Monday, August 1, 2016

What I Read in July


Confession: This month, playing Pokémon Go got in the way of my reading - like, by a lot. I started the game the day after it was released & have since reached level 19. It's safe to say I'm a little bit obsessed. Other things that took my attention away from reading: watching both the RNC & the DNC, to varying levels of stress.

I only made it through five books, but hey, at least they were five good ones! Two were re-reads, but as anyone who's ever read the Harry Potter series knows, each of these books is a substantial read - & they only get longer (& if you haven't read this series, I don't know what to do with you. What are you waiting for?!)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

I re-read the first book in this series back at the start of the year, & then I didn't continue. Why? Why do I always think the Harry Potter books are going to be big & heavy & take me forever to read? They're so much fun, so imaginative. This book made for my favorite of the HP movies, & it's a great read, too - back when the books were still a little bit more light-hearted, less strictly murderous. I read it in two days & moved right on to the next! ★★★★★

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche

Hang tight, because I'm probably going to write a whole post on this topic soon, but suffice it to say: I know lots of people who hated this book, but I wasn't one of them. Reading it, I felt like, "Oh, thank God, it's not just me." The premise of this book is this: Making friends as an adult is really damn hard, & if you want to make it happen, you might have to be aggressively purposeful. Friendless in a new city, Bertsche plans 52 friend-dates, one per week for a year, to try to find her new bestie. She's more than a little annoying, frankly, but overall, I found this book really interesting & relevant to my personal friend struggles. ★★★★☆

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Another re-read, another five stars. This is where the books start to seem unbearably long... until you pick them up & start reading. They move so quickly. As I re-read this one, I found myself haaaaating Scabbers the rat, knowing his true identity - but it seems so funny to hate an animal with such ferocity! I also loved reading about Hogsmeade again, imagining being a Hogwarts student & loading up on crazy candies & staying at the castle for a cozy Christmas. And I wish I could adopt British slang without sounding idiotic. ★★★★★

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner 

I'd been itching to read this book & was thrilled when it became available through Book of the Month Club. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I'd hoped it would be. I was looking forward to a fast-paced kidnapping thriller, but this was more of a character-driven novel, plodding along with lots & lots of details about every single person & scenario. Furthermore, it was very British, so much so that I couldn't always follow along easily. The ending was a bit of a dud for me, & overall, it just didn't quite hit the mark. ★★★☆☆

I Will Find You by Joanna Connors

I first read about this book on Skinny Dip &, intrigued, I immediately requested it from my local library. It's the memoir of a Cleveland journalist who was raped on a college campus in 1984 &, more than two decades later, begins delving into the life of her attacker. Though he has died in prison, she seeks out his friends & family in an effort to learn more about him & what drove him to violence. This book, while at time heartbreaking, terrifying, & difficult to read, is ultimately one of the most powerful memoirs I've ever encountered. ★★★★★

I'm partway through a few other books, & I'm going off the grid for a few days at a cabin in the woods, so I expect August to be a big month for me, reading-wise. I also treated myself to yet another early birthday gift: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child! I'm not usually a big fan of reading plays, but I have a feeling this one is going to be great - like reuniting with old friends.

Comment to tell me what you're reading! Then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past.

Please note that my "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but please also don't judge me too harshly for including them.  

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