My July Reading Wrap-Up

July was a busy, stormy month. It began in California where I visited Catalina for the first time and rode in a (small) July 4th parade.  It ended with seeing Hamilton with friends. And in between there was rain. Lots of it.

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Here’s what I read in July:

  • Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua

My favorite read: It’s really hard to compare such a diverse group of books.  But I loved Eleanor Oliphant, a book I was afraid wouldn’t live up to its many glowing reviews. In fact I was rather turned off by the first chapter but I’m glad I stayed with it.

Most disappointing read: I wasn’t crazy about A River of Stars, a book I’ll be reviewing soon because it comes out August 15.  It started with an interesting premise (kind of the opposite of Eleanor Oliphant) but I never found myself engaged by the characters.

I posted about reading nonfiction, favorite short story collections, and the best of the year so far.

I read lots of books for challenges:

  • Nonfiction: When Breath Becomes Air, Educated, Barracoon, the Complete Persepolis
  • Read Harder Challenge: When Breath Becomes Air, The Complete Persepolis, The Widows of Malabar Hill
  • Reading All Around the World: The Complete Persepolis (Iran), The Widows of Malabar Hill (India), What We Were Promised (China)
  • 20 Books of Summer: I’ve read 15, nine from my original list.

What I’m reading now: Mitch Landrieu’s In the Shadow of Statues and Kelly Robson’s Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach.  And I just got Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira Lee.

What’s coming up: I have ARCs of The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and Kate Atkinson’s Transcription.

Added to my TBR:  Books about Hamilton!  Some of the books on my list: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell, Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin, War of Two by John Sedgwick, My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray, and Duel with the Devil by Paul Collins.

Things that made me happy this month:

You guessed it… Hamilton! Another thing this month that surpassed all the hype.  I spent a few weeks just listening to the soundtrack, and the play was everything I hoped for.  I can’t stop hearing it in my head.

And, we bought plane tickets for a trip I’ve always wanted to take.  Chile and Argentina, this December.  We signed up with a tour group since this trip will involve travel in countries we know little about and my Spanish is lousy. I can’t wait!

It wasn’t all sunlight and roses this month. We had to buy our aging kitty a ramp to get on our sofa — which of course she ignores, staring at us beseechingly until we pick her up.  Watching her limp around the house is painful but there isn’t a lot we can do.

But it’s summer and I do love summer.  How is yours going?

7 Responses to “My July Reading Wrap-Up”

    • curlygeek04

      Hamilton was really amazing. It’s always interesting to listen to a soundtrack first and then see how much the stage brings it to life. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  1. whatsnonfiction

    I read Barracoon last month too, such a moving story. How amazing to see Hamilton, what a dream!! I’m glad to hear it lives up to the hype. I haven’t read the book you mentioned by Paul Collins but I read his most recent, Blood & Ivy, and fell in love with his way of writing history so got a couple others of his – you definitely have something to look forward to with him!

    I’m sorry to hear you’re watching your kitty struggle…that’s the worst…my family has a beloved little old man kitty and every time I visit it’s hard to see him getting skinnier and more tired. I love that you got her a ramp, maybe she’ll get used to it!

    • curlygeek04

      Barracoon was really powerful – I wish there was more of it. I didn’t realize there was so much conflict between American-born slaves and African-born. How sad.

      Thanks for the kind thoughts about Harley. I keep telling myself that watching a pet get old means they’ve had a long, healthy life. Still hard though!

    • curlygeek04

      Good luck getting to Hamilton! I know in DC there were tons of people who didn’t get tickets – I got lucky. I hear they give some away on the day of each show.


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