What I Read in August

August is probably my least favorite month, let’s just get that established. It’s hot, it’s humid, fall is so close but so far away… it’s rough. My reading started out rough this month too, and it was more than halfway through the month before I realized I had only finished 5 books… that’s slow for me. I kicked things up a notch (and went to a silent reading party which helped!) and ended strong, just in time for September and FALL to begin. Let’s goooooo! I focused heavily on catching up on books publishers have sent me and clearing out my bookshelves this month, and it felt great! Zero library books were read this month which is new for me, but it’s been so good to lighten the load of my unread bookshelves. Anyway!

Here’s what I read this August!

ps— affiliate links are included!


my top rec:

my 2019 goal progress:

?? books this month

??/150 total


Recursion by Blake Crouch

rating: ★★★★★

review: Never before has a book so completely blown my mind and fascinated me and wowed me and also freaked me out. 🤯This one is INSANE and intense and incredible. It’s psychological thriller meets sci-fi meets love story which sounds weird but it WORKS. This one will have my mind spinning for days— what a wild story of memories and timelines and what humans will do in the name of good and evil. It’s going to take me a while to get over this one.

thanks to: Random House for the free book!


The Farm by Joanna Ramos

rating: ★★☆☆☆

review: This one was one of my summer goal reads— it’s Handmaid’s Tale-esque, but slow and ultimately fell flat for me. It’s much more character focused than plot driven, and while it is an interesting commentary on racial divides and what women will do for their families and their futures, it didn’t ever really hook me and I found the ending super disappointing. Not a win for me!

thanks to: Random House for the free book!


Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

rating: ★★★☆☆

review: Oh, you thought I was done reading Colleen Hoover books this summer? FAR FROM IT. This one took me a bit to get into— it’s told in alternating perspectives, one from a character in the present and one from a character in the past (written in a very different style). It won me over, though, and surprised me in the end! (trigger warning— there’s a tragic part of this one involving a baby!)


Beginner’s Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now by Liz Bohannon

rating: ★★★★☆

review: I heard @lizbohannon speak at @glnsummit and instantly grabbed her book (pub date: 10/1!) — it’s a FUN read, full of amazing advice for building a meaningful and impactful life, and written in her signature sassy, spunky, bold voice. I was a big fan! I will say, I think I loved this one even more because I had just heard her speak on some of the key points, but I think anyone (entrepreneurs, leaders, creatives especially) would find this engaging and inspiring. She’s done amazing things through her work with @ssekodesigns and I’m all about it.


How to Pray: Reflections and Essays by C.S. Lewiss

rating: ★★★☆☆

review: C.S. Lewis is my main man. Seriously— his wisdom and writing have influenced my life and faith SO MUCH. This book was given to me by coworker friends and I’ve loved reading through it in my quiet times over the last few weeks. It’s a collection of things he has written on prayer in other books and letters, and there were so many helpful and encouraging nuggets in it! I especially loved that each “chapter” was centered on a common question about prayer— Each one was a question I have wondered about at some point in my faith, and it was so helpful! It’s a small book but would be a great starting point for anyone really wanting to dive deeper into all that prayer is.


That’s What Frenemies Are For by Sophie Littlefield

rating: ★★☆☆☆

review: This one was not a favorite, I’m sad to say. I love a good chick lit read and am not above a good socialite drama, but this one took waaaaaaaay too long to build, felt totally predictable, and just never hooked me. I made it to the end but I’m not really sure why I stuck with it? (Also, side note— co-authors baffle me. Like how does that actually work?! Maybe that’s why this one didn’t quite feel like it all connected and worked well?)

thanks to: Random House for the free book!


Summer Island by Kristin Hannah

rating: ★★★★★

review: Me right now: 😭😭😭 This book has done me in. It was perfect. I needed a read like this after a slow and mostly boring month of books so far... Kristin Hannah can do no wrong. Love love love.


The Book of Dreams by Nina George

rating: ★★★★★

review: This one was LOVELY and transcendent and touching and warm and just completely wonderful. I treasured every chapter, every dream, every insight and interlude. It truly is a book of dreams, a book of love and loss and life, a story of comas and connections, of rescues and romance and redemption... I could go on. I loved it.

thanks to: Random House for the free book!


Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman

rating: ★★☆☆☆

review: First off— this cover is totally misleading... it takes place in the snowy Northeast? Second— the flap mentions a murder that tears apart a group of friends... nobody dies until the VERY end and it doesn’t tear apart the friends at all? Third— I kept waiting for something to HAPPEN or the story to start... it never really did. So... there ya have it.

thanks to: Random House for the free book!


A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

rating: ★★★★☆

review: Flew through this one during last weekend’s Silent Reading Party and I LOVED it. It tackled some hard and heavy topics in a real and readable way. Suuuuch a solid YA read, such timely content, such endearing characters.


Thirst by Mary Oliver

rating: ★★★★★

review: This might take the cake for my most favorite Mary Oliver book... the focus on faith and the psalms just got me riiiiight in the feels and I flagged so many of these beautiful poems. Big, big, big fan. I’m still on a mission to read every word she wrote— couldn’t love her more if I tried.


Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner

rating: ★★☆☆☆

review: I really wish I made better notes of where/when I heard about books or remembered who recommended them to me... I know there was a reason I snagged this one a while back but who knows what it was now. It wasn’t a book I needed to read in the season of life and faith I’m in, but there were several beautiful lines and thoughts that I highlighted and loved even still.


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

rating: ★★★★★

review: This one was as good as you all said — I couldn’t put it down and it was just the best story of family and forgetting and remembering and rebuilding and redemption. Loved it. I get the Liane Moriarty hype now! What should I read next by her?!


The Learning Curve by Mandy Berman

rating: ★★★★☆

review: I got sucked into this book FAST. The character development is A+ and it’s just written WELL and I really, really enjoyed it. The last third seemed to lose some of the spark, but I ultimately was pleased and satisfied with how it ended even though it wasn’t a perfectly tied up ending or what I expected at all. This is just a good book with good writing and good characters and a REALLY GOOD cover design.

thanks to: Random House for the free book!


Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

rating: ★★★★☆

review: Continuing my summer of Colleen Hoover... this one took a massive turn I did not expect and really needed trigger warnings for. I was too deep to give up so I stuck it out and it ultimately was an incredibly powerful story, but man, it was hard for me to read. (Trigger warnings for sexual abuse, rape— with her father, suicide.) It’s the thing I think i love most about Hoover’s writing though— how she weaves such intense and deep and necessary topics and themes into what at first just seems to be a love story... it’s so well crafted and so powerful, just can be emotional and rough when it’s subject matter you know all too well. It’s hard for me to say I “recommend” this one, but if you can handle the themes, it really is an excellently written story that will break your heart and give you hope in a powerful way.


Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

rating: ★★☆☆☆

review: Had to read this one last night after reading Hopeless, since it’s Dean’s point of view in contrast to Sky’s! It felt mostly repetitive and not unique enough to really stand on its own, but there were some added insights and letters to his sister that did add dimension to the overall story. Mostly though, I think Hopeless stood fine without this one!


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