Reading Round-Up: August 2012

Reading is my oldest and favorite hobby.  I literally can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love to curl up with a good book.  Here are my reads for August, 2012…

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1), by Catherynne Valente – September is a young girl growing up in Omaha, whose life is rather boring until one day, when a Green Wind comes to her window and spirits her away to Fairyland on the back of a Leopard.  But rather than the dreamy wonderland she expects, September finds a Fairyland mired in conflict and ruled by an evil Marquess.  I loved this sweet, incredibly creative addition to the young adult genre.  September was a lovely heroine, her friends were stalwart and brave, and funny too, and the Marquess was a deliciously evil counterpoint – but one with a backstory.  I’ll be eagerly anticipating the next installment.  Fully reviewed here.

The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise, by Julia Stuart – I really enjoyed this sweet, whimsical, yet sad tale of a Beefeater who is put in charge of Her Majesty’s Royal Menagerie.  Balthazar Jones is as surprised as anyone when he is tapped for this exceedingly smelly task – and his wife, Hebe Jones, decides it’s the last straw.  Balthazar’s and Hebe’s stories are interspersed with the stories of other residents of the Tower of London.  I laughed and cried, sometimes on the same page.  Recommended to fellow Anglophiles, or to anyone who loves a good story with some exceptionally quirky characters.  Fully reviewed here.

Shine Shine Shine, by Lydia Netzer – I had to try this one out after seeing rave review after rave review in the book blogosphere, and Shine Shine Shine has earned every bit of positive press it’s gotten.  The story of the crumbling marriage between astronaut Maxon Mann and his Stepford wife, Sunny, is touching and riveting.  Sunny’s perfect life comes crashing down when she gets into a car accident and loses her wig, revealing to the entire neighborhood that she is, in fact, completely bald.  Meanwhile, Maxon’s rocket has experienced an accident in space, and he may not come home.  The question is – does Sunny want her husband back?  Shine Shine Shine was beautiful and powerful.  Loved.  Fully reviewed here.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I’d been meaning to read this, it seemed, forever.  I really enjoyed this perennial TBR-sitter once I made the time for it.  The imagery was beautiful and the story was captivating.  I can see why it’s a classic, for sure – lovely.

My August reading pretty much ground to a halt about two-thirds of the way through the month, when my baby girl arrived two months early.  Still, I enjoyed every one of the books I did read this month, so I’m calling it a win.  My reading lists will be a little bit lighter from now on, for awhile (in volume, that is – I’m still shooting for all good, enjoyable books).  But I’m still reading, and my September book list is coming up next week, so stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “Reading Round-Up: August 2012

    • I think you’d especially like “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…” – it’sa young adult book but SO smart and beautifully written!

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