Book club, book review, reading challenge

August Roundup: Did I make it?

What a month!

The last time I posted was at the begining of August and I had set myself a stellar challenge. In fact, it was so out of this world that when I wrote that post it was the 5th of August and I was already behind schedule.

To refresh, the challenge was to read 9 books, but it was a particular 9 books;

  • One was a Rollover from my July TBR
  • Three were from the Booker Prize longlist, as it had not long been announced and I wanted to read at least a few from the list.
  • Three were Sky Arts Bookclub reads, for the episode that aired on 31st August
  • Two were October reads for: Sky Arts Bookclub and Felixstowe Bookclub, but they were library loans and needed to be back before the end of the month.

So I had a list, a plan of attack, and I was already behind schedule, how did I do . . .

I SMASHED IT!!

I actually ended up reading 19 books!!

At the end of it all I read:

  • The book left over from July TBR
  • Two Felixstowe book club reads (for September and October)
  • Five Sky Arts Book club reads (Three for August, One for September, One for October)
  • One from the Wainwright Prize shortlist
  • NINE from the Booker prize longlist (Just four left now)
  • and one random book that I can’t remember why it was on the list, I thought it was a Sky Arts book club read but it’s not, so now I can’t figure out why I read it.

I think that is the most books I’ve ever read in a month, and also took me to my yearly target for the Goodreads challenge.

I did really enjoy this month, I have had challenges before where reading has become a bit of a chore, but because quite a few of the books were really interesting ones it did keep me engaged. I’ve got four more books left of the Booker Prize longlist, so I’m going to do a post about all of them once I’ve read them. I was hoping to read them all by the time that the shortlist is announced on 14th September. However, it turns out that ‘Bewilderment’ by Richard Powers isn’t released until the 21st of September, I have now requested an ARC from Netgalley but I’m not sure if I’ll get that. Either way, there’ll be a short review of the Booker Prize longlist up by the end of September.

Of the other books, ‘The Khan’ by Saima Mir was a fantastic read, really compelling. Some of the reviews are hailing it as a “South Asian Godfather” which it kind of is in a way, the reading is very filmic and you can practically see the scenes playing out in your head. It’s also so much more than that. Saima Mir herself, in an Interview on Sky Arts Bookclub, said that ‘The Godfather’ was an influence, but The Khan is more about ‘family’, and the strength and intricacies of the characters in the Khan family do keep you hooked.

‘Ramble Book’ by Adam Buxton had a surprising effect on me. This is a glimpse into Adam’s life, his childhood, and his relationship with his father. Whilst Adam Buxton is ten years older than me, of a different sex, and definitely a different class, I did somehow feel a connection with his story. Whether it’s because underneath it all we do have similar experiences growing up, or because my music experiences growing up were just on the fringes on Adams. Or because having lost both my parents to cancer I understand where Adam is coming from, in a way. That he didn’t get his big moment with his dad before he passed away. It’s not like it is in the movies, you don’t have that big revelatory moment where everybody tells each other how they really feel. I was fairly close with both my parents and lucky enough to know how they felt anyway. I didn’t get a big memorable moment with them before they died I just got to watch them fade away.

Gosh! That’s a bit maudlin! On a brighter note, Adam does intersperse his story with funny anecdotes and mimicry, and so i would highly recommend the audiobook for this reason.

To round off, i’m going to share my reading journal insert for this month, because I think i’ve just put myself on a downer and charts make me happy!

The bold lines are where I had scheduled the reading for those books. Also, this is the tracker for physical books, there were also three audiobooks.

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