July Reads and August Book Goals

Have you been reading much this summer? I have been reading a little less than normal. We have been spending about four hours outside each day and it really wears me out. My reading time has turned into need an extra hour of sleep time.

Despite my increased need for shut eye, I finished six books this month. I feel like I’m finally making a dent in my Book of the Month Club pile (although I just ordered two books this month, so the stack of books continues to grow). I read a variety of books this month, hopefully one of them will sound good to you.

Prognosis: A Memoir of my Brain by Sarah Vallance. This book is about a woman’s traumatic brain injury and her life after being told she would never hold a job again. She does what she can to help her brain heal, and she eventually earns a PhD. The human brain is remarkable, and this book was an engaging and interesting read. I give this book three out of five stars.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. You are probably familiar with Angie Thomas’ first book, The Hate U Give. I love The Hate U Give and put off starting this book because I didn’t think it would live up to it. I should have read it as soon as I got it, because I loved it. I liked it better than The Hate U Give. It is about a gifted high school student who is also a talented rapper. She deals with poverty and gang violence. It is heartwarming and heart wrenching in the best ways. I give this book four out of five stars.

The Boy Between Worlds by Annejet Van Der Zijl. This biography sounds more like a soap opera than nonfiction. In 1928 a Dutch woman and a Surinamese man who fall in love despite their circumstances. She is a married mother of four. He is an immigrant 18 years her junior. The have a son together and create a perfect world for him as they run a guest house in a beach town in Holland. When World War II starts they use the guest house to hide Jews from the Nazis. They are discovered and sent to concentration camps. The son is sent to live with relatives and his perfect world is shattered. I don’t know how Annejet Van Der Zijl makes her books read like fiction (she also wrote An American Princess, which I loved), but she does, and I’m thankful for it. I give this book three out of four stars.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harmes. This book is about a single mom whose ex-husband is suddenly back in the picture. She spends the summer in New York rediscovering herself. Her friends call it a Momspringa (like a Rumspringa where Amish youth explore the world to make sure they want to remain Amish). This is the kind of book I want to read in the summer. It was light and funny. It is a good reminder that everyone needs self care and me time. I give this book three out of five stars.

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center. In Center’s latest novel a tough firefighter moves to Massachusetts to help her mom with an illness. She’s a lone wolf who doesn’t need anything and is not close with her mother, but along comes a rookie at her new post and her feelings start to change. What I love best about Katherine Center books is there is no twist, there will be nothing shockingly upsetting, there will be a good ending. This is a great summer read. I give this book four out of five stars.

Normal People by Sally Rooney. Nope. Too dark. Too hopeless. Book of the Month Club really let me down with this one. If you would like to read it and tell me what I’m missing I’ll happily mail this book to you. I want it out of my house. I give this book one out of five stars.

I’ve also been craving light novels, and my July to read pile reflects that. I keep pushing John Boyne’s latest novel further down the stack, as I’m not up for a deep novel at the moment. I’m all about frivolous romance and personal essays for now. Once fall gets her I will probably get serious again, but for now I’ll stick to fluff reading.

What is your favorite mindless read?

5 thoughts on “July Reads and August Book Goals

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