August was not quite as productive as July as far as reading goes (however, I surprised myself with sewing, as you’ll see in Friday’s post!). I managed to add three more books to my reads of the year, bringing the total to thirty-three books. My goal is fifty… but with Frozen costuming starting this month, I don’t know if I’ll make it there. We shall see.
First up, we had The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. I was looking forward to this one so much, so I was thrilled when it was one of the Book of the Month Club choices for August. I’ve read all of Ware’s books and have enjoyed them all. This one was no exception. I devoured it in one sitting almost as soon as it arrived on my doorstep.
In her latest novel, Ware tells the story of a young woman who is in prison for killing a young child while working as her nanny. She is writing to a high profile lawyer to plead for his defense, as she claims she is not guilty. The story unfolds through her letter, taking the reader through the strange circumstances surrounding her new job, until we finally find out what happened. Along the way, there are some other, unexpected surprises, which I always enjoy. I highly recommend this one, as well as any others by Ruth Ware (they’re not a series, you can read them in any order).
Next up was another Book of the Month Club selection, but not one I enjoyed as much. That’s What Frenemies Are For, by Sophie Littlefield and Laura Gershell, is pure fluff. Not that that’s a bad thing – I usually enjoy a lighthearted story as much as a heavy thriller. However, this was just not a world that I could get into. The story revolves around an Upper East Side women looking to regain her status with the other Upper East Side moms. She ends up befriending a young woman at a new local gym, and makes her her project. Little does she know, she is part of a larger plan.
I kind of enjoyed reading about the rich life (as that’s not something I’ve ever experienced), and the cattiness of the characters can be fun at times, but I just never felt particularly invested in the main character’s story. However, it would make a good beach read if you’re so inclined (yes, yes, I know summer is basically over now…).
I’ve saved the best for last. As much as I loved The Turn of the Key, it was The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman that won the award for best read of the month. I doubt it is everyone’s cup of tea, but I saw so much of myself in the main character, it was scary.
Nina Hill is a socially anxious young woman who works at a bookstore and enjoys nothing more than her time to do “nothing.” She’s not antisocial, just a little awkward around people, and loves to read. She has a lot of random knowledge and enjoys going to trivia nights with her friends. There’s a guy at trivia that she kind of likes but refuses to admit she likes.
I know that none of that sounds particularly exciting. The main plot line of the story is that Nina, raised by her single mother with no knowledge of her father, discovers that she has multiple siblings and has been named in her late father’s will. This brings a new level of chaos to a life that Nina would prefer to keep as calm as possible. The novel revolves around her trying to deal with changes that start to occur in her life.
I absolutely loved it, but I know that’s because I am so like Nina I was able to relate to her on almost every page of the book. However, if you like a cute, light-hearted romantic comedy you’ll love this one too. I need to check out more of Abbi Waxman’s novels now.
And so we move on into the fall. Work starts TODAY, and I’m excited to go back but also disappointed to not have as much reading and sewing time!