What I’m Reading – August 2019

It’s my birthday month! To celebrate my 30th birthday, I’m making lots of time for reading and taking a cupcake decorating class with some friends 🙂 In the meantime, I’m sharing my mini reviews of the books I read recently. I’m linking up with Jana Says and Modern Mrs Darcy as usual to share what we read this month!

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any items purchased through the links above at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my book blog!!


Work Book (for lunchtime reading):

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess – This historical fiction debut is set in the publishing world in the summer of 1987. I was hoping for a bit more in depth look at that era, but honestly the publishing industry and time period served as more of a backdrop. This is instead a coming of age story about an impressionable girl who gets involved with an older man. I’m not a big fan of the weighty coming of age/finding yourself type novels, but if you enjoy them this book would be great for you!


House Books:

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand – Elin is known for her beach reads, but she delves into historical fiction in her latest release. 1969 was an incredible year in American history, full of amazing national accomplishments and notorious scandals. Thankfully, Elin does an admirable job weaving those well-known events into the lives of her characters. This is easily one of my favorites from her. I hope she explores other time periods in the future! Even though the topics are a bit heavier, you’ll still fly through this one.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – I picked this up on a whim at a book sale. Morgan Matson is a well-known Young Adult writer, but I hadn’t tried any of her books before! I will certainly be remedying that situation now. Since You’ve Been Gone takes place over the course of a summer after Emily’s best friend disappears. The only thing she leaves behind is a bucket list for Emily to tackle. As Emily simultaneously searches for her friend and tries to complete her list, she starts to come out of her shell. As a bonus – she develops a new friendship with a cute classmate! I absolutely loved the concept and Matson’s character development. It’s a perfect summer read.


eBooks (reading on Netgalley / Scribd):

The Library of Lost Things – Since I was approved for this young adult novel on Netgalley, I wanted to immediately dive in! It’s a quick read with a multitude of literary references. The main character is a book-loving high schooler who’s mom is hoarder. She’s trying to navigate high school while keeping her and her mom afloat at home. I obviously love how well-versed Darcy is in classic and current books. Plus, she has every readers dream job of working part-time at a bookstore. Most of us can probably understand the teenage preference for book boyfriends vs real life!


Audio Books (listening on Scribd):

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe – Jay and I finally settled on this classic for our road trip to the beach a few weeks ago. It’s super short at only 3 hours. Honestly, I thought Crusoe had it MUCH harder on that deserted island than what the story actually says. It seemed like a pretty cushy life with the whole lack of aggressive animals, collection of useful items from the ship, and abundance of land perfect for growing food 🙂 It’s an enjoyable audiobook and always nice to check another classic off the list!

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood – A Reese Witherspoon book club selection is always noteworthy. So, I was thrilled to find this one on Scribd. It joins the recent trend of quirky female protagonists who are socially awkward and inflexible. This book follows along as Susan, a middle aged woman, deals with her irresponsible brother who she believes forced their mother to alter her will just before she passed away. Unfortunately, for some reason Susan is rubbing me the wrong way and I’m kind of slogging through the book now. I’d stick with A Man Called Ove or Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.


Around the Web:

New Book Releases for Fall 2019 – I put together a list of the books I’m most looking forward to in Fall 2019. There are a plethora of enticing novels (and even a few nonfiction!) coming out in the next few months.

Books You Can Read in One Day – A collection of short novels in honor of National Book Lover’s Day.


For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in July 2019!

what to read august 2019




  1. Haven’t always finished every Hilderbrand book I’ve started but, of those I have read, Summer of ’69 was my favorite. If I remember correctly, she talks about how this story is personal to her in the author’s notes. Her experiences and connections, including 25 years of living on Nantucket, are apparent and give extra depth to those particular books.

  2. Nice assortment of books. I have a hard time thinking of Summer of ’69 as a historical fiction title since I remember the year as I lived through it. Of course, I just turned 69 which explains it. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I love robinson crusoe because it happened in Tobago our sister isle (google the story). Its a pretty nice story actually and we really dont have that many dangerous animals!

  4. Happy Birthday Month! My birthday month was last month and I am a big supporter of celebrating for the whole month. I still haven’t read anything by Hilderbrand and I always see at least one book by her reviewed every SUYB link-up. This one sounds really interesting to me. Maybe it’s the one that will get me hooked!

    1. I just started reading Hilderbrand a year ago, so I was way behind on the train too 🙂 I’m a fan now though.

    1. I only have 2 hours left to listen, so I’m going to finish but man I wish I hadn’t started. I have no idea how this ended up as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick!

  5. Since You’ve Been Gone has been on my to read list. I read The Unexpected Everything by her and really enjoyed it. I know a lot of people have been loving Summer of ’69. I’m debating whether to give it a try since I haven’t been a huge fan of the books of hers that I have read.

    1. I’ll try The Unexpected Everything next! Summer of ’69 would be a good option for you, but if you don’t like this one then it’s probably time to give up on her haha.

  6. Just finished up The Library of Lost Things, and while I didn’t find it the most memorable book ever, I’m a total sucker for books about book lovers or bookstores, so I had fun reading it for sure. And I’m very intrigued by the Morgan Matson one – I just read Save the Date by her, which was kind of a comedy of errors type situation with a wedding. Fun, but a little over the top at times. I’m definitely intrigued by the different sounding plot of this one though!

    p.s. turning 30 is great. Even better with cupcakes (my husband and I had a cupcake and wine/beer pairing party for ours!). Enjoy!!

  7. I thought for sure I had my name on the library holds list for Summer of 69. I just looked and I didn’t, so now I’m #82. Maybe it’s worth spending an audible credit on?

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