August Reads: the list

On the first day of the year, I laid out my 2018 reading goals. Once again, I had to switch out a book! While I skimmed through That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx to make sure it wasn’t an experimental mess, I found it so boring that I threw it in the donation box on page five. *fingers crossed there are no August substitutions*

Here’s what’s on the list for August:

#1 Fat Fiction: August’s book is actually a memoir, This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

Brief Description: With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star. . .

this is just my face
Sidibe ripped my heart up in the film Precious.

#2 The Oldest Book Shelved: She Drove Without Stopping by Jaimy Gordon, purchased February, 2013 when Gordon did a reading at the University of Notre Dame.

Brief Description: As she refuses to turn back from a terrain we all know is dangerous to women, Jane Turner’s wit wrestles with the violence she encounters on a risky odyssey. Jaimy Gordon has created a character so fresh, so self-consumed and self-righteous, that she reveals secrets of a special and particularly American type of woman.

she drove without stopping
Given how challenging Bogeywoman could be, this might be the hardest book to get through in August.

#3 Newest Book Shelved: Ugly Town: The Movie: A Novel by Debra DiBlasi

Brief Description:Horror meets the American Dream in this politically timely, scathing, take-no-prisoners novel about Hollywood, suburban sprawl, racism, gun culture, automobile fetishism, love & hate, and what just may prove to be the American Nightmare. Award-winning author and screenwriter Debra Di Blasi returns to the scene of society’s crimes with comical, outrageous, angry, and horror-filled excoriations.

ugly town
I believe the form of this novel is a script. Di Blasi writes experimental fiction AND straightforward prose, so we’ll see!

#4 Random Pick: Crackpot by Adele Wiseman

Brief Description: Hoda is a prostitute, but that is not the most important fact about her. Earthy, bawdy, vulnerable, and big-hearted, she is the daughter of an impoverished Jewish couple who emigrated from Russia to Canada to escape persecution. Growing up in a ghetto of Winnipeg, she experiences cruelty and bigotry early and fights back with humor and anger, which is something to behold as her young body takes on gargantuan proportions.

I picked this title out in a used book store and loved the description.


  1. Nice books! I love the cover on Crackpot. I enjoyed the Proulx but I was just glad it wasn’t Accordion Crimes, which was soooooo gruesome!

    I’m going off my usual list for August, as you might know. I read my books in strict acquisition order, apart from review books and things in series, but it’s All Virago / All August (which also includes books published by Persephone), so I’ll be dotting around from October 2017 to January 2018 acquisitions in the main, and one from I think March!


    • After 5 pages, I was tired of listening. At first, I thought I was having trouble getting the style of writing. When that happens, I have my husband read a page aloud to me, and that usually fixes things. He hit five pages and I was like, “just stop!!!”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wanted to drop by and say I absolutely love your system of setting the TBR! Sounds amazing and I’m interested in trying it out to see if it works for me!!


  3. I’m usually pretty good at figuring out early whether a book is for me or not. Helps save a lot of time and energy. I really like that cover for Crackpot and has a really interesting premise. Hope you enjoy all the reads you pick up this August!


  4. I’m excited for you to read Crackpot and let us know how it is! Yay Canadian cities! I’ve only spent a small amount of time in Winnipeg (it’s not exactly a popular place here) so we will see what kind of role it plays in this book!


  5. As always, a completely intriguing collection of books! Of all the books you’ve listed, I am most intrigued to hear what you think of This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. All my exposure to Gabourey Sidibe comes from your blog and she sounds FASCINATING. I am quite intrigued to hear if her memoir is really as riveting as it sounds. 🙂

    Crackpot sounds challenging and intriguing as well. Is this a new acquisition? What made you decide to select it as your random pick?


  6. Can’t wait to see what you think of This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare! I’ve actually never seen Precious, BUT have obviously heard amazing things. Are you listening to it via audiobook? Just wondering if she narrates it herself… I would assume she did?


  7. It looks like you have some heavy reading planned! I’ve actually never heard of any of these books, though I tend to stick children’s literature so perhaps my ignorance is not surprising. 😉 I’m particularly intrigued by your description of Ugly Town, though: “Horror meets the American dream.” What a hook!


  8. I can’t believe we’re about three weeks into August already! I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like, but maybe I would manage to fit more of it in if I set out my reading goals at the beginning of each month.


    • It certainly does keep me trucking along. This schedule keeps me at one book per week, which isn’t too much. If I realize I am not liking a book, I consider how far into the month I am and how many books I’ve already read for the month, and I will abandon it after this assessment.


  9. What?! You’re reading Crackpot this month? Have you started it yet? I just picked that one up myself not long ago – also at a used book store. I can’t wait to read it, but am so bogged down right now!


  10. I enjoy discovering new books and authors via your blog. I admit all of these are new to me. I am taking notes for when my current ‘I want to binge on happy romance’ mood goes away.
    You have a great reading system btw, I really like it! 😊👍


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