August Reading Roundup

I started August in Kansas at my grandparents house, was back in Colorado for a spell and ended August in Boston back in my apartment getting settled in for the new school year. My classes start (all remotely) next week and I’m looking forward to the way my coursework will intersect as the courses I’m taking (Picturebook, Library Programs and Services for Children, and Storytelling) all have a lot of similarities and I think I’ll be able to bring the knowledge I’ll gain from them together in really cool ways.

Next month I’ll be sure to tell you more about my first month of school, but we’ll save the back to school nonsense until then! Zorro and I have settled back into Boston and I’m really looking forward to fully establishing a routine as I start a new job too.

This Month’s Posts

I only eeked out actual one post this month but with finishing up some travel and packing to move back across the country, I’m sure you can understand why.

However be sure to check it out if you haven’t already: Little House in the Ozarks: A Literary Pilgrimage

And of course, if you want to know a little more about my blog redesign, check out the post Welcome to Bookishly Bright!

What I Read This Month

This was another month of just for fun reading which is always a delight on my end of things! Next month will really pick up with reading for class (including a copius amount of picture books) and possibly an audiobook or two as I anticipate some commuting starting up again soon!

With all that’s happened this month, 10 books is nothing to be ashamed about!

As always, check out my Goodreads page for reviews of each of the titles listed!

  • Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
  • The Proud Breed by Celeste de Blasis
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • How to Speak Boy by Tiana Smith
  • We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund
  • The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeir
  • Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
  • Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

REVIEW – My favorite book of the Month – WE Speak in Storms

Cover image sourced from Goodreads

If you know me, I love a good book set in a small town in the Midwest and We Speak in Storms is no exception.

The town of Mercer, Illinois suffered a massive tragedy over 50 years ago when a tornado touched down at the drive-in movie theater, killing a large swath of an entire generation of Mercerites. So, when a tornado touches down on the anniversary of the drive-in tragedy, Brenna, Joshua, and Callie know that there’s something else going on. And then the ghosts (that only they can see) start to show up.

I really got some similar vibes to one of my favorite set-in-the-rural-Midwest-books, The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo, especially with the inciting action of the novel being a Tornado. I’d love to write a paper about these books in conversation with each other using The Wizard of Oz as an intertext (because hello, tornado and fantasy elements).

What I enjoyed most about this book was the way in which Lund crafted the experiences of the three main characters in the book. Specifically Brenna’s experience as hispanic in a primarily white community was so refreshing to read. Lund worked to show the diversity that exists in the rural Midwest, and I really appreciated that. Additionally Joshua and Callie both have their own struggles going on that were really nuanced and fit well with the supernatural elements of the novel.

Unfortunately, the supernatural didn’t vibe for me as well as it has in other books along the same lines (Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, the aforementioned Deepest Roots ), but it was still a really good way to explore the social and cultural dynamics of Mercer and I applaud Lund’s innovation in this novel.

If you’re like me and have strong Midwestern sensibilities, or love a touch of the supernatural in your reading, then I don’t think you can go wrong with We Speak in Storms.

My Favorite Non-Book Things – Boston Edition

The Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is hands down one of my favorite places in Boston. It’s so incredibly beautiful and I love to take a towel and spread out in the grass on a sunny Saturday afternoon to read and write and just spend time outdoors! I was delighted to be able to be back in the Public Garden (even though the duck pond is currently drained which made me a little bit sad).

Haymarket

I love fruit, and man the Haymarket is the place to get produce in Boston. Open on Fridays and Saturdays, produce is super affordable and in large quantities. One of my favorite things to do is go the Haymarket on Saturdays and see what I can get for minor amounts of money, and then spend Sunday using it to make some sort of baked good. In the past couple of weeks I’ve made a pineapple upside down cake and raspberry crumble bars and have had fruit left over to freeze to use in smoothies.

My Apartment/This Twitter Thread

I’ve been paying rent for 6 months on an apartment I haven’t been living in, so it was really really nice to get back into my apartment for the first time and to just be like “ah yes, here are my things that I have not seen in a long time but they are still my things” the following twitter thread encapsulates some of the things that were in my apartment that I was greatly looking forward to returning to.

Bonus (non-boston) thing: NPR’s 100 FAvorite Books for young readers

One of my go to things to do every morning is sit down with a cup of coffee and read NPR and the New York Times. I was delighted one morning this week to come along NPR’s newly published 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers.

This is a super great list because it has both classic and contemporary texts that were chosen both by reader survey and by a panel of judges which was comprised of librarians, authors, publishers, and other book lovers.

This is a diverse list of titles ranging from board books to picture books and it’s well worth the time to check it out! I’ve added some of the titles to my own personal reading list, and saw several well-loved titles there as well including Dreamers by Yuyi Morales who I had the opportunity to meet last fall at the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards.

That’s it for August. See you in september for a back to School themed reading roundup!

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