Posted in Books and Shows

August 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello!

I’m happy to report that I finished strong with my summer reading! With back to school and less pool (and zero vacay) time, I wondered how many books I’d get read. The answer is five! Today, I’m sharing about the books I read this month, and almost all were so good.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Under the Southern Sky:

Summary:

Recently separated Amelia Saxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

Quick Thoughts:

I’ve loved every Kristy Woodson Harvey book I’ve ever read, and this one was great too. I loved the characters, the setting, and the storyline. This book provided all kinds of emotions from sad to happy and everything in between. It’s definitely a great book to read!

Rating:

Book Lovers:

Summary:

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

Quick Thoughts:

This chick lit book gets an A+ from me. First of all, the title Book Lovers…what’s not to love? I loved the small town setting, and I kind of kept picturing Virgin River on Netflix. The fact that both Nora and Charlie are book agents/editors and were living so many “chick lit” book clichés, made this book a sweet little read.

Fave quote: “Is there anything better than iced coffee and a bookstore on a sunny day? I mean, aside from hot coffee and a bookstore on a rainy day.”

Rating:

Every Summer After:

Summary:

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Quick Thoughts:

This book may just end up in the top 5 books I’ve read this year. Every Summer After was the perfect summer read (and it wasn’t even on my summer reading list!) I loved how the plot was organized with flashbacks to previous summers along with the the present day reunion for Percy and Sam. The idea of a summer love is such a sweet one, and, as a reader, I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom with each summer. Throw in a few other characters, miscommunication, a bit of drama, and other complicated relationships, and you have the making of a great book. I loved this one so much.

Rating:

The Chain:

Summary:

It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die.

“You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last.” Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals—and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you’d have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago.

But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.

Quick Thoughts:

The plot idea of this book is what made me pick it up at the library. Honestly, the first half was a 5/5 to me, but then the second half felt more like a 3. Some parts just didn’t seem realistic and other parts were predictable or forced. Everything came together in the end, but I felt like I had to force myself to finish this book. It just fell flat for me in the end.

Rating:

This Time Tomorrow:

Summary:

What if you could take a vacation to your past?

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?

Quick Thoughts:

This book was another win for me. Like Shay mentioned yesterday, this book had a 13 Going on 30 mixed with Groundhog’s Day vibe, and I agree. Honestly, that’s what I liked about it. While reading this book, I also kept thinking of One Italian Summer that I read in July. In One Italian Summer, Katy goes to Italy after her mother dies and ends up seeing her mom when she was younger. This book felt similar in that way in regards to Alice and her father, Leonard.

I loved the connection to Leonard’s books about time travel and then that being an essential part of Alice’s life. This book tugged at my heartstrings in parts, and I loved the father/daughter relationship. Reading about how Alice’s life was, could have been, and how she was living also kept my interest. While I knew how some parts of the book would wrap up, I wanted to see how everything would end for Alice. While I don’t think this book would be a top 5 read for me this year, I think it would be a top 10 for sure.

Rating:

Summer Reading Update:

I wasn’t tied to this list, but it was a good guide for me. When I started the summer, I was on a long wait list for most of these, and then they started to become available just around vacation time….which was perfect timing!

I predicted that I’d read five of these books, and I ended up reading six of them.

  • Read: Summer Love, The Summer Job, The Summer Getaway, One Italian Summer, The Hotel Nantucket
  • Read this month: Under the Southern Sky
  • Didn’t read: Boardwalk Bookshop and Out of the Clear Blue Sky

The two I didn’t read were both in my possession at some point in the summer, but I never got to reading them. Others were waiting for them, so I did my civic library duty and returned them without reading. I didn’t want someone else to miss out! Maybe I will get to read them next year.

I ended up reading 14 books this summer (June-August), and it’s just what I needed. Going into summer, I was behind in my Goodreads goal of 40 books this year, and now I’m back on track (one book ahead!) with 27/40 books read.

What was the best book you read this summer? I will add it to my “summer list” on Goodreads.

14 thoughts on “August 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

  1. You had some good ones and I am impressed by how much you read in August! I still am on the list for Every Summer After and I hope I am not too far out of summer to read it by then. I am not reading much, but I am hoping to over Labor Day weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great month of reading! I have a few of these on my TBR list and I see another from your wanted to read list that I’m adding to mine as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am half way through “Horse”. It is very well written, full of interesting characters, and has historical relevance. Strongly recommend it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Should finish The Bungalow by Sarah Jio today. It is very good and I can’t wait to see how it ends. I wasn’t sure if I was saying that was my favorite I read this summer because it’s all I could think of since it is my current read but I just went back through my library checkout list of the summer and while most were enjoyable, that weren’t memorable and this one definitely is. It took me just a little while to get into it but it has been so worth it.

    Like

  5. Thanks for the recommendations! I just started Every Summer After… I have been on the waitlist for all summer. I wasn’t sure about This Time Tomorrow after reading Shays review so I will put it on my list. She did not like Lessons in Chemistry either and I really did so I’m glad to have a difference of opinion to encourage me to check it out 🙂
    One of my favorites this summer was Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I found it to be a very quick read and the pretense behind it (kind of a Sliding Doors) is not something that I have read very often.

    Like

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