Has anyone seen the July? I’m pretty sure I misplaced it somewhere because we cannot be half-way through summer already… can we? I honestly don’t know where this month went. We’ve been kept busy with house hunting, figuring out logistics and timing for this move, and trying to enjoy our summer. I haven’t had much chance to sit down and read. This is the second month in a row that’s been like this and I’m longing for things to settle down so I can read more. Below you’ll find my mini reviews of my favoruite reads from this month.
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What I’ve Been Reading In July
I may not have carved out as much reading time as I normally do, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t read anything in July.
by J.K. Rowling
If there is one thing I like better than reading, it’s reading with my kids. Liam and I have started reading the Harry Potter series this summer. I haven’t read the books for years, so I’m rediscovering the world of Hogwarts along with Liam. The Philosopher’s Stone is a wonderful introduction for younger kids into the world of fantasy. J.K. Rowling is a wonderful storyteller. Though the characters and the settings, and even the storylines (up to a certain point) are deeply ingrained in my heart, I had forgotten how rich the writing is. Like all good fantasy writers, (in my humble opinion) Rowling’s draws the story out enough to gently pull you in. She beautifully balances building this new world for us and moving the story along. I’m finding myself falling in love with this story all over again. And Liam is loving it.
by Nora Roberts
Reading a Nora Roberts book is like having coffee with a good friend: you know you’re going to have a good time no matter what you end up talking about. The Collector was no exception to that rule for me. It center around the main character Lila, who is a housesitter by day and writer by night. One night, while housesitting for her currently clients, she witnesses a murder. Little does she know she’s about to be swept away into an adventure that will change her life. As with almost all of Nora Roberts other books, at the heart of this one is a sweet love story as boy meets girl, they fall in love, and try to thwart the plans of international art thieves. The story line is solid, it moves along at a nice pace for the genre. The characters are well-developed and by the end of the story you find yourself really rooting for the good guys. The bad guys, however, could have used a little more … something. I’m not sure what, but they really needed a little more sinister-ness added to them. It would have been nice to see a little more development from them. All in all though, this story is a great summer read.
by ReGina Welling
I fully admit that I’m the kind of reader that authors hope find their books when they offer them for free… especially when the free book is the first one in a series, like Rings on Her Fingers was. I think I found it in a BookBub newsletter, but don’t quote me on that. This was one charming little story, though it wasn’t what I was expecting. The characters are quirky and likeable and really make this story shine. There’s a little mystery, a little adventure, and some supernatural/paranormal all wrapped up with ribbons of romance. The only thing I wish was that the suspense had been drawn out just a little longer than it was. But, considering that this is primarily a quest story about finding inner truths and searching for treasure, that can be overlooked. This was a lovely and joyful read, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good story to read. I’ve got the rest of the books in the series sitting in my shopping cart at the moment. I can’t wait to see where it leads.
by Robert Jordan
Reading Harry Potter with Liam made me feel the need to pull out a series I haven’t read in a few years now. There are 14 (15 if you count the prequel) in The Wheel of Time series but it all begins with book number one The Eye of the World. Including this title in this post was a bit of a gamble, as I could easily fill a hundred posts about my thoughts about this book and the series as a whole, but I’ll do my best to keep it brief. If you like epic fantasy tales this series is MUST read in my opinion. Jordan built an incredible world not just rich in diversity but the history he created for this world is staggering. From this world and out of this history he crafts a web of storylines that is managed so beautifully. Each one feeds into another, they criss, they cross, and they move the reader ever forward towards the end. Character development is slow but sure – they come to life in the first book and you watch the grow up, feel their pain and their joy – you love them, you hate the, you love to hate them. It’s just a brilliant series. It sits at the very top of my favourite fantasy list. Even if takes you a year or two to read it, it’s worth it. It really really is.
by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, this is the book for you. It written by two women who noticed a glaring hole in the world of business how-to books and decided to fill it with the wisdom they learned on their own journey to becoming business owners. I love that this book is not your typical business book. It’s written by real people, in real language. None of that busines jargon that makes you feel like you should have majored in Business just to undestand what they heck they’re talking about. The Boss of You will walk you through everything you need to get started, from creating your business goals and defining what success looks like for you to planning for your future, this book has it all. Though a word of warning, this was published back in 2008, before Pinterest, before Facebook became ‘the’ place to share your stuff, so the section on virtual marketing is a little light. That being said, there is enough information out there on the web to help you in that department, and truthfull, with full scope of what ‘virtual’ marketing means now, it really does deserve it’s own book.
by Susan Cain
The tag-line for this book reads; “The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”. Quiet is a powerful look into the world of introverts, breaking down the stereotypes and myths that surround what it means to be an introvert, and showcases the inner strength and power that resides deep inside. As someone who leans more towards the introverted side than extroverted I found much of what the author had to say enlightening. I won’t go so far as to say that I found myself, but I did gain some insights into what makes me, and other introverts tick. It was a very compelling look at the complexity of introversion and its place in today’s world. I found myself intrigued as Cain illustrated the power of hidden in the quiet depths. I also greatly appreciated that she didn’t pit one against the other as some other personality-driven books tend to. It’s a great book if you’re looking for something to make you think. I savoured the reading of it all month long. It was a wonderful book to read a little of, and then step away and think about what you’d read. Let the ideas and concepts and information sort of settle into your brain. If you’re in need of a good non-fiction book to read, put this one on your list.
There were other books that didn’t make the list, but these were the ones that stood out to me. They were the first that came to mind when I thought of writing this post, despite having a list of all the books I read. I figured if they didn’t pop into mind, they weren’t memorable enough to warrant being included.
Now it’s your turn – what have you been reading lately? Anything good? Anything bad? Let me know in the comments.