July is the one month during the year that I have completely off from school, so I expected to read a MILLION books. I read a grand total of…five. In my defense, I was in Ohio for the first eleven days and did hardly any reading while I was there because I was busy doing things like hanging out with people I love. Also, I’m currently in the middle of two books that are taking me way longer than anticipated to read – but you’ll hear about those next month. On a positive note, I met my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 50 books this month! Time to raise it a bit – how many do you think I can read before the end of 2017?
- The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Rod Dreher, biography
I’ve heard Rod Dreher speak a few times now, and he was a plenary speaker at the conference I attended last month. There was a table with books written by the speakers, and this book was included. It’s the story of Dreher’s little sister, Ruthie, her childhood, adult years, cancer diagnosis, and death. It’s very sad. I read a good bit of it on a plane and couldn’t stop crying. The story inspired a lot of nostalgia in me and made me want to move home and be near my family.
- Banana Cream Pie Murder, Joanne Fluke, mystery
These books are terrible, and yet, this one is #21 in the series and I’ve read them all. They’re called “cozy mysteries” and all involve Hannah Swensen, a bakery owner, solving a murder before the local police do. They really are so bad, but there are recipes sprinkled throughout the book and some of them are fantastic. This one also ended on a cliffhanger, so I will probably read #22 as well.
- The Dry, Jane Harper, mystery/thriller
This is probably the best mystery I’ve read all year. Excellent characters, plot, development. It kept me guessing and interested. I finished it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. While it was a thriller, it didn’t scare the crap out of me the way Gillian Flynn’s books do. It’s set in Australia, so just another example that my favorite books are set in English-speaking countries that are not the US (see: Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, all Tana French books, The Light Between Oceans).
- Room, Emma Donoghue, fiction
This was the most depressing book I’ve read in a while. The narrator is a five year old who has never been outside of Room, the place where he was born. He and his mother are being held prisoner by the man who kidnapped her seven years earlier. The first part of the book is just about Jack’s and Ma’s lives in Room and what they do, and the story changes a bit in the second half. It was a disturbing story, and difficult to read a whole book in five-year-old vernacular. It was interesting to hear his perspective on his world.
- The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, Lauren Willig, historical fiction
I’ve read this before, but as it was while I was recovering from getting my wisdom teeth taken out, I did not remember any of it. The Pink Carnation is an English spy in France, similar to the Scarlet Pimpernel. Part of the book is set in modern day England, with a PhD student trying to write her dissertation about the “flower spies.” The other part takes place in Regency England and in Paris. It’s silly and fun, and I enjoyed it, even though it’s ridiculous at times. I’m planning to keep reading the series.
And that’s all, folks. As always, I’d love to hear if you read any of these and what you think of them!
Reading Challenge Progress: 50/50 books completed.