August 2018 Wrap Up

August Wrap Up

Posted August 27, 2018 by Amber in Checking In / 27 Comments


Hello everyone!  How did August go for everyone?  Summer is winding away, and autumn is nearly here!  My  August was busy with friends in the beginning and work at the end.  I read some great books, ate some great food, and I am SO SO excited for September because I have a lot of fun stuff planned in September!

As I’m writing this, I’ve got Black-ish on in background, eating some amazing bakery chocolate cream pie, hot tea… the porch door is wide open and my Lizzie cat is curled up right next to me.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

I really can’t emphasize how delicious this chocolate cream pie is.  It is the best chocolate cream pie I have every had.  I can make my own pies, and they’re good enough, but dang y’all.  Small town bakery pies are the best.

Anywho, without further ado – lets talk about books!

The Monthly Haul

I didn’t add a lot of books to the collection this month!  That’s a general goal – I have too many books on my shelves in hardcopy as is, and with a goal to move again next spring… lets just say I love my books, but moving makes me think about leaving them all behind.

The Poppy War I bought because it popped up as August’s read for the Apparating Library Book Club.  I’d been seeing it around and thought it looked interesting – I’m glad I took chance!

Both Eleanor and Park and Milk and Honey came from a book sale at work.  It was the first time that the office hosted a book sale and it was benefiting a local non-profit, so I was all in!

Finally, Contagion was this month’s Scribbler book!  The Scribbler book box is one I just can’t quit, and you’ll see why on Thursday. ?

All the things I’ve been reading

Intro to reading

11 books found













I feel like I read an odd assortment of books for me, this month.  Milk and Honey is the most unusual for me – I’m not a poetry person, generally speaking.  I actually didn’t read a lot, especially in the last two weeks.  Two books this month were ARCs I read a long time ago, but have only just now been published.

This month’s highlights were:

The Poppy War /★★★★★ – This book was intense, dark, fiery, and really, really good.  It shocked me in good ways, disgusted me when it should, and I am completely impressed by R.F. Kuang’s debut.

Dandelion Wine / ★★★★★ – It’s really easy to discount older books, especially when they’re overshadowed by more famous counterparts by the same author.  Such is the case with Dandelion Wine, which I thought was the perfect summer read.

Small Steps / ★★★★ – Even though this is a middle grade book, I was really impressed with the content Sachar chose.  In the sequel to the famous Holes, he could have gone in a lot of directions, but this one was really good.

Magic and Mischief on the Blog

This was a great blogging month for me!  None of my days fell under 20 views, which is huge for this blog, so I’m really happy you all are enjoying the content!  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I changed a little bit about the layout.  Really, just a little bit – the menu and uploaded a new background.  I think it’s very fresh and pretty and I’m really happy with it.

Somehow, early in the month, I also had the time to go back through and update a bunch of old featured images. I wish that I could do this without pingbacks being sent out every time I update the post?  Anyone have good suggestions for this?

This month’s most popular post was Five of My Favorite Book Blogs Who You Absolutely Must Follow … and I’m so excited about this!  If I can refer you lovely followers to some of my favorite bloggers and help you discover new people, and I am so so happy to do so.  In the world of reviews, The Poppy War came out on top – which as a debut and incredible book – I’m really pleased about.  Y’all have good taste.

What Have I been Scribbling?

After July, I was determined to get back into blogging and get some stuff written for the next couple months, and I have succeeded in that.  Unfortunately, just as I was at the point where I was ready to switch gears back to working on Lady of Shadows (I really hate that title, guys)… work got crazy.

The good news is that when I finish the posts I’m planning to write today, I’ll be activating the heavily discounted Scrivener that was one of Camp NaNoWriMo’s prizes… and maybe I’ll write 1000 words before the end of the month after all. ?

Adventures in the real world!

We went to the annual birthday celebration for our best friends and their daughters at the beginning of the month, something I usually find a bit awkward (no secret – I’ve told them before, that’s how good of friends they are).  This year, it was genuinely fun.  Knowing some of their friends a bit better helps, and the kids are getting older, and we got to see some mutual friends we hadn’t seen in a couple years.  It was nice!

Otherwise, work largely took over my life.

BUT SO MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN SEPTEMBER.  This section will be so full next month, and I can’t wait.

What’s Coming Next?

I have all my posts (minus reviews) already set up for next month.  There are tags! An unboxing! And of course discussions and top tens.  On top of that, I’m really excited to bring more fun travel postslike I did after we went to Europe in April.  I know my travel posts don’t get many views, but I love writing them and am looking forward to bringing you, first, a look into New England’s biggest renaissance faire… and Disney later on.

Oh yes, that’s right!

I’m going on vacation in the middle of the month.  There will be a hiatus post, but … you know.  Now you know.




In the bookish world, I just finished Vicious so you should see a review on that soon… but as far as audiobooks go, I”m listening to The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, which is a 50 hour audiobook (the longest I’ve ever listened to!) and it will take some time. ? That may cut down a little on the reviews you see next month, as I do most my reviews from audiobooks, but we’ll see!


What was your favorite read this month?

Did you go on vacation this summer?

How was your August?

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27 responses to “August Wrap Up

    • Amber

      I’ve heard that the next two Newsflesh books aren’t as good… I hope it’s wrong because I agree – Feed was great and interesting and different. You’ll have to let me know what you think when you get to them!

  1. Ummmm…reading about chocolate while I’m at work and don’t have access to it is a terrible way to start the week! LOL

    Oh, The Poppy War – I have seen so much about this book, and I really want to read it.

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a fantastic vacation! 🙂

    • Amber

      Oh no!!!! I hope you get some on your lunch break – sorry about that! ?

      I do recommend The Poppy War, but I’m a bit hesitant because I really want people to know what they’re getting into. All I had heard before reading it was “boarding school” and “magic”, but it makes up a very small percentage of the book, and there are looooads of trigger warnings. It was a genuinely well done book, though!

  2. Kathy Martin

    Oh, dear! I just put Catching Stars on my October calendar yesterday. Looks like I’ll look for something else to fill that calendar date. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I don’t read poetry, usually, but I have to admit that with all the hype around Milk & Honey, I’ve been feeling curious. I’m glad you rated it 3 stars, that make me want to give it a try maybe sometime 🙂
    Vacation, travel posts soon?? THIS IS SO VERY EXCITING! I can’t wait to hear all about it and I hope you’ll have a fantastic time! 🙂 x

    • Amber

      Milk and Honey was an easy read – all in one evening! So even if you’re not in love with it, it doesn’t take very long. ? I do think poetry is very subjective, so it may be a 5-star read for you! ?

  4. I’m excited to hear more of your thoughts on the Scribbler box! I have a birthday coming up next month and I think a subscription to the box would be awesome. Also, congrats on getting a massive discount on Scrivener! I love the program, and I hope you find it helpful, too. 🙂

    • Amber

      Along with being an awesome month of motivation, NaNoWriMo is also great for writing-related discounts! I’ve tried Scrivener before and didn’t like version 2.0 because it felt really outdated and clunky… 3.0 is sooooo much smoother! ?

    • Amber

      Yay I’m really glad to hear it’s good! I really haven’t seen any Scribbler unboxings, and I’ve been thinking about doing one for ages! It’s different, and aimed towards writers who read, instead of just readers. ?

    • Amber

      Lol, thanks. I really feel like the pie is the most important aspect! ? I actually have a proper desk set up for when I work from home, but I wasn’t digging the workish vibes and have been posting off my laptop lately!

      Thank you – I hope you have a great week, too!

  5. I just finished Contagion and loved it, so hopefully you will too! 🙂 And glad it was a great blogging month.

    Looking forward to your Renaissance faire post!

    • Amber

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! You know, before I opened my Scribbler box, Contagion wasn’t even in my radar? Now I’m hearing all about how everyone loved it! It’s awesome!

  6. Lots of good reading. I haven’t read Bradbury in a long time but he certainly shouldn’t be discounted. 🙂 I’m pretty sure I have Feed from SYNC. Happy Reading!

    • Amber

      I try to mix in some classics, and Dandelion Wine has been on my radar since I read Something Wicked This Way Comes I’m high school – I’m really glad I read it and definitely recommend it. It’s got the same ambling flow and rich imagery as its sequel. ?

    • Amber

      It is rooooough. I’m like… 60% if the way through, from sheer force of will. I did take a break in the middle and listen to something different, for a change of pace. I’ve been working really long hours the last couple weeks, so at least it helps pass the time! ?