The Sunday Salon: My August Book Stack

July turned out to be a decent month for reading, better than expected, which is a good thing since I was in a bit of a funk a month ago.  I finished six books this month, five from my July book stack, and an impulse read: E.F. Benson’s Miss Mapp (review coming soon).  I’ve actually read six and a half books — as July draws to a close, I’m still reading The Stories of Edith Wharton, this month’s “short and sweet” bedtime reading.  As much as I love Wharton, I’ve found these stories hard going — they’re all rather depressing.  And maybe I’m getting a little burned out on short stories after reading them all year.  I haven’t given up on this book, I’m just taking it more slowly.

Now, what have I chosen to guide me through the dog days of August?

  • A Few Green Leaves, by Barbara Pym:  This is August’s group read over in the LibraryThing Virago Group, where we’re reading one Pym each month in honor of her centenary.
  • Chatterton Square, by E.H. Young:  Young always brightens my mood with her stories set in Radstowe (aka Bristol).  This Virago Modern Classic is also on my Classics Club list.
  • Chorus of Mushrooms, by Hiromi Goto:  BuriedinPrint recommended this book ages and ages ago, and I went off in search of a copy, only to allow it to languish on my shelves.  Time to remedy that!  Besides, I read so much American and English literature, it’s nice to mix it up sometimes.
  • Questions of Travel, by Michelle de Kretser: This novel won the Miles Franklin Prize at almost exactly the same time that I received it as a gift from a dear friend.  It’s been calling my name ever since, so this is the first book I’ll read in August.

Of course I’ll keep working my way through The Stories of Edith Wharton, and I’m also looking forward to reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new novel, Americanah, which I’ve requested from my local library.

What books are you looking forward to reading in August?
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11 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: My August Book Stack

  1. Americanah is on my reading list too – though not sure when I’ll get to it. I don’t plan my reading too far in advance. Usually only 2 or 3 books ahead.

    • I admit to being an over-planner. I used to plan a few months in advance. Now I pull together a stack at the beginning of each month, but sometimes I change my mind!

  2. Nice books Laura! I am struggling just a little with short stories too as I read quite quickly but don’t like to just gobble one down and move onto the next! I have started “The Harsh Voice”, a collection of four long short stories by Rebecca West, and plan on reading something else alongside them so I can take a break between each one. Plus it’s a Virago so will be good for August!!

    • Karen, reading short stories at bedtime helps me not “gobble down and move on to the next,” because when I finish a story it’s usually 24 hours until I start a new one (and meanwhile, I’ve probably read a bit from my other current read). I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the Rebecca West, I love her writing.

  3. I just started reading Americanah. Her writing is beautiful and within the first few pages she successfully transports you to another culture. On my stack for August is What Alice Forgot, The Dinner and Three Strong Women. It’s been a banner summer for books!

    • Lori, I am glad to hear praise for Americanah. There are several people ahead of me at the library, so I have to be patient. :( I agree it’s been a great summer for reading — from your stack, I’ve only read The Dinner which was dark and disturbing, but in a “good summer reading” kind of way. Enjoy!

  4. I just put Questions of Travel in my giveaway stack to take to my library. Maybe I should read it first now? :-) I’m looking forward to rereading some of my favorite books in August since it’s my birth month. I hope you get a lot of reading done in August!

    • Hmm Vasilly, I’m not sure how to advise you. I’m enjoying Questions of Travel so far. But if it’s been on your shelves for a while, maybe it’s just not for you. I hope you enjoy your birthday month of re-reading!

  5. The only one that I’ve read is the Goto novel, but I’ve read others by the other three authors and they seem so different; I hope Chorus of Mushrooms isn’t so different that it feels awkward. But, oh, I do love women’s stories and CoM is sooo about that. And, in that sense, it should fit perfectly! (I’m so itching to read the deKretser novel; I didn’t LOVE her first novel, but I was impressed by it, and everything I’ve heard/seen about this new one makes it sound unmissable!)

    • BIP, it was thanks to you that I acquired CoM (quite some time ago now), and I’m excited to read it. It’s next up on my TBR so I hope to finish in August as expected. I’ve read everything else on my stack, but am still waiting on Americanah at my library.

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