Tag Archives: August Snow

WWW Wednesday, 25-March-2020

25 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’ve almost come to a stop with White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I’m working from home for the foreseeable future so reading during lunch isn’t happening the way it normally does. I’ll keep renewing this one and hoping I get through a few pages from time to time, but I think I’ll remain at 5% for quite a while.
I haven’t made much progress with The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz because I’m not driving a lot. And when I am, my husband is with me. We’ll see how long this one takes, but the plus side is that I don’t have to return it to the library until they open again and that could be a while.
I picked up a new eaudiobook, The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This should be a really short one, it’s less than five hours. With how much I’m running to avoid stress, I think it should be done by next week.
I finally picked up Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago. I’ve been reading more, which is nice. This one might be a bit slow because reading in Spanish slows me down. But it’s YA, so maybe that will help me get through it in an OK time.

Recently finished: I got through The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib quicker than I thought. I’ve been doing some longer workouts to deal with stress and I got my bike software going again, which means long stretches of listening. I expect to be reviewing this next week.
I flew through Fingersmith by Sarah Waters as well. This had more slow parts to it than I would have liked and it started dragging, which was unfortunate. Luckily, increased reading time helped me power through so I was able to wrap it up. Again, look for a review next week.

Two books reviewed, too! I posted a review of Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) last week. I was surprised so many people were unaware Galbraith was a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling but I’m glad I was able to highlight the amazing series, especially with the fifth book recently announced. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.
I reviewed August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones on Monday. This one wasn’t much of a win for me so I’m almost glad the book club meeting for it was canceled. I gave it Two out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: My Buddy Reader and I recently picked our next book so I’ll be starting in on The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern as soon as we find a time to meet up and I can pass her a copy. We’re dividing this one up into 5 sections and we’ll have to wait until we can meet after work again, but I’m still looking forward to it.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (2/5)

23 Mar

This isn’t a book I would have ever picked, but my book club picked it for me. I was over halfway through when the library canceled all it’s programming through the end of the month which included the meeting for this book. I decided to finish it anyway since my weekend slowed down A LOT.

Cover image via Goodreads

August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones

Summary from Goodreads:

Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit’s Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away and quickly learns he has many scores to settle.

It’s not long before he’s summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estates home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August’s beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide which August isn’t buying for a minute.

What begins as an inquiry into Eleanore Paget’s death soon drags August into a rat’s nest of Detroit’s most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries. From the wealthy suburbs to the near-post-apocalyptic remains of the bankrupt city’s factory districts, August Snow is a fast-paced tale of murder, greed, sex, economic cyber-terrorism, race and urban decay in modern Detroit.

The plot in this one didn’t bother me too much, but August was not a character I connected with or liked. He was too overpowered and perfect. He was rich, smart, well connected, and physically fit. There was nothing he couldn’t do. And he surrounded himself with men who were some subset of those things as well to make a strong team. The people in this were just too perfect. It started to bother me. I also felt like someone who didn’t live in Detroit wouldn’t be able to connect to this book at all. There were a lot of city references and directions that I understood but I’m not sure someone from a different part of the state would even enjoy it.

August was just too unbelievable. For every situation, he was the only person poised to solve it. Nothing that came up was beyond his abilities and he seemed to know just the right things to keep the plot moving. It’s a similar complaint that I have about Robert Langdon in Dan Brown’s books. But this one stood out to me more. The money and riches pushed it over the edge for me.

Vivian Paget was the only character I felt was realistic. She wasn’t a gun-hungry ex-military sharpshooter. She had real pain in her past and was able to add surprise to the story later on without it feeling too forced or unusual. I found her character interesting and nuanced and I’m sad she was such a short part of the story.

Despite the familiar setting, none of this story was relatable to me. The characters were really removed from my reality. I did relate to the setting. Picturesque Traverse City and a character who worked at a Kroger grocery store a few miles from my apartment hit home with me. I understood those and they helped me feel close to the story, but the characters still eluded me.

Stephen Mack Jones
Image via Publisher’s Weekly

I liked the scene in Traverse City. It’s mostly because of Vivian and the advancement in her character development. It reminded me a bit of the end of Skyfall which is my favorite part of that movie, too. Honestly, not much else stood out.

The constant descriptions of food bothered me. This wasn’t a book that needed to make me feel hungry. I also disliked how the character talked like no one in the world understood how good the food he was eating tasted and no one could experience food that tasted like that. It was annoyingly repetitive and made me binge eat more than I should have.

Snow was fighting for a Detroit he remembered that he felt he was losing. The people he remembered from his childhood were leaving or gone and he wanted some sense of his community back. It felt like he could have done it with the money he had if he’d planned a bit better, but he liked to throw it around more than he probably should have. He invested in individuals because he believed in people. I wish he’d believed in community more since that seemed like what he was trying to reestablish.

Writer’s Takeaway: As a writer, you want to engage all five senses so the reader can become fully immersed in the story. I don’t think Jones balanced them well because taste was so overwhelming. I think this could have had some more sound and smell imagery to balance it better.

Not a great binge read, maybe I would have enjoyed it more without quarantine-levels of reading time. Two out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Post:
PODCAST: Stephen Mack Interview on Novel August Snow | KAZI Book Review with Hopeton Hay, KAZI 88.7FM, Austin, TX

WWW Wednesday, 18-March-2020

18 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: As with almost every aspect of our lives, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected my reading. I’m working from home for the foreseeable future so reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch during lunch isn’t happening. I hope to get to it again int he future, but it’s taking a break for now.
I’m back to Fingersmith by Sarah Waters full time and still loving it. I’m getting a lot more reading time in because I’m staying home more so I hope to get through this one in a reasonable time.
I picked up the audiobook for The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz just in time. My local library has closed it’s doors so I’ve got until early April before I have to worry about a due date on this one. Because I’m not driving to and from work, it might take me a while to polish this one off. We’ll see how life has changed.
I started a new audiobook on my phone to keep me entertained on runs. My husband is working from home so I’m not getting a lot of alone time to listen. So it might take me a while to get through The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib. My next planned athletic event is a run (since I had two swim meets and a run canceled already). So I might as well get running a bit more.

Recently finished: Working from home left me with the chance to listen to an audiobook during lunch so I enjoyed Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and was able to wrap it up. I’m loving this series more and more and I’m so excited for the fifth book to come out later this year! Maybe I won’t take forever to get to it.
I used a slow weekend to wrap up August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. The book club meeting for this book has been canceled so I won’t get a chance to discuss it with my group but I still wanted to wrap it up. It wasn’t my favorite but I’ll save all those thoughts for my review.

Reading Next: I should get to Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago sooner than expected with how fast I’m getting through physical books right now. I’m glad I’ve got a large store of books to keep me sane through the quarantine and craziness. I’m trying to find the silver linings.

As a reminder, I’m out of the country on vacation. I will not be replying to comments this week in order to enjoy my vacation. I’ll check periodically to approve any new poster’s comments. All reading is suspect, this post is planned well in advance.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 11-March-2020

11 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I listened to very little of Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) while I was on vacation so I’m back at it now and I’m hopeful I can finish it this week. I’ve got some more running going on than normal which gives me a good chance to catch up and finish it up.
I read very little of White Oleander by Janet Fitch, too. Maybe a chapter? Maybe? I’ll hope to get back on this one now that I’m returning to work and quiet lunches.
I’m loving Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. There was already one huge twist that I adored and I think there will be at least one more coming. I’m about 250 pages in but took a pause to read a book club book.
The book club pick is August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. I think it will be a quick read so I’m not too concerned about getting through it before the meeting.

Recently finished: Again, nothing. I had so much fun on vacation that I forgot to read much!

Reading Next: I plan to pick up Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago as soon as I find time for a print read. I’ve put my Spanish-language read for the year off for too long!
I’ll need an audiobook next and I’ve decided on a physical audiobook of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz. I may even start this one before I finish up with Galbraith since I usually run an eaudio along with a physical one to keep myself entertained on runs.

As a reminder, I’m out of the country on vacation. I will not be replying to comments this week in order to enjoy my vacation. I’ll check periodically to approve any new poster’s comments. All reading is suspect, this post is planned well in advance.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!