Rearview Mirror // July 2019

Summer continues to race by!  We had some super hot weather in July, but things are back to regular-hot now.  I’m getting ready to go back to work at the orchard next week, so things will get much busier.  In the meantime, the garden is going crazy, and I’ve been getting caught up on random projects around the house.  We’re also gearing up for a big westward trip in early September – I just came home from the library with a dozen travel guides!

Reading wise, things are pretty normal.  I didn’t really have any huge wins or losses this month – it was mostly just regular, enjoyable books.  I’m still really active on Litsy and thoroughly enjoying the community there.

Favorite July Read:

I think I’m going with The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V. Snyder.  Although the book definitely had some pacing issues, overall it was just an incredibly fun romp with a main character that I liked a lot.

Most Disappointing July Read:

Probably The String by Caleb Breakey.  I thought this book had a lot of potential, but broke down in the details.

By the Numbers:

In July…

  • I read 26 books for a total of 7308 pages – down from last month by over a thousand pages!!
  • My average star rating was 3.6, which is alright, but not great.  It’s also down from 3.7 last month.
  • I read way more of my own books this month than I did books from elsewhere – 19 of my 26 books were from my own shelves or Kindle library.
  • This month’s oldest book was The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse, published in 1922.
  • My longest book was Winner Takes All by Nora Roberts at 537 pages, while the shortest was The Haunted Fountain by Margaret Sutton at 92.

July DNFs:

  • I gave up on K.M. Robinson’s The Siren Wars at 38% of 340 Kindle pages.  The story just wasn’t holding my interest, and it felt like the plot was never going to go anywhere.
  • I read almost a hundred pages of I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella before throwing in the towel.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, but Fixie was driving up the wall, and I just wasn’t in the  mood to deal with her.  I may pick this one up again at some point.

#20BooksofSummer

As usual, I’m reading plenty of books, but not necessarily the chosen twenty!  This month I’ve finished five more off the list, although I haven’t reviewed them all yet.  Both my DNFs were also on the original list, so I’ve updated it to include a few different ones – you can see the full list here.

TBR Update:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:

  • Standalones:  430 (up two)
  • Nonfiction:  90 (holding steady)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  658 (down six!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  234 (holding steady)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 114 (holding steady)

Awaiting Review:

  • The Fairfield Orchard series – happy little romance books – a trilogy so far, but I think there may be more to come someday.
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss – the best book about militant punctuation that you’ll ever find.
  • Gentian Hill by Elizabeth Goudge – a little different from her other books I’ve read, as this one is historical fiction, but still an excellent read.
  • You Don’t Own Me by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke – a new addition to the Under Suspicion series that I read and really enjoyed last year.
  • The Story of a Whim by Grace Livingston Hill – what are the odds of me reading TWO book set in early 1900’s Florida practically in a row?!

Currently Reading:

I’m getting ready to start The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck.  I’ve had mixed experiences with her writing before, so this may or may not end up being a DNF.  I’m also working through the pile of Yellowstone travel guides! :-D

The Probable Next Five(ish) Reads:

  • The Wedding Dress is the first in a trilogy, so I may read all of them if the first is any good.
  • Lord Brocktree by Brian Jacques – I have mixed feelings about continuing the Redwall books as they are somewhat samey, but I really like the badgers the best so I may give this one a go.
  • A while back I picked up two books in a quartet from the library booksale for a total of fifty cents, and it’s about time to see if they are any good.  The first is Simply Unforgettable by Mary Balogh, and they appear to be romance of some type.
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin – a book I read a really, really long time ago and remember nothing about.
  • A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson – despite the fact that I’ve had some serious issues with the other two Ibbotson books I’ve read, someone commented on one of those reviews and insisted that I give this one a try.  It’s my FINAL chance for Ibbotson!

That’s about it for July!  I genuinely can’t believe it’s August already.  I’m way behind on reading other people’s reviews (as usual) so don’t be surprised if you see me popping up on your older posts. :-D Hope everyone is well – Happy August!