I know I'm about a week late, but here's my August wrap-up. I read a total of five books, one of those being a short story and another being a collection of short stories. As of the end of August I was a third of the way through another book. This was my first experience with ARCs and self-published works, which took me away from my goal of reading more YA books to give me a better repertoire as an English teacher. Also, as always, GRRM dominated this month. On top of the five books I read, I wrote six book reviews.
I'll start out with the books I read and reviewed this month (you can reach the reviews by clicking on the titles):
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
Chilling as it is, I really enjoyed William Golding's symbolic novel. The adventure helps make the themes feel less heavy-handed, and Golding has some very important things to say about society and about humanity.
The Angels' Share, by Rayme Waters
While I found The Angels' Share to have beautiful prose, the story fell short. I think it didn't help that Waters decided to tell both the story of the adult Cinnamon and the child Cinnamon. It caused the story to have a lack of focus, and the characters weren't particularly well-developed anyway. To top it off, an adolescent-type romance just didn't seem to fit in what I thought was supposed to be an adult drama.
The Archaeologists, by Christopher Lee
I like Lee's experiment with style, a mix of short story and drama, but the content doesn't do it justice. There's some bizarre sexual content, and perhaps a bit too much profanity. Along with that the story and characters could have been fleshed out a little better. It leaves a rather bad taste in the mouth. Nonetheless, it ends just as its getting interesting, but that's probably Lee's strategy to get his readers to read more.
Anthology 1: The Other Side, by Hamidah Gul
I got a good dose of self-publishing this month, and Gul's short story collection taught me a lot. Gul's website proclaims she's from Singapore, and it's clear from the prose that English is her second language. Even so, I think I could have enjoyed the stories if they were interesting stories, because the bad English probably would have added charm to them. The problem, with one exception, is that they are not interesting stories. A few make little sense, others are boring, and even those that show promise fail to deliver. Though that doesn't mean Gul doesn't have it in her to write something enjoyable.
A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin
With an exception of May, I read one GRRM book a month this summer, and that really ate into my book total. Still, A Storm of Swords was very much worth the two weeks it took to read it. Though I think A Game of Thrones is brilliant, this one is perhaps the best, but definitely better than A Clash of Kings. Now that school's started up, I probably won't read another Martin until December, perhaps not until next May. We'll see.
Here's what I wrote a review for, but read in July:
A Wrinkle In Time, but Madeleine L'Engle