Summer is in full swing with grasses turned gold and wildflowers towering over them in my yard. I can’t mow down a wildflower, so I’ll read instead. Stay in where it is cool… and read.
My August Word of the Month
My August Haiku of the Month
A day of bright peace
Blackberries ripen outside
There is always hope.
Bible Verse of the Month
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
My August reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
I’m trying something new this month. I want to read a “Random Number Generator” book and the book will be one of those listed on this page: 101 Great Books Recommended by the College Board – Classic Novels and Plays. At this point I’ve read 37 out of 100 of these classics, and I want to up my score. I got #97 via the Google random number generator… it is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, which is available at Project Gutenberg. A poetry collection!
What I’m reading during August 2020
☆ – I own the book and am ready to read.
★★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
Hold-over books from last month or some previous month:
Goals to wrap up my reading of these books.
1. The Creative License… Last month I read from page 105 through 138. It is a fun book full of text and sketches and inspiration, but not something I want to read straight through quickly. There are about 60 more pages.
2. Finding Divine Inspiration – I’m still working my way through this book and the study guide that goes with it.
3. It’s All in the Story: California – I’m not in any hurry to get through these stories. I’ll read just a few each month. I’m keeping track of the stories on a different blog page – An Anthology of California Short Stories.
More Books I’m Currently Reading
★★ Christian: Ladies of Gold, vol. 1, compiled by James Maloney
This is the first volume of a collection of the writings of members of the Ministry of the Golden Candlestick, a Christian group of mostly women who met together for many years starting in the 1940’s. I’ve been reading it for about a week already – aiming for only 5 pages a day, but I often go over. Right now I’m 32% into it. I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #31: A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title.
✓ Memoir: Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath, by Louise Wagenknecht
I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #7: The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed. This is a regional memoir of a woman who was raised in the area where I live now, back in the 1960’s. I’ve read 8 chapters already.
More Books I’d Like to Read During August 2020
★★ Dystopian Fiction: Blindness, by José Saramago
I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #A-3: A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision). This is a dystopian novel in which society collapses due to a plague of blindness.
✓ Memoir: Know My Name, by Chanel Miller
I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #A-1: A book written by an author in their 20’s. The author was the victim in a high-profile rape case. I hope I don’t have a hard time reading this as I’ve also been a rape victim. I just read another memoir written by a rape victim and it wasn’t the easiest experience.
☆ Ghost Fiction: Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #30: A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader. I want to read this also because of the innovative formatting, which is why I got a paperback copy. All that would be lost in an audiobook version.
✓ Christian: Anxious For Nothing, by Max Lucado
Picked this up at midmonth … it is a Christian book about anxiety.
✓ Juvenile Fiction: It’s Like This, Cat, by Emily Neville
I’m a Newbery completist wannabe… meaning, for years I’ve been wanting to read all the Newbery Medal winning books. This is one of them. It won the Newbery Medal in 1964. Nice lightweight novel about a 14-year-old boy living in Manhattan with an adopted stray tomcat named Cat.
★★ Tween Graphic Novel: New Kid, by Jerry Craft
This year’s Newbery Medal winner! It is a graphic novel. Just got a copy!
✓ YA Historical Novel: Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson
Absolutely loved this novel about a sixteen year old girl who inherits a homesteading claim in Montana. What a brave and industrious character! Well-written, with Christian values.
☆ Historical Fiction: Ireland, by Frank Delaney
I’ve tried to find time to read this novel for the last two years and am going to try again to get it read. I actually have a much better setup for reading right now, so there’s hope. It might not happen until September, but I’m putting it on my August list because I’m an eternal optimist. I’m reading this for 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #34: A book you meant to read in 2019.
DNF Horror: Devoted, by Dean Koontz
I got about ten chapters into it – and decided to go no further. The evil character was way more evil than anyone I wanted to spend time reading about. The rest of the novel was interesting and the dog was adorable, but even that would not make me want to spend another moment reading a novel with that evil man in it. Most likely I’ll never again try to read a Dean Koontz novel. This was my first and last.
DNF Fiction: When We Believed in Mermaids, by Barbara O’Neal
Seriously hated this over-sexed novel. From the description I expected a novel about a woman searching for her sister who she thought had been killed in a terrorist attack years ago. It was that, but a romance sub-plot developed that included somewhat explicit sex. No way am I going to read smut fiction. So tired of authors writing this garbage. I left a review with my opinion at Goodreads.
My August 2020 Reading Diary
August 1 – Wait for it . . . YES… August is here! I’m trying to get through my stack of current reads today. Reading a little bit of everything. Really want to move on. Have to admit that When We Believed in Mermaids has taken a dark turn for me: romance. I’m so not into reading romances these days. It might be a DNF. Haven’t totally given up yet. The initial premise of finding a sister the MC thought was dead intrigued me. But then the MC says this about a Spanish guy she meets in a restaurant: “He laughs. The sound is robust, full of life. I sip my wine, assessing. It wouldn’t be so terrible to have a roll in the hay. It’s been a while.” Really? This MC is a doctor. You would think she’d have her life together more than to just want a strange man for a one-night-stand. I’m kind of disgusted by her attitude right now. I really should ditch this book. It probably won’t get better.
August 2 – Still reading When We Believed in Mermaids. The romance turned sexual and it was just as bad as I’d expected. Perhaps worse. Too explicit. I wish I had skipped that chapter. The rest of the plot is interesting. I’m very disappointed that this author thinks we want to read smut. Even more disappointed that so many women would probably like reading that, like that “Shades of Gray” book I never read because I heard it was soft-porn. That’s not what I want or need. I just want good storytelling, great characters, and an intriguing plot. Please! Today I filmed my month-end video but I’m still wrangling with the editing of it.
Finally got it edited….
August 4 – I’m still on the edge regarding whether or not I’ll DNF When We Believed in Mermaids. Pros are good character development, compelling characters, and an intriguing plot. Cons – well, there’s just one – the disgusting sex scenes. How I wish I could tell writers they degrade their writing by doing that. That’s the way I feel about it. I’ve been spending the day watching Booktube videos to interact with the community – and haven’t got much reading done, aside from the Bible reading I’ve been doing. I very much want to just go sit in the comfy chair, put up my feet, and read. I’ve joined the Noom weight loss app and need to finish my reading there for the day (lots of short psychology type articles each day). I’ve lost five pounds this week so I’m happy with the results. Trying to get back to where I was before the Covid 19 crisis. [Later…] I’ve DNF’ed When We Believed in Mermaids, definitely.
August 5 – Today I’ve been reading Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath. This memoir is not a page turner, but is an insightful way to learn about the area in which I now live. Louise is a great writer but in some cases went too far in telling things about people in this community, so the book is not a favorite here. Some of the people she wrote somewhat negative things about are still here or have relatives who are still living here. So, the book seems like a mixture of good and bad – but her story and writing style will outweigh the bad for a lot of readers. It is just such a sad thing that some people are offended at what she wrote… and rightfully so. She no longer lives around here so I guess from a distance she just wanted to tell her truth. Anyhow, after all that reading, I’m only half-way through the book.
August 6 – I started audio-reading Know My Name today – a memoir by a rape victim at Stanford University. I didn’t realize it is such a L-O-N-G memoir. 15 hours via audiobook. Hope I can persevere with it. I am a rape victim so sometimes I get triggered but circumstances were so different. She was drunk and didn’t even remember what happened.. and her perpetrator was caught so there was a trial. I never even reported being raped. Twice. It was many, many years ago. I think I’m healed, but what do I know? I’ve also been reading more of Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath today, and read my normal 5 pages in Ladies of Gold. A friend sent me a link for a Scholastic Books fundraiser for a local organization – and I put $120 worth of books in my shopping cart, getting excited again about children’s literature. Then at checkout I saw that they added over $20 for shipping and another $10+ for tax! No thank you! I’m not going to pay an extra 30 dollars for tax and shipping. Back to Amazon for me. Or Christianbooks.com – I’m thinking of making an order there so they’ll start sending me their catalogs again. Their prices are very reasonable and shipping is fast – and no, they’re not paying me to say this. I’ve just been very happy every time I’ve ordered from them.
August 8 – I got a little reading done in a few books, but overall am not impressed with my progress today. I did, however, start a painting and republished a book review at Literature For Kids.
August 9 – It was Sunday and so the Bible, and churches (I watch 2 online.) Later I got back into my Literature For Kids website and began looking for books set in each of the US states… one more little obsession of mine. I love lists. Still looking for books to fit some states. Working hard on this. So much fun. Then could not help but want to read one of my beloved Newbery list books, and started It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville.
August 10 – Still reading It’s Like This, Cat. I feel like I’m on vacation from my usual reading. Maybe I was hungry for fiction. My other books in progress are memoirs, and that can get old after a while. They’re really good memoirs, but too much of anything can get tedious.
August 13 – I spent most of the day in Yreka! First time I left my small town in the forest since February! Good to see people are living normal lives out there. I got my van serviced and ready for a longer trip. It is a two hour drive each way, and while driving I listened to the audiobook, Know My Name. She’s a good writer, but that book goes on and on and on forever…….. it seems. She had a lot to say about being a rape victim, then re-victimized in the hospital and court. I’m near the end of chapter 7 now… and there are about 15 chapters, and each chapter is about an hour! I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the book though her writing is fantastic. While waiting for the van to be worked on I finished reading It’s Like This, Cat via Kindle. I’m too tired to write a review tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
August 14 – I wrote two reviews of It’s Like This, Cat… one at my blog, Literature For Kids, and another at Goodreads. I also read the first seven chapters of Devoted by Dean Koontz. First Dean Koontz book I’ve ever read. This book was published very recently, on March 31, 2020. Seems like I’ve read a lot of newly published books this year. I don’t always do that. I’m also still reading Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath. Currently reading chapter 13 out of 20… on page 136 out of 215. I think some of the last chapters are short.
August 15 – Just finished reading the 16th chapter in Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath… only four more to read. Maybe I can finish tomorrow. My next paperback will be Lincoln in the Bardo. I have been dieting and right now I’m hungry. Last year I lost 40 pounds with Nutrasystem, but during my Covid isolation time from March to June I gained back 20 pounds! Now I’m trying to lose them again using the Noom diet app. Pricey, but interesting. It is based on psychology and there’s daily reading to do. I’ve lost about five pounds already. Yay. But tonight, I’m hungry. I just read chapter 2 in New Kid, the new Newbery Medal Winner for 2020. It is a graphic novel. Also today I listened to another chapter in Know My Name, the memoir about rape. I think I’m in chapter nine now. I will go to bed now and read a bit more in Devoted.
August 17 – I just finished reading Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath. Reviewed it on Goodreads. Liked it except for about two words. Now my hard copy book will be New Kid only. I read another chapter today.
August 19 – This is my parents’ wedding anniversary. They were married in 1949, in Oakland. Today I DNF’ed another novel: Devoted, a 2020 novel by Dean Koontz. This was the first-ever book by Koontz that I’d tried to read. He apparently is good at creating evil characters, and I am not good at reading about them. To me, that kind of great evil is not something to soak my mind in. There are plenty of other books to read. I listened to quite a lot of the sexual assault memoir, Know My Name, by Chanel Miller. Hoping to finish listening to it tonight. Today I released my newest book video. This one is about books I recently purchased.
Here’s the list of books mentioned:
Ginger Pye, by Eleanor Estes
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
Blue Willow, by Doris Gates
New Kid, by Jerry Craft
Planning to read…………….
The Earthsea Cycle Series, by Ursula LeGuin
Escape From Fire Mountain, by Gary Paulsen
Nothing But the Truth, by Avi
Ranch Woman’s Manual, by Gwen Petersen
Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
60 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds (or More), by Robert D. Lesslie, MD
Your Next 24 Hours, by Hal Donaldson, Kirk Noonan
It’s Not Supposed to be This Way, by Lisa Terkeurst
August 22 – I finished audio-reading Anxious For Nothing by Max Lucado last night. Not sure what I’ll listen to next.
August 28 – I’ve been out of town for the last week. I had to go to Idaho to empty out my place there… and while on the trip I read a few books: Hillinger’s California, Nomadland, Idaho State Parks, and Hattie Big Sky. Also started reading Blindness but didn’t finish yet. It is very depressing.
August 29 – Not a great day for literature. If I spent any time reading, I don’t remember it.
August 30 – I watch two church services each Sunday morning. At 9am I listen to Pastor Bob at North Country Chapel, Post Falls, Idaho – the church where I surrendered my life to Jesus in 2013. Right now we’re reading 2 Timothy 2. Second, I listen to my local church service via Facebook. We’re reading and learning more about Acts 2 today. [Later…] I did get some reading done today – mainly New Kid and California Ghost Town Trails.
Here’s my August 2020 reading wrapup video..