This Month’s Books – August 2016

August was a weird month, and one that I am happy to see the back of. While I was not exceedingly busy, I still didn’t get through many books. There are a whopping three titles, so let’s just get to it.


First up, we have a highly-rated and much-loved book by Melina Marchetta, The Jellicoe Road. If you have been here for more than 3.5 minutes, then you know how I usually feel about much-loved books.


So here’s the thing. Apparently, this is one of those books that picks up once you get past the beginning.

I don’t want to get past the beginning. I want to enjoy the beginning as much as every other part. Therefore, this one was a no-go for me. The beginning is all about some kind of rival teen gang situation, and I got so sick of reading the word ‘Jellicoe’ that I just gave up. The Jellicoe Road. The Jellicoe School. Jellicoe Jams and Jellies. I can read just about anything, but this was some weird West Side Story type of thing, and I couldn’t get into it.

Next up we have the one, single, solitary bright spot in the gloom that is This Month’s Books. Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt.


This was a good one. When Black Elk (Oglala Lakota) was older, he sat down and told his life story. It’s interesting, sad in parts, and is worth reading just to hear the story of High Horse and his…uh, interesting…courtship.

And finally we have this…thing. I don’t know. This book was a mess. (A highly rated mess!) Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum.


This book is told by two characters, Anna and her daughter Trudy. It starts out at Trudy’s father’s funeral in December in Minnesota and this is where it lost me. That’s right. On page, like, 4.

Trudy mentions that they can’t bury her father until spring because there’s 3 feet of frost in the ground. Oh, honey. No. Not in southern Minnesota in December, in a cemetery where the ground is insulted by the snow. No.

That little mistake completely took me out of the book, and it all went downhill from there. Anna, in Germany during WWII, hides a Jewish veterinarian in the home she shares with her father. They start going at it like monkeys, and she winds up pregnant, to the shock OF NO ONE EVER. HOW DUMB CAN YOU BE, OH MY GOD.

It continued in that vein. I was not amused. While Trudy teaches what sounds like a spectacularly boring class at some college, it flashes back and forth between her and her mother in Germany.

Anyway. Those were my August books, and lord willing, there will be a better crop for September.

See you later!

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