And like that, July was over.
And it was fine. An okay month weather-wise, reading-wise, craft-wise. Less so writing-wise, but I’ll get that corrected.
I did a lot less reading in July than I did in June, but that’s to be expected, as I was taking part in the Shelf Space Discord server’s Olympics Readathon, and so completed 22 books in June. I took it easy in July. And had other things going on. But I still read twelve books last month (and a lot of fanfiction), so it’s not like I banned all reading from my life. There was just slightly less of it going on.
But onto the books.
What I Read in July:
- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, audiobook narrated by the author
- The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
- Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
- Clean: The New Science of Skin by James Hamblin
- The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #6) by Ellis Peters, narrated by Patrick Tull
- The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
- The Eyes of the Queen (Agents of the Crown #1) by Oliver Clements
- The Treason of Isengard (The History of Middle-earth #7) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- The Sanctuary Sparrow (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7) by Ellis Peters, audiobook read by Patrick Tull
- The Devil’s Novice (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #8) by Ellis Peters, audiobook read by Patrick Tull
- Dead Man’s Ransom (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #9) by Ellis Peters, audiobook read by Patrick Tull
- Closer to the Heart (The Herald Spy #2) by Mercedes Lackey
- 58.3% of the books I read were written by women, while 41.7% were written by men
- Exactly half were written by American authors, and half were written by English authors. Not a lot of diversity there…
- 41.7% of the books I read were audiobooks (thanks to the Brother Cadfael series), 33.3% were physical books, and 25% were ebooks
- 33.3% were fantasy novels, 33.3% were mysteries, 25% were nonfiction, and 8.3% were historical fiction. Though the mysteries I read were set in the 12th century, so they could count for historical fiction, too.
- 75% of what I read came from the library, while 25% came from my own shelves. Not great numbers for all those unread books I own
- Publication dates ranged from 1982 to 2021
My favorites of the month were The Virgin in the Ice, The Lights of Prague, and The Eyes of the Queen, but none of those are ‘put them on the favorites list at the end of the year’ sorts of books. They were fun to read, but not particularly spectacular.
The disappointing book of the month was Mercedes Lackey’s Closer to the Heart, which retread a lot of old ground, was really lousy in its representation of neuro-atypical people, and had a crap ending.
What’s on Tap for August:
I don’t have any major plans for this month, save for reading the three ARCs I have due for August and the beginning of September, the next installment of the History of Middle-earth, finishing my current big book for my Big Book project, and reading the next book for that.
I’m currently in the middle of my reread of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and am nearly finished with my ARC of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Velvet was the Night. My unfinished July pick for the Big Book project was The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore.
The books I plan to start (and finish) this month:
- The War of the Ring (The History of Middle-earth #8) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen, translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund with Emma Ryer
- The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodksy
- The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Heron’s Cry (Two Rivers #2) by Ann Cleeves, ARC provided by NetGalley
I’m waiting for a few holds from the library, which I’m fairly certain will arrive in August, but I’m not sure. Those are A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter, and Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge. There are some other books on my shelf that I’d love to get to in August, but given that I’ve picked some fairly long books for August, I don’t want to push myself overmuch. I’ll probably also get through a few more of the Brother Cadfael mystery series, as they’re all available on audiobook through my library, and they’re easy to listen to while I’m doing housework or sewing.
While it’s been fairly temperate these first few days of August, it’s supposed to get gross hot again over the weekend, and at least through the middle of next week, so I’ll be staying indoors for the most part and getting a lot of things done around the house. Including, I hope, a lot of reading.
What do you have planned for August?
5 thoughts on “July Summary, August Preview”
I’m happy to see that you liked Lights of Prague! I’ve been eyeing it, but haven’t been sure if I actually wanted to read it. I love vampires, but am not a huge fan of them always being the monstrous bad guy–monstrous, sure, but I’m much more of a Only Lovers Left Alive kind of vampire fan rather than always seeing them get killed by hunters–so still not totally sure.
The first week of August has been mostly quiet for me so far, and I’ve been working my way through two 500+ page tomes, so I’m hoping to wrap those up this week and then tackle as many of my preorders as possible. They’re starting to pile up again, and I had them down to only two recently, so definitely need to get that under control.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on The Wolf in the Whale and hoping you’ll enjoy it. I’m also curious about The Photographer, though it might have more to do with the title than the actual story description. 🙂
I will admit that the title drew me toward The Photographer more than anything else. We’ll see how it goes! 😃
I quite enjoyed The Lights of Prague! It’s definitely a debut, but I think Jarvis has a lot of promise, so I hope she continues writing (or gets another book deal). There are vampires for sure, and some of them are nasty monsters, but Jarvis has introduced a little more complexity than just “Vampire bad! Kill the vampire!”. The issues I had with the book were the writing (a bit clunky at times, but nothing terrible, and that is fixed with practice) and the atmosphere. I wanted it to be dripping with atmosphere, but it felt like, with a few name changes and minor edits, it could have happened in Paris or London instead of Prague. But that’s also fixable, and was more of a personal preference. So I’d say give it a shot. It’s staying on my shelf, and I’ll keep an eye out for more from Jarvis in the future.
Good luck with the tomes and preorders! I have one preorder coming (I have a feeling it’s already at the bookshop, but they can’t give it to me until it’s released next week), and I want to get to that one soon. The problem is that I have a bunch of tomes already set aside for August, and my brain just wants to sew and read fanfiction…
Oh bummer! Prague promises for such an incredible atmosphere, and I’ve got so much love for it after Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But I’ll hopefully pick it up at some point once this insanely overflowing TBR gets a little more manageable!