August Reads

So I kind of lied last month. It’d be great to be able to post 5 books I’ve read every month, but with school starting soon, I don’t think that’s going to be possible. So from now on, I’m limiting the list to three.

  1. ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT by Steven King (Goodreads)

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

I found this book at the library, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should pick it up. I was on the lookout for books about writing, but Stephen King inhabits a pretty different writing sphere (horror, thrillers) than I do (YA, usually Contemporary) and I wasn’t sure how much his advice could help me. But thank God I picked this book up because I learned so much from it. Reading this book gave me a whole bunch of respect for Stephen King, both as a writer and as a person, and it taught me even more about writing. Doesn’t matter if you write in a different genre than him—this book will help you a lot.

  1. THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS (HEROES OF OLYMPUS BOOK 5) by Rick Riordan (Goodreads)

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

I’ve gotta admit, I’m kind of a really, really big fan of the Percy Jackson series(es?). They’re probably my favourite series after the Harry Potter books, and they’ve played a pretty important role in my development as a writer, too. As I say in my about page, the first thing I ever seriously wrote was a SON OF NEPTUNE fanfiction. After I binge-read the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIAN series and the first book of the HEROES OF OLYMPUS SERIES, THE LOST HERO, and NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT BECAUSE PERCYYYY I went online searching for stuff about the new book—SON OF NEPTUNE. That’s when I discovered fanfiction, and after reading some of the stuff others had put up, decided to write my own SON OF NEPTUNE. (And the rest, as they say, is history.)

There are two things I really, really like about Rick Riordan. The first is his characters. They’re funny and quirky and wonderful and real. They’re not perfect; they have flaws—especially of the fatal kind—and they know it. They’re not the heroes of Greek myth. They fail sometimes. They break sometimes. They could be the kid you sit next to in Algebra except with godly blood and maybe the ability to control water. And that’s why you love them, and also cry for them when they fall into Tartarus.

The second thing is that unlike a lot of authors, his books don’t suffer from the Curse of the Dreaded Sequel. If anything, they actually get better as the series goes on. And in this book, THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS, AKA the final climax between the heroes we’ve emotionally bled for for five books and the giants we hate, definitely doesn’t disappoint.

  1. THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by Anne Frank (Goodreads)

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short. 

I’ve heard tons and tons about Anne Frank’s diary, and I’ve been wanting to read it for ages. So when I found a brand new copy in Goodwill for like a buck (!!!!), I grabbed my chance. I’m only about halfway through, but I’ve already fallen in love with this book. Anne Frank was real, with real fears and anxieties and flaws; she hoped like I do and felt things like I do and despite everything, ultimately, she was a regular girl like me. She became something wonderful, but in the end, she was just a regular girl who was sad and confident and insecure and happy. And her writing style is so unique. You can almost hear her voice when you read her diary. Her spirit is in every word, and what a beautiful spirit it was.

What books did you guys read this month? 🙂

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