AUGUST READING WRAP-UP || 2017


Hey guys, it’s Emily! For today’s video
I’m bringing you my August wrap-up. In the month of August I read 11 books,
which I’m pretty happy about because a couple of them were very long and dense
and just took me a while to get through. So I am feeling a little bit
accomplished. So let’s get into it! The first book that I read was absolutely
amazing. It’s just incredible. And that is Children of Earth and Sky by guy Gavriel
Kay. It’s mind-blowing-ly good. Kay describes
his writing as history with a quarter turn to the fantastic, which is: A. exactly
what this is, and B. a little example of how he writes. He’s lyrical in his prose,
but it never feels overly flowery. He’s just a master. This takes a
snapshot of three different empires that Kay has reimagined. We spend
time in fictionalized, renamed, tweaked versions of the Venetian Empire, of the
Ottoman Empire, and then also a little bit in Croatia. It’s really cool knowing
a little bit of the history. I found it perfectly paced, even though it is very
very dense. I don’t think this is necessarily for all fantasy fans because
I think it leans more towards historical fiction than it does fantasy. One thing
that I really, really liked is that we see amazing female characters in here
who are navigating these quasi- historical cultures that are very
patriarchal. I just hate the argument that you get sometimes when people
rightly criticized female characters, especially in fantasy, and the response
that they get to that criticism is like, “You don’t get it. It’s inspired by medieval Europe, or Renaissance Europe, or whatever you want to say, and that
was just a man’s world!” And it’s like, okay, but women didn’t cease to exist in
those periods. Yes, they had to live under an aggressively patriarchal
society, but they were there… They existed… That is not an excuse for
lazy character construction when it comes to women! So Kay just
demolishes that excuse because this is a very patriarchal society that we see
these amazing female characters navigate, and they have such agency, and they’re so
beautifully crafted. I just loved it! I loved it so, so much. Next I read Killers
of the Flower Moon by David Grann this examines the Osage Nation murders. Osage
County was Native American owned land and they found that it happened to have
a ton of oil and then all of a sudden members of this community are turning
out murdered and those murders coincided with the founding and kind of growth and
power of the Federal Bureau of Investigation it is just brilliant
historical nonfiction is so well done its historical nonfiction with a little
bit of true crime mixed in this is an awesome place to start if you’re not
super familiar with nonfiction if you’re a little nervous you guys that true
crime element turns it into more of a murder mystery makes it a little bit
more of a page-turner and you would necessarily expect with
historical nonfiction ah love story call nonfiction so I totally ate this up I
will say if you’re going into this without a lot of experience with
nonfiction in general and particularly with historical nonfiction just know
that it’s going to be slower than what you expect it’s the nature of the beast
but if you go in expecting that and you just know that it’s gonna take you a
little while to get through but it’s so worth it this is an amazing and
gut-wrenching and heartbreaking exploration of the exploitation of
American Indians the United States is a fundamentally terrible job of owning up
and acknowledging and educating on the atrocities committed against native
peoples I think this is a great starting point because like I said it’s a
page-turner it is meticulously researched I was really really impressed
with that I definitely recommend checking this out next I read a Mian
Rodgers epic detour by Morgan Matson this is just a super-cute
weii contemporary about a road trip I really enjoyed it it was a great summer
read I think I would have enjoyed it more if I read it in high school if
you’re younger or if you were looking to buy a book for someone younger
definitely recommend this my biggest complaint is that we see that titular
Amy’s relationship with her mom is very fraught and there’s some major issues
and it’s never resolved in the book it’s hinted that they will resolve it later I
would love to see that explore within the book itself that was kind of a
letdown but just a really sweet cute why a contemporary romance next I read what
it means when a man falls from the sky by Leslie in Mecca
ARIMA this is a short story collection and it’s amazing it’s absolutely
incredible it’s so so good guys you just gotta check it out
you gotta check it out this is a mix of literary fiction and more speculative
fiction I think ARIMA is stronger with her speculative fiction that said the
difference that I’m talking about here is the difference between great short
fiction and absolutely incredible groundbreaking short fiction every
single short story in this collection is amazing I think the ones that ticket to
just unbelievable Heights are all her speculative fiction works I had two
favorites one was the titular story what it means when a man falls from the sky
and you can listen to it on the Barberton reads it’s episode four or
five one of those and you can get a taste for how good this book is the
other story that I thought really stood out was who will greet you at home all
of the stories are great those two just completely blew my socks off I was so
impressed and so excited to see more from a Rima next was a book that I
picked up because I realized I was seriously lacking when it came to native
voices in my reading experience in my library so i working on rectifying that
and so i picked up an anthology of stories and it’s called love beyond body
space and time it was edited by hope nicholson and it is by and about
lgbtqia+ two spirits native voices and it’s just so great I really really loved
this it was a pretty wide range of styles and some of them definitely just
weren’t for me and that’s not to say that the writing itself was bad every
single story had such a strong narrative voice sometimes those narrative voices
didn’t mesh with me but that’s not to say that objectively they weren’t good
they just were so very distinct that I think they’re more likely to have people
firmly like in one camp or the other if that makes sense
my favorite story by far was one called Nellie I do not know if that’s the
correct pronunciation and that is by Darcy little badger it is about lady
veterinarians in space and there’s puppies and it’s just wonderful ladies
loving ladies it was so cute it was so cute I loved it so I definitely
recommend checking out that anthology next I read radiance by Katharine and
Valente I love this too it was so so so good it was bizarre
just totally bizarre it felt like setting was a character if that makes
sense a lot of time was spent on the setting this I would say is a fantasy
book but it’s set in space it’s a beautiful
space opera about filmmaking for me one of the reasons I love this is that
captain and Valente clearly knows her stuff when it comes to film
I studied just a little bit of film theory I’d like to read about film
theory a little bit in my spare time and I annek up on some things that were just
like beautiful beautiful mods to film theory it was it was so well done oh my
goodness that’s it this is so weird it is so weird it doesn’t have a
narrative in the traditional sense and it also doesn’t have a narrative voice
in the traditional sense because it is epistolary it’s made up of a collection
of documents and as we switch from document to document there are different
narrative styles and voices but they come together in this beautiful mess of
gorgeous writing and I loved it it is not for everyone
definitely definitely not for everyone for me it was an incredible experience
this book felt like an experience I loved it next I read masks of Shadows by
Lindsay Miller this is an arc Flint to me by the beautiful beautiful Madeline
who you can find over at the blog novel ink I really enjoyed this this was a fun
why I fantasy it features a gender-fluid main character what I’ve seen from own
voices reviews is that it’s great representation there’s a character who
deliberately missed genders our main character sal they use the wrong
pronouns like even general it seems to be very normalized which is really
interesting and refreshing to read occasionally I got a little confused
where the writing was going it got a little messy at times I think mainly
they were mostly grammatical issues like unclear antecedents that kind of thing
so I’m hopeful that those will get it worked out cuz again this is an arm
overall I did really enjoy this I think in particular my favorite aspect was
kind of the behind the scenes intrigue you’re kind of like espionage side of
things that was separate from the assassin competition itself so I’m
excited to read more of that in future installments in the series we don’t
really start to see that intrigue until the second half of the book so I think
it’s setting up for some fun stuff later on the game as I said really excited to
continue the series next to another all-time favorite it’s just it’s so good
I love the first book in this series but I might like this even more guys and
what I’m talking about is down among the sticks and bones by Shana in the choir
this is a book in her wayward children series all about children who go through
portals to fantastical world’s the first book is every
away and that is about what happens when the kids come back this focuses on two
side characters from every our doorway it’s basically a prequel their world is
very inspired by Gothic literature vampire Dracula stuff and also mad
scientist kind of stuff it’s an amazing exploration of gender roles and of
parenting of prescribing certain roles for your children and the dangers of
that it’s so good and it’s so short it’s so short you pass such a punch but it’s
so small I am a total chicken when it comes to horror this is much more
atmospheric as opposed to like well and your face kind of jump-scare horror
stuff I don’t know if you can have a jump scare in a book but it doesn’t it
if that makes sense I would definitely recommend checking out thoughts on tomes
spoiler for your review because she goes to a little more detailed rest oh why
this is just so good so you should watch that usually this series is just so good
and I want all of the books I want all the books for this because Sean Maguire
knows what she’s doing it’s so wonderfully original even though it is
inspired by books that we know like Dracula and Frankenstein in that kind of
stuff it still feels so fresh I just I loved this so so so so much
next I read an alchemy of masks and mirrors that Curtis Craddock this I got
as an advanced copy from Nick Ali I really enjoyed it I thought it was a
good bit of like swashbuckling fun this books the strongest feature is
definitely its setting it takes place on floating continents I don’t really get
out the physics part but I still thought it was so cool it’s set in two kingdoms
that are very clearly inspired by 17th century France and Spain it was super
super fun my main character Isabelle is this badass lady he was trying to
navigate an aggressively patriarchal society I saw some reviews that were
calling the book misogynistic but I personally found it to be ultimately
subversive in that regard it does take place in this very patriarchal
misogynistic society but because we followed Isabelle who’s constantly
supporting the status quo I thought it was super fun and subversive product
doesn’t always get it perfectly but I think in the end Nets out positive is
six place in this society which women are allowed to practice math and science
and Isabelle is this mathematical and scientific genius and so what she does
is she just like secretly publishes papers and like constructs this fake
persona so she can continue to do all this amazing science I really liked
having a theme character who was so good at science I
also really liked that she starts out not super skilled in like politics and
that kind of stuff but because of circumstances is forced to learn and
grow and we get to see that character arc which I really enjoy one aspect that
I thought was a huge missed opportunity product could have done some amazing
things with this Isabelle’s born with a hand and what she only has one finger
and she doesn’t have control over that finger they call it a worm finger which
I was like let’s see this a weird and a little ablest I don’t really like that
in the same way that you can have this cool subversive feminist message you
could do something else in regards to people who have a disability
I just don’t think as much thought or time was put into that and I really wish
there would have been more time spent with that because it would have
heightened the book for me definitely I think ultimately I give it like three
three-and-a-half stars that was a missed opportunity and the other thing is this
book feels very white and yet there are a lot of references to colonizing other
areas and so I get really frustrated when history is super whitewashed you
were talking about the globalized world and yet we’re not seeing that diversity
really reflected I thought it would be a great opportunity to do some really
interesting stuff in a book that really does seem to be trying to be subversive
in interesting ways next I read another short story anthology I have been on a
short fiction kick lately and what I read was a rock +100 which was edited
and I think one story was written by asan blossom and this is a speculative
short fiction collection in which every story imagines it Roth 100 years after
the US invasion I got an advance copy of this again through Nick Kelly so thank
you Nick Kelly and tor publishing you guys are great I thought this was a
fascinating concept but destroys themselves I found time all over the
place in how much I liked them some I absolutely adored my favorite was a
short story called Baghdad syndrome so social good some of them it just wasn’t
that crazy about I think I ended up giving it three stars because while I
did have a kind of varied opinion of the stories in this collection it was a
range of great two things I wasn’t crazy about as opposed to the very far end of
that negative spectrum there were none that I hated or really actively disliked
it was more kind of slightly negative so given that I still eat it was worth
picking up time lastly I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I loved this Jane Eyre the character oh my goodness I love her so so good in the
face of abuse and oppression I loved watching her be so strong it was so
great to see I absolutely loved Jane I will say I thought all of the men in
this book were just acyl they were all just bunch of dicks I didn’t like them I
still gave this book 5 stars only because of how much I loved to Jane how
engrossing I found this book I’m really glad I have this particular Edition
because there were some pretty extensive and notes which I found great for
context but because there were so many allusions to other works than this that
would probably have gone over my head if I didn’t have those endnotes so I really
liked that to kind of round out the context of what I was reading I just
loved to us it doesn’t have Pride and Prejudice feet as my favorite classic
but it’s still a 5 star read in the end I didn’t care who Jane ended up with I
didn’t care about any of the romantic parts I just wanted Jane to be happy
because she deserves the world I just love her so much so that’s it all the
books that I read in August let me know what you guys read what your favorite
books were in August so that I can have some things to check out in the coming
months cuz I’m always looking for some good new books thanks so much for
watching if you like this video give it a thumbs up hit subscribe to see more my
face you can find me on Twitter at possibly lit and on Instagram I possibly
literate and I’ll see you next time

31 thoughts on “AUGUST READING WRAP-UP || 2017

  1. That first book sounds awesommmeeeee!!! I love fantasy… but I do also love me some historical fiction! <3 immediately adds to ever-growing to-read list

    Also added: that short story collection – I need to get more good short stories in mah life!

    I should stop. I also want to read some Catherynne M. Valente… ! Haha!

    I'm so bummed that I did NOT care for DATSAB. 🙁 It irritated the absolute efff outta me! 😛

    Ooooh Jane Eyre–that's one I need to get to as well. 🙂

    I really need to stop with this novel-length commenting style. Ha!

  2. I'm loving the turtleneck and necklace! I wish it was cool enough here in Oklahoma to wear Fall clothes! Alas, it's still in the 90s here.

    Great August wrap up!! I was only able to read four books this month. With school starting and writing lesson plans, I didn't have much time to read. But next month!! I'll be back!

  3. I finally read The Underground Railroad and adored it. If you are in the mood for a great psychological suspense novel, I recommend Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker. I finished it this morning and I feel a book slump coming on cause it was just so beautifully written.

  4. You had such a good reading month my one book just doesn't compare (granted it was the Way of Kings which was awesome of course) 😄 I've had Jane Eyre on my shelf for ages and really need to get to it, P&P just seems to sit so smugly beside it if that makes any sense 😆

  5. I've heard great things about Guy Gavriel Kay, and the book you mentioned sounds amazing! So did the one you mentioned after that 😆 Masks of Shadows sounds great too!

  6. I read 12 books this month which is the most I read this year! Glad you liked Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, probably one of my favorite Morgan Matson books. I definitely want to get into more adult books now that I'm almost 19 so I watch your videos to get into more adult fiction so thanks for the recommendations!

  7. Seanan McGuire really is incredible. "Atmospheric" is the PERFECT word for her novellas! It's like you're dropped into the world.

    Also you really sold me on "What It Means When a Man Falls from The Sky". It sounds so interesting!

  8. I'm so glad you loved Jane Eyre. She was my first true literary hero. I used to reread it during particularly tough times in my life because her perseverance and belief in herself were such an inspiration for me.

    I loved Radiance! I loved how the world building kept me completely engaged throughout the narrative, and how Valente's writing was so skilled that Severin felt completely fleshed out, even though though we never have a direct narrative from her perspective.

    I spent most of August focused on tome topple, so I read The Rise and Fall of DODO and both books in NK Jemisin's Dreamblood Duology, all of which I highly recommend. The Jemisin more so because she can do little wrong in my eyes. I also read and loved Autumn by Ali Smith.

  9. I have just been catching up on your videos, and I still freakin looooooooove all the books you read, they sounds so interesting!! <3 <3 <3 miss you!

  10. You make me want to read every book ever! I can't come away from your videos without at least another five books added to my TBR. I had a pretty darn good reading month in August, I finally read Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and oh my glob it was good.

  11. Children of the Earth and Sky has been on my TBR for awhile now, you made me so excited to read it!
    yeah! Film theory is really fun! haha yay for finding other nerd friends on booktube 🙂

  12. I subscribed at the end of July and read three books in August after seeing them on your channel—Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Scythe, and S.P.Q.R. I hoped I would like Sticks and Bones more than Every Heart a Doorway, but there was too much telling and very little showing. I'm really glad I got around to S.P.Q.R. though! I've been wanting to read it but didn't get around to it until I saw that you'd read it.

  13. Great video! If you're looking for more native voices literature, you should read Louise Erdrich's novels. Her writing is very poetic and her characters are very diverse.

  14. Children of Earth and Sky sounds amazing!! Also your comments on female characters in historical fiction made me think of The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming which is a pretty small but hilarious and on-point book on how throughout history men have justified their misogyny, just let me quote the first page: "In the Olden Days there were no women which is why you don't come across them in history lessons at school. There were men and quite a few of them were Geniuses".
    Also I really agree on the gross men in Jane Eyre, I hated all of them hahah

  15. Came across your channel a few months ago and LOVE your videos! So insightful and interesting! I also have to say, while watching, I thought you reminded me of someone, so has anyone ever told you that you resemble Jenna Marbles? If so, I apologize if you hear that a lot. Lol Can't wait to pick up some of these books!

  16. You should have read the Sarantine Mosaic duology first 🙁 it gives you so so so much backstory and history when you go into reading CoEaS. You missed out a tad. Regardless I highly recommend you read that duology. It's personally my favourite Kay story. Empress Alixana is like one of my favourite women I've read in a looong time.

  17. Mysterious algorithms lead me to you today and I am so so pleased! I love the way you talk about the books and I look forward to watching more of your videos 😄

  18. Oh my goodness you just had the BEST reading month! I've read one Guy Gavriel Kay book and I've always wanted to pick up more. Definitely, definitely adding this one to my list! I also have Killers of the Flower Moon on my nightstand. I so want to get to it soon. I just love listening to how you talk about books!

  19. Radiance sounds interesting. My degree is in Film Studies and I read a lot of theory & history so I'm curious to see what she's referenced!

  20. Hi. Thanks for a great video. Also, thank you for getting me re interested in listening to the audio versions of the rest of the Guy Gavriel Kay books. I had taken a break from his books after I got done with the Fionavar Tapestry series. I am just about to finish listening to the book Silver Wattle by Belinda Alexandra. I also have it on my agenda to finish reading/listening to the rest of the Land of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *