Books I Read in July 2017

What a great reading month! I did a lot of listening to audio books, which is why my reading total is so high – 11 of the books I finished were audio titles!

Books Read in July 2017

    Mysteries

  1. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

    So. Good. It’s a story-within-a-story, and the framework is really well done and made for such a fun book. I listened to it, and the narrators did an excellent job. Plus I didn’t figure out either solution (although I had a suspicion about one of them, I couldn’t get the why behind it.)

  2. The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

    An enjoyable follow-up to both Jane Eyre and the biography on Charlotte Brontë I’d recently read. I think it’d have been even better if I’d ever read Wuthering Heights and/or Agnes Grey!

  3. A False Mirror by Charles Todd

    The premise behind this one was absurd, but I do like Inspector Rutledge, so I just kind of nodded and went with the ridiculousness of the setup.

  4. An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd

    Another favorite mystery series because of my affection for the main characters, not because of any individual title. It’s worth starting at the beginning of the series, although it’s not as essential as it would be with other series.

  5. Other Fiction

  6. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

    Lots of potential in this one, and it was a really good book, but missed out on being really great. The narrators are excellent, so as long as you don’t mind lots of profanity (in one section at least), it’s a good one to listen to on audio.

  7. Among Others by Jo Walton

    I’m not even sure what to say about this one exactly – I loved it, and read it in under 24 hours. I liked the idea behind it, the setting, the bookworm main character. And yet, looking at it objectively, it’s not one I can recommend to anyone and everyone. It doesn’t really have all that much action – there’s lots of day-to-day recounting of boarding school events, and tons of science fiction books and authors mentioned. I think it’s a book that’s either going to fit the reader so well that they love it, or leave a reader cold, wondering why on earth there isn’t anything happening.

  8. Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

    Sweet story, but not my type of book overall. I thought it was going to be a historical mystery and it’s a historical Christian romance. I did like the setting!

  9. Nonfiction

  10. On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen

    Really interesting, and well-written. Petersen takes her own story and expands it to give a look at anxiety in general, and various treatments for it. It was a fascinating account.

  11. My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul

    I’d expected to love this one, and certainly to find it more interesting than On Edge. Instead, I found it veering towards boring at times, and unsuccessful at making her story more interesting to a wider audience.

  12. Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

    Excellent for learning details about Charlotte Brontë’s life (I had no idea she ever married!), although the writing style was dry and at times it was a bit tedious. Read it if you want to know more about Charlotte or her sisters, but it’s not a must-read as a generally-interesting biography.

  13. Kid Lit

  14. Winterbound by Margery Williams Bianco

    Enjoyable, old-fashioned story. I’m keeping an eye out for a copy to add to our library, because it’d be a good one to have on hand for the kids to read in the future.

  15. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

    I would have loved this one as a kid. As an adult, I enjoyed it well enough, and I’ll read it to my kids soon(ish).

  16. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

    Has gotten tons of praise since publication, including winning the 2017 Newbery Medal. And I liked it, but I didn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE it like I somewhat expected to with the press it’s gotten.

  17. Savvy by Ingrid Law

    Fun, with an unusual take on magical powers. It’s the first in a trilogy, and eventually I’ll look for the others, although it’s not a immediate priority. I’ll keep this in mind for my kids to read when they get into middle-grade books.

  18. Cookbooks

  19. Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven by Molly Gilbert

    So many tempting ideas in this one, especially a couple of the breakfast ideas as I daydream about our upcoming bookclub retreat!

  20. Nigella Fresh: Delicious Flavors on Your Plate All Year Round by Nigella Lawson

    Nothing jumped out at me that I wanted to try, but I adore Nigella’s voice, and love reading her commentary.

  21. Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

    It’s not what I thought it was going to be, and I still want to look at the cookbook I thought I was getting. For a cookbook where the focus is on prepping for five meals on one day, there was very little direction on the order for the meals to be prepped, or ways to make things easier on the cook. It felt very forced as far as making recipes fit into the supposed premise.

  22. The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen by Serena Thompson and Teri Edwards

    Grabbed on a whim from the library shelf, so the fact that I didn’t really like it all that much isn’t too disappointing. It included appetizers, lunch, desserts … but no dinner ideas! And really, dinner is where I want ideas. 🙂

  23. The Melendy Quartet

  24. The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
  25. The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright
  26. Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright
  27. Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright
  28. General thoughts about the entire series: I LOVED IT. How on earth did I never read these books as a child? I would have adored them, and wished I could be adopted into the family, and have their adventures. Great on audio as well. I can’t wait to read them to my kids, or at least introduce them to them, and then let them read all four themselves.

    Rereads

  29. The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson

    The geography on this one confused me, and I got a little sidetracked by trying to understand what on earth Robinson was describing. Eventually I gave up and just enjoyed the characters. I’m still not entirely sure what happened at the very end, but it would be a major spoiler to explain so if you’ve read it recently and can discuss, let me know.

  30. Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson

    So dated as far as social issues go, and the book itself drags quite a bit. Unless you’re obsessive about reading all the books in a series, this one is completely skippable.

  31. Cain His Brother by Anne Perry

    And another book where the middle drags on way too much. This should easily been edited down by at least 100 pages, to make for a more engaging book. The details get really repetitive. The solution to the mystery is also completely unbelievable.

  32. Not For Me

  33. Plague Land by S. D. Sykes

    I need at least one character to care about in a book, and this one didn’t have any. Despite wanting to like the book – I love the medieval time period, and the premise behind the book – a third son is recalled from the monastery he’s been sent to when his father and older brothers both die from the plague – was intriguing. Alas, the book itself was boring and filled with unpleasant characters. The mystery itself was even a let-down and didn’t make up for the disagreeable characters. .

  34. Work Clean: The Life-Changing Power of Mise-En-Place to Organize Your Life, Work and Mind by Dan Charnas

    Almost preachy in tone, and super repetitive. Would have been stronger as a long article or series of blog posts, but as a full-length book it felt padded.

  35. I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

    Teetered on the edge between amusingly quirky and entertaining, and ridiculously absurd. Eventually toppled off into the absurd side for me. I think I’m too old and cranky to appreciate it.

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