Welcome to Bookish Nostalgia for August 2018. I've kept records of books I read for over 25 years and I enjoy looking back through my reading journals to see what I was reading 5, 10, 15, and 20 years ago. Let's see what I remember about what I was reading in those years:
August 1998 - Engineered For Murder by Aileen Schumacher - Last month I mentioned that a lot of my mystery reading 20 years ago was impacted by books I found while reading and participating in mystery groups and lists on the internet. This book and series is one of those that I heard about and then read. Aileen Schumacher, a professional engineer, born in Texas, wrote the Tory Travers mystery series - 4 books. Engineered For Murder is the first and I remember thinking it was quite different in the profession (structural engineering) of the protagonist. It's also set in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM, locations that were somewhat familiar to me. I'm pretty sure this author had to stop writing her series because of illness. However, remembering about it makes me want to see if I can find all 4 books. And I may do that.
August 2003 - Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - I'm almost positive that I read at least one book by Ann Patchett before I picked up Bel Canto. I think it was The Magician's Assistant. Both of the books were a bit outside of what I normally read, though Bel Canto does tell of a hostage situation in which a large group of people are held for several months. I do remember that I was very involved in the story. Peopled by opera singers and foreign business individuals and diplomats, the story was compelling. I might have started this with an online book group perhaps. I wasn't in a face-to-face book group at that point. I do know that I consider this one of the better books I've read in my life. But...I don't remember a lot of the details. Another that I ought to reread.
August 2008 - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - Now this book I did read with a face-to-face book group. I remember scheduling it for our afternoon group (everyone loved it) and practically pushing it into the hands of many, many patrons when I worked at the library. I also remember the delight I felt the first time I read it. Such a lovely book and the story of the aunt and niece that co-authored it was a sweet one. I know that it has now been turned into a film, though I've not yet seen it. Have you? I think reading this was the first time I realized many facts about the WWII time period and how the people living in the Channel Islands were affected.
August 2013 - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Another book that I scheduled as a monthly read for a face-to-face book group - this one for our mystery group. Ah - what can I say? Well, it might be the book that we bonded over more than any other - a bonding of dislike. I bet most of the people that read this post will have read Gone Girl - a book that was talked about incessantly for weeks, months, possibly years. And the beginning of the trend to put 'Girl' in book titles that are deemed 'psychological thrillers'. I didn't love it, but I thought it was well written. Some of our members actively hated it. I remember one member talking about how there were no characters that were not despicable. Makes me giggle to remember the tone of her voice. Now, of course, we're kind of used to that whole way of telling a story. But then - not so much. This book still gets brought up as one we all agreed on - we did not like it. Ha!
And so we end this month's Bookish Nostalgia. Hope you'll join me again next month to see what September books I remember from my journals.