July Wrap-Up

This month I read a whopping 7,222 pages—that’s 22 books, 5 of which were solid 5-star reads. That leaves of course many that were underwhelming but also includes books that are my favorite re-reads.

My standout books were “Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well” by Billy Graham. This read really made me start thinking about getting old, the plans I should be putting in place which includes retirement. As Graham puts it “growing old is not for sissys” so, I need to properly prepare for that time if it comes. “Tell Me Lies” by Carola Lovering was an unexpected lovely surprise. This book is now a must-read chick-lit. I cannot remember the last time I read a book that enraged me as much as this did. Lovering’s characters are totally relatable and reminded me of those guys I should be staying away from.

 

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Every time I visit the library I try to get a West Indian book, this month “Island Beneath The Sea” by Isabel Allende was my standout West Indian read. I love books that are set in the Caribbean, I love reading books that give a historical look into what the Caribbean was like. In “Island Beneath The Sea” Allende gives us an intimate look into Saint Domingue (Haiti), what it was like before the revolution and afterwards. This is a must-read recommendation from me. Allende’s writing is enchanting and her stories are sweeping and beautiful.

 

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This year I decided to re-read some of the books I absolutely loved and it’s been a great experience so far. This month I re-read “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese and I am so happy I did. I remember reading this back in 2012 and loving it, I finished it five days ago and the experience was the same and more. I love a book that is all encompassing and comes full circle. While there are a lot of medical references, it is done in such a way that you aren’t overwhelmed. This book remains on my absolute-favorite-books-ever list! Another book I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading was “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. This must be the most adorable book ever written. Personally, I love books about books and books that deals with the lost art of snail mail–The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society combines both of these two things and does it so well. This book will be making it to the Netflix screen on August 11th so now is the perfect time to give it a read.

 

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There were two books I had high anticipation of curling up with in July and both lived up to my high expectations. “A Place For Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza was all over the Instagram. I could not open my feed and not see that book on my timeline. Admittedly, it lives up to all the hype. This book had me ‘all up in my feels’ I was crying for those characters, praying they would all have a happy ending. If you’re a parent, will be a parent, this is a book I highly recommend. “How To Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story” by Billy Gallagher was an insightful read. As a Snapchat user, this book was like getting a behind the scenes look into the history of the app and the company itself. I am awaiting the follow up book “Maybe We Should Have Taken that Billion Dollars Afterall: A Snapchat Story” lol.

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For each amazing read, I had one or two books that underwhelmed and disappointed me. Four books come to mind in this category, they were all on the “most anticipated release of 2018” most of them I read the author’s previous work and enjoyed them so I was eagerly awaiting their next books. Case in point, “Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sager wasn’t as good as “Final Girls” that I thoroughly enjoyed. “Last Time I Lied”. Same too, for J.P. Dalaney’s while I enjoyed “The Girl Before” I did not enjoy “Believe Me”. It wasn’t as well executed and thrilling as his former novel. Another book I was so excited to read that was underwhelming was “Sick: A Memoir” by Porochista Khakpour. I cannot remember the last time a title and a cover pulled me in like “Sick” did. I was really looking forward to reading Khakpour’s memoir on her sickness and how she dealt and is dealing with it. While it was an “ok” read, I still wanted more, I think the way how the book was presented had a lot to do with why it fell flat.
There you have it, my July reads, the good, the bad and the underwhelming. Below is the list in order of star ratings.

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5 Star
Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well by Billy Graham
Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
Island Beneath The Sea by Isabel Allende
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

4 Star
Haiti Noir 2: The Classics edited by Edwidge Danticat
The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
How To Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher
Gold by Chris Cleave
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

3 Star
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Year by Elizabeth Gilbert
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Snek
Pao by Kerry Young
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
There There by Tommy Orange
Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
So Close To Being the Sh*t Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta
Sick by Porochista Khakpour
Believe Me by J.P. Dalaney

2 Star
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

There you have it! My July Wrap-Up, hope you had some great reads in July!

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