Like a lot of people I know, I keep track of the books I read each month. Mostly, I just update Goodreads (you can follow me on there). But I thought it’d be a fun feature to add to the blog.
Unlike the newsletter, where I recommend a killer series of books, this “Monthly Reads” series is going to focus on what I’ve actually read during the course of the previous month. You can check out last month’s list right here.
At the end, I’ll also include some great articles I’ve read this month about books.
Alright, so away we go.
MONTHLY READS: BOOKS
This month, I started a bunch of books, but only finished two of them. That’s ok, hey I doubled my reading output from last month. I also felt my excitement for reading noticeably pick up. In my own non-scientific expertise, I’m going to guess that’s a bit of correlation between my news and social media diet.
I’m still on my George RR Martin kick, and honestly, fantasy of a whole, I’ve already got one in the bag for October so expect more of that over the next few months, if fantasy is your jam!
Anyway, to the books!
FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I might just be one of the last people in the world to finally read Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale.
I was moved to it by two main things. One of, course, was the adaptation of the book on Hulu. I started watching and then realized I wanted to read the book.
The other was luck. I got a copy of the book in the August Coffee and a Classic box so I really had no excuse not to get reading!
I had two big takeaway’s from the book.
First, holy shit yea it was scary to think about.
I’m not quite in the camp that we’re just years away from this happening.
However, I do think the overall major point that most of us sit passively by while freedoms are slowly chipped away or unacceptable behavior by politicians become normalized can and does happen.
That’s the scarier thing that we can just wake up one day 15 crazy laws later and the world looks like a different place.
My second takeaway was that the people who are ‘best’ able to cope with these terrible situations are those that are able to find something to focus on and are able to hang on to a bit of themselves. For all the horrible things Offred endured, she never mentally gave into them, she still fought to keep parts of herself there.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read. Honestly, I didn’t think I would. I’ve read a couple other Atwood books and never really got into them. This, I read in three days, I could barely put it down.
I won’t spoil it, but I also loved the ending, and never saw it coming at all.
More Reads: Margaret Atwood Annotates Season 1 of the Handmaid’s Tale is a pretty cool read and a great tie-in if you’ve also watched the series.
JRR Tolkien: A Life Inspired by Wyatt North
I know it’s not hip to say in the era of 1,200 page biographies, but man I love a short bio. This one, coming in at a breezy 110 pages was a really nice little overview of JRR Tolkien’s life.
Tolkien is considered by many to be one of the greatest fantasy writers ever. He was certainly an influence for people like George RR Martin, JK Rowling, and Ursula LeGuin. Tolkien is most famous for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, which have come back into pop culture about a decade ago with the epic movies.
Beyond just the main points of Tolkien’s life, this book had a lot of interesting little tidbits. I love learning more about the insights of creators because I enjoy seeing what parts of them come through in their work.
For example, one of the biggest influences in Tolkien’s life was a core group of friends he had at Oxford. Called TCBS they were quite similar to the core group of Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings series. He was the last remaining of them, as they all died during World War I, which was, as you can imagine, another key factor in Tolkien’s life.
If you’re looking for a quick read on a prolific author, check this one out.
MONTHLY WEB READS
I figured I’d add in this little section about some of my favorite reads specifically about books.
- The Essential Stephen King: A Guide to the Best of the Horror Master: Vox’s Aja Romano gives you everything you need to know about Stephen King’s vast library of books, and where to start.
- 16 Genre Recs Based on Your Myers-Briggs Type: We’ve all had to take this test somewhere along the way, so this is a fun look at what types of books you ‘should’ be reading. (Mine’s poetry).
- 10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications to Another Level: I laughed out loud at a few of these, what’s better than an author with a sense of humor?
That’s all for this month. Feel free to share this post.
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