What I read in August 2022

I read 13 books in August, which is the most I’ve read in one month for a while, but lots of them were short story collections, which tend to have fewer pages.

I went short story mad because I needed to write one myself for my performance at Emotional Madness with Mary-Ann and Mates at Colchester Arts Centre on Monday 12 September. If you’re local, I’d love you to come along - I’m really proud of what I’ve come up with.

Plus, I only seem able to complete writing projects when I’ve been specifically invited to come up with something, so if the night is a success, chances are I’ll get asked to do it again, increasing my output. Otherwise, I mostly default to reading in my spare time, so without further ado…

The Haunting of Lás Lagrimas, Muzungu, Cold Fish Soup, Supporting Cast

The Haunting of Lás Lagrimas, by W. M. Cleese - 4.5*

Muzungu, by Rod Madocks - 4*, purely because it gave me SO MANY THOUGHTS.

Cold Fish Soup, by Adam Farrer - 5*

Supporting Cast, by Kit de Waal - 4*

Ways of Living, Hotel Obscure, The Lament of the Silver Badger, The Lottery and other stories

Ways of Living, by Gemma Seltzer - that feeling when you read an author’s work and wish you could write like them. 5*

Hotel Obscure, by Lisette Brodey - 4.5*

The Lament of the Silver Badger, by Oli Jacobs - 4*

The Lottery and other stories, by Shirley Jackson - loved loved LOVED this. I was underwhelmed when I read The Haunting of Hill House a few years back, and I’m so glad I gave Shirley Jackson another chance.

A Narrow Door, The Last to Disappear, The Rising Tide, My Name is Leon, The Bleeding

A Narrow Door, by Joanne Harris - 4.5*

The Last to Disappear, by Jo Spain - my pick for August’s Book Shelf Raiders, though I couldn’t make it to the Zoom in the end. 4*

The Rising Tide, by Ann Cleeves - 5*

My Name is Leon, by Kit de Waal - 4.5*

The Bleeding, by Johana Gustawsson, translated by David Warriner - 4.5*

Looking ahead…

Shrines of Gaiety, Thirteen, Without Warning & Only Sometimes, Black Hearts, The Moose Paradox

I get ridiculously excited whenever Kate Atkinson has a new book out, so of course I’ll be pre-ordering Shrines of Gaiety. Kind of gutted to have missed the blog tour invite for it, but it’s a good excuse to buy a fancy edition of it.

Two blog tours I do have coming up are Black Hearts, by Doug Johnstone, and The Moose Paradox, by Antti Tuomainen, having enjoyed other books by them. I also plan to continue my newfound Kit de Waal obsession with her recently-published memoir, Without Warning & Only Sometimes.

This month’s Book Shelf Raiders theme is “a book back in time”, which I’m interpreting as “a book I’ve had in my pile for a shamefully long time”. I picked up Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh, at an author event in 2018 and even though I keep hearing about how great it is (especially at the BSR meetings!), I just haven’t got to it. I can just tell I’m going to be kicking myself for not making time for it earlier.

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About Alice Violett

Reader of books, player of board games, lover of cats, editor of web content, haver of PhD.

Colchester, UK https://www.draliceviolett.com