What I Read This Month: August 2022
I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.
As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.
This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.
When I read books related to an area I’m researching for a writing project, I carefully read and take notes on the parts that interest me, and skim the parts that don’t. So I may list a book that I’ve partly read and partly skimmed. For me, that still “counts.”
You can also follow me on Goodreads where I track books I’ve read.
If you want to see what I read last month, the full list is here.
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of episodes of Backlisted, a books podcast that I love, and many of the suggestions this month were inspired by the hosts’ conversations.
August 2022 Reading:
Caldicott Place by Noel Streatfeild (Amazon) — I love Streatfeild’s work! A delightful children’s book.
One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes (Amazon) — A compelling, quiet novel about the post-World War II era in Britain.
Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions by Susan R. Barry (Amazon, Bookshop) — An absolutely fascinating account of learning to see in 3D at the age of 48. I will never take three-dimensional sight for granted again.
Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson (Amazon, Bookshop) — Absolutely delightful, a light story where good is rewarded and bad is punished or improved. It reminded me of Streatfeild (see above). I plan to read more by Stevenson.
Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden (Amazon) — A classic children’s book set in the time of the Blitz; interesting characters.
A Wreath for the Enemy by Pamela Frankeu (Amazon) — How did I hear about this novel? I have no idea — loved it.
My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley (Amazon, Bookshop) — Guardian Best Books of 2021 preview, Observer Best Books of 2021 preview, Daily Mail Best Books of 2021 preview — a novel about a woman’s complicated relationship with her mother.
Maiden Voyage by Denton Welch (Amazon) — an author’s account of the year he was sixteen, before World War II: he ran away from boarding school, went back to school, then traveled to China with his father.