August 2013 Wrap-Up & September Plans

Posted August 31, 2013 by Heather in Monthly Wrap-ups / 27 Comments

THE PANOPTICON book quote

Fall is here, the kids have gone back to school, and almost everyone I talk to on a daily basis is looking forward to cooler weather. Blerg. Didn’t I just finish shoveling the driveway like two weeks ago? There are many things I love about the northeast, but cold weather and two-month summers aren’t on that list. I do have lots of good books lined up for the cold season, though, so that’s a plus.

I don’t really have anything exciting to tell you about the month of August. It was pretty much just business as usual. OH! But I did kick my caffeine habit, which I’m very proud of. Not that I was a huge caffeine fiend, but I did drink more Pepsi that I probably should have. I decided to just kick it cold turkey (which probably wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done), and let me tell you: caffeine withdrawal headaches are NOT THE BUSINESS. Oh my goodness. For five straight days I thought my head was going to crack in two and a chest-burster (head-burster?) was going to pop out. It was TERRIBLE. But I’m now on day four without any sign of a headache, so I think I’m over it. Many people are not so lucky and end up going through MUCH worse symptoms than I had, so I’m thankful. A couple of days ago I realized that what I really miss is the taste of Pepsi, so I got the caffeine-free stuff in case I want a glass now and then. Part of kicking the Pepsi was also kicking the sugar, so I still won’t be drinking it every day like I used to. I’ll say it again: I’m quite proud of myself.

Anyway, on to the stats:

Books finished: 20
YTD: 147

  • Wild Seed, Octavia Butler — 8/3/13
  • The Perfume Collector, Kathleen Tessaro — 8/4/13
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard, Diane Duane — 8/6/13
  • In the Land of the Living, Austin Ratner — 8/9/13
  • The Heroine’s Bookshelf, Erin Blakemore — 8/11/13
  • Deep Wizardry, Diane Duane — 8/11/13
  • The Quiet American, Graham Greene — 8/12/13
  • Race Across the Sky, Derek Sherman — 8/15/13
  • The Sexy Part of the Bible, Kola Boof — 8/16/13
  • Gods and Beasts, Denise Mina — 8/17/13
  • Sugar in My Bowl, Erica Jong (editor) — 8/18/13
  • The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells — 8/20/13
  • The Panopticon, Jenni Fagan — 8/22/13
  • Mystery Girl, David Gordon — 8/24/13
  • Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy — 8/24/13
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt — 8/25/13
  • The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene — 8/27/13
  • Mind of My Mind, Octavia Butler — 8/28/13
  • Cycle of the Werewolf, Stephen King — 8/29/13
  • The Explorer, James Smythe — 8/29/13

My favorites this month were Diane Duane’s Young Wizard books, The Panopticon, and The Secret History, although I really liked everything I read in August (oh, aside from Sugar in My Bowl which I give the big thumbs-down).

Pages read: 6,432
YTD: 49,463

Number of pages read in August 2013Number of pages read in August, by day

Currently Reading:

More September reads:

  • High Wizardry, Diane Duane
  • A Wizard Abroad, Diane Duane
  • The Wizard’s Dilemma, Diane Duane
  • A Wizard Alone, Diane Duane
  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (#TuesBookTalk)
  • The Explanation for Everything, Lauren Grodstein (BOOK CLUB)
  • Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (Twitter Book Club)
  • Clay’s Ark, Octavia Butler (Blerd Book Club)
  • Haven, Kay Hooper (Library book club)
  • The Black Count, Tom Reiss (Library book club)
  • Thinner, Richard Bachman (Read All the SK)
  • Mother, Mother, Koren Zailckas (TLC Book Tours)
  • The Returned, Jason Mott (TLC Book Tours)
  • The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty
  • The Girl You Left Behind, Jojo Moyes
  • Song of Susannah, Stephen King
  • Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
  • HHhH, Laurent Binet (The Readers Book Club)
  • (Plus whatever else I feel like reading spontaneously…)

What was the best book you read in August? What are you most looking forward to in September? Let me know in the comments.

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  • I’m looking forward to my RIP reads in September as well as a couple of classics that I have lined up. I’m also planning to read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, which I’ve had on my bookshelf for ages. Hope things stay warm in your corner of the world a little longer (Indian summer, anyone?) and that you get some good reading done.

    • I really need to read State of Wonder, too–I’ve also had it on my shelf for about two years now.

  • I SO need to update my yearly spreadsheet, I’m totally jealous of your organized stats. I caught up with reading The Secret History this month and just finished The Goldfinch, which was definitely my favorite read for August.

    I love that Panopticon quote, it was the same I used in my review of the novel. Such a great summary of the character’s spirit.

    • I can’t wait to read The Goldfinch now.

      And YES, that quote is the perfect one to catch Anais’s essence.

  • Love the quote by Jenni Fagan! Very glad you enjoyed The Secret History. My favourite August read was probably The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust.

    Happy reading 🙂

  • You’ve almost made your Goodreads goal!!!! Woo hoo!

  • Sweet quote. I just won a copy of a The Panopticon and I’m looking forward to it. Look at all the books you read woman, yahoo! You are kicking it.

    I don’t know if I can pick a favorite quite yet but the nonfiction Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink was amazing. 🙂

    Here’s to September!

  • I am SO IMPRESSED by your progress. Awesome!

  • I am NOT looking forward to cooler weather. Actually what gets me all curmudgeonly about this time of year is the shorter days. I want June back.
    SO… I was thinking about writing a where-I’m-at post for Infinite Jest – I need your cheerleading. I am only about 9% and realize that audio is perhaps not the best way to digest this ___ (blanketyblank) __ story. Just sayin’.

    • YES. I don’t like the shorter days, either. Good to know I’m not the only one who wants to start back at June.

      Hmm…I can’t picture IJ as audio. How do the endnotes work out? It’s a large book with lots of endnotes, so I can see the e-version working out well, but I have a hard time picturing (or hearing) the audio version. I loved reading it in the paper version (and still loving it the second time around). It’s worth reading, so KEEP GOING. If audio isn’t working out, try another format. Rah, rah, rah! 🙂

      • Yes, part of the problem since I am listening and driving. I have hour commutes a few times per week. But I also have the e-book so I can look up the footnotes later. In fact, I caught up on just footnotes the other day. It’s just TOO LONG. I am afraid I will give up now that I’m starting school and have classwork to worry myself with. It’s not like IJ can be called a pleasant diversion (at least not at the current moment in the story.)

  • There’s a book called The Sexy Part of the Bible? Well, I’m intrigued.

    Congrats on kicking your caffeine habit! The withdrawal sounds terrible, but I’m glad you’re feeling better now 🙂

    • The Sexy Part of the Bible is very good. It’s about an African woman–the title refers to a pamphlet made by a white missionary.

      Thanks for the congrats!

  • Congrats on the caffeine! Are you done for good with it or are you going to allow yourself to splurge occasionally? Best book I read was of course my Pride and Prejudice re-read 😀

    • And I’m super excited to be reading Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood. I’m about 150 pages into O&C and love it so far.

      • Yay! I bought Maddaddam yesterday and can’t wait to read it.

        • I’m trying to read these (which I clearly will be able to) before I see her read from MaddAddam later this month.

          • Yes! I’m so envious of you and excited that you’re going to see her.

    • I’m going to allow myself caffeine occasionally–I just didn’t want to be sucking it down all day, every day. I had a Pepsi when we went out to brunch yesterday.

  • I do love Pepsi but for some time now I’ve gone off it no because of anything but simply just that. As for the sugar I take it every morning with my tea and I wish I could just go off it too. As you know, my reading has taken a back bench for a while now so I won’t say much.

    Wishing you a fruitful September. 🙂

  • Great month! But honestly, the biggest thing is this kicking-the-Pepsi thing. My husband worked for them for a while and it was VERY bad for us. I did the whole kick-it thing a few times and thought I was going to die because my head hurt so much so I feel your pain and think you’re amaaazing for doing it!

  • Very curious about The Panopticon. I’ve only read Picky Girl’s review and she wasn’t as impressed. I have it on the shelf so maybe I should read it sooner than later.

    Caffeine. I do drink coffee most days but when I was in college I drank 3-6 cokes a day. I finally gave it up and don’t really miss it. I’ll have one every once in a while but am mostly happy with water. Good luck!!!

  • Curious about Panopticon. Need to get a copy. As for my favorite book in August, I’d have to say The World’s Strongest Librarian. But when you’re a memoir writer yourself, you just naturally love reading them!

    Girlfriend, you kicked a hard habit to kick! Those caffeine headaches are the worst, per my husband, who is a BIG coffee drinker. If he gets up late and doesn’t have that first cuppa by 8am, well, the headache ensues. But you also kicked butt on reading in August. As a writer, I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like, but I won’t give it up even to finish my book. And I do enjoy writing the reviews and sharing my thoughts with others.

    Good luck on your September reads!

  • Every month I say that I’m going to be more like you and read my butt off. It never happens. 🙂 Oh well. I read some really good books last month including The Year of Learning Dangerously, Julia Child Rules, and I Don’t Know by Leah Hager Cohen.

    • I’m definitely going to check out The Year of Learning Dangerously.