Reading Round-Up: August 2020

August has come and gone already! 

Here are the books I read over the past month: 

Leviathan WakesFear Street #3: The Burning Misery Dog-eared Jackie Robinson Graphic Novel Descendants 2: Twisted Field Trip
Figment Star Wars: New Adventures Easy Reader Star Wars Rebels: Fight the Empire Easy Reader Haunted Mansion #1 Coraline The One and Only Ivan
Midnight Sun Ao Haru Ride Vol. 12 Most Wanted (Star Wars)

The List:

  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
  • The Fear Street Saga #3: The Burning by R. L. Stine
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • Dog-eared by Duncan Wu
  • Jackie Robinson by Blake Hoena
  • Descendants 2: Twisted Field Trip by Jen Vaughn
  • Figment by Jim Zub
  • The Force Awakens: New Adventures by David Fentiman
  • Star Wars Rebels: Fight the Empire by David Fentiman
  • Haunted Mansion #1 by Roman Dirge
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
  • Ao Haru Ride / アオハライド Vol. 12 by Io Sakisaka 咲坂伊緒
  • Star Wars: Most Wanted by Rae Carson (Audiobook)
Leviathan Wakes is a science fiction novel of the space opera variety. This is the third space opera series I've started that is not Star Wars related. The other two are the Mars books by Kim Stanley Robinson and Dune by Frank Herbert. I had put this book on hold a while back, but forgot that I did until it was ready for me to check it out. It is a newer series compared to the other two and it was really interesting. I'm hoping to talk about it in a post later and I'll probably keep going with this series in the future. 

The Fear Street Saga #3: The Burning is the final book in the Fear Street Saga trilogy. It completes the origin story of Fear Street, in a village/town called Shadyside. We will talk about this and the previous two when we get into October. 

Misery is a horror thriller by Stephen King. We will talk about it more in October, but I read it because I was still curious about the popularity of his writing since Blockade Billy was not very enjoyable for me. This one is about a writer who is in a car accident and held hostage by a fan of his work. We'll discuss it later. 

Dog-eared is a collection of poems, old and relatively contemporary, that focus on dogs. I read an Advance Reader Copy through NetGalley and while it was relatively interesting, it wasn't fantastic. It certainly isn't the best poetry collection/anthology I've ever read. There were a fair amount of poems or snippets from larger epic poems or plays I have already read and own. I preferred it once the poems were from eras after the 1600s, since these were more unfamiliar to me. 

Jackie Robinson is a graphic novel in a series called Athletes Who Made a Difference. This was also an Advance Reader Copy I received from NetGalley. It tells the history of famous baseball player Jackie Robinson, from his early life, to his accomplishments in baseball. Being a baseball fan, I am familiar with Jackie Robinson, but I didn't know much about his early life. This is a very good introductory biographical book that will keep kids' attention. Particularly the attention of kids who learn better with visual media. 

Descendants 2: Twisted Field Trip is a short graphic novel that tells a new story featuring the Villain Kids (VKs) from the Disney Channel Original Movie, Descendants. This one takes place after Descendants 2, but before Descendants 3. The VKs and their Auradonian friends, plus Chad Charming, go on a required camping trip, with Fairy Godmother as their chaperone. They are split into teams to compete and learn a valuable lesson. I might discuss it later on in a Comic Crazy post. 

Figment is a collection of five issues in the first comic series that focuses on Figment and the Dream Finder. This volume tells the origin of the Dream Finder and Figment. This miniseries is based on the Journey to Imagination ride at EPCOT. It is one of the titles included in the Magic Kingdoms comic line, published by Marvel. 

The Force Awakens: New Adventures & Fight the Empire are both easy readers from DK that focus on the Star Wars franchise. I read these to examine the reading level for kids at this age. These are great for beginning and intermediate readers who love Star Wars. They were interesting to flip through as a Star Wars fan, because they give a little more detail than the movie and show do. They present more background characters with actual names that aren't used in the movie, and provide the ages of the Rebels, which is interesting since I only really knew Ezra's age. Beyond that, there isn't much to say about them. Short, fun, and accessible to young readers. 

Haunted Mansion #1 is a comic issue that came out in 2005, which is unrelated to the later series done by Joshua Williamson that was published by Marvel. This issue was done by Slave Labor Comics is in black and white, and contains six stories focusing on different aspects and inhabitants of the Haunted Mansion. This one is also based on a Disney park attraction, of the same name. 

Coraline is the children's novel that inspired the animated feature film of the same name. It is also the first book by Neil Gaiman I have ever read. This is a horror story, so we will talk about it more once October rolls around. 

The One and Only Ivan is a children's novel that tells the story of a gorilla named Ivan who lives in a mall. It is inspired by a true story, but it deviates greatly from reality in a fun way. The story is told by Ivan himself and it is the story of life in the mall and his dreams he has for his new friend, Ruby. I picked this up during a road trip I took last year, at the Atlanta Zoo, where the real Ivan lived after his mall days. It was recently adapted into a Disney+ original movie, which I am planning to watch soon, so we can have a new Cinematic Words post. 

Midnight Sun is the latest Twilight novel published by Stephenie Meyer. It was just published early this month and it retells the events of Twilight, the first novel, through Edward Cullen's perspective. I last read these books in high school, but since my sister and I were putting up some posts related to them, I figured I had to read and review the newest one. 

Ao Haru Ride Vol. 12 is another volume in the manga series I started reading last month. I've been reading the Viz Media volumes in English that are still being published. I don't understand Japanese so I had to wait for this one to become available here. The last volume comes out in October, so it'll be a bit of a wait before I can finish reading it.  

Star Wars Most Wanted is the next book I needed to read in the canon timeline. It is a prequel novel to Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) that focuses on Han Solo and Qi'ra. I wasn't able to get a standard edition from the library, but their digital collection had an audiobook version. I've never listened to a full audiobook before, but I wanted to keep progressing with the canon timeline. I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised by my experience with it. We'll talk about this one in a future Force Friday post. 

This concludes my Reading Round-Up for August! I'll see you at the next Round-Up coming at the end of September. Happy reading everyone!