This Month in Reading

Each month we round up the best things we have read. In August, we attended a friend’s gallery opening in Norfolk (the traffic unfortunately was horrendous), went camping in Delaware, and attended a bachelor party.

Rachel’s Reads


  • Nothing this month. Tune in next time.

Books – I read 9 books in August.

  •  Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin – Very intriguing! As a lifelong animal lover I enjoyed getting a new perspective on animal cognition and emotions. It all made a lot of sense based on what I’ve experienced. I think it’s very true that horse riding is great for building character and as a form of therapy. It certainly shaped my life for the better and built me into the mature, caring adult I am.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – A cool interpretation of the water horse myth. Really nicely done. Maggie Stiefvater does good young adult fiction that’s not obnoxious.
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick – 100% fascinating. Highly recommended for everyone to read.
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison – This was recommended by Jeff’s brother Kevin, but I wasn’t into it. For one thing, the super difficult names made it hard to read and were confusing. For another, it wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped. Guess I’m not that into pure medieval-ish court drama. It did have some refreshing parts but, not for me.
  • Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw – Hilarious! The audiobook version is great; the narrator is so dry.
  • I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of Life through Events — the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don’t by Jennifer Gilbert – Both intense and yet, somehow less so than I imagined. Quite liked it.
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman – Heartbreaking and lovely, though I felt it was a bit predictable since I thought to myself that only one outcome would cause her to learn something.
  • Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk – Quirky and weird, enjoyable.
  • The Frozen-Water Trade by Gavin Weightman – An interesting bit of history I didn’t know anything about. I found it a bit repetitive at times but worth a go.

Jeff’s Reads




Books – I read 3 books this month.

  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison – I liked this more than Rachel, but not as much as Kevin. There were some parts that I really liked, but my biggest problem was that the main character largely succeeds through luck and having incompetent enemies.
  • Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw – I only listened to this audiobook when Rachel and I were in the car and she listened to parts of it without me, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The writing is hilarious and the reader is perfect.
  • The Frozen-Water Trade by Gavin Weightman – Ever wonder why Americans are so into having ice in their drinks while many other cultures are not? This is largely an autobiography of the asshole responsible for it. Don’t misunderstand, his pioneering work in the ice business is unrelated to how unlikable he is.
  • Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – This fantasy book has an astoundingly high rating on goodreads. While it was certainly not in my top tier favorite books, I didn’t have any major problems with it and can recommend to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy novel now and again.

What did you read this month?

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