My July Reading Wrap-up

July was a fantastic reading month, much better than June.  Here’s what I read:

  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (audio)
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (audio)
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwuringiyamana (audio)
  • The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
  • Asking for It by Louise O’Neill (audio)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams

askingFavorite book this month: The most devastating read of the month was Louise O’Neill’s Asking for It.  I was expecting an emotional punch with a title like that, but this book blew me away. On a somewhat lighter note, I absolutely loved my re-read of Watership Down.  I also thought Weight of Ink was fantastic.

Disappointing/DNFs: I had a few books this month that I picked up and didn’t finish.  Indra Das’ The Devourers was one.  It’s very atmospheric but the story didn’t grab me.  Maybe I’ll go back to it.  Same with Queenie, which I started on audiobook.  I found the narrator kind of grating, and I’m wondering if that’s the audio version more than the character herself.

how dareAudiobooks: I listened to a lot this month!  I loved the audio version of The Death of Mrs. Westaway, which was a modern-day gothic mystery and a perfect “listen.”  I also listened to Freshwater, How Dare the Sun Rise, and Asking For ItFreshwater was compelling but I’m not sure I really understood it.  Asking For It was  a book where you really get inside the main character’s head, and hearing her thoughts felt more emotional  than just reading them.

Books for challenges:

  • TBR Pile: How Dare the Sun Rise
  • Nonfiction: How Dare the Sun Rise
  • Read Harder Challenge: The Last Unicorn (a book from a non-human perspective), Gods of Jade and Shadow (#ownvoices Mexico)
  • Reading Around the World: How Dare the Sun Rise, Gods of Jade and Shadow
  • Women’s Prize: Freshwater
  • 20 Books of Summer: Freshwater, The Calculating Stars, How Dare the Sun Rise, The Weight of Ink, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Watership Down

jade and shadowWhat I’m reading now: I’m reading an ARC of Inland, by Tea Obreht, which is about the American West in the 1890s.  I’m listening to A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, about a Palestinian family in Brooklyn.

What’s next: Two I’ll be reading for book clubs are Miracle Creek by Angie Kim and The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.  I also hope to participate in the Emerald City Book Review’s event on Robertson Davies at the end of the month.

Things that made me happy this month:

  • My summer garden is doing so much better than last year, when all I got was a few cherry tomatoes. This year I’ve gotten some squash and zucchini, banana peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes and cucumbers. Thanks to Mr. CurlyGeek who helped saw down a bunch of tree branches in 100 degree weather so my plants could actually get some sun.
  • Every summer we go to our favorite concert venue (Wolf Trap) where they show movies outdoors with a full live orchestra.  This month we saw Coco, which was so, so good with live music. And tonight we’re going to see ET.
  • Women’s soccer!  Okay, I’m not a huge soccer fan but it was still thrilling to see the U.S. Women win, and how inspiring is Megan Rapinoe?  We discovered our own DC women’s soccer team includes Rose Lavelle — and we’ll be seeing them play next week.
  • We started watching Love Island, the British version … a horrible waste of time but  a lot of fun too. I’ll admit to yelling at the television at these people and feeling much better as I do it. We skip episodes since there are so damn many (and so little actually happens).  If I can’t have British Baking Show, I’ll take this instead.

All things considered the summer is going pretty well.  Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

  15 comments for “My July Reading Wrap-up

  1. August 2, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Am envious of your horicultural skills – I can grow flowers but I can’t seem to get the hang of vegetables at all…..

    Love Island – saw a 15 seconds clip. that was way too much. Bring back the baking!

    Your summerreading is going well. I’m stuck on book six because I had forgotten about some review copies I need to give attention to.

    • August 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      I’m not sure my gardening skills are worth envying… but I did take a Great Courses on gardening this year and I’ve been paying more attention to things like soil and light. Love Island is pretty awful and I never watch shows like that. But sometimes awful can be fun!

  2. August 2, 2019 at 10:59 am

    My summer has been great! Took a trip with my husband to Colorado to see my grandson (we drove from Georgia) and then went to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Arches National Park. So beautiful and inspiring! Much more so than any words that came out of Megan Rapinoe’s mouth about the White House. Why can’t we use nice words anymore? I was glad they won but bringing politics into it wasn’t necessary. Anyway, I’m getting lots of tomatoes out of my garden. Delicious!

    • August 3, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      I’ll respectfully disagree with you about Rapinoe, as I think we’re living in a time when it’s important that those who have a voice, use it. I’m glad you had a great trip. The Southwest is certainly beautiful!

    • August 3, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      With all respect, can you tell me how she is inspiring? Seriously, I’m very curious how saying I’m not going to the fuc**ng White House can be influential to any young girl.

      • August 4, 2019 at 5:36 pm

        You and I aren’t likely to agree on this… but in addition to her leading the US team to a world championship, I’m inspired by her willingness to stand up for issues she believes in, like gender and LGBT equality. And this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyK6L-G-nWY

  3. August 3, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I have Asking For It on my TBR list. Hopefully I’ll like it as much as you did. I watched a few episodes of Love Island, and I agree that there are too many episodes where nothing happens. I hope you’re having a good August!

    • August 3, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      I hope you’ll find Asking For It as moving as I did. The audio version is haunting. I’ll review the book soon and say more, but what struck me is how unlikable the main character is at first, it’s hard to sympathize with her… which I think is kind of O’Neill’s point.

  4. August 3, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I considered downloading the audio version of The Death of Mrs. Westaway, when it was on sale recently, but in the end decided not to. Perhaps that was a mistake.

    • August 3, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      I really enjoyed it, but then I don’t read a ton of mystery-thriller novels, and this was my first by Ware. As with a lot of mysteries, I found the journey of the main character a lot more interesting than the actual resolution of the mystery.

  5. August 9, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    I’m jealous of your gardening skills. My grandma has an amazing garden, I on the other hand forget to water my houseplants. I too am not much of a soccer fan but watching the women’s team win and play was seriously so amazing. I am trying to see if I have any teams near by so I can go support.

    I hope you have a wonderful August.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

  6. Danielle Hammelef
    August 10, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Your garden sounds wonderful. My tomatoes and green beans are doing very well but my zucchini only flowers, then fails to produce. The neighbors and I share vegetables–they give me zucchini and cucumbers which always taste so awesome fresh. I have to find Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo soon.

  7. August 30, 2019 at 2:01 am

    ASKING FOR IT will always be one of my favorite books. It was so hard to read, but so worth it.

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