What I Read in August 2018

Here is my August reading wrap-up in five-word “reviews.”


True Grit by Charles Portis: rare case movie was better

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: excess, snobbery almost ruin love

The Last Man by Mary Shelley: lonely rambling epic of philosophy

Friends and Relations by Elizabeth Bowen: dense prose describes English families

The Quiet Side of Passion by Alexander McCall Smith: Isabel Dalhousie solves, philosophizes again

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey: boring, misogynistic, overhyped hero story

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl: Learning to cook while stressed

They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell: 1918 influenza devastates Bunny’s family

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell: regrets, we’ve had a few

Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King: what happened to Sherlock’s personality?

What did you read in August? Have you read any of these?

14 thoughts on “What I Read in August 2018

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  1. I’ve only read True Grit and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In August I read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Heir of Redclyffe, All Done by Kindness, Exit West, Minds of Winter, After You’d Gone, An American Marriage, and The Good Soldier. The outstanding ones from that list, I thought, were Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin, After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Connell, and The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford.

  2. I read ‘One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest” in high school. This August: ‘The Soul of America’, Jon Meacham. Authoritative prose style in the tradition of David McCullough, Neil Sheehan, and David Halberstam. Presents great Americans in their very human effort to serve and build on the principles of an evolving American republic. Only mildly critical of the current administration and then only by comparison to past leaders. ’99 Novels’ by Anthony Burgess. His recommendations on the best novels from 1939 to 1983. He treats each recommendation with a plot summary and literary justification for inclusion in his list. ‘The Outsiders’, S.E. Hinton. Remarkable, poignant story of youth caught in the class struggles of the 1960s. ‘The Member of the Wedding’, Carson McCullers. Coming of age novel of a young girl in the last year of WWII. ‘Goodbye, Columbus’, Philip Roth. His first effort, an award winning novella, published in 1959. Great humor. ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’, Philip Roth. The iconic novel that made Roth. Known for its sexual aberrations but quite funny. ‘Angle of Repose’, Wallace Stegner. The great American novel with a most human portrayal of the 19th century West. See excellent review on this website.

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