book report: july 2019

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This was such a great month for reading! I read seven books, bringing me up to 36 books read out of my goal for the year which is 70. Four of the seven books I read this month, I truly loved and if you ask me, that’s a pretty good reading month.

PROGRESS: 36/70

Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder
This book was meh to me simply because I didn’t find any of the characters likable and one particularly repulsive. The story follows a Classics professor whose husband was caught having an affair and whose son is struggling after graduating college. They take a family trip to Greece where she is giving a lecture. When I think about it, not a whole lot happened in this book and the husband was just so shitty but not even in an entertaining way, so I just can’t recommend it.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
It’s July, which means a new book is out from Riley Sager, one of my favorite thriller authors. His last two books, “Final Girls” and “The Last Time I Lied” have been some of my favorite books of their respective years, so I couldn’t wait to read this new one. Weird side note, I only just found out that Riley Sager is a man (??) which surprised me because he writes female characters so well. This book was a little slow to get to the main story and wasn’t my favorite of the three, but it held my attention and I finished it in less than 24 hours and it’s still a great summer thriller you should definitely read! The story is about a girl who is hired to be an apartment sitter in a luxury Manhattan building. The arrangement seems to good to be true, which it definitely is.

The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
This was July’s pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, so I was excited to pick it up. It’s about a group of women who all work as corporate attorneys and find themselves in a situation where they are going to oust their boss for his bad behavior. My honest opinion was that some of the book was depressing and it took me a bit to get into it because of that, but once you’re into it, it has a “Big Little Lies” sort of vibe but set in Houston, which I enjoyed. In the end, this was a really good story about women speaking out for themselves and one another against the disgusting behavior of the men in their work lives, something that’s really relevant now more than ever.

Again, But Better by Christina Riccio
This book was really cute and had one of the most satisfying twists I’ve read. Sure, the main character was annoyingly quirky at times, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment at all. The story follows Shane, a college student who hasn’t had the most exciting experience in school but vows to change her ways when she studies abroad in London. There, she falls for a fellow study abroad student in her dorm and their story plays out from there. I highly recommend this as it was cute and the twist was highly satisfying.

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
I love a good WW2 book and this was no exception. It was touted as a good book for fans of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale so, considering those are two of my favorite books, I was excited to read this one. The story is split into two perspectives: Alina, a young woman living in Poland during the Nazi occupation, and Alice, a mother in modern day Florida (shout out, Winter Park!) struggling with her kids and her dying grandmother. I can’t say much without giving away how these characters are connected but this was just such an engaging story, I couldn’t put it down. This is a book I finished in under 24 hours!

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Like I said, I love a good WW2 book but don’t often read WW1 books! This is the prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s book Lilac Girls which I referenced above as one of my favorite books. This story follows the mother of one of the three protagonists of Lilac Girls as well as a wealthy Russian aristocrat and the daughter of a poor fortune teller. While the writing was absolutely beautiful throughout, I found that this book was slower to get to “the action” than Lilac Girls but once it did, oh my god! I can’t wait for Kelly’s third book because she really has discovered a family of women with a story worth telling.

The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life by Sarah Kaufman
I have mixed feelings on some of the opinions in this book, but overall I rather enjoyed it. Sarah Kaufman is a dance critic, who wrote this book about achieving both physical, mental, and social ease. She talks about everyone from Cary Grant and Roger Federer to Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton. I enjoyed and agreed with many of her points about how our current culture is one of coarseness and that it’s quite self-centered, but disagreed with a few things including her implication that political/social protesting isn’t a ‘classy’ enough way to respond to oppression.