Hi, there! I’m back for my July Reading Wrap Up. If you noticed I was gone, I’m sorry. After traveling and hosting a friend in Nashville, I needed a little break to regroup and get the creative juices flowing again. The Reading Wrap Up posts are quickly becoming some of my favorites to write because it helps me reflect on my recent reads and it reminds me that I really am reading quite a bit throughout the month. I didn’t read as many books on my July TBR list as I would have liked, but I am still catching up from my other TBR lists. Hopefully, after August, I’ll be all caught up and ready to make new monthly lists.
July was a really fantastic month for me. I was able to travel home to Florida to visit my family and my best friend came to Nashville, and we spent so much time in used bookstores, reading in coffee shops, and enjoying fantastic food. In between the trips and the visits, I was able to volunteer (and fall in love) with some awesome animals, meet new friends, and read five books. Let’s get started with this July Reading Wrap Up!
1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The first book I finished in July was this impulsive rental from the library. I had heard great things about this book from a friend, and I wasn’t disappointed. It follows the story of a man, Don, who is entrenched in his routine, thrives off of being exactly on time, and is about to have the experience of a lifetime. He starts The Wife Project to help him find the perfect mate and ends up finding someone who doesn’t check any of the boxes on his original list, but ultimately, she steals his heart. It’s an adorable love story about everything that can happen when you throw away the rule book. I gave this book 4/5 stars.
2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This was a delightful YA contemporary read. Albertalli writes about a boy in his later teens, Simon, struggling with his sexuality. Simon starts a secret relationship with another boy at his school over email. Neither knows the others identity, but when another boy at school discovers these secret emails and blackmails Simon, Simon is forced to figure out how to handle his new identity. A story about much more than just being gay in high school, Albertalli creates dynamic friendships, writes engaging storylines, imparts and meaningful life lessons. I gave this book 4/5 stars. Read my full book review on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Next up in my Harry Potter re-read was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This took me much too longer to read than it should have, but to be fair, it is the longest, dullest book of the series (in my opinion). Like most of the other books, I like this one more now that I’m older, but it’s still not my favorite. Umbridge is the worst. All of the characters are a little too dense at points. And the most heartbreaking death of the entire series occurs. Despite all that, it’s still essential to the series, so I can’t hate it completely. I gave this book 4/5 stars.
4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I can’t believe it took me this long to read this classic. If you don’t know, Lord of the Flies takes place on a deserted island after a plane full of children crashes. The kids are left to fend for themselves. While the group starts off democratically, electing a leader and focusing on building shelters and creating a smoke signal to get rescued, the children quickly devolve. They separate — a group dedicated to building a fire for warmth and for rescue, and a group dedicated to hunting the wild pigs on the island for food. That’s where everything starts to unwind into chaos. A quick, but well-written story, Golding shows what can happen when we let leave thoughtful consideration behind and let our animal instincts take over. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This book is difficult for me to review. The book starts out with a dead dog. Christopher, our main character, is determined to find out who killed the dog, but along the way, he finds out so much more. While it’s never expressly stated, Christopher falls somewhere along the Autism spectrum. He doesn’t like to be touched, he’s incredibly gifted in math, sometimes he’ll go on hunger strikes, he has a pet rat he loves, and he had a hard time understanding the subtleties of human interactions. The reason I don’t love this book is two-fold: I felt like it was falsely advertised because it is about much more than a dead dog, and the ending doesn’t feel complete to me. Despite these downfalls, it’s still a good book and an uplifting story. I gave this book 3/5 stars.
Overall, July was a pretty great month for reading. I enjoyed most of the books I read, and I still read five books in between traveling and hosting a friend. August is already off to a great start with half a Harry Potter book and a new adult-fiction under my belt. If you want to follow along with my reading throughout the month, check out my Goodreads page. What were some of your favorite reads from July? Let me know in the comments below.