July Summary and August Preview

We’re in the back half of summer now. The kids are grudgingly getting ready to go back to school, and the teachers are dragging their feet even more than their students are. I’m looking forward to cooler days and the chance to go outside more often without worrying about melting. Summer is definitely not my favorite season. I am looking forward to bidding it farewell.

That said, summer does bring about some lovely photo opportunities:




I did a lot of reading and listening this month, thanks to a lot of heat and a decent amount of driving. One particular podcast has been playing nearly constantly since I discovered it a few weeks ago, The Prancing Pony Podcast, where the hosts provide a deep dive into the primary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and soon The Lord of the Rings. They also feature several interviews with Tolkien scholars and people who are involved with the world of Middle-Earth. It’s pretty amusing and has given me a much deeper insight into The Silmarillion. I’m looking forward to the new episodes, when they start talking about The Lord of the Rings itself!

I’ve also been listening to my CD set of the 1981 BBC Radio 4 dramatization of The Lord of the Rings, starring Ian Holm as Frodo and William Nighy as Sam. I listened to this production repeatedly when I was a kid, and though I’ve had the CD-set since I was in college, I don’t think I had listened to it. It’s been both eyeroll-worthy and delightful, and I’m looking forward to the rest of it. I listened to the first third on my way to and from my parents’ house over the weekend, and will be listening to the rest during my commutes to and from work over the next few weeks.



I read twelve books in July, as well as three short stories.

  1. The Gods of Tango by Carolina de Robertis
  2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan Maguire, audiobook narrated by the author
  3. The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon,
  4. The Tale of Aypi by Ak Welsapar
  5. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  6. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  7. Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold, audiobook read by Grover Gardner
  8. The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. A Sea of Love by Wilfrid Lupano, Illustrated by Gregory Panaccione
  10. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  11. Havana Black by Leonardo Padura
  12. Foundryside (ARC) by Robert Jackson Bennet
  13. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Short Stories (all are available on Tor.com):

  1. Headache by Julio Cortazar
  2. The Ordinary Woman and the Unquiet Emperor by Catherynne M. Valente
  3. Our Faces, Radiant Sisters, Our Faces Full of Light! by Kameron Hurley


I hadn’t intended to buy any books this month. I have three shelves of unread books now, and I don’t want to keep collecting even more books before I’ve at least started to whittle that pile down. But thanks to a bunch of coupons, I ended up buying more books. At least they were on sale.

  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales
  • The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays by J.R.R. Tolkien (ebook)




July also marks the opening of my NetGalley account! I’ve received four approvals so far and completed one graphic novel that was available in the ‘Read Now’ section. I’ve only finished two titles because the others aren’t going to be published for another couple of months. I’m looking forward to them, though!

  • A Sea of Love by Wilfid Lupano and Gragory Panaccione
  • Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo
  • The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
  • Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri


I have a ridiculous number of books I want to get to in August. Really. It’s ridiculous.

  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
  • The Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell
  • Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
  • Gom on Windy Mountain by Grace Chetwin
  • Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
  • The Road to Middle Earth by Tom Shippey
  • The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Fear Itself by James Swallow

I also want to see about re-reading The Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman, and I’m taking a deeper dive into the world of Tolkien. I have a project I’m planning to start in September, and I want to be sure I’ve brushed up on my Tolkien lore before that comes up.

Ridiculous number of books! I will do my best to get to them all. The weather will be cooling off a little, and even though next week is likely to be hectic thanks to work, I will probably relax by reading and writing, not by watching television or movies. I’m also planning to read more of the Tor.com short stories, particularly the ones in their ‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’ series commissioned for International Women’s Day last March, and I want to get caught up on the Vorkosigan Saga and Silmarillion re-read blogs (also available on Tor.com). I doubt I will do much poking around on NetGalley. I already have a few titles waiting around for their publishing dates to come a little closer, and there are so many books already waiting for me on my shelves.

I need a vacation where I can just read books all day. I’m considering taking a long weekend where I can do just that. And take pictures. We’ll see if the work schedule will work with me!



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