Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Show Us Your Books July 2021

Hello from one of the months of the year I like the least. July is not my jam. Reading books is, of course, and friends writing books is too. Friends with small friends to buy for, check out Fuel Your Best, a children's book to educate & empower kids through fitness. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup. 

Engrossing Reads

Haven Point by Virginia Hume - The perfect beach read with some intrigue and drama and a few things to let fall by the wayside as no story or telling of it is perfect. Some of the Past Times Writing drug on too long. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

Fallen (Kate Burkholder #13) by Linda Castillo - One of my favorites of the series. Kudos to Castillo for bringing it hard 13 books in. More Kate and crew, please! Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner - Did this come from this linkup? I was not expecting to be so into this and there were definitely unexpected twists. I loved it. 

After the Fire by Will Hill - I loved this. I was sucked in and creeped out. AND it centered around a cult. Cult books are a perennial favorite. All the good stuff. OCNJ library 

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau - I read this on Sunday. I really liked it. There was something comfortable about reading a book set in 1975 even though it was two years before I was born. It felt familiar as a lot of the stuff that was permissible then carried through to my 80s childhood. Blau did a good job with the almost casual racism and anti-semitism that Mary Jane becomes aware in her home of as her mind is opened to a world outside of her house. It was an excellent juxtaposition but is still jarring to read. OCNJ library

The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living with Less by Christine Platt - Ugh, this book. I love love love. I follow her on IG and think she is fabulous, and that does not always translate into books. This one is excellent and opened my mind to living with less in a way no other minimalist reading has done. Mostly because everything I've read about minimalism has been so blah to me, everything is neutral or the dreaded (to me) greige and non descript and I am the person living in eclectic homes surrounded by color and things that spark joy. This book showed me a path that I've not seen before and made me think about how and why I've come to have too much shit.  pre-ordered, own

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine - This was fine, read it in a few hours, but something was off. It was repetitive at points and Addison was hard to root for. Also part of it was set in Philadelphia and when discussing neighborhoods she made a statement like going to Chestnut Hill from Northeast which very few people would say. We'd say going the Chestnut Hill from The Northeast. She also described Fishtown oddly - like you could tell she did some research, but stopped short? Have someone local read it if you don't know it well enough. Do not like. OCNJ library

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson - I standardly like Jackson's books. This one was not a favorite and I'm not going to suggest you rush to read it. OCNJ library

What You Can See From Here by Mariana Leky - Reminded me of some Alice Hoffman mixed with a dash of shit what was that bookstore book from a few years back with the male owner everyone loved? A little mystical realism? Anyway I liked this village and Leky's storytelling. I don't always fare well with translated books but this one hit the spot. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy - As the header of this section states, this was fine. I think it was much ado about nothing honestly. Given the setup and a lot of the plotlines, there were a million stories possible here and I think the one told was totally fine but the least interesting possibility. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley - Even though I felt like throttling both main characters, I loved this book and the Frick Islanders. It's unique. OCNJ library

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder - Laura had this up in last month's link up and as soon as she said it's not for everyone, I thought it's probably for meeee. And it was. Mental health and eating disorders and religion and queer sex and what's taboo at the intersection of those things, which is a lot. Thoughtfully written about women in their young 20s, which not all books are. It's a tough, searching age and women in life and in books are not given much quarter through that time. OCNJ library 

Look What You Made Me Do by Elaine Murphy - This was sort of campy and fun with a serial killer sister and her sister who helps. Not as well executed as My Sister, the Serial Killer, but passable, a quick read, and an added layer MYTSK did not have. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

Not Worth It

You Will Remember Me by Hannah McKinnon - Most people liked this. I was like eh. All of us are correct. Probably a good for you, not for me book. 

The Therapist by B.A. Paris - This will be another many people like that I did not. Do I standardly dislike the main character in every B.A. Paris book? Yes. Do I always say this is it? Yes. Have I continued to read them? Yes. I have no one to blame but myself. This author's books are an example of ones I think are hyped and fed to the masses by publishing houses that people assume are good because everyone is reading them but when I actually examine them as a body of work, I do not like. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller - Absolutely zero likable people in this book, which is fine if the story holds up. It does not. You have to suspend belief to read anything and everything, but this was a lot. People are not robots and no way would the twist have survived and the people in it remain in contact. It was a "oh, she's not trying to pass this off, is she?" type of things. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides - Could not would not finish the sophomore effort by the author of The Silent Patient, which I liked. I was pumped for this but alas it was excruciatingly awful and flat from the start and by 10% in I was done. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy but no thanks

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld - This felt weird. Could not finish.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, August 10, 2021
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

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