Reading Series: August Books

Summer is undeniably winding down. I thought for sure I would have found a job or an internship to start mid-August, but I haven’t, and I have to keep reminding myself that the whole world doesn’t run on the academic calendar so there’s still time (and hope). This no-job, no-moving time means I get to watch these canyons ease into Autumn, go on ten-mile bike rides on Sunday afternoons with my mom, cheer on the Huskers from their home city, and spend hours reading the books I choose. With the wind down of summer, this will be my final installment of summer reading lists. August was a good month to end on, if I do say so myself.


Quiet by Susan Cain I’m going to write a longer post on this book soon. But for now I will say that if you are in charge of a classroom or an office space, or if you oversee people in any capacity, really, read this book. It is fascinating to see the divide between how introverts and extroverts act. And if you are an introvert, read this book. It might drop some explanations into place for you. It did for me.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf I bought this cause I was at a bookstore and wanted to buy something (you all know that feeling, right?) and this one was on the sale table and looked literary and important. And it has been sitting on my shelf since high school. It has a few interesting insights, nothing astounding, but was more tolerable than Thoreau’s Walden, which I got forty pages into this month before giving up on it.

Little House in Brookfield, Little Town at the Crossroads, Little Clearing in the Woods, and On Top of Concord Hill by Maria D Wilkes Again, books that have been hanging around for years and that I need to clear my conscience of. This series is a spinoff of the Little House on the Prairie books and are about Laura’s mother, Caroline. It’s fun to see her personality developing as a child in contrast with the mother figure you get in the other series. I’m reading the fifth book now, and Caroline has just met her future husband (Charles Ingalls). I am very excited to see how their relationship evolves in the last three books.

Wen Fu, The Art of Writing by Lu Chi, translated by Sam Hamill This poetry that doubles as advice on writing is actually quite lovely. It was composed in the third or fourth century, but the sentiment rings clear today. One of my favorite lines is about the apparent need for artists to keep creating and perfecting without stopping:

For a poet, there is terror in the dust.


Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist YES YES YES. Sometimes I start doubting the Shauna fan club, and then I read her writing and I’m like “just kidding, here are my dues!” I probably need to devote a whole post to this one as well. It has gotten me through some hard, self-doubting, no-motivation-to-do-anything-but-lay-in-bed sort of days this summer. Kudos to you, Shauna.

And that’s a wrap! On to boring old autumn reading.

What was your favorite read of the summer?


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