You guys, it is finally an -er month. That means fall is around the corner! So exciting! I didn’t read a ton of books this month, it has just been busy around here! We are trying to finish up school and all of these other things keep happening. I know y’all know how it is! Anyway, here is what I read in August.
This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust – An illuminating study of the American struggle to comprehend the meaning and practicalities of death in the face of the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War. During the war, approximately 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. An equivalent proportion of today’s population would be six million. This Republic of Suffering explores the impact of this enormous death toll from every angle: material, political, intellectual, and spiritual. The eminent historian Drew Gilpin Faust delineates the ways death changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation and its understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. She describes how survivors mourned and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the slaughter with its belief in a benevolent God, pondered who should die and under what circumstances, and reconceived its understanding of life after death. Faust details the logistical challenges involved when thousands were left dead, many with their identities unknown, on the fields of places like Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. She chronicles the efforts to identify, reclaim, preserve, and bury battlefield dead, the resulting rise of undertaking as a profession, the first widespread use of embalming, the gradual emergence of military graves registration procedures, the development of a federal system of national cemeteries for Union dead, and the creation of private cemeteries in the South that contributed to the cult of the Lost Cause. She shows, too, how the war victimized civilians through violence that extended beyond battlefields-from disease, displacement, hardships, shortages, emotional wounds, and conflicts connected to the disintegration of slavery.
What I thought: Ok, I did not know this book was pretty much all about death. I know it says it in the title, but this book is all.about.death. Once I figured that out I was able to put what I read in a different compartment than what I normally do. This was definitely an interesting read about the Civil War!
Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott – This edition of Little Women is based on the unabridged 1896 edition with the original illustrations by Frank T.Merrill.
Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.
The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.
What I thought: Ok, who hasn’t read Little Women? This isn’t my first time reading it, but it has been a while. I enjoyed this one with the illustrations. It was nice reading this again!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined—every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
What I thought: I saw so many good reviews for this book and I thought it was just ‘meh’. It took forever to read about parts that seemed like they could be shorter. I did like the fact that you could understand Snow a little more. I still don’t like him.
Well, that’s all I read in August. Not much at all! I know I am due to finish a few in September, so the list should be longer for sure!