Whatcha Reading? August 2022

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @aurelias_books

Summer is coming to a close - but what did Team OwlCrate read while soaking up those final days of August?

Want even more great recs? Check out OwlCrate Jr's monthly wrap up as well! 

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Allison Markin Powell
The Nakano Thrift Shop

The Nakano Thrift Shop was such delightful surprise. In it we follow Hitomi, a young woman who works at Mr. Nakano's thrift shop. She finds herself falling for her coworker Takeo, and being inexperienced in love gravitates towards the advice of Mr. Nakano's sister Masay.

This is a quirky, quiet book about love and friendship, and each chapter centers around a different seemingly very ordinary object within the thrift shop itself. In the description of the book on Goodreads is states it's "a beguiling story of love found amid odds and ends" which sums it up perfectly.


A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking

This book charmed my socks off. What not to love about a book containing a young wizard whose only power is the ability to influence baked goods, a semi-sentient sourdough starter that will eat anything, and a feisty militarized ginger bread man?

Mona spends her days charming customers in the bakery she works at with dancing gingerbread men, and that feels about right for the scope of her magical talent. That is until one day she finds a body on the floor, which sparks a series of events that will make Mona get super creative with what she is able to do with dough. 

— Cori

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The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
The Last Graduate
I waited until just before the release date for the last book in this series before diving into The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik. I’d seen countless reviews that just said “THAT ENDING!?” and decided this would be the best course of action. And I was correct. Because THAT ENDING!?

If you’re not familiar with The Scholomance series, it follows El Higgins, a young sorceress who is constantly dissuading her sentient magical school from encouraging her to sharpen her innate powers of ultimate destruction. As if that isn’t enough, she also has to constantly avoid getting eaten by the monsters infesting her school, complete her assignments, and figure out a way to survive her impending graduation ceremony (a.k.a. monster battle royale). I can’t say much about the sequel without giving the whole first book away, but just know that everything that happens in Book 1 goes completely sideways in Book 2, but in the best way possible. Oh, and there’s a sassy mouse familiar, so look forward to that! Now I’ll sit here and wait patiently for the final book, because I need answers Novik!
— Babs

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All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business by Mel Brooks

This was so much fun! I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Mel Brooks himself, and it was truly amazing. For all you film nerds out there, I recommend you give this a listen. Somehow, he is completely humble while talking about how awesome he is and name-dropping everyone who ever made you laugh. He talks about his early life, writing for Sid Caesar and other television shows, and dedicates a chapter to each of his films - from The Producers and Blazing Saddles to Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

I have always been a fan of his films, sense of humor, and approach to comedy. After reading this book, I put together my own personal Mel Brooks retrospective and have been enjoying revisiting old favourites and experiencing a few films I have never seen before. The physical copy of the book has photos but the audiobook has singing, impressions and, I’m sure, some dancing. Take your pick and enjoy!

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett
Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

I am a sucker for contemporary YA romance and will pretty much read anything Kasie West, Sandhya Menon and Jenn Bennett put out into the world. Chasing Lucky was my recent Jenn Bennett read and it delivered. After years of living a transient life with her single mother, Josie moves back to her historical New England hometown for a year. While she is happy to be back (sort of), she also can’t wait for the year to be over so she can follow her dreams to LA to be a photographer. While working at the family-owned bookstore, she gets caught up in both family drama and some small town politics, but mainly, she reconnects with her childhood best friend, Lucky - the town’s “bad boy”. It was everything I hoped it would be and exactly what I needed. Jenn Bennett never disappoints.

— Crystal

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One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake
One For My Enemy

My top read of the month was definitely One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake. This was my first book from this author and I fully understand the hype now! This story is about two rival crime families in New York (who also happen to be witches). The writing was stunning and engrossing - there was never a dull moment. I felt attached to every single character (of which there were many), and whenever I wasn't reading the book I was thinking about it and couldn't wait to dive back in. It's a top contender for my favorite book I've read this year, and I can't wait to pick up more books by Olivie Blake very soon.

 — Korrina 

What great books have you read lately? Let us know in the comments!

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