Welcome to another Spell the Month in Books! Here’s a rundown of how this linkup works:
The goal is to spell the name of the current month by using the first letter of book titles (skipping articles like A, An, and The). This can be done with books you have on hand, creating a physical bookstack, or by building a virtual bookstack. I’ve recently started sharing themes a few months in advance to focus your book search, but following the theme is entirely optional. Once you have your stack, you can share it whatever way is convenient for you. Some bloggers do this by creating a post and adding a link to it in linkup widget toward the bottom of this page (click on the blue button that says “Click here to enter”). You can also share your list in a comment (with or without a link) or share a picture of your stack/list with the hashtag #SpelltheMonthinBooks on your preferred social media site. Regardless of how you participate, feel free to grab the button from the bottom of this page to include with it. This is a new button as of February 2021! Other than aesthetics, the only difference from the previous one is that it links to the tag #SpelltheMonthinBooks rather than one specific post.
Are you ready to take the challenge? Can you Spell the Month in Books? Linkups open on the second Saturday of each month and remain open until the next one is posted.
The theme challenge for August 2021 is books that I want to read in the second half of 2021.
August – Books I Want to Read in the Second Half of 2021
A – Absolutely Truly (Pumpkin Falls Mystery #1) by Heather Vogel Frederick
Middle Grade Mystery
Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.
With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.
I had forgotten about this book until I sorted my Goodreads TBR list alphabetically by title, and I am so glad that I stumbled across it again! This sounds like such a fun story, and as a middle-grade book it should be a pretty quick and easy read. Perfect for October, when I will likely be buried in school work and looking for something seasonal but easy-to-read!
U – Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cosette
Historical (Biblical) Fiction
Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband’s brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh’s head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.
Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother’s death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah’s father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request. As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?
To be completely honest, this book is #3 in the Cities of Refuge series and I have not read either of the first two books, so it is highly unlikely that I will get to this one in 2021. However, it is a series that I hope to read in the relatively close future.
G – Gilead by Marilynn Robinson
Nearly 25 years after Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the 20th century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America’s heart. In the words of Kirkus, it is a novel “as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering.” Gilead tells the story of America and will break your heart.
This is one of the books on the 2021 High-Priority Reading List I created in January. Professors and friends alike have strongly recommended this book to me, and I just haven’t found time to read it yet. Fingers crossed that the time will come before the end of this year.
U – Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
Contemporary retelling of a Classic (Pride and Prejudice)
A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.
When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.
This book just sounds fun! I don’t usually like retellings, but this one has caught my eye and looks like a fairly quick read.
S – The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Modernism, Literary Classic
The tragedy of the Compson family features some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
Another book from my 2021 High-Priority TBR list. As dense as Faulkner can be, I truly loved reading his works in college and I want to eventually go back and read some of his works that we didn’t get to in class. Since this is one that is frequently assigned as required reading but somehow was not on any of my syllabi, it seems a good place to start.
T – 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A Space Odyssey tackles the enduring theme of man’s place in the universe.
On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong. Horribly wrong.
This book doesn’t quite fit this month’s theme as I don’t necessarily intend to read this book before the end of the year, but I definitely want to read it eventually!
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This month’s list was so much fun to make! It’s probably not a surprise to most readers that I like talking about the books I’m excited about, well before I even get to read them. Picking out just books that fit this list from my “want to read” lists was an enjoyable challenge.
There’s quite a few classics on this list; are there any classics you haven’t read yet but want to? Have you read the ones on my list, and if so what did you think of them? I know, that’s a very open-ended question for books that are probably very complex – sorry(ish)!
September will be a freebie month as far as the theme. For October I’m torn between Books Featuring Cats, Orange on the Cover, or Atmospheric. Cast your vote in the comments!
Until the next chapter,