Linking up to Modern Mrs. Darcy for her monthly QuickLit post, where we share “short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately”. I’ll share everything I’ve read over the previous month here at the end of each month, in the order I finished reading them. I read 12 books in July, but two of them were over 500 pages (Yay for completing one of my reading challenge goals twice over!). I was also a little slow this month because I lost one of my headphone ear buds, so my audiobook listening was severely hampered #firstworldproblems.
Here’s the quick recap of what I read this month. Skim until you see something that piques your interest!
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
I liked this “shedding of light” onto the first marriage of Albert Einstein. based very much upon the letters, moves from place to place and what is actually known about Einstein and his first wife, Mitza, this book is a fictional retelling of what their marriage may have been like, what she may have contributed to his work and theories, and what their courtship and home life may have looked like. This was a fun and interesting choice for this year’s #biglibraryread through Overdrive.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I just don’t get it. the popularity of this book astounds me. I want to say that it’s mostly due to the fact that, at the time it was published, it was ahead of its time? and maybe the snarkiness? but, really, I found it pretty dull and am only bumping it up to two stars based on the narration by Stephen Fry, which was on point and perfect to keep me engaged when I felt myself drifting.
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
This quick read was SO good. Narrated by Chip and Joanna, the audiobook is just perfection. The couple talks about how they met, how their business grew, and the way they have seen God work his providence through their lives. The Gaines family is super well-known, but their backstory is just lovely. highly recommended.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
What a great follow up to the first book! I felt like I was right on the edge of my seat for so much of this sequel. Celaena, Chaol, Nehemia, and Dorian are all amazing characters. Maas does a great job following the storyline of each protagonist without leaving you feeling overwhelmed at the sheer number of characters. Excited to read the 3rd installment!
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
After the setting is in place this story is really wonderfully done. Rowan and William are both well-developed characters and their stories are compelling and driven. The historicity of this novel combined with the storytelling makes it really come together well. definitely recommended and I look forward to more from Latham.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
While hunting for food in the forest in order to help her impoverished family survive the winter, Feyre shoots a GIANT wolf, who happens to be Fae. The price for killing such a beast is death, but the Fae Lord (Tamlin) who comes to exact that punishment offers the opportunity to come live on his lands instead. Loved it, but found it the slightest bit predictable in places. Still, this world-building is incredible and I’m excited to see where this story goes in the next books!
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
This was so sweet and fun. Mary Poppins is much stricter and more conniving than her movie portrayal would suggest. she is feisty and has a mean raised eyebrow. Jane and Michael (and their baby twin siblings!) learn so much and are desperately in love with their nanny through all these antics. such a wonderful read/listen.
How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn
I thought this was funny and well put-together, and I’ve already found myself recommending it multiple times. It didn’t apply to ME so much, and I’m so grateful for that (I think if I had read this 5 years ago, I probably would have bought my own copy and highlighted half of it). Hubs and I have done the hard work to get to where we are today, and I could tell by the way I was reading this book that it’s working. Instead, I need the alternate version: how not to hate your kids after kids (or something), because man, oh, man, these kiddos take me OUT some days!
The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner by Terry Pratchett
A fun and whimsical collection of short stories. I’m glad I got this for free through Audiobook Sync. I probably should have abandoned it. Or maybe I shouldn’t listen to audio collections of short stories. I found myself zoning out, but each sentence of a short story is so important that it becomes hard to follow (you can’t just pick up when you start listening again and piece together what has happened in the meantime!). I’ll probably listen to this again someday with my kiddos, as they were all age-appropriate for youngsters.
The Dry by Jane Harper
A page turner, to be sure, this debut novel transports you to the parched landscape of a draught-stricken town in Australia. We follow Aaron Falk to the town of his childhood, where he attends the funeral of his childhood best friend Luke, his wife, and his child, in what appears to be a murder- suicide. Luke’s parents want Falk, now an agent wth the federal crimes division, to investigate further and hopefully clear their son’s name. but the drama pulls Falk down. The town is teetering on the brink of madness as crops and livestock perish from lack of water. I found myself insanely thirsty as I stayed up reading past my bedtime.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena continues her ass-kicking ways in book 3, but first, she has to allow herself to properly mourn the friends she has lost and left behind. This book follows three concurrent storylines: that of Celaena, that of Dorian and Chaol, and that of Manon Blackbeak. They mostly don’t intersect, so I’m guessing that book 4 will bring them all together.
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
This beast of a book is LONG but so good! It centers on the cases and investigations of Scott Murdock, who no longer uses that name. He is a special investigator who writes a book about his varying investigations. The book opens with a murder in which the killer used the book to plan the “perfect” crime to escape capture and detection. We then get to travel back in time to visit previous cases and maybe, possibly, save the world, or at least the United States from extinction by smallpox. It’s a fast-paced thriller and great on audio. Reading challenge goal: a book over 500 pages = complete!