I used to regularly post about my monthly reads in brief. Not sure when or why I stopped doing so, but I can't load new photos (hard drive is full -- shocking!) so I was looking at this photo of the notes I took when I was re-reading The Illusion of Separateness and thought, "Month in Review!" So, here you go. This photo might contain some spoilers but probably not. I erased the only line I thought was clearly suspect but don't actually read the notes if you're concerned about potential spoilers, okay? Links lead to reviews, if applicable.
July Reads in Review:
**Absolute Favorites (but I liked everything - this was a very good reading month)
72. **The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy (reread) - WWII and contemporary, a book about kindness and
how we're all connected. Loved it even more the second time.
73. **Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt - The unputdownable story of a Jewish divorcee trying to get by in the 1950s and 60s and
what happens when a local boy goes missing.
74. Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell - A reliable man disappears during his morning walk and it
turns out to be deliberate. Family comes together to figure out
what happened, solve their problems and locate their missing father.
75. Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad - When
a couple is in a horrible car accident, Ana and James become their
son's guardians. Ana was horrid. James is great but I thought the
plot twist to make him seem more human felt more than a bit
manufactured. I liked this book a lot but that cliché flaw and Ana's attitude detracted from what could have been a terrific story.
76. French Leave by Anna Gavalda - A short book (translated from the French) about
3 French siblings who skip out on a wedding to have one last
get-together. Started out great but petered out.
77. Lotería by Mario Alberto Zambrano - A harsh
read about a girl who has been abused and how knowing only violence
has effected her, told through the use of cards in the lotería game
(a Spanish game like Bingo).
78. The Bohemian Love Diaries by Slash Coleman - A fun, quirky memoir about growing up in a Bohemian family and the author's search for love, his drifting and how he sought out the best way to express himself as an artist. A little over-the-top in a good way.
79. **Well Wished by Franny Billingsley - A middle-grade fantasy about a wish that goes
wrong and the clever young girl who sets out to undo a series of wishes that have led to a big, tangled mess. I love everything Franny Billingsley writes. Fabulous book.
80. We Go Together by Todd Dunn - A cute Children's board
book that I'll review closer to release date.
81. *Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson - This story about a girl named Ruby, told from conception to adulthood, is also a family saga about all the characters in her family, how some
of them go missing and the reverberations from those disappearances. Bit of a slog but in the end when she explains everything
it's such a knockout that it becomes suddenly worth the effort, on
DNF: Godiva by Nicole Galland - Not much happened but a lot
of flirting and a king getting pissed off at Lady Godiva. Gave up
at p. 90. I don't usually include DNFs in a review post but for some reason I stuck it on my running list, so there you go.
82. Rufus Goes to School by K. Griswell and V. Gorbachev - A
children's picture book about a pig who goes to school. Loved it
till the end and I thought the last page was kind of a surprising let-down (the ending didn't fit the beginning) but it's a pig book so I still love it.
83. *The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway - Time travel/paranormal story
about a man who is yanked out of time and thrown 200 years into the
future, trained to live in the modern world and then summoned to go
back to Regency England because of a problem with the time stream. I love time travel and enjoyed this one. The ending wasn't perfect but I'm looking forward to reading on.
84. **Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - An Icelandic
woman convicted of murder is to be beheaded as an example but
Iceland has no facilities so a family has to keep her until the
details of execution are worked out. This is based on a true story
and really beautifully done. You get to know the family in 3rd
person as Agnes slowly reveals her own story.
85. **The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters - Earth
is going to be hit by an asteroid in 6 months and a lot of people
are committing suicide. When a detective thinks one suicide was
really murder, he sets out to investigate. Another vague bit of let-down in the ending but I really loved this book because it's
smart, clever, funny, engaging . . . just a great read, overall. Absolutely dying to read the next in the series.