This month has seen me not produce quite as many articles as usual as I’ve been away for quite a few of the days rightfully relaxing from my full-time job working as a Comms Officer in my local hospital. However, there have been some huge books and, as a result, some huge book reviews. There have also been some interesting new articles that I’ve put out definitely worth visiting.
Do note, the list below are the articles that have been most successful for me that I posted within August. It may interest some of you to know that my Goodreads vs StoryGraph article outperformed all of my articles once again this been month, despite being posted in early July.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase a product via the links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you to support the blog. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the products.
5. Book review: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Shuggie Bain was a huge book in 2020 and one I think that either you’ve read and loved or you’ve never heard of, hence why I think it has come fifth on this list.
I think this post did well this month because, as aforementioned, it was a successful book that a lot of people have either read or heard of. I am surprised it’s not higher on the list as it won the 2020 Booker Prize so I thought this may give it some hype but then this may be because anyone who cares about those sort of things has already read it and so doesn’t feel the need to read it again.
I summarised Shuggie Bain by saying: “I’d recommend Shuggie Bain for anybody who is looking for something to tug on their heartstrings; someone who has decided they need to finish off that box of Kleenex or someone who isn’t in the mood to smile. No, but in all seriousness, I’d definitely recommend picking up Shuggie Bain. It’s brutally, truthfully and wonderfully written with real, flawed but loveable characters.”
4. Luke’s Book Quiz Round 3
I launched the third book quiz this month too. I’m hoping to try and launch one every six weeks or so as I read more books. You see, I only pose questions in these that I either know the answer to or have at least read the book of. It’s probably why the questions are so easy to answer! If you haven’t had a chance to check out my first or second book quizzes yet, feel free to do so.
Here are a couple of questions from the quiz (highlight after “answer:” to see it:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was originally published in which language?
What’s the name of the central hero in Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind?
Test your wits in my Book Quiz here.
3. Book review: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is almost up there with the likes of The Hunger Games when it comes to one of the biggest YA dystopian novels/series and so I felt it was my duty as a cultured reader to delve into this one. I’ll be honest: I went in sceptical as I’d heard little about the books but seen the films had been both critical and commercial failures. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging it was with the characters, the world-building and story all surprisingly entertaining me.
I summarised Divergent by saying: “If you’ve seen the films and were put off, I’d definitely still give the book a try. It’s not going to blow your mind but it’s certainly deeper and explains a lot more than the films are able to do. If you’re a fan of fantasy and dystopian novels, I definitely think this is worth picking up as it offers up some unique ideas.”
2. Book review: The Silent Patient by Michaelides
The Silent Patient was a book I read last year during the start of lockdown in the UK when the weather was delightful and I was at home all the time. I picked it up because I’d seen it often selling very well on Amazon and I’d heard it had a great twist. I really liked this book and found the twist in question to be genuinely surprising. I didn’t see it coming at all and was pleasantly surprised when it did. I think this article did well because the book itself was a huge success and particularly popular with the online Bookstagram community who like to hype books by lesser-known authors.
I summarise The Silent Patient by writing: “I often decide my book ratings based on how I’d recommend a book to someone. Three-star is a “meh, it was OK but don’t rush to read it.” A four-star review is usually “ooh yes, I’d recommend that.” And a five-star review is “definitely read it, put it to the top of your list.” The Silent Patient falls into “ooh yes, I’d recommend that.” It’s got a great twist that I think people should experience and the actual premise of someone who remains silent for so long and why is very interesting.”
1. Book review: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
One of my favourite fantasy series is The Witcher series. The Last Wish is technically the first book though it is also a selection of small stories before the longer story starts so some people consider it 0.5 in the series. I loved this book and I imagine with the hype of the Netflix series and with the second series recently being announced and coming in December, I imagine this is why this article did well.
I summarised The Last Wish by writing: “This is up there with one of my favourite books and SPOILER ALERT, the whole Witcher series is one of my all-time favourites. There’s an ongoing discussion as to whether you should just skip to Blood of Elves as this is considered the first full novel in the series. To everybody, I would say NO. Read the two books that contain short novels first. Start with The Last Wish, you won’t regret it!”
So to summarise…
This is the second month in a row that I’ve done one of these round-ups and this month saw some interesting changes. Interestingly the 5 Books I Finished in July post didn’t do as well as my 8 Books I Finished in June. Possibly because it’s simply fewer books, ha.
It appears my book reviews do consistently the best. This is most likely due to the fact that a lot of traffic comes from my Instagram account and that’s book-based so something that’s not book-based may not be of as much interest to them as a audience. We’ll see if this trend continues! Until then – see you in a month!