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
Favorite 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.
Audiobooks: 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 It. Freshwater 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
What 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!