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Book Worm: August Book Review

August was a busy month for reading! I got a little behind on my Goodreads challenge of reading 52 books this year so I'm trying to catch up! I feel like August was a good reflection of my reading tastes - they're varied. My favorite for the month was definitely All the Light We Cannot See. I'm not sure why I was so far behind everyone (it seems like everyone read it last summer!) who read this already, but better late than never. Close second was The Rosie Project. Read on for my reviews.

1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
My take on it: I absolutely LOVED this novel. Please be warned though, if you're looking for a fast paced WWII historical fiction novel, this isn't it (one of those later). This isn't a book that you read for pace, it's a book that you read for the language, the beautiful prose and intricately woven storyline of the characters. I don't want to give away much of the storyline, but it's beautiful, unique and thought provoking.

2. West with the Night, Beryl Markham
My take on it: I wish I was Beryl Markham! Markham's memoir chronicles her life from a eventful childhood in Africa through her adult years when she attempted to be the first woman to fly solo from East to West across the Atlantic Ocean. This book was incredible. Markham's writing is simply wonderful as she tells stories of race horses and elephant hunting in the bush. I especially enjoyed the pieces about her time as a race horse trainer. I have to agree with Ernest Hemingway on this, "She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer . . . [She] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers . . . It is really a bloody wonderful book." Read it, I think you'll be just as enchanted with it.

3. At the Water's Edge, Sara Gruen
My take on it: Let me start by saying that the entire premise of this novel is ridiculous! We all know that taking your wife and best friend on a wild goose chase to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster in the middle of WWII is absolutely insane! Yet that's what this book is about and I actually liked it. Once you get over how preposterous this whole thing is the book is actually quite enjoyable. I would recommend this as an airplane book. It's fluffy, and dissolves like cotton candy but still kind of sweet. And the book jacket is beautiful...

4. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
My take on it: This was kind of emotional for me and to be honest I think there are two different camps for this one. You either loved it, or you didn't. We're dealing with a few topics throughout the book, the most controversial of which is assisted suicide. Will is a quadriplegic who prior to being in a freak accident was a highly successful business man living life to the fullest. Now wheelchair bound he believes that he cannot continue to live in a body that is in constant decay. Lou loses her job working in the local café and is hired by Will's family to keep him company. You can guess how this is going to go. I would recommend the read, but be warned social hot topics ahead.

5. The American Heiress, Daisy Goodwin
My take on it: I've heard this compared to Downton Abbey which was why I picked it up. Other than the upstairs/downstairs dynamic it's not very Downton like. I think I enjoyed this book the least which was disappointing to me because I had high hopes. Cora Cash is an American millionaire's daughter who seeking a title (highly promoted by snobbish mother) marries an English Duke. Floundering naively through English society, Cora begins to realize that not everything is as it seems. We have a love triangle (of course!), snooty English butlers, an undermining mother in law and backstabbing friends - all the makings of a great summer read! Unfortunately for me they just didn't come together and I felt that the author didn't know how to end the story. I would say skip this one.

6. The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
My take on it:  If there was a novel about Sheldon Cooper trying to find a wife using scientific methods this would be it. I loved this novel. I thought it was charming and funny. Don Tillman has decided to find a wife so he develops the wife project and by way of questionnaire begins to search for the perfect woman. Enter Rosie; a smoking, cussing, barmaid who has enough emotional baggage to load up a train. Definitley not a suitable mate, and wife project reject. Together they set out to find Rosie's biological father - hilarity ensues. Read it.

So there you have it! All of my reads from August. Who has recommendations for September?

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