What I Read – July

July was a hard month for reading. Between work, homeschooling (might as well do schoolwork when its too hot to be outside), and out of town guests I did not find as much time to read as I would have liked. My fiction game was strong but I did not make any progress on any of my in-progress non-fiction reads for the month.

ALL of the books “read” this month were audiobooks. A combination of Hoopla, Libby, Audible, and Scribd (my new audiobook obsession!!). This allows me to work or goof off on my phone and still enjoy a story.

The Opposite of Maybe – Maddie Dawson

I have read several books by Maddie Dawson (several of her books are narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Amy McFadden) and always enjoy them. I started out actually reading this one and switched to the Hoopla audio version about 1/3 of the way through. Although I enjoyed this one while reading it, nearly a month after finishing I don’t remember much of the plot. So, its an easy, entertaining-in-the-moment read that won’t really stay with you about an about a woman’s unexpected journey into motherhood while losing the only family she has and learning some hard truths about her past along the way.

Rich People Problems – Kevin Kwan

The third installment in the Crazy Rich Asian series was an easy read with many twists. I enjoyed that this book took a deeper look at Astrid as well as other characters that you wanted (and didn’t know you wanted) to learn more about. I find with all of the characters and complex relationships I had to pay close attention so I don’t miss details that will be referenced later.

High Tide Club – Mary Kay Andrews

I selected this book at random one day, wanting to listen to something while I worked and none of my current holds were available. This was my first book by Mary Kay Andrews and I really enjoyed it. It definitely reminds me of Elin Hildebrand novels that I have enjoyed with the bonus of being based in the southeast (this one is set in Savannah/coastal Georgia which is close enough for this Carolina girl). A story of family mystery, lost love, and new beginnings kept me looking for time to listen.

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

I *think* this book was a random Costco find that I noted to look into. I tend to walk around the book tables and photograph covers that look interesting in hopes of finding them at the library (or in the case of audiobooks Libby, Hoopla, and, now Scribd). Not only did enjoy the plot of this book I enjoyed how the story unfolded by starting at the end and then circling back through the story. A story of two, very different, families brief intersection in life. You don’t understand the title until the end but then its like a little lightbulb of enlightenment.

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

I love books about magic and was immediately drawn to this cover (another Costco find). I loved The Paper Magician series and The Night Circus so reading Caraval was a no-brainer for me. A story of two sisters journey into a magical game as a taste of freedom before one sister moves forward with an arranged marriage in hopes to escape their abusive father. The “game” has many twists and turns that change their fate forever. The audiobooks of the next two installments of this series, Legendary and Finale are available on Scribd on August 24th and I can’t wait!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

This book wasn’t on my radar at all until a recent dinner with a reader friend. As soon as I finished Caraval I found that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was immediately available through Libby so I decided to give it a shot. The story of Henrietta Lacks, her immortal cells, and how these cells facilitated the launch of the multi-billion dollar cell culture industry, all without the knowledge of the Lacks family was eye opening. Being a cancer survivor who has had a tumor removed and used for research purposes, I learned even more about what can happen to our “medical waste” without our knowledge. This also shows the complexities involved in science driving innovation and discovery so far and fast that ethical standards are hard to put in place as new ground is broken.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a homeschool read aloud that I had never read before so I am totally claiming it on my list too. Personally, I was not a fan. I went through 3-4 different versions of audiobooks before I found one I liked. For me, this one was essential to listen to as the syntax in much of the language would have been frustrating for me to read aloud myself. I enjoyed the dramatized version much more than any of the other versions but will honestly stick with the movies (classic Disney version) over the book in this RARE case.

What did you read this month? Anything I should add to my to-be-read list?

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