What I Read This Month: August 2018.

Books Gretchen has read August 2018

For more than two years now, every Monday morning, I’ve posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads

I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve completed. It gives me the same satisfaction that I felt in grade school when we kept track of all the books we’d read on an “I’m a BookWorm” sheet.

As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I now put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.

This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.

If you’d like more ideas for habits to help you get more reading done, you can read my post here.

As an enthusiastic reader, I’m always trying to get ideas for new great books to try. For instance, I read the delightful British quarterly Slightly Foxed. Readers with the same challenge have asked me to create a list of the books I post, so that they can more easily read the titles and get ideas for books they may want to read.

So, I’m trying this out. Let me know what you think. You can also follow me on Goodreads where I’ve recently started tracking books I’ve read—however, I must confess, I’m a bit scattershot about leaving specific comments there. You’ll also see that I have very eclectic tastes!

If you want to see what I read in July 2018, the full list is here.

August 2018 Reading

My Several Worlds – Pearl S. Buck — I’m on a bit of a Pearl S. Buck kick (see below)

Sempre Susan – Sigrid Nunez — I want to read more about Susan Sontag. From reading this memoir, I’m confident that she’s a Rebel.

Lord of Light – Robert Zelazny — how had I never read this book before? Just my kind of thing.

Letter from Peking – Pearl S. Buck — more Buck!

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik — Raced through this book. And if you haven’t read Novik’s novel His Majesty’s Dragon, run don’t walk; it’s one of my very favorites. Speaking of the Four Tendencies, in His Majesty’s Dragon the main character Captain Will Laurence is an Upholder, and the dragon Temeraire is a Questioner.

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Icebound Land – John Flanagan — working my way through the whole “Ranger’s Apprentice” series. A friend just gave me a Brotherband book as well.

Anybody Can Do Anything – Betty MacDonald — yes, this is the Betty MacDonald who wrote the brilliant Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books! Her adult memoirs are terrific, too; she’s best known for The Egg and I. This is a fascinating, funny account of what it was like for her, as a woman, to look for work during the Depression.

The River – Rumer Godden — how I love Rumer Godden. This was shelved in my library in Adult Fiction, but now that I’ve read it, I think it’s more YA.

Hourglass – Dani Shapiro — this was actually a re-read; I read the memoir when it was first published. So thought-provoking. (Yes, I include re-reads in my weekly lists.)

My Ex-Life – Stephen McCauley — can’t wait to read more by McCauley. I loved this novel.

How it All Began – Penelope Lively — a very compelling novel. It was perfect for an airplane ride, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can pay a book.

What are you reading this month?



Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter “5 things making me happy”.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.