Books I finished in August 2019

Apparently I’m particularly susceptible to Facebook advertising – and the algorithms have completely got me pegged – because the two books I finished in August both originally popped up as ads in my feed.

Make Time: How to focus on what matters every day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

I’ve recently stepped down from a demanding volunteer role and found myself suddenly with extra time on my hands. Make Time helped show me ways to prevent this precious commodity from just running through my fingers, with down-to-earth, sensible advice that is generally easy to put into practice. I particularly liked the idea of the daily highlight to help with focus and a feeling of momentum.┬áThe two Google alumni authors seem to genuinely like each other, and I often felt like I was listening in to a conversation between friends. It’s an easy read and I found it gave me a boost when I was feeling a little adrift.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

I love a good YA novel. I “devoured” this one (sorry) quite quickly but ultimately didn’t find it completely satisfying. The basic premise is this: four founding families of a small town surrounded by spooky woods somehow trapped some sort of bloodthirsty monster in a kind of “Upside Down” and since then the members of said families have (or in some cases, don’t have…) various supernatural powers which they use for good or ill. The writing style was quite jarringly “woke” in some places and I wanted to see more loose ends tied up instead of just setting it up for the sequel, but I suppose the tactic has worked because I will almost certainly read The Deck of Omens when it’s published next year.
And because I’ve been procrastinating on Twitter instead of typing this post (apologies to the authors of Make Time……) I have just seen that Christine Lynn Herman describes the series as “ensemble cast novels about angry teenagers in the woods with messy magic” and my 40-year-old self is here for that!


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