I want to start this reading wrap-up with a disclaimer. Often, when I talk about the amount of books I read in a month, I receive comments from people who seem to be self-conscious about their reading life. It happens frequently, so I’m not trying to call anyone out here, but I do want to say that I don’t give my monthly reading total to brag. And it’s not a competition. If you only read one book this month because you were busy corralling kids while on vacation or traveling for work, that’s fine. If you only read one book this month because you chose to binge on Netflix, that’s fine. If you only read one book this month because that’s all your mind could handle, that’s fine. I’m a reader through and through, which means I set aside a lot of time to read in my life. (I’m also single and childless with a low-stress job, which means I have more hours in a day to get things done than most people.)
I also don’t feel like reading is the right hobby for everyone. I wish it was, only because I derive so much joy from it myself and I think reading does wonders for opening up one’s worldview. But for some people, reading just isn’t fun. It’s work. And so, I’m not going to sit here and implore everyone I know to read as much as they can. Read if you want, or don’t. But please don’t feel as if I am bragging when I tell you how many books I read, or that the fact that I can read so many books a month means I am superior. I’m not. I’m just a woman who loves to read and makes a conscious effort (at the detriment of other hobbies) to read as much as I can.
Okay! With that said, let’s get onto my reading wrap-up! In July, I read 13 books and abandoned two. My average rating was a 3.9, which is the exact average rating I had last month. I had a few 5-star reads mixed in with a bunch of 4-star ones, so it was a pretty solid reading month for me.
1) A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole (★★★☆☆) – I found this historical romance to be lackluster in the romance department, but really interesting when it comes to the historical element. I learned so much!
2) The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (★★★★☆) – This cozy mystery was slow to start but super stressful for a good chunk of it due to a secondary plot involving the chief inspector. Not for the faint of heart!
3) Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky (★★☆☆☆) – I was unimpressed with this memoir and didn’t find it as dishy about working in hotels as one might imagine.
4) The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole (★★★★☆) – This romance was so much fun to read that I nearly stayed up late one evening to read the whole book in a night. (I paced myself, however.)
5) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (★★★★☆) – Pick up this book if you want to read about a bisexual man living in the 1700s and in love with his best friend who goes on a tour of Europe only to be attacked by highwaymen and pirates.
6) Intermediate Thermodynamics by Susannah Nix (★★★☆☆) – A slow plot and lackluster romance means I probably wouldn’t fall over myself to recommend it, but I loved reading about a woman rocket scientist and how she dealt with constant misogyny and sexism at work.
7) The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (★★★★★) – A beautifully written novel that brings a human element to the topic of immigration and deportation. A must read.
8) Someone Like You by Lauren Layne (★★★★☆) – This novel had a pretty heartbreaking side plot that had major bearing on the overarching romance, but it never felt like it was too much or overpowered their love story. A very satisfying read.
9) The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (★★★★☆) – I loved every minute I spent with this book and could relate the Molly, the main character, more than I’ve ever related to a character. Highly recommend, especially if you love sweet YA love stories.
10) The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (★★★★★) – Another 5-star Riley Sager novel for me! His thrillers are just so damn compelling, and I couldn’t put this one down for anything.
11) Make Me Crave by Katee Robert (★★★★☆) – Just one of those sexy romances that had a really silly premise, but was carried out in a semi-believable way. And those sex scenes – whew!
12) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson (★★★★☆) – This is the kind of self-help I love: giving me some great quotes to think about without overwhelming me with a bunch of action steps and to-dos. I hope he writes more books!
13) Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (★★★★★) – The premise of this thriller was so incredible and the execution so flawless that I couldn’t give it anything less than 5 stars. Highly recommend.
From the above list, the three books that I wholly recommend and think just about any reader will like are The Sun Is Also a Star, The Last Time I Lied, and Lies She Told.
- Number of pages read: 4,019
- Breakdown of formats: e-books (5), physical copies (5), audiobooks (3)
- Book that took me the longest time to read: The Cruelest Month (9 days)
- Book that took me the shortest time to read: Make Me Crave (3 days)
- Breakdown of genres: romance (5), nonfiction (2), historical fiction (1), YA (2), mystery/thriller (3)
- Number of diverse reads: 4 (31%)
- Where I sourced my books: library/Overdrive (10), Amazon (2), Book of the Month (1)
- How much my books cost me this month: $19.97
What was the best book you read in July?