Hi there! Can we believe it’s already August? Or, the first month of Halloween, as I also like to call it. July started out as a really great month, book-wise, but once I read The Heart’s Invisible Furies, I wasn’t able to pick up much else without getting bored or losing interest even if I was enjoying it. did get in some good beach time though, which is a definite upside. Here’s what I did read this month!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (5 stars)
I don’t know what I was waiting for either. This is a definite favorite for the year and maybe ever. This was the perfect summer read, and an amazing way to start off the month. If you love character-driven books, historical fiction, the golden years of Hollywood, you have to pick this one up.
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg (3.5 stars)
I’d read a few other books by Jami Attenberg, and when I found this at a used bookstore, I knew I had to pick it up. This is the story of a family, the Middlesteins, and the dissolution of a marriage. Edie is slowly eating herself to death; her health and her life are at risk because of her eating habits, and her husband ultimately leaves her. This is an intimate look at family, marriage, and obsession. It’s a hard but honest and important book, but not a favorite for me.
Meaty by Samantha Irby (4 stars)
A hilarious and personal collection of essays on everything from dating as a millennial to chronic illness, Meaty will make you laugh, cringe, and agree heartily while you read. I loved this book, even though it had a few truly TMI moments for me.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya (4 stars)
Another used bookstore find, The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a powerful memoir about a girl and her sister as they become refugees from the Rwandan genocide in the ’90s. She examines her life before and after the war, how she will always feel its effects, no matter where in the world she is, or how successful she may be. It’s a hard but eye-opening read, and one I hope plenty of people will pick up.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (5 stars)
It’s extremely likely that this will be my favorite book of the entire year. My review.
Dead Letters by Caitlin Dolan-Leach (4 stars)
I’d attempted to read this a few times before now and can’t remember why I never got through the first few pages sooner. Ava is in Paris when she gets an email that her sister Zelda is dead, burned in a barn at their family’s vineyard. Ava is forced to return home and unravel the mystery of her twin’s death. I loved how smart and competitive and snarky Ava and Zelda were. I loved that I never guessed what would happen next, and it was a literary mystery more than a true “thriller” which is what I’ve been enjoying more lately.
Saints For All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
After finishing The Hearts Invisible Furies, I wanted another sweeping family story, and was excited to finally pick up Saints for All Occasions. This mainly follows two sisters as they travel from Ireland to Boston in the 50s, leaving behind almost everything they’ve ever known. It goes on to follow Nora and her children up until 2009, and I was so invested in this family by the end. I do wish there was a bit more resolved by the end, but overall a really great book, especially if you like family sagas.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
One of my favorite Megan Abbott books for sure. Give Me Your Hand bring us into a lab of scientists studying the effects of PMDD. A dark secret combined with complicated friendships, science, and female empowerment make for a truly incredible book that I literally couldn’t put down.
Best book of the month: THE HEART’S INVISIBLE FURIES! Followed extremely closely by EVELYN HUGO.
BOTM Pick: The Summer Wives and Ghosted
Bookish Posts I Loved: Thrillers Have Always Been a Feminist Battle Ground (on Bustle)
Must Read Books of Summer (on She Reads)
The Ultimate Guide to Celebrity Book Clubs (on Sarah’s Bookshelves)
What did you read this month?