Just to recap:
- January Rearview posted February 7 (respectable)
- February Rearview posted April 1 (seriously??)
- March Rearview posted April 15 (okay)
- April Rearview posted May 20 (hmm)
- May Rearview posted June 28 (oh dear)
- June Rearview posted July 15 (so-so)
All that to say, posting my July Rearview on August 11 is actually my second-best time for the year so… there’s that!
This summer has been busy, but mostly in a good way. I’ve done a lot of reading, but have also gotten a lot of little projects done around the house. The garden is bustling, I canned homemade salsa for the first time ever yesterday, I’ve been experimenting with bread-making, and I’m almost done painting the chairs that go with the table Tom built. Things are getting ready to kick off at the orchard, so my dreams of getting caught up on book blogging are probably unattainable, but it’s still fun to try!!
Favorite July Read
I read a lot of really good books this month (a whole pile of 4* reads), but my favorite was my reread of of Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness, which slightly edges out its predecessor, This Present Darkness. But both are solid 5* reads for me – I was delighted at how well they’ve held up, since I haven’t read them in probably 20 years.
Most Disappointing July Read
I’m going with Ed McBain’s Calypso for this one. It was just so… unnecessarily weird and gruesome. I’ve read over 30 of the books in this series so far, and this was by far my least favorite.
Other July Reads
- Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene
- Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey
- Hooked by Ev Bishop
- Mystery Mountain by Florence Laughlin
- Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop
- Bryony & Roses by T. Kingfisher
- Ghosts by Ed McBain
- Heat by Ed McBain
- I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
- Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
- So Long As You Both Shall Live by Ed McBain
- Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
- The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne
- Daddy’s Little Girl by Mary Higgins Clark
- Finding Home by Irene Hannon
- Green Card by Elizabeth Adams
- Long Time No See by Ed McBain
- Making Faces by Amy Harmon
- Sourdough by Robin Sloan
- The Switch by Beth O’Leary
- The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie
- This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
- We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea by Arthur Ransome
While not as awesome as June, July was still a solid reading month.
- Total Number of Books Read: 33 (30 physical; 3 Kindle)
- Total Pages Read: 9392
- Average Star Rating for June: 3.80 (My 2* read really brought it down!)
- Longest Book: Making Faces (488 pages)
- Shortest Book: Phoebe & Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater (150 pages) (I haven’t reviewed these comic books yet because I have one more to read before I finish the series, but they are ADORABLE)
- Oldest Book: The Seven Dials Mystery (published 1929)
- Newest Book: Love Lettering, The Switch, and Camping With Unicorns (all published 2020)
- Number of New-to-Me Authors: 9
After several months with no DNFs, I had two in July –
- Falling for the Movie Star by Jean Oram – This is a free Kindle book I got a while back, and I’ve actually tried to read it twice. It just… doesn’t make sense?? This chick is in a small town trying to take paparazzi photos of a movie star (even though she’s actually an artist who takes beautiful nature photographs) who secretly WANTS to have paparazzi photos taken of himself except he falls in insta-lust with this girl (despite how “not his type” she is) and meanwhile there is this other jerk guy who actually IS paparazzi and the reason the girl needs money is because the government is going to foreclose on her family’s special vacation cottage because they owe all these back taxes and it’s somehow her fault even though the property is jointly-owned with her and her sisters and their mom who’s in a nursing home and she finally confesses to her mom about the taxes and her mom just shrugs and is like “just sell it, who cares” ?!?!?!?!?!? I just couldn’t deal with it.
- Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay – I actually really enjoyed another book by Jay a long while ago, Of Beast & Beauty, so when I saw this one on the cheap on Book Outlet (the world’s most dangerous website) I spontaneously purchased it. But despite reading 100 pages of this book, I just never connected with anyone or anything that was happening. The plot felt disjointed and pointless and I just didn’t care what happened next. I actually had to go check the synopsis of this one on Goodreads just now to even remember what was supposed to be going on in this story.
This I keep updated as I go, so it’s current as of today, rather than as of the end of July. I’m sure it’s off-kilter, though, because I get most of my TBR additions from reading book reviews on all of your lovely blogs, and despite my efforts to try and get caught up on reading them, I still have over 900 unread emails that are all blog entries!!!!
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: 468 (down two)
- Nonfiction: 117 (holding steady)
- Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…): 647 (down three!!)
- Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 244 (up two)
- Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 113 (down one)
Reading Challenge Updates
- #ReadingEurope2020 – visited The Netherlands – this challenge is NOT going to get completed this year but I’m still tracking it for fun (total 7/46 complete)
- #ReadtheUSA2020 – visited two states: Arizona and Virginia (total 28/50 complete – I’m hoping to get this one completed by the end of the year)
- #SeparatedbyaPondTour – visited the states above, plus British Columbia, Essex, North Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire. (Total 48/159 complete – this is still on the 3-year track)
- #LitsyAtoZ – 0 books (22/26 complete – only weird letters left)
- #BackwardsAtoZ – 14 books (No N through no A on my third/fourth lists – I’m trying to do this one in order and to see how many times I can get through the alphabet!)
Just one book at a time right now, although I do have some nonfiction that I’ve been skimming here and there.
- Ukridge by P.G. Wodehouse – I’ve been really enjoying this one, but for some reason it’s taking me forever to get through it!
The probable next five(ish) reads:
- Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers – another Book Outlet buy for around $2 – the cover is so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist
- Mischievous Meg by Astrid Lindgren – one of those books I bought at a booksale decades ago but have never actually read
- A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland – not my usual cup of tea, but my latest traveling book club book (I joined the romance and fantasy groups this time in hopes of some lighter reading!)
- Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts – my quest to read Roberts’s backlog continues
- The Windfall by Jennifer Smith – it’s been on my TBR for a while, and when I saw it for $2 on Book Outlet (are you sensing a theme here??) I went ahead and picked it up.
So that’s the July wrap-up. On to August!!