYING to see the Crazy Rich Asians movie.  But chances are it will have to wait until it comes to either premium television or the streaming services, because I have such difficulty leaving the baby during the little time I have with her.  In any case, I so enjoyed the first novel in this series that I immediately added myself to the waitlist for the second and third books since I knew they would be in high demand.  And I somehow got book 2 before the movie came out, and had time to drink it up.  This book is even better than the first – still fluffy, but with intriguing and complicated plot-lines for characters beyond Rachel.  In fact, I was more interested in those secondary storylines than I was in what happened to Rachel, and would find myself desperate to get back to those other parts.  This gives me hope for the third book.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I adored this novel.  Our main character of Eleanor is initially very difficult to understand in motivation, but she grows on you.  I listened to the audiobook (as I usually do), and I thoroughly enjoyed all the Scottish accents I was privy to since the story takes place in Glasgow.  I also appreciated the way the story progressed, and how frankly issues were treated (not discussing them here as they’re HUGE spoilers).  I loved the ending for not wrapping things up too neatly in a bow, and for not going with a more predictable finale.  Well worth a read, and highly recommended.

IN PROGRESS/IMMEDIATELY NEXT:

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Book club book for September.  One I’ve read before (long long ago, we’re talking 2008-ish), but appropriate for the time since Bourdain’s recent passing.  The challenging bit is that I have to read a paperback because so many other people are reading it too for the same kind of reason, and there are no other audio versions available at the library!  But reading it again reminds me of how much I enjoyed it the first time, so I have no qualms about the $8 or so dollars I spent that will now get divvied up and probably a small portion go to Anthony’s daughter.

Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson

This was a lark, and perhaps a mistake.  A mistake if only because it’s VERY long, and because for whatever reason the system only lent it to me for 2 weeks?  In any case, I finished about 6% of the book while I was on vacation and a little before, and even so, it disappeared from my books on hold.  Not sure when I’ll get it back, but I’ve got a few others that are coming in fast, so fingers crossed being terrible at choosing quick books doesn’t hold me back!

***

So, 2 books finished, but with a few more on the burners.  And the other news that is book related for me is that I’ve gone and done something that feels like cheating.  That’s right – I’ve updated my goodreads goal for the year.  I had previously (back in January) set a goal for myself that I would read 65 books over the course of the year.  With a 4 month hiatus from my major reading time (commutes and work lunchtimes) due to maternity leave, I was highly unlikely to meet that goal.  So I’ve done what I think is reasonable at this point and reset the goal to something lower.  And that lower number is…42 books.  That’s an average of 3.5 books per month.  I’m still behind at this point (by 5 books as I write this), but I think it’s a much more reasonable goal.  It’s one that is still a stretch, but it is also still potentially reachable with choosing of the right books (lol – I apparently love a tome which gets in the way).

What do you think?  Am I cheating for changing my goal so far into the year?  Or do I get a pass on this one occasion for unusual circumstances, and for still challenging myself?

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