Overall July was a lovely month, we got a short staycation in the UK and there was also The Reading Rush. I managed to finish 3 books, ticking off 6 of the challenges. I did find that my reading slowed down towards the end of the month which is why this post is a little later than normal – I’m going to try reading less books at the same time so lets see how that works in August.
The New Girl* ~ A thriller that starts with a such slow burn and finished with an ending that I couldn’t put down! We follow long term friends Margot and Winnie who fall pregnant at similar times, when tragedy strikes and Winnie loses her baby she struggles to deal with Margot still being pregnant. At the same time Margot is recruiting her maternity cover at work and despite her finding Maggie herself and recommending she apply, Margot can’t help but feeling a bit too replaced by the new girl in the office, 3 stars.
Reasons to Stay Alive ~ I’ve read this several times but this time I opted for the audio version. Read by the author Matt Haig, it was a great way to revisit the book, 5 stars.
The Shelf* ~ After being with Jamie for 2 years Amy has feelings a proposal will be on the way, instead she finds herself dumped and left on new reality TV show The Shelf with 5 other unsuspecting women. This was a new release for July and you can see my full review here, 3 stars.
White Fragility ~ This is one of the books I bought in June related to BLM, I’m aware this is a bit of a controversial one as its written by a white woman – I should have checked that before purchasing, it gave me plenty to think about but I’ll trying harder to make sure I’m reading own voices works on this subject going forward, 4 stars.
How to be Fine ~ It felt fitting to get the book from my favourite podcasters in audio form, and it did feel like a super extended version of the podcast. So far on their podcast By The Book Kristen and Jolenta have lived by over 50 self-help books, this book summarises what they’ve learnt and also respond to feedback they’ve received on some of their experiences. I enjoyed it but mainly because I enjoy listening to them, I’m not sure I’d have got the same connection from a physical/digital copy, 3 stars.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ~ Continuing to re-read the Narnia series, this month it was time for the most famous book in the collection. I’ve seen/read this countless times, TV adaptations, films and even on stage but I still enjoyed going back to it but I still can’t believe how short this is, my copy is about 170 pages with some full pages of illustrations and so much happens, 4 stars.
The Family Upstairs ~ This was recommended by a friend back in March, I was completely hooked in by this. I started this while being driven to Yorkshire and was so disappointed when we got to the winder roads near to our destination as I couldn’t read without feeling queezy. Such a curious thriller that will have you questioning every character, 4 stars.
One Stop ~ This was cute, a take on boy meets girl; what if boy sees girl on the morning train and then boy and girl cross paths without realising it for months, even narrowly missing out of a set up by one of girl’s best friends. 3 stars.
Spring* ~ The third in Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet is my favourite of the series so far, I’m not sure how but the author manages to capture the feeling of the season of Spring in a book which focuses on loss and immigration. 4 stars.
The Unicorn Project ~ I used this to tick off several challenges for The Reading Rush, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish a 12 hour audiobook in one week but this was a really good listen. Its based on IT projects in the workplace but please don’t let that put you off, I think this is well targeted, not too techy for people who don’t work in IT but personally I didn’t feel like things were being dumbed down, 4 stars.
Letters from Birmingham Jail ~ A short but very impactful Penguin Modern containing two works by Martin Luther King, 4 stars.
Followers ~ This was a great distopian fiction where America has made a big more away from the social media we have today following ‘The Spill’ we follow our characters in two different time lines in the lead up to and a generation after the big event. It took me a little while to get into this but then I was hooked, desperate to know the details of what happened, 3 stars.
Minimal ~ I found Madeleine Olivia on YouTube earlier this year through her food shopping videos, her first book Minimal focuses on steps and changes people can make towards a more sustainable, minimalist lifestyle. I listened to the audio, read by the author and enjoyed the book, there’s some great content but personally there weren’t many new tips/suggestions to take onboard, 3 stars.
Titles marked * have been provided for free in exchange for an honest review.