What I Read in August 2023

Hi, friends! It’s September 2nd, which means it’s the day before my wedding(!!!!) day. I seriously underestimated how occupied my brain and time would be the last few weeks leading up to the wedding. My intention was to publish this blog way earlier but clearly that never happened…

So this monthly roundup will be a little bit more abbreviated than usual. I still wanted to get it up because I’ve been keeping up with these monthly book posts for almost four years (since January 2020) and I didn’t want to break the streak haha. I also had a pretty solid reading month in a while too!

THE WOMEN by Kristin Hannah – 5 stars

It’s been a while since I read a Kristin Hannah book but I’ve read and loved The Nightingale and The Great Alone. Her newest novel The Women (releasing February 2024) is a classic Kristin Hannah book–a historical fiction that pulls at your heartstring and makes you cry. Centering around a nurse from a privileged/sheltered background, The Women tells the story of The Vietnam War and its aftermath, particularly about the women who sacrificed years of their lives who were forgotten and treated terribly by their fellow Americans. The more I read about The Vietnam War, I can’t wrap my head around how and why it all happened… It is a very American-centric story so I encourage you read stories about The Vietnam War written by Vietnamese authors like Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai.

IF I HAD YOUR FACE by Frances Cha – 4 stars

This is another book that I think deserves a higher rating on Goodreads (though 3.75 is not terrible). Though friends/neighbors who live in the same apartment building, Frances Cha highlights the depressing realities many Korean woman face. The audiobook has multiple narrators for each of the POVs which really brought out the different voices and personalities of the characters.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF by Claire Forrest – 4.5 stars

I feel like every month, I have a favorite YA book to talk about and Where You See Yourself is naturally the YA book of the month. It’s a stunning coming-of age story about Effie who is navigating her senior year of high school and college application process, both of which come with additional challenges as she’s disabled and a wheelchair user. Add to to that, rockiness with her besties and all the nerves with her crush, she is having an eventful senior year. To spare you spoilers, Effie somehow navigates all of that gracefully–going out of her comfort zone, making wise decisions, and having tough conversations. If you’re looking for your next YA read, pick this one up!

YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST by Alexis Coe – 3.5 stars

I first learned about If You Neve Forgot Your First from Call Your Girlfriend podcast way back, and I was happy to finally cross it off the list! It’s a refreshing presidential biography. Seriously, I would read more biographies about old people if they were written like this one. Alexis Coe’s writing is actively opposite of glorification and glossing over, which kept my interest and I felt like l learned so much about George Washington and the US history during its time (though I was a bit distracted during the Revolutionary War chapters but that is me, not this book).

POVERY, BY AMERICA by Matthew Desmond – 4.5 stars

Of all the books I read in August, I feel like everyone needs to read Poverty, By America. There are many books out there that highlight the disheartening realities of poverty but none that highlights the persistence of American poverty by design like Poverty, By America does.

CLYTEMNESTRA by Costanza Casati – 4.5 stars

As someone who grew up on Greek mythology, I love reading retellings of Greek Mythology—Circe, The Song of Achilles, and now Clytemnestra. To be honest, the name Clytemnestra did not ring the bell for me but the characters around her certainly did (her infamous sister Helen of Troy, her daughter Electra, her second husband Agamemnon, etc.). It is reminiscent of Kaikeyi in the way that it gives insight into life, struggles and thoughts of a seemingly cruel woman. A stunning debut! Now I need to go find another Greek mythology story.


This one is a short and sweet celebrity memoir, not surprising considering how Bretman Rock is (only 25!!!). I vaguely knew of him (doesn’t everyone?) from short video clips on the Internet though I’ve never been a subscriber/follower of Bretman Rock. So I was surprised to learn he wasn’t born in Hawaii but moved to Hawaii from The Philippines and resonated with his immigrant story quite a bit. You’re That Bitch felt authentic to his (public) persona–lots of fun and sass with a bit of serious reflection and advice (often in consecutive sentences or even in one thought).

THE LAST BOOK PARTY by Karen Dukess – 3.5 stars

P.S. Currently listening to Four Aunties and a Wedding while I’m doing all the last minute wedding things!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *