August was an up-and-down sort of month. It was horribly hot in the first part of the month, then cooled off a little for a couple of weeks before the heat came back and chased me inside. I had a brief and restful vacation mid-month, which ended with the death of my elderly cat, Sidney.
So here’s to hoping that September is as productive and (usually) restful as August, but with less sadness.
What I Read in August:
I read fourteen books in August, which is more than I thought I would get to. This is thanks to a burst of reading enthusiasm in the last ten days of August, along with the return of unpleasantly hot weather that kept me from wanting to go outside at all.
- Paladin’s Grace (Saints of Steel #1) by T. Kingfisher, audiobook narrated by Joel Richards
- Babel by R.F. Kuang, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt, P. Craig Russell
- The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City by Anna Sherman, audiobook narrated by Holly Palance
- The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Bryan Talbot, Dick Giordano, Stan Woch, George Pratt, Shawn McManus, Colleen Doran
- Make, Sew and Mend: Traditional Techniques to Sustainably Maintain and Refashion Your Clothes by Bernadette Banner
- The Heroine with 1001 Faces by Maria Tatar, audiobook narrated by Julie McKay
- Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold, edited by Paula Guran
- Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas by Jennifer Raff
- The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables & Reflections by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by P. Craig Russell
- The Falcon’s Eyes by Francesca Stanfill
- Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu
- The House of Drought by Dennis Mombauer
My favorites of August mostly came from the second half of the month, with Killers of a Certain Age, The Art of Prophecy, and The Falcon’s Eyes being the standouts as books I couldn’t put down. RF Kuang’s Babel is a book that gives you a lot to think about while reading it, but its ideas and events aren’t sticking with me as much as others.
- 57.1% of what I read was written by women, 35.7% was written by men, and 7.1% consisted of a short story collection written by both men and women.
- 57.1% was written by American writers, 28.6% was written by English authors, 7.1% was written by a German author, and another 7.1% was a short story collection by authors from a few different countries.
- 50% of what I read were physical books, 35.7% were ebooks, and 14.3% were audiobooks
- 50% were fantasy novels, 28.6% were nonfiction, and 7.1% each were historical fiction, general fiction, and horror
- 78.6% of the books I read came from the public library, 14.3% came from NetGalley, and a whopping 7.1% came from my own shelves
- The publication years ranged from 1992 to 2022, with half of what I read having been published in 2022
Owned and Unread Books, August 31: 83
StoryGraph TBR, August 31: 142
What I’ve Been Watching and Listening To:
- The Sandman
Starring: Tom Sturridge, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Joely Richardson, Patton Oswalt, Jenna Coleman, Vivienne Acheampong, Mason Alexander Park, Vanesu Samanyai, Gwendoline Christie, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Boyd Holbrook, et. al.
Teleplay by Neil Gaiman
Based on the comic series by Neil Gaiman
I adored The Sandman from the first episode to the last– and the bonus episode. I’m glad Gaiman was patient with the process, as there have been television (and movie) productions of the comic series proposed since the mid-1990s, and apparently, most of them were terrible. So we waited thirty years and got a perfectly cast, visually gorgeous show that follows the comics faithfully but makes updates and clarifications to the stories without betraying the source material. I’ve watched the show three times now, and will probably watch it a few more times before the end of the year.
Rusty Quill Network (Audiodrama)
Written and performed by Harlan Guthrie
- The Mistholme Museum of Mystery, Morbidity, and Mortality
That’s Not Canon Productions (Audiodrama)
Written and performed by Dom Guillefoyle
I’m continuing my journey through various horror podcasts, though The Mistholme Museum is, overall, less horror and more of a speculative story that has sci-fi and fantasy elements, with the occasional uncanny or straight-up horror story. It’s about an Audio Tour Guide that describes the specimens in the titular museum and guides you through the museum as things start to go strange. I’m not as sold on the current season, but we’ll see how it plays out.
Malevolent is, through and through, an eldritch horror story from the first moment to the latest with only a few lighter moments here and there. It’s about Arthur Lester, a private investigator from Arkham, who wakes up to discover that he is blind, his business partner is dead, and he is suddenly sharing his mind with a malevolent entity that has nothing good planned for him.
What’s on Tap for September:
I’m still trying to get through the unread books I already own. I’ve had some of these for a few years or more, so I really should at least try them to see if I like them and would like to keep them. I spent most of August reading new releases and other books from the library, so hopefully I’ll make a turn back to my own shelves in September.
- The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy’s Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici by Elizabeth Lev
- Waltz Into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich
- Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
- Echoes of Valhalla: The Afterlife of the Eddas and Sagas by Jón Karl Helgason
- The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
- The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart
What I’m Planning to Watch:
The Rings of Power
Showrunners: Patrick McKay and John D. Payne
Starring: Morfydd Clark, Nazanin Boniadi, Robert Aramayo, Benjamin Walker, Lenny Henry, Owain Arthur, Markella Kavanaugh, Sophia Nomvete, Maxim Baldry, Charlie Vicker, et. al.
Of course I’m going to be watching this, as it’s one of the two shows I’ve been looking forward to this year (Netflix’s The Sandman being the other). I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve seen so far, and I really like Bear McCreary’s soundtrack, so I’m anticipating that I’ll at least like this show, if it doesn’t end up being my favorite of the year. We’ll find out soon.