What I Read This Month: August 2019

After the success of the Coco’s Tea Party Book Club meet-up, earlier this month, I’ve decided to step up the blog’s book content. And I thought it would make sense to share monthly reviews of everything I’ve been reading.

August has been a good reading month. I finished six books, and read a nice mixture of contemporary, literary fiction and lighter, summer reads. However, I must admit that I failed to make it all the way through the August Coco’s Tea Party Book Club pick: Star Crossed by Minnie Drake. The astrology theme sounded soooo up my street, but I just couldn’t get into it. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with the September pick, which I’m announcing next week…

(No Plot Spoilers Below, Fyi)

Nine Perfect Strangers By Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is, of course, the author of Big Little Lies. And although I don’t think Nine Perfect Strangers was anywhere near as captivating as BLL, I did enjoy it. The concept immediately appealed to me – nine strangers check into a 10-day, remote health resort – and it did contain an unexpected twist. However, I didn’t connect with any of the characters and the pace felt a little slow. It was a perfectly okay summer read, but it’s definitely not one of Liane Moriarty’s greatest hits.

2 stars

My Sister, The Serial Killer By Oyinkan Braithwaite

I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy My Sister, the Serial Killer. But I’d seen it appearing in so many summer reading lists, so I eventually checked it out of my local library (a very low stakes way to try a book you might not enjoy). And I’m so pleased I did. I read it in a day, and absolutely loved it!

Korede’s sister Ayoola has a habit of murdering her boyfriends. And it always falls on Korede to clean up Ayoola’s mess. Korede always puts her family first, but when Ayoola starts dating the man Korede is secretly in love with, she is suddenly faced with a big decision: does she betray her sister to save the man she loves?

5 stars

The Perfect Couple By Elin Hilderbrand

Celeste and Benji are due to get married over the fourth of July weekend, on Nantucket. But, on the morning of the big day, Celeste wakes up to find her Maid of Honour dead on the beach. The Chief of Police suspects foul play, and the groom’s wealthy parents are suddenly brought in for questioning. But why has the Best Man run away? And were Celeste and Benji really planning to go ahead with their wedding?

I love Elin Hilderbrand’s addictive beach reads. And this novel was a lot of fun. I highly recommend it if you want something lighthearted and gossip-y for an upcoming holiday.

3 stars

Fleishman Is In Trouble By Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Fleishman is in Trouble is perhaps the most hyped novel of the summer. The story juggles a number of interesting themes – marriage, sex, dating and gender stereotypes, to name a few – and follows Toby Fleishman: a newly-single, 40-something father. Toby has jumped into the single life, and is hooking up with women from dating apps on a nightly basis. But his fun comes to a dramatic halt when his ex-wife disappears.

This book was a weird experience for me. At certain points throughout the novel I was really engrossed in the story, but within a few chapters I’d lose interest again. Overall, I appreciated the fact it’s a great book, but I didn’t fall in love with it.

3 stars

This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage By Ann Patchett

I love Ann Patchett’s writing, so this book of essays felt like a real treat. Before her career as a novelist, Ann Patchett wrote for a number of publications, including Seventeen, Vogue, Gourmet and The New York Times magazine.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a collection of Ann Patchett’s most memorable essays – along with some new stories. If you’re a fan of her novels, this book is a must-read.

4 stars

Home Fire By Kamila Shamsie

I’ve already written about how much I enjoyed Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. So I won’t repeat myself. But, if the dark subject matter has previously discouraged you from picking up the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction winner, I have to encourage you to give it a go. I’ve read over 50 books, so far this year, and Home Fire has been one of the most memorable. It’s truly fantastic!

5 stars