July Reading Update

I have been all over the place these past few months. I am hoping things will begin to settle down and allow me to get writing back into my routine. I figure I’d kick things off with an update of my past month in reading and what is in store for July.

In June, I was able to tackle 5 books. Not too shabby. Much better than my whopping total of 2 in May (I just couldn’t push through Crime and Punishment fast enough). Unfortunately, all of the recent reads are now on my backlog of “to review” books, all of which will probably take a backseat to current reads. And I keep promising a Golden Compass review…

June Reads

1. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See. As the sequel to Shanghai Girls, it follows Pearl as she chases her daughter Joy back to Communist China. Told in alternating perspectives, we travel with the two women back to Shanghai and the Red countryside. I listened to this one on audiobook. While See adds enough history and tragedy to keep me interested, I wonder if I would have finished this in regular print format.

2. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. Not a book I would have normally picked up, but the girls of my book club were interested. The “hero” travels to the Ukraine to look for someone. He is put with a young translator and his grandfather. There are three separate narratives: the translator’s story about helping the hero, the translator’s letter to the hero about writing the story, and the hero’s story about his Jewish ancestors. The translator’s obvious use of the thesaurus to write in English is, at first funny, but later slightly grating. The book is a little strange for my tastes.

3. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. A woman wakes up every morning with amnesia, her brain resetting every night. She is contacted secretly by a doctor who returns the journal she has been keeping. Upon reading the journal, she discovers a warning not to trust her husband. The following chapters are her previous entries, followed by the present day. In the beginning it was a little like Groundhog Day, but I found it mildly interesting. I wasn’t expecting the ending, but then again I am not sure how believable it is. I got through it in audiobook format.

4. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer. An Eclipse novella, it follows new vampire Bree through “life” in a reckless coven as they scour Seattle for food and then chase down the Cullens. If this wasn’t a free audiobook from the library, you can believe me when I tell you I would not have read this. However, I will admit I have read the Twilight novels, and at the time I was reading them, I thoroughly enjoyed them. Looking back, I realize how terrible they were. By listening to the novella, I wasn’t able to search for horrible writing or plot holes, and found I actually enjoyed it. Plus, it was only four hours.

5. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I find it so difficult to sum up Sanderson’s novels in just a few sentences, they are that epic. But for you, I will try. We follow a group of talented thieves as they try to overthrow the immortal and tyrannical Lord Ruler. All of them are allomancers, those who “burn” metals to use their powers, but two are special Mistborns who can do much more. This book is so amazing, and with every new Sanderson novel I read, I am blown away at his intricate world and magic building. I have only read three of his books, but he is by far one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Currently Reading

1. Audiobook: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. A relatively new and popular young adult series. I tried to read the physical copy a couple months ago, but just couldn’t get into it. It seems to be better this time around.

2. Print Book: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. A contemporary Russian classic recommended by my Russian coworker. Very strange so far. I was struggling in the beginning with the way they use names, but now that I have it figured out somewhat, it is very entertaining.

July To-Reads

While I find myself wanting to pick up the newest novels, I am still trying to concentrate with reading the books I own first! In order to help tackle that task, I have enlisted Goodreads. I will be alternating a top rated book with a low rated book, so this should get interesting. Here is what I am hoping to finish this month.

  1. The Master and Margarita
  2. The Alchemyst
  3. Dragon Champion by E.E. Knight – random YA audiobook picked up from the library
  4. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold – worst rated book on Goodreads that I have in my possession
  5. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle) by Patrick Rothfuss – the highest rated book I own
  6. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – a book club read that I am guessing I won’t get to this month

I’ve got a lot of reading to do, not to mention planning a schedule to start writing about books again! What are your reading goals this month?


4 thoughts on “July Reading Update

  1. The Michael Scott series is really good. It took a while for me to get into it but they get better and more intricate. I love the idea of historical figures still alive and affecting society in various ways!

  2. I thought reading Anna Karenina was going to kill me, but I ended up really enjoying Tolstoy’s writing style. I’m always wary of men who try to write woman as lead characters. I fell in love with the story, though.

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