Just One Reader's Opinion!

Quick Lit

July 2020

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and not always feeling like I want to write a full review for each book read (or sometimes I just don’t have much to say about a book). So I was inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit posts, as well as Hannah at So Obsessed With‘s monthly Quick Lit posts, and decided to do something similar as a way to briefly discuss the books I read in a month but don’t write full reviews for.

July was another great reading month for me: I read 22 books. Reading was really the only thing I did, since I am still having a really hard time focusing on watching TV and movies (I just keep on old episodes of The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers in the background).

Here is the list of what I read in July that I have reviewed / will review on the blog (the links will take you to to my reviews here on the blog, and an asterisk marks the books that will be reviewed here in the future):

Home Before Dark, Riley Sager;

Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia;

The Truth Hurts, Rebecca Reid;

Harrow Lake, Kat Ellis;

Leave the World Behind, Rumaan Alam (review to come closer to release date)*;

The Heir Affair, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan*;

All the Stars and Teeth, Adalyn Grace*; and

The Progeny, Tosca Lee*.

Here are my thoughts on the rest of the books I read in July:

The Past is Never, Tiffany Quay Tyson (purchased) – 3⭐

This started off really strongly, but as it went on, I began to lose interest. I really liked the atmospheric writing, but couldn’t sustain my interest in the characters and their lives.

Nothing is Wrong and Here is Why, Alexandra Petri (library) – 4⭐

This was a collection of sharp, satirical essays that was at times exhilarating and exhausting to read (exhilarating because of the way she perfectly captured things I couldn’t identify or put into words but which I felt as I read; exhausting because I find, much like living in this era, reading about it can just feel like too much sometimes).

Empty, Susan Burton (library) – 4⭐

This was a really interesting read. It’s a memoir, but there was so much of it that was relatable. I really liked the writing and the combination of the author’s very personal experiences with more general information about a topic that I think has been overlooked.

In the Dream House: a Memoir, Carmen Maria Machado (library) – 4⭐

I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a memoir like this. The style was so captivating, and this was a really compelling book. It’s one that will stick in my brain.

My Life as a Villainess, Laura Lippman (e-ARC) – 3.5⭐

This was a mixed bag for me because the essays that I loved, I really loved. The others in this collection were interesting, but just didn’t grab me (which is probably pretty par for the course for essay collections). But Lippman is, of course, a great writer, and I loved how her personality came through in each piece. She is sharp, witty, and insightful.

My Summer of Love and Misfortune, Lindsay Wong (e-ARC) – 2⭐

I was looking forward to reading this one because the synopsis sounded so good but sadly I just could not get into this one. I really did want to like this, and I did initially enjoy reading about Iris in a new setting and culture than what she knew, but her initial lack of interest or curiosity about the world around her became an insurmountable obstacle for me. By the end, I was just reading to finish the book, not because I cared about the characters or what happened to them.

Want, Lynn Steger Strong (library) – 3⭐

This was a sort of aimless, meandering read (or at least it felt that way to me), with some interesting insight into Elizabeth’s desires. I don’t think I truly understood it or what the author was saying, but it kept me reading at least, trying to make sense of it.

Take Me With You, Tara Altebrando (library) – 2⭐

This sci-fi YA was just not for me. I probably should have DNFd but I was too curious about the ending to do that.

Possession, A.S. Byatt (purchased) – 3.5⭐

This had been on my TBR for so many years, and I think by the time I got around to reading it, I had built up really high expectations. So maybe that’s why I just liked it, but didn’t love it. The writing was beautiful and I loved the idea of a literary mystery, but I struggled to be interested at times in this particular mystery.

Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver (purchased) – 3.5⭐

It took me some time to get into this one, but I really liked the gothic vibe and the way Maud’s story unfolded. It was a slow build with a good payoff.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession, Allison Hoover Bartlett (library) – 3⭐

This was fine. It wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped it would be, but it was a fairly quick, diverting read.

Beach Read, Emily Henry (e-ARC) – 4⭐

There was more to this one than I was expecting, and I really enjoyed this book! I loved reading about January’s writing process and her relationship with Gus, which starts out with animosity and develops into a romance.

White is For Witching, Helen Oyeyemi (library) – 3⭐

I read it but I feel like I just didn’t understand it. I liked the descriptions and the mood, but when I finished I didn’t really get what had happened.

Saint X, Alexis Schaitkin (purchased) – 3.5⭐

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. It had interesting ideas and sometimes I was really moved by the writing, and the idea of the unknowability of another person – especially someone we think we do know – but I also found it boring at times. And I think the marketing is misleading for this one, because I bought it thinking it was more of a mystery/thriller, but by the time I read it, I’d heard that wasn’t accurate.

What have you been reading lately?


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