August Summary and Plans for September

August’s reading was dominated by the Booker long list. I have now finished reading them all and will post my final review (Summertime) tommorrow. I will write a summary of the Booker long list, with my predictions for the short list, soon.

I read a total of 15 books in August and one audio book. The overall quality of the books I read was outstanding. I don’t think I have read so many great books in one month before.

Favourites of the month


Books reviewed during August

Heliopolis – James Scudamore stars4h

The Invisible Mountain – Carolina De Robertis stars4h

How to Paint a Dead Man – Sarah Hall stars4h

The Glass Room – Simon Mawer stars4h

The Double – José Saramago stars41

Far North – Marcel Theroux  stars41

One Morning Like a Bird – Andrew Miller stars41

The Victorian Chaise-Longue – Marghanita Laski stars41

Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín stars3h

Not Untrue and Not Unkind – Ed O’Loughlin stars3h

The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds stars3h

Nocturnes – Kazuo Ishiguro stars3

Cloudstreet – Tim Winton stars3

Love and Summer – William Trevor stars3

The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam – Lauren Liebenberg stars3

Me Cheeta – James Lever stars1 (DNF)

Audio Book


Plans for September

I am really looking forward to September as I have some amazing books waiting in the TBR pile. I can’t decide which I am looking forward to more Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy) or Her Fearful Symmetry.

Which one do you think will be the best?

I am going to try to resist buying more new books in September and make an effort to read the ones I already have. Do you think I’ll be successful?! LOL!

I hope that you had a great August and have exciting plans for September.

Send to Kindle


  1. Rob says:

    “I am going to try to resist buying more new books in September and make an effort to read the ones I already have” <– Good luck with that :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Rob, Thanks. It is good to make plans, even if I don’t stick to them!

  2. Violet says:

    Wow, 15 book is amazing and that too booker long list books. That is SOME reading. I still haven’t read The Hunger Games.

    Good luck for the book buying ban :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Violet, You really should read the Hunger Games as soon as possible. It is brilliant – my favourite of 2009 so far.

      It isn’t a book buying ban – just a raising of the bar. I might let one or two new books in….

  3. Beth F says:

    I’m guessing you’ll go for Catching Fire first!

    You should join Swapna’s challenge for October and November: It’s a read your own books challenge.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, Thanks for pointing out the challenge. It sounds like a great idea!

      I am going to read Catching Fire first, but only because it is released first. The question is – which will be better? I can’t decide!

  4. Claire says:

    I’m also attempting not to buy any books in September and read a bundle. I read 17 books during August and Heliopolis was definitely a favourite, as was How to Paint a Dead Man (not reviewed yet). The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were also amazing highlights and I’m so glad that I had the chance to read them both in the same month!
    A for which will be better: Catching Fire or Her Fearful Symmetry? Hmm, tough. I thought Catching Fire was brilliant but I do have high hopes for Her Fearful Symmetry. It’s a cop out but I think they will be very different.

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed How to Paint a Dean Man. I was worried it would just be me who loved it!

      I think Catching Fire will arrive in the post today, but have to read our book club choice first – I wish I could postpone the group until I finished Catching Fire!

  5. Sandy says:

    You are right, that is a boom month for you! I am blown away by your productivity. Even when I was traveling and had nothing to do BUT read, I didn’t read that much!

    I will take a stab and say that Her Fearful Symmetry will be your best bet. I am very excited to get my hands on Catching Fire though. I have my book fair Scholastic rep working on getting me the audio! However, I have officially put myself on a book buying ban. I am out of freaking control. If there is something I must have, I will just have to stand in line at the library!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, A lot of those books were quite short and I had a holiday too. It is a good pace I’d like to try to maintain though.

      Trying to resist buying books has failed already! I just bought:
      Dan has been a great commentor on my blog and he describes it as being based on Norwegian Wood by Murakami. I just couldn’t say no!

      1. Dan Holloway says:

        *blushes uncontrollably* Jackie, if you don’t like it, I hope you’ll feel free to say anything you want. I don’t take offence.

        1. Jackie says:

          Dan, It is so nice to hear an author say things like that. I am really looking forward to reading your book. Keep an eye out for my review of Norwegian Wood. I hope to read it soon in preparation!

  6. Rebecca Reid says:

    Maybe the quality of books is related to the fact that you’re working your way through the booker list. That’s great!

    I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and predictions for the Booker. I’ve never considered it before (only ever heard of Pulitzer before I began book blogging), so it’s been fun reading along with you.

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, Yes the Booker prize has contributed most of the best (and worst!) of the books I’ve read this month. I hope to have my summary up soon.

  7. 15 in a month is very impressive. For me, 8-10 is a good month!

    I haven’t read The Hunger Games – leaving it ’til the final book is published, so I can have a marathon!

    Just finished How To Paint A Dead Man and absolutely loved it, despite not really understanding if the book had a point…. I normally hate books like that, but, Hall’s done an amazing job. Think she had me with the opening paragraph itself.

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, How to Paint a Dead Man is a strange book isn’t it? I wondered about the point of it too. I also normally avoid books like that, but agree it had me from the first page.

      1. kept expecting the story to come together, and the four plots to link in. when the book finished, I literally went: ‘huh?’!!

  8. Molly says:

    I am so very impressed — not only that you read one book every two days, but the fact that you read through the entire Booker long list is quite extraordinary!

    I would love to read both of the books you have highlighted for an early September read — and I am anxious to look forward to your reviews. I would like to participate, at least on a small scale, in Simon’s Sensational September read along.

    While I would love to hop on the “no book purchase” bandwagon for the month, I am not sure that I can resist the 20% off Labor Day weekend sale at Half Price books. I plan to trade in some books, though, so hopefully I will come out even – and my bookshelves will appear as though I have not added any new purchases :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Molly, Books normally take me three/four days to read, but I read some of the shorter ones in one sitting, so that is how I managed to squeeze so many in!

      I might join in with some of Simon’s reads – I have the Woman in White here, so would be tempted to read that, but don’t like reading several of the same sort of book in a row.

  9. She says:

    Way to go, 15 books!

    I cannot wait for Catching Fire to come out– so soon!

    1. Jackie says:

      It came out on 1st September, so no more need to wait!

  10. Dan Holloway says:

    I’m afraid I’ve blown it on day one. I went in to my local bookstore (I’m SOO lucky – it’s the award-winning Jaffe & Neale in Chipping Norton) to ask if they’d stock my book, ended up spending half an hour chatting to the lovely man in there and ordering Josephine Hart’s Sin (they said yes, as well, which was nice).

    Question – I always thought Josephine Hart was huge, but even with a new book out, and working in Oxford – home to Blackwell’s, Waterstone’s, and Borders, I still had to get my local store too oredr in Damage because no one had it. Now a couple have Damage but no one has sin. It’s a seriously worrying sign. I wonder if the disappearance of Josephine Hart from bookshops is portentous, rather like the disappearnce of bees we’re always hearing about…

    1. Jackie says:

      Dan, I have sympathy – I blew in on day one too and it was all your fault! LOL! I’ve never heard of Josephine Hart before – you aren’t going to make me buy another book are you?!! So in answer to your question she isn’t massive. Her latest, most popular book only has a sales rank of 150,000 on Amazon, so that means they only sell about 1-5 copies a week.

      1. Dan Holloway says:

        Good heavens, that’s extraordinary. Damage was an absolute smash as a book, and the film was incredible (Juliette Binoche, Jeremy Irons, and Miranda Richardson). I wonder what went wrong (actually, it sounds like her new book flopping is what went wrong). I even just had an e-mail from the bookstore to say after much searching they’ve discovered Sin is out of print with no date listed for a reprint. Which is good in the sense I haven’t blown my book budget but very not good for what it implies. We were led to believe that print on demand would stop this kind of thing happening.

        Can’t wait for your review of Norwegian Wood.

  11. Meghan says:

    Wow, well done on getting through the Booker longlist! I think I’ve missed a lot of your reviews since I am woefully behind on blog reading, but I will catch up soon. In the meantime, good luck with that goal of reading more of your own books. I know I’ll never manage, it hasn’t worked yet!

    I’ll be reading Catching Fire first, if only because it’s coming to me in the mail. =)

    1. Jackie says:

      Meghan, I am going to read more of my own books – that is a much better idea than trying not to buy any new ones.

      I’ll do a summary of the Booker list tomorrow, so you’ll be able to quickly see what I thought then.

      I look forward to comparing notes on Catching Fire with you.

  12. Melody says:

    Looks like you’ve a GREAT reading month!
    The two books look equally great to me… but I think I’d go for Catching Fire first! :P

    1. Jackie says:

      Melody, My copy of Catching Fire arrived today so I look forward to starting it soon.

  13. ahhhh…catching fire!!! been seeing it all over the blogs and twitter and can’t wait to sink my fangs into it!

    ps. i can’t believe how many books you review in a month–i am a TURTLE compared to you. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      nat, There is nothing wrong with being a turtle! I sometimes think I read too many books. Perhaps I should slow down soon.

  14. Will you be successful in not buying any more books?! :) Oh I always have that resolution but today have picked up another two. I have a bit of a zen approach in that I kind of think that I’ll naturally prioritise the ones that are realy important to me so there’s no harm in picking up some new ones! I’ll have to wait till your September update to find out…

    1. Jackie says:

      Novel Insights, I’m failing. I have already acquired 3 new books and it is only the 4th September! It is getting silly now. I really do need to try and stop. I have a serious book addiction!

  15. I honestly don’t know which book I think will be better. I just finished Her Fearful Symmetry and enjoyed it a lot. It’s a good ghost story, which I was exactly expecting but was sucked into. I haven’t read Catching Fire, and I’m like number 200 on the waiting list at the library, so I don’t expect to get to it for a long time!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kim, I think I am going to like Her Fearful Symmetry best. I am half way through Catching Fire and it is not living up to expectations. Fingers crossed HFS is much better.

Leave a Reply