Wednesday, September 6, 2023

August Reading Wrap-Up+

Oh man, August is done. Summer is fading and we're moving into fall.

August was a big month over our way. We moved. Again. We spent the last few months trying to buy a house. We did not succeed (hence some of that sulking I mentioned in the last post). And unfortunately we could not extend the lease on our rental to get us through the school year (because the little one is not so little anymore and just started kindergarten!) so we had to move. We're currently living out of boxes and will likely be doing this whole move all over again next summer. So some stress is...maybe not alleviated but we'll say pushed to the side till it gets to come back again in a few months. 

Total books read
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
This is, as the title says, a modern retelling of P&P, set in the mid-2000s primarily in Cincinnati (with some stops in Houston, San Fran and NYC). A question I kept coming back to as I listened to this was "Why"? I'm not opposed to retelling of stories. I'm a fan of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, so it's not even that I think this is a story that shouldn't be touched. But I didn't really understand the purpose. It kept surprisingly close to the original source material, which made things awkward or nonsensical for current time. Or when things were updated they fell a bit flat. The barbs traded between Elizabeth and...well most people (Darcy, Caroline) don't have the same sparkle of the original, maybe because there is more bluntness. But despite all this, I did stay and listen through to the end vs dropping the book early so it caught enough attention for that
Rating: 3 stars

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney
I love discovering people who are not only readers but ALSO have similar reading tastes to myself, because then I get to dig through their reading lists and find lots of new titles to check out. In this case, a coworker and I realized we're both readers, we're now Goodreads friends, and I'm pretty much adding her full reading list to by TBR. Starting with this thriller. Couple Adam and Amelia win a weekend away at a remote former church turned B&B type thing, in a last ditch attempt to try to save their marriage. But something seems off. They're cut off due to a winter storm but someone seems to be at the church with them. There are also flashbacks via anniversary letters to help explain how we got to this point. There are twists. There are turns. There are things I didn't see so I won't spoil it here but this kept me guessing and the twists and turns felt earned.
Rating: 3.5 stars

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
I am loving the genre of older forces-of-nature ladies solving murders (Thursday Murder Club, Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers). Here slightly eccentric Judith (lives in a dilapidated mansion, wears a dramatic cape while riding her bike around town, drinks cheap whiskey, regularly skinny dips in the Thames behind her house, surprised everyone seems to know who she is) witnesses a murder. But no one seems to believe her so she takes on the investigation herself. Eventually teaming up with some other women in town that she would otherwise never have talked to, and they decide they need solve the murder happening in their quiet town. 
It seems unfair to compare this to the other books I mentioned above because those two are SO GOOD and I love them SO MUCH. This one is...not quite up there but still good and I will still be reading the others in the series.
Rating: 4.25 stars

The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry
I was going to say I wish Goodreads had a way to track where you heard of a book going on your TBR list. Except, it most certainly has the option to do it and I just...don't track that. So I can't remember where I came across this book to add to my TBR but "contributor to the Onion writes essays about pop culture and how they intersect with her identity" sounds pretty great, so I'm not surprised it ended up on my list. The essays look at different pieces of pop culture (Buffy, Glee, Taylor Swift, to name a few) and how they contributed to Perry's identity as "gay as hell". The essays were funny with poignant moments and I enjoyed revisiting some of that 2000s pop culture.
Rating: 4 stars

Total Pages Read


Female authors

BIPOC authors

US authors

Book format
audiobook - 100%

Where'd I get the book
library - 100%

Decade published
2010s: 25%
2020s: 75%

Resolution books
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney and The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood are both by UK authors