August 2, 2016

July in Review: The 7 Books I Read

I feel like I'm finally turning into a reader again! Phew. I'm still way below where I usually am by August (at 64 books read), but I think I'll hit 100 for the year. (Which I've done every year but one since I was 11ish.... which makes it feel imperative.)

Here's the wrap-up of the books I had planned to read:

The Paris Librarian by Hugo Marsten

Where I got it: From Shelf Awareness
Did I read it? Yep. It was a little awkward in the first chapter, lots of expository dialogue, but then I ended up liking it. The Parisian setting was lovely, and the mystery was decent.

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino
Where I got it: From Shelf Awareness
Did I read it? Yes, I read the whole thing in one day! I couldn't put it down. It's a fictional story set within a fictional story - assistant professor Emiline discovers that a hugely popular new book is about her childhood; and realizes that the author must be her estranged childhood best friend. It's told in flashbacks and forwards between Emiline's present day, and the fictionalized version of her youth. I loved it!

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Where I got it: From the library
Did I read it? Halfway. And then I bailed, because I just didn't care at all what happened to Mare. I learned my lesson after struggling through the last Divergent book - there are too many YA books to waste your time on ones you don't care about!

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Where I got it: From Shelf Awareness
Did I read it? Yes! It was really good. I loved the first part of this series, and then got a little tired of it in the middle, but I really feel like the last book or two have been great again. This one features Gamache back at work, out of retirement, but this time he's trying to clean up corruption as the new head of the Quebec police academy.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield
Where I got it: From the library
Did I read it? Yes! I thought it was a lot of fun. I mean, I get why some Austen purists disliked it (transgender issues, hate sex, etc), but it made me laugh out loud several times. I read it all in one day too. (I'm noticing a theme here... either I binge books fast, or I don't read at all. Apparently my patient reading skills are broken - which explains why I have no nonfiction for July! I'm reading a couple of long ones, but they're slow going. Hopefully I'll wrap them up in August.)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Where I got it: From the library
Did I read it? Nope, I ran out of time, so I'm going to re-request it from the library.

The Language of Sisters by Cathy Lamb
Where I got it: From Shelf Awareness
Did I read it? Yes, I enjoyed it. Some of the dialogue was clunky, but I really liked the premise -- 3 sisters who were born in the Soviet Union have moved (with their extended family) -- to Portland, where they are leading mostly happy lives, but each sister has something different in her personal life that she's struggling with. The antics of the huge Kozlovsky family made me giggle, especially the sisters' mom.

And here are the books I didn't plan to read, but did:

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

Where I got it: The library
Did I read it? I DEVOURED this on audio. It's incredibly fun - a paranormal mystery set in a slightly alternate universe London, where Scotland Yard also has to investigate magical crimes. SO good on audio - the narrator does a superb job with all the different English accents. Looking forward to the next one!

The Ninja's Daughter by Susan Spann

Where I got it: It randomly showed up in my mailbox. 
Did I read it? Yes! I reviewed one of these a few years ago for a book tour, and I think the publisher must've still had my address on file. I liked this one better than the other one - the author has really settled into 16th century Japan. The details on Japanese culture made it a very interesting mystery.

All right, now to make an August plan! Because I read a lot more in July than I did in June. I think I need plans to keep me on track.

What did YOU read in July?

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