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August 2020 Book Recommendations

august 2020 recommendations

August 2020 Book Recommendations: What to Read & What to Skip

Welcome to my regular round up of mini book reviews for my August 2020 book recommendations! I have NINE book reviews for you this month, which blew my mind when I counted.

While only one hit the coveted five star status, there were a few 4 and 4.5 star reviews plus one thriller that all you thriller addicts will adore!

In my list of August 2020 book recommendations, I include everything I’ve read recently no matter what.  I like to share both my five star reads and any misses to help you get a better idea of what you should read or might want to skip.

As always, I love to hear if you agree or disagree with my ratings! Let me know in the comments what you thought of my August 2020 book recommendations.

I’m linking up with Jana Says /Life According to Steph 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!!

 

August 2020 Book Recommendations

Physical Books:

the switchThe Switch by Beth O’Leary

This right here is my five star read! The Switch is O’Leary’s second novel (and her first, The Flatshare, was one of my top books of 2019). Leena and her grandmother decide to switch lives after they both realize they need a break. Leena is taking a much needed hiatus from work after a personal tragedy, so she fills in for her grandmother’s small town duties. Meanwhile her grandmother sets off to London to start online dating, with Leena’s flatmates to guide her.

I can’t get enough of O’Leary’s humor and quirky characters. I wanted to curl up with this book forever and keep reading about their adventures. It’s got a little bit of love, a little bit of healing, and a whole lot of charm. 5 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen Kiernan

The Baker’s Secret has been sitting on my shelf for a while, but I was in the mood for WWII historical fiction so I finally picked it up. It follows a woman in Nazi-occupied France as she finds small ways to keep her townspeople alive. The story leads up to D-Day, but focuses on the struggles and heartbreak of daily life during this time period.

There isn’t heart-stopping action or shocking twists, but I think this novel is all the better for it. Instead, you’ll find a poignant peek into the atrocities of the war but also the courage of its survivors. 4.5 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

500 Miles From You500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is one of my go-to authors, so I’m always thrilled when a new book comes out. 500 Miles From You is the third book in a loosely tied together series set in Kirrinfief, Scotland. Lissa, from London, and Cormack, from Scoland, are assigned to each other’s nursing routes for a few months. As they adjust to their surroundings and new patients, they start to rely on each other for support despite never meeting in person.

This is another hit from Jenny! 4 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

heart so fierceA Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

I finally snagged the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely from my library! We pick up right where the first book left off, which is always my favorite way for sequels to start. Emberfell is being torn apart by rumors of a hidden true heir that presents a threat to Rhen’s throne. Grey can’t let anyone know the secret he’s hiding, so he turns to former enemies for aide.

I love that Grey takes center stage, since I think he’s the more interesting male lead. Plus, a few new characters round out the story to create an excellent sequel! 4 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

silent patient book coverThe Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

One of my coworkers recommended this thriller to me, even though she knows I don’t like them!! I grabbed it from my library to make her happy and surprisingly enjoyed it a fair amount!

When a woman unexpectedly murders her husband and then goes completely silent, she’s transferred to a mental health facility. A psychologist is convinced he can get her to speak and find out what really happened the night of the murder. The twist was entirely unexpected, but a bit far fetched for my taste. However, if you’re normally a thriller person I think you’ll adore this book! 3.5 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

the heir affairThe Heir Affair by Jessica Morgan and

The Royal We is an all time favorite royal read, so I had high hopes for the sequel. Unfortunately it fell a little flat for me.

I still enjoy reading about these characters, but this book just felt like a bit of a drag. It took me ages to read because I kept picking up other things instead. Honestly I’d read The Royal We and call it a day! 3 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

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August 2020 Recommendations

 

 

 

 

eBooks (reading from Netgalley / Library):

anxious peopleAnxious People by Fredrik Backman

You guys know I am a HUGE Backman fan, so it pains me to write this review!! Anxious People focuses on a group of strangers who become hostages during an apartment viewing and the cops that are trying to save them. In typical Backman fashion, he delves into the thoughts, reactions, and connections between everyone.

Unfortunately, not a lot happens in the plot. It almost felt like he was trying too hard to blow us away with his writing style, and forgot about the actual events taking place. In the end, I flew through the last third of the book. But the fact that it took me that long to start enjoying makes this a middle-of-the-road read for me. 3.5 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

fix her upFix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

WOW! If you’re looking for steam, this romance has got you covered. After being dropped by yet another team, former MLB star Travis moves back to his hometown to wallow. The only person willing to force him back into real life is his best friends younger sister, Georgie. After a few enlightening encounters, they agree to a fake relationship so they’ll both be taken more seriously. At least it starts out fake…

There are no closed door scenes here! If you prefer your romance with less steam, you might want to skip this! Overall, I could have used a little more plot, but it was a fun ride! 3 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

 

never never book coverNever Never by Colleen Hoover

I’m only just starting to dig in to Colleen Hoover’s backlist, but oof this was a major miss. Two teens are suddenly struck with memory loss and have no idea who they are or what happened to them. They come to realize they’re supposedly madly in love, but have had a recent falling out.

As they try to piece together what happened, they get to the root of whether they were meant to be or not. Honestly, this one was bad. 2 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Reading Tracker Analysis (Data: Jan – Present)

Since I created my Reading Tracker (available for $5 in my store), I decided to showcase a few of the graphs each month. I’m an accountant, so books + Excel is my dream combo 🙂

Let’s took a look at my reading spread by genre first! As expected, still a TON of romance/chick lit. That’s clearly the genre of 2020 – which isn’t surprising considering they bring me the most joy!

books by genre

 

The largest graph you’ll find in my tracker shows the average star rating for each publisher! You can easily see I don’t stick with a few favorite publishers. My books come from a wide variety of places, but it’s helpful to keep an eye out for upcoming new releases from publishers with higher ratings!

publisher ratings

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to analyze your reading or you’re tired of tracking books with Goodreads, check out my Reading Tracker!

reading tracker

 

What was the best book you read recently?

 

For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in July 2020!

 

 

 

 

25 Comments

  • Reply
    Allison | Mind Joggle
    August 10, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    I agree–The Switch was so charming! It was excellent on audio. I also think I need to try more Jenny Colgan. The Bookshop on the Corner is one of my favorite cozy reads.

    Too bad about The Heir Affair and the Backman book–I’ve been looking forward to trying both, but I’ve seen a few lackluster reviews.

  • Reply
    Carly
    August 11, 2020 at 6:58 am

    I haven’t read The Flatshare, but every time I hear about The Switch it sounds so good.I have the Heir Affair on hold from the library, it’s always a bummer when a sequel falls short. 500 Miles From You is on my list– I’ve enjoyed the other books by Colgan that I’ve read. What a great roundup of books!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      August 11, 2020 at 7:58 am

      I’ve seen a lot of people that LOVED The Heir Affair so it might just depend on the person. There’s still hope!

  • Reply
    Shea
    August 11, 2020 at 7:52 am

    I’m waiting on a copy of the Switch from my library and your review made me so excited to get it! I’ve heard so much about the Silent Patient–I go back and forth on thrillers, but for some reason I keep picking them up! Glad to hear that was a pretty good one.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      August 11, 2020 at 7:57 am

      I hope you like The Switch too! And that it arrives quickly 🙂

  • Reply
    Kay R.D.
    August 11, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I really enjoyed the silent patient. I actually liked that it was far fetched because thrillers (while I love them) tend to get predictable for me.

  • Reply
    SMD
    August 11, 2020 at 10:45 am

    I hate when I get a bad one but it happens LOL

  • Reply
    Michael
    August 11, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    The Silent Patient was one of my absolute favorites. I’m looking forward to reading Anxious People. He’s such a great author.

  • Reply
    Elena Wiggins
    August 11, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I am excited to read The Switch, though it wont be for a loooong time since I am #53 on 1 audiobook copy on Overdrive. I absolutely love how detailed your tracker is. How fascinating to get so much insight into your reading life!

    Linking my July reads in my name, if interested

  • Reply
    Jenn
    August 11, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for the great reviews! I didn’t know Jenny Colgan had a new book. On to the TBR list it goes, lol!
    I have The Swtich on there and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy from my library.

  • Reply
    ShootingStarsMag
    August 11, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    I still need to read The Flathshare. Glad to see you loved the author’s latest though! I have The Silent Patient, which I hope to read soon.

    -lauren

  • Reply
    Nancy @ NY Foodie Family
    August 11, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    The Switch is on my to read list. I thought The Silent Patient was okay but way over-hyped. I read Fix Her Up this month as well and wasn’t a huge fan. I love Colleen Hoover but was also disappointed with Never Never.

  • Reply
    Jana @ Jana Says
    August 11, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    I feel like my Kindle keeps trying to sell me The Switch. Or one that has a cover that looks like it.

  • Reply
    Julie
    August 11, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    So many good suggestions!

  • Reply
    Kristin
    August 12, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Anxious People sounds ..odd?

    The Silent Patient was okay. Not my favorite of the thrillers I’ve read in the last year or so.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    August 12, 2020 at 11:12 am

    I am a sucker for Jenny Colgan books – adding this one to the TBR. Also I’m laughing all day long at the series that Fix Her Up belongs to is called “Hot and Hammered.”

  • Reply
    kristen
    August 12, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    never never was so bonkers.
    cannot wait for the 3rd in that Brigid Kemmerer series!
    love love loved the switch!

  • Reply
    Riana Ang-Canning
    August 12, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Oh I can’t wait to read The Switch. I read The Flatshare last year and really enjoyed it. So glad you liked this one too. I also read The Silent Patient last year. I don’t usually read thrillers but thought it was pretty cool!

  • Reply
    Becki
    August 12, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    The Switch sounds super cute! And your graphs and such always look fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing – enjoy your month!

  • Reply
    Jill K
    August 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Is Anxious People new? I thought I’d read all of his books.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      August 13, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      It is!! It comes out in September!

  • Reply
    Linda Stoll
    August 15, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Rachel, hi! Thanks for the heads up on Jenny Colgan’s latest. Always relaxing, fun, and homey.

    I love your graphs and star ratings! Cool …

  • Reply
    Lis Moriarty
    August 15, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    I too read The Switch this month and absolutely adored it! Anxious People is high on my TBR for fall so I appreciate seeing your thoughts…and you just moved Jenny Colgan much higher up my TBR stack (somehow I have 3 of her books and haven’t read any yet!)

    Here’s my quick lit post for the month also chatting about The Switch as well as His Only Wife, One to Watch and what my family’s current reads are as well. https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-august-2020

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 18, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    I have been reading Anxious People for like, a month now – so I see what you are saying there. It is picking up a little bit and I do still like it but it isn’t unputdownable. LOVED The Switch!!

  • Reply
    Karen
    August 18, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    The Switch and 500 Miles from You are on my TBR. Glad to hear they did not disappoint! I’m a fan of Jenny Colgan! I’ve not heard of The Baker’s Secret. I’ve added it to my TBR!!

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