August Overview

In August I read 15 books, the same as last month. Now that the summer is over I’ll be busy with “things”, but then, I never read much during working hours, anyway.

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark was my favorite book this month. India in the 1940s, old letters from the 1850s and the difficult and interesting lives of people in both centuries. Actually, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson was a very close second.

Books I read

(Hover over the covers to see their titles and authors).

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen SimonsonBaby Be Mine by Paige ToonThe Lantern by Deborah LawrensonThis Beautiful Life by Helen SchulmanOne Day by David NichollsThe Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark
Robopocalypse by Daniel WilsonDuma Key by Stephen KingTortilla Curtain by T. C. BoyleThe Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya BasilHamlet's Blackberry by William PowersThe Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele
De geboorte van een wees by Maaike Gerritsen

Titles in orange link through to their reviews.

Major Pettrigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Major Pettigrew is a widowed Englishman of the old kind. He’s trying to win over Mrs. Ali’s heart, a widow from Pakistani origins who runs the corner shop. Really good! 5 stars.

Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon. Nice chick-lit about a woman with a baby son whose father is a famous rock star and not her current boyfriend. But how long can she keep quiet about it? Nice read, 4 stars.

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. English Eve moves in with her much older and wealthy boyfriend to live in a run-down farm in Provence. He’s been there before, but won’t tell her about it. And there are secrets hidden in the old house too. Great read. 4.5 stars.

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman. Upheaval in the life of a family when the teenage son forwards an email with a porn video that was meant for his eyes only. 5 stars

One Day by David Nicholls. Over a period of twenty years, the book describes one day in July for every year. The lives of the two main characters Emma and Dexter are thus followed through two decades. 5 stars

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark. A wonderful, atmospheric story about an American woman moving to India in 1947 with her family who finds some old letters of the previous occupants of her house. 5 stars

Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson. Robots are taking over the world and a group of humans try to stop them in their tracks. 4 stars

Duma Key by Stephen King. A man who was badly wounded in a car accident moves to Florida to start a new life. It was OK but I wasn’t impressed by the sea ghosts. 3 stars

The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle. South California, a rich man with an open mind becomes annoyed by the illegal Mexicans he keeps coming across. 5 stars (re-read)

The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya Basil. While Lina’s parents still dream of a suitable boy for their eldest daughter, she engages in an intricate game of deceit to hide her blossoming relationship with a man who is very different from herself. 4 stars

Hamlet’s Blackberry by William Powers. Non fiction. In this digital age, we’re connected all the time and we’re almost afraid of downtime in case we miss something. Powers compares our time to the of several old philosophers (from ancient Greek to more modern) who were dealing with similar problems. What can we learn from them? 4 stars

The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele. A graphic novel about a future in which most humans have bought a surrogate who goes out and works and socializes for them while they themselves are connected to the surrogate from home. 4 stars

De tuinman van niemandsland [The Gardener of No-mans Land, Dutch] by Guus Bauer. A story taking place in rural Czechoslovakia, about 7 brothers. 3 stars

Het graf van de voddenraper by Bart Vercautere [Dutch]. A grave digger who is going to retire soon thinks back on his life. 5 stars

De geboorte van een wees [The Birth of an Orphan] by Maaike Gerritsen [Dutch].  About a woman whose father died a while ago and her mother is about to. She needs to look after her children as well as her mother and ends up in an identity crisis. Rather boring, 3 stars.

Other Books Reviewed (click on the title to read the review):

The Quarry by Johan Theorin. A film studio is burned down and the owner has had a stroke and can’t say what’s going on. Meanwhile, on the island of Öland, some people are settling in their new houses near a quarry. 5 stars

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb. A Vietnamese-born American woman goes to Vietnam to find evidence of her artist father having worked there. 5 stars

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards. Lucy has recently returned home from Japan and at her old family home, finds some objects that are related to her family’s past, a past that she never knew about. 4 stars

Changeless by Gail Carriger. The second episode in the Parasol Protectorate series, in which Alexia is left to her own devices and ends up travelling to Scotland. 4 stars

Other happenings on my blog:

I announced the Ugly Covers Competition. It actually starts tomorrow (Thursday)!

I took part in the Sizzling Summer Read-a-Thon. And then of course, this had to be followed by a Review-a-Thon.

There’s a guest post by me on Stiletto Storytime’s Blog, a review of a Georgette Heyer book.

I answered 20 questions about me and my books.

Here are my 5 Best Books… About Real People in Fictionmy 5 Best Books… Re-reads, and my 5 Best Books … Genre Reads (nonfiction)

What was you favorite book this month?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

31 Responses to August Overview

  1. Where do you find the time to read so many books? 15 is so many. Mind you, I do work full time (but I’d give anything to be able to read all day – just wish someone would pay me to do it, don’t you? ;))

    • Leeswammes says:

      Boof, I don’t work, not even part-time. But last year was a good example of how much I read “all day”: I read slightly fewer books that year (about 170) than the year before, when I was working 3.5 days per week (180). I did have some commute time but I want you to know that I DO NOT read all day. I should be fair and say that most of my blogging time *is* during the day.

      I’m not sure where I find the time but I guess reading is my default activity. So as soon as I have nothing else to do, I read. 🙂

  2. Kristi says:

    Wow, you had a great month. So many five star books. I’m glad you liked One Day. I’m excited to see your review if you end up doing one. I read it again last week in anticipation of the movie. I haven’t gotten a chance to go see it yet, but I will even though it looks like it might be awful. 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Kristi, I haven’t seen anything of the movie for *One Day* but then it probably arrives a little later here in the Netherlands.

      Yes, I was very pleased with the “quality” of books I read this month. I was lucky, of course, because I expect all books that I read to be good, but there are some disappointments every now and then.

  3. petekarnas says:

    You weren’t so impressed with Duma Key, huh? You’re right about the sea ghosts, they were a bit hokey. But I really liked the atmospheric quality of this one.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Pete, I agree with you there, but these sea ghosts and the whole story around it spoiled it a bit for me. I just didn’t buy it and didn’t find it interesting or scary enough.

  4. Cindy says:

    Thanks Judith, I’ve been making notes and you’ve given me some good ideas for my shopping list before we go on holiday in December 🙂

  5. I want to read almost all of the books you’ve read this month! Top of my list is The Tortilla Curtain and The Sandlewood Tree. I both both so have no excuse not to get started on them! I hope September is just as successful for you.

  6. Louise says:

    You’ve read some cracking books this month, Judith. I’ve added a couple to my ever increasing tbr, I just wish I could get my hand on Het graf van de voddenraper..I think I’d love this 🙂 My favourite book this month would be The Book of Negroes, I just can’t forget about it, and it’s the first book to bring me to real tears, I’ve never been moved by a book so much.

  7. wikiarticles786 says:

    I wonder how you read so many books in a month.It seems you dedicate most of your time to reading.I would like to follow your blog for info about interesting books.

  8. So you loved One Day…. I hated it but I do seem to be in the minority with not liking this book.

  9. Alex says:

    I’m looking forward to your review of One Day. It usually divides readers (I’m in the “loved it” side) and creates good discussions.

  10. 15 books is a great accomplishment! I am glad to see you gave Tortilla Curtain 5 stars–I really want to read it!

  11. Lena says:

    I just love your dedication to reading. I wish I could find time to read 15 books a month. Great job.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Actually, Lena, I’m way behind on my own schedule this week! I seem to be everything BUT read. But I’m a fast reader and I can easily finish a book in a day or two, longer ones in three.

  12. Lucy says:

    You had an awesome month of reading. Lots of great reads! The Lantern and Major Pettigrew sound intriguing. I have one more day left to read in August, and I’m hoping to finish one more book.
    Happy reading in September!

  13. Julie P says:

    Great month for you! Several of the books you read this month were added to my wish list or are already sitting on my TBR shelf….

  14. Ally says:

    I don’t know about the book of the month for me, but ONE DAY, read in January will probably be the book of the year. I love the story and not shamefully at all, cried at the end. I was shocked! I can’t wait to see the movie! 🙂

  15. Boekhapper says:

    I used to put your 4-and 5 star books on my wishlist, but this is getting out of hand….
    suppose you read too much! (good books) 🙂

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