Everything I Read In August 2020

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There is obviously a theme carrying over from the end of July and that is Latin America. It was a slow reading month for me and it was 50/50 and great reads, but I was on a roll and basically had a mini Latin America read-a-thon.

While this may not have been my best reading month, I definitely make up for it in September and October. But right now I’m just dreaming of travel abroad again.

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot.
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Get that deal here.
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.

Patagonian Road: A Year Alone Through Latin America

Author:Kate McCahill

Genre: Travel memoir

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Kate spends a year in Latin America spanning ten countries, three teaching jobs, and countless buses. This is her solo journey from Guatemala to Argentina where she struggles with language, romance, culture, service, and homesickness. She follows the route outlined by Paul Theroux in 1979 in his travelogue The Old Patagonian Express.

Final thoughts: The Paul Theroux aspect of this is almost non-existent and just feels weird every time it’s brought up. Direct from my GoodReads review:

One star off for everything E- in the beginning (especially just calling her E- and not giving her a fake name). My enjoyment of this went up drastically in the second half once E- wasn’t involved anymore. I was just totally pulled out of the story anytime we got one of the flashbacks of her.

And one star off for the sheer amount of the use of some iteration of the phrase “ people that were Disappeared.” Which I’ve never heard in my life but read THREE times on one page! Plus like, five more times earlier in the book. I was also pulled out of the story every time I read this phrase.

Overall I liked it but these two things just really got me. 

Amerzonia: A Savage Journey Through the Americas

Author: Mark Walters

Genre: Travel memoir

Rating: 3/5

About the book: Mark travels from LA to the Amazon rainforest, passing through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. This is the tale of his misadventures along the way, his hedonistic search for. . something, and his odd encounters with colorful characters along the way.

Final thoughts: Direct from my GoodReads review: Maybe closer to 2.5. This guy doesn’t sound like someone I would want to spend any time with. If you don’t care to read about drug use, skip it.

There were parts where I just didn’t enjoy it (like where he talked about seeing someone topless on Little Corn Island and blundering through an encounter, but just in his head for a whole page) but kept reading for nostalgic purposes because I love Central America.

Sola: One Woman’s Journey Alone Across South America

Author: Amy Field

Genre: Travel memoir

Rating: 5/5

About the book: Amy has left her pleasant narrow life for one rich in experiences with panpipe playing Zen masters, nighttime jungle boat rides, Incan ruins, Patagonian glaciers, accidental volcano climbs, and even Giardia.

At the center of it all is a quirky surfer with wacky bits of wisdom and one real question: can you ever go home again?

Final thoughts: I loved this. It was funny. It was introspective. It was interesting and it just so made me miss Central America! It also made me want to go see more out South America for real.

The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe

Author: Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 5/5

About the book: This is the second collection of podcast episodes with insight and commentary on each episode, plus some awesome illustrations.

Final thoughts: Another bizarre installment in the world of Night Vale. These are such odd books but I love them. Sometimes when I get close to the end I’m like ok, I’m ready to be done, but now thinking about it again, I want to keep reading them. They’re just so perfectly weird.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in August?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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