August Wrap-Up

Suddenly, it’s the 6th of September, and I’m not exactly sure how we got here (cue the facepalm). The first half of August went by super slowly for me, but the last week seemed to jump into warp speed.  I haven’t written a blog post in a while, hence this little August wrap-up won’t be exclusively bookish, rather, I’m going to fill you in on what’s been keeping me busy, as well as what books I’ve been loving

Books I Read in August

I read a total of eleven books in August! My favourite was by far The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, which I gave five stars.

The Mortal Instruments Series

Cassandra Clare

I missed out on the original hype train for this series, and if I’m honest, because of that I didn’t have any intention of reading it. However, I do get a lot of requests for candles of this series on Potions Candle Co. I thought it about time I knuckle down and read it. It was super entertaining and definitely binge-worthy.

(No star rating shown because it ranges from book to book)

City of Bones Blurb:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know..

Add it to your shelves on Goodreads

 

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve been reading The Fellowship of the Ring on and off for over a year, but I could never get past Bilbo’s birthday party. Finally, in July I did. And from there on out, I loved it. I stand by my Goodreads review in saying that the ring is totally a Horcrux, and Sam Gamgee is the best.

Blurb:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

Add it to your shelves on Goodreads

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project was definitely a stand-out of my August reading (even though it wasn’t my number 1 read of the month), and it really made an impact on me. You can find my full review of The Happiness Project here.

Blurb:

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.

Add it to your shelves on Goodreads

Upstream

Mary Oliver

I started Upstream much earlier this year, but I never got around to finishing it before it was due back at the library. I enjoyed this one in the beginning but as it progressed I connected with it less and less. Unfortunately, it ended being a bit of a disappointment for me, purely because the connection waned as the book drew on.

Blurb:

Comprising a selection of essays, Upstream finds beloved poet Mary Oliver reflecting on her astonishment and admiration for the natural world and the craft of writing.  

As she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, finding solace and safety within the woods, and the joyful and rhythmic beating of wings, Oliver intimately shares with her readers her quiet discoveries, boundless curiosity, and exuberance for the grandeur of our world. 

This radiant collection of her work, with some pieces published here for the first time, reaffirms Oliver as a passionate and prolific observer whose thoughtful meditations on spiders, writing a poem, blue fin tuna, and Ralph Waldo Emerson inspire us all to discover wonder and awe in life’s smallest corners.

Add it to your shelves on Goodreads

The Secret Library

Oliver Tearle

I’m not the kind of person who remembers facts, historical dates or any form of trivia. My love for this book could be partly because everything in here was new to me. I love books about books because I love books, so it’s no surprise that I ate this right up. I’d definitely recommend this to another interested in the history of literature.

Blurb:

As well as leafing through the well-known titles that have helped shape the world in which we live, Oliver Tearle also dusts off some of the more neglected items to be found hidden among the bookshelves of the past. You’ll learn about the forgotten Victorian novelist who outsold Dickens, the woman who became the first published poet in America and the eccentric traveller who introduced the table-fork to England. Through exploring a variety of books—novels, plays, travel books, science books, cookbooks, joke books and sports almanacs—The Secret Library highlights some of the most fascinating aspects of our history. It also reveals the surprising connections between various works and historical figures. What links Homer’s Iliad to Aesop’sFables? Or Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack to the creator of Sherlock Holmes? The Secret Library brings these little-known stories to light, exploring the intersections between books of all kinds and the history of the Western world over 3,000 years.

Add it to your shelves on Goodreads

August Novel Update

I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT OF MY CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS. My manuscript was something that sucked up a lot of my time toward the end of this month. It’s taken me something like nine months to write this first draft, which is a lot longer than any other manuscript has taken me, so I decided that I wanted to buckle down and finish it come the end of August. I’m very proud of myself for sticking to that goal. I’ve begun editing it, and I know now that I definitely want to speak more about writing on my blog. Speaking of…

August Blog Update

I wrote a total of nine blog posts in August, which is on par with July, but much less than my June total of nineteen. Blog traffic decreased just a little in August, which I understand due to my lack of posting, however August saw two of my favourite blog posts yet:

  1. My Top Tips on How to Write a Book Review – who knew instructional blog posts could be so fun!
  2. 10 Songs + Artists To Get You Adventure Ready – I loved stepping away from bookish posts and writing a different lifestyle one. 

Potions Candle Co. in August

August saw the announcement of the Apothecary, and the Writers Room, two new ranges of candles that I couldn’t be more excited about. You can find more about the Apothecary here, and the Writers Room here.

September Goals

I don’t have any reading goals for September, but I do have a few non-bookish goals:

  • Release the Writers Room on Potions Candle Co
  • Finish editing my WIP
  • Publish blog posts more frequently

How was your August?

Penny for your thoughts? (I'm kidding, I don't have pennies but I'd love your thoughts)

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