August Reads (2020 Edition)

estimated 4 min read

It seemed as if August was eight hundred humid years long. It was good to stay in and read. This past month I completed my reread of the Valdemar series and was delighted to find it mostly held up to who I am now. For me the end of summer has always been about reading whatever catches my attention. This year, staying (somewhat) focused on the reread felt like an accomplishment. I think I’ll save the short story anthologies for winter.

August Reading List

  • The Harp of Kings (Warrior Bards #1) ★ by Juliet Marillier
  • What’s Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve ★ by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
  • Exile’s Honor (Alberich’s Tale #1) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals by Saidiya Hartman
  • Exile’s Valor (Alberich’s Tale #2) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey
  • By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey
  • Winds of Fate (Valdemar: Mage Winds #1) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Winds of Change (Mage Winds, #2) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Winds of Fury (Mage Winds #3) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Storm Warning (Mage Storms #1) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Storm Rising (Mage Storms, #2) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Storm Breaking (Mage Storms, #3) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Owlflight (Owl Mage Trilogy, #1) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Owlsight (Owl Mage Trilogy, #2) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Owlknight (Owl Mage Trilogy, #3) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Ink & Sigil (Ink & Sigil #1) ★ by Kevin Hearne
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, Pub Order #4) by Lois McMaster Bujold
Book Covers for titles read in August 2020
List of Book Covers for titles read in August 2020

NetGalley Reviews

A ★ indicates I received the title through Netgalley, the FTC wants you to know.

The Harp of Kings (Warrior Bards #1) ★ by Juliet Marillier

The Harp of Kings checks many traditional Western European mythology boxes. The tale is of a reluctant male ruler who needs a specific and currently missing device to secure his crown. There are questing heroes who must complete time-bound tasks set by the Fae. The main characters — young adults — chafe at the restrictions and expectations of their elders.

Yet it also takes tentative steps toward breaking out of overdone motifs even if it doesn’t quite make it far. Read my complete review »

What’s Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve ★ by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg

Problem solving often falls into a trap of justifying one specific solution. In What’s Your Problem? you learn a better method — how to reframe and find innovative solutions to make better decisions. See my complete review »

Recommendations

Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey

I was curious how this series would read this year. It still felt welcoming of diversity and the struggle we all face as we interact with others, their beliefs, and try to do the best good we can. While there are a few stereotypes and tokens, overall it is a book series that works to recognize there is no one true way, and the way isn’t easy.

As with any series there are some characters I love more than others and certain books I like best. Each time I reread this series because I am someone else, I discover something new. On this reading, it was those who had their world turned upside down and still found ways to keep moving forward and trying to do the right thing.

“That’s why it’s called fantasy”: An Interview With Mercedes Lackey is interesting both because I enjoyed Cheeseman-Meyer’s reread a few years ago, and because I really want to learn more about the founding of Valdemar!

Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne

This is a book that’s fun, even if there’s some serious issues happening for the characters. It’s out now, and I was able to borrow the audiobook from my library for a quick reread. I loved this start of a new series when I first read it. The narrator, Luke Danies, made the characters come alive in a whole new way. If you’ve not yet checked it out, please do! Read my complete review at netgalley »

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals by Saidiya Hartman

In graduate school I took a seminar, “Venus in Chains: Writing the lives of Anonymous Women”, with Profess Hartman. She writes beautifully and her approach to the marganlized voices who are largely silent because they have little space in the archive is one I admire. As she’s said, she “does the research of and scholar and wants the work to read with the beauty of a novel.” Wayward Lives does this beautifully and I am eager to discover whose voices she’s finds next.

Next reads

I’m on the hunt for the right Space Opera saga, I don’t think the Vorkosigan books are what I’m looking for. Yesterday I started Ilona Andrews’ Innkeeper Chronicles and it’s fun, but it won’t keep me occupied for long, I’m also on the second book of the Imperial Radch series. Do you have any recommendations?

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