What I Read in August

what i read in august

Summer is almost at an end and after a few really great months of reading, I am happy to report I closed out the season on a high note. In August, I read five books including two of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s most popular books, Daisy Jones & The Six and Carrie Soto is Back. I also stepped out of my comfort zone and read two memoirs, My Body by Emily Ratajowski and Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford. Plus, a feel-good romance!

P.S. What I Read in July

What I Read in August

DAISY JONES & THE SIX BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

Goodreads Synopsis:

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

My Review: Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors but somehow, I never got around the reading Daisy Jones & The Six until now. Going into the book, I had a general idea of what it was about but had no idea it read almost like an interview. At first I thought it was a little weird but it grew on me and I ended up really enjoying not only the story but the way it was told. It totally pulls you in and for moments, I would forget that Daisy Jones & The Six wasn’t a real band! Absolutely loved every moment.

My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

HELLO STRANGER BY KATHERINE CENTER

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sadie Montgomery never saw what was coming . . . Literally! One minute she’s celebrating the biggest achievement of her life—placing as a finalist in the North American Portrait Society competition—the next, she’s lying in a hospital bed diagnosed with a “probably temporary” condition known as face blindness. She can see, but every face she looks at is now a jumbled puzzle of disconnected features. Imagine trying to read a book upside down and in another language. This is Sadie’s new reality with every face she sees.

But, as she struggles to cope, hang on to her artistic dream, work through major family issues, and take care of her beloved dog, Peanut, she falls into—love? Lust? A temporary obsession to distract from the real problems in her life?—with not one man but two very different ones. The timing couldn’t be worse.

If only her life were a little more in focus, Sadie might be able to find her way. But perceiving anything clearly right now seems impossible. Even though there are things we can only find when we aren’t looking. And there are people who show up when we least expect them. And there are always, always other ways of seeing.

My Review: Hello Stranger is filled with optimism and butterfly-inducing romance amid a diagnosis, brain surgery, and face blindness. In Hello Stranger, we follow Sadie (a portrait artist) who is adjusting to her new norm after experiencing face blindness on the cusp of her big break. Even though this book was predictable, it was done in such a great way and I constantly found myself cheering on not only Sadie, but her new love interest as well.

My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

MY BODY BY EMILY RATAJOWKSI

Goodreads Synopsis:

Emily Ratajkowski is an acclaimed model and actress, an engaged political progressive, a formidable entrepreneur, a global social media phenomenon, and now, a writer. Rocketing to world fame at age twenty-one, Ratajkowski sparked both praise and furor with the provocative display of her body as an unapologetic statement of feminist empowerment. The subsequent evolution in her thinking about our culture’s commodification of women is the subject of this book.

My Body is a profoundly personal exploration of feminism, sexuality, and power, of men’s treatment of women and women’s rationalizations for accepting that treatment. These essays chronicle moments from Ratajkowski’s life while investigating the culture’s fetishization of girls and female beauty, its obsession with and contempt for women’s sexuality, the perverse dynamics of the fashion and film industries, and the gray area between consent and abuse.

My Review: This book has been out for quite some time now (published in November 2021) and to be honest, it wasn’t a book I ever put on my “want to read” list but when I saw it at a local book store, I figured why not. Emily Ratajowski is a wonderful writer and her experiences with the male gaze and sexual violence were real and raw. But while her essays were powerful and moving, they were very much centered around her experiences, which I understand, but she shares these experiences in a way that isn’t collectively empowering to women as a whole. The moments where she does share about experiences with other women, it’s a lot of the comparison game and climbing the ranks. I would have loved to see her share more about the ways she works to help empower other women and be a positive influence for young girls. Overall, I was very back and forth how I felt about this book but would absolutely recommend it to those who are interested in Ratajowski.

My Rating: 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

CARRIE SOTO IS BACK BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

Goodreads Synopsis:

By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked the ‘Battle-Axe’ anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all: Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells a story about the cost of greatness and a legendary athlete attempting a comeback.

My Review: August was definitely a month of TJR for me! After finishing Daisy Jones and The Six, I picked up Carrie Soto Is Back, where we follow the greatest tennis player of all times, Carrie Soto. From the moment she picks up her racket to training and becoming one of the best tennis players in the world, you’ll be cheering her whether you know anything about tennis or not. But even though she’s a great tennis player, Carrie Soto isn’t very likable as a person but that starts to change as we watch her come out of retirement and train one last time with her dad, and former coach, Javier. By the end of the book, you’re cheering for her not only as the greatest tennis player but also because of the person she has become.

My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER BY ASHLEY C. FORD

Goodreads Synopsis:

For as long as she could remember, Ashley has put her father on a pedestal. Despite having only vague memories of seeing him face-to-face, she believes he’s the only person in the entire world who understands her. She thinks she understands him too. He’s sensitive like her, an artist, and maybe even just as afraid of the dark. She’s certain that one day they’ll be reunited again, and she’ll finally feel complete. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there.

Through poverty, puberty, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley returns to her image of her father for hope and encouragement. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates; when the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley finally finds out why her father is in prison. And that’s where the story really begins.

My Review: I don’t typically pick up memoirs by people I am not familiar with (I’m also not a big memoir reader to begin with!) but after finding this one in my Little Free Library after seeing it on social media, I figured why not give it a try. It was really courageous for the author to share her story with us. She explores her family trauma, growing up as a female, what it’s like to have an incarcerated father, and so much more. It was a compelling read and there were a lot of times I felt sad and angry for her and the little girl she used to be but I really would have loved more reflection and synthesis from her experiences, not just the stories. I was truly left wanting more and my mind would wonder about how she healed from these experiences.

My Rating: 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Photography By Sam Brooks Photos

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