I read 5 books in August, 1 non-fiction, the rest fiction. 3 were on the Kindle, and 2 were print.
The Last Nude by Ellis Avery. Let’s just state for the record, that most “lesbian” novels are crappy. Just… not good. Avery wrote one of my favorite lesbian novels ever – The Teahouse Fire (which I wouldn’t even call a lesbian novel, so much as a novel with lesbians in it). The Last Nude is just as good, but totally different – instead of being set in Japan during the late 1800s, this one is set in Paris, during the period between World War I and World War II and features the very real painter, Tamara de Lempicka. It was an enjoyable read. I like Avery’s writing, and am interested to go back and read her first book, The Smoke Week, about New York in the week after 9/11.
The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith. Alexander McCall Smith is an incredibly prolific and popular writer, and I think I’m ready to declare that the only series of his that I really like is the 44 Scotland Street series. I think I don’t really like his “mysteries”, which don’t really seem too mysterious to me, but I do enjoy his quirky characters and the sense of place in his novels.
Fire by Kristin Cashore. This is the “companion” to Graceling which I read and loved back in June. It took me longer to get into this book, but in the end, I loved it just as much. Apparently YA Fantasy novels and I get along well. In this book, Fire is a “monster” human with special powers to affect the minds of people and beasts. There is a third (and final) book in the trilogy that I just got from the library, so I’m looking forward to rounding on the trilogy.
Dear Enemy by Jean Webster. This is the sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs, which is a book that I LOVED as a kid. It’s always a risk going back and rereading classics you loved or books from authors you loved, because there is the chance that there are going to be things that make you uncomfortable. In this case, the way Webster wrote about “feeble-mindedness” made me a little twitchy, but overall I enjoyed the book and was happy to discover the sequel. (If you have a Kindle or Kindle app, this book is available as a FREE Kindle book. Yay, free!)
Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth by Adharanand Finn. I got this book through Library Thing’s Early Reviewers program and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I thought the premise was interesting, but I’m not a runner and running sounds so utterly unappealing to me. Finn made me see why someone might want to run and also gave a good glimpse into a particular segment of a particular society (runners in Kenya) that I didn’t really know anything about – and his descriptions of Kenya made the landscape sound appealing and beautiful (something I hadn’t thought about Kenya before). I picked this up during the Olympics, after watching the Men’s 800 meter race, won by Kenyan David Rudisha. This made the book that much more engaging to me, especially since Finn trains in the Kenyan town of Iten, where David Rudisha is also training. If you like “triumph of the wills” type stories, I think you will enjoy this one (even if you don’t like running!)