Thursday, August 3, 2017

July Reading Wrap Up

I read nine books and listened to two audio books in July. My first read in July became my favorite read of the year so far, and I still think about the characters. I read a new to me author that helped to fill in the gap for me that was left by finishing the Starletta Duvall series. I finally got around to reading the first books in two of Charlain Harris' series. I started both the Midnight, Texas series and the Aurora Teagarden series. I was able to get back on track with my Experiencing Ancestry Through Fiction project and read a book set in Democratic Republic of the Congo. I also managed to read two paranormal romances and a women's fiction story. As for audio books, I listened to the fourth installment of the Mercy Thompson series and buddy read/listened to the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicle series with Frankie at @fankiereads. If you enjoy fantasy books you should follow her; she's always reading something good! All in all, I had a month of enjoyable reads. I enjoyed some more than others, but I am very happy with what I read in July. 

I absolutely loved this book! It's unique and weird and wonderful! You can read my review where I gush about this awesome book here. This one is my favorite read so far this year!

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Writer's Retreat. I am not the biggest fan of coming of age stories, but Balachandran took a well worn trope and made it entertaining and relatable. You can read my review here

The Fire of Origins was my pick for reading a book set in Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of my genetic matches and I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately it was my least favorite read this month. The story was choppy and difficult to get through. You can read my review here

Land of Shadows is book one in the Detective Elouise Norton series and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It's a detective series that features an African American woman who is relatable and believable. Lou has a lot of personal and professional hurdles in this opening book. I actually found myself clenching my jaw while reading parts of this book. I totally empathized with the stresses that Lou was under. Hall doesn't wrap things up prettily for Lou and I really liked that. This is a series where there is a story arc that is going to be followed over the entire series, but each book has a murder/mystery that is solved within book. No cliffhangers, yay! 

Skies of Ash is book two in the Detective Elouise Norton series and it was even better than the first book! Lou's marriage, friendships, and her relationship with her partner Colin, all continue to get more complicated. However, homicides do not pause just because Lou is dealing with personal issues. In book two. Lou is drawn into yet another case that touches off some personal triggers for Lou. If you are looking for a good detective series that will be a quick and entertaining read, I highly recommend this series! I just ordered the third book in this series, and am excited that a fourth book, City of Saviors, is being released on August 8th! I won't be caught up by then, but I know that it will be one of the books that I buy to read this Fall/Winter. 

I found six of the books in the Aurora Teagarden series for only ten cents each at a thrift store and had to buy them. I am not a big fan of cozy mysteries, but I did read and enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, and for that rock bottom bargain price, I couldn't pass up giving these a try. I am glad that I did too. These aren't complicated and dramatically detailed stories. Book one, Real Murders, was a quick and entertaining read that is also a very good set up to the series. I will happily read these quick books in between longer books. I don't think that these are stories that I will reread, but I will hopefully enjoy them all the first time through.

My second Charlaine Harris book this month was book one in the Midnight, Texas series. This one felt much more like what Harris created in the Sookie Stackhouse series without being a copy of those characters. Midnight is populated by people who are all living veiled lives and are protecting shadowed pasts. I enjoyed the fact that no one is exactly as they seem and every last person there is holding a secret that they are not willing to share with everyone. There are elements of the paranormal and magic in this twisty book and I am looking forward to continuing the series. 
In Seducing Abby Rhodes you get a romance with a bit of paranormal elements. It isn't necessary to have read any other books with the main characters that came before this story to enjoy it. But, now I am so curious to know about all of the messiness that came before, that I need to get myself a copy of Beautiful, Dirty, Rich so that I can see how all of this drama began, because there was some real messiness going on! You can read my review of Seducing Abby Rhodes here

The Lost Vampire was the last book that I read right under the wire for July. It was a good book to read on my road trip . It's book five in a series, but I was able to enjoy it as a stand alone read. You can read my review here. 
Bone Crossed was the first audio book that I finished in July and I enjoyed it just as much as the others. Mercy Thompson is a great paranormal series. If you enjoy paranormal romance that isn't just a space for erotic romance, but instead has an expanding and intriguing storyline, I highly recommend this series. And if you enjoy audio books, the narrator, Lorelei King does an excellent job with this series. 

In Bone Crossed, Mercy proves to be resilient as well as a strong and sensible heroine. Adam proves that he can rein in some of his dominating behavior in order to not treat Mercy less than she deserves. I love Warren and is ability to fight off prejudices against him. I'm worried about the path Stefan will go down, but I'm thinking that I will get more of that later in the series. I still love me some Sam even though I am happy with Mercy's choice because of their history. Briggs develops her characters in a way that I love and I am looking forward to continuing this series. 

This installment wasn't my favorite so far, but I love all of the main characters so much, that there is no doubt that I will continue with the series. 

It took me the entire month to listen to The Name of the Wind! I enjoyed the very beginning, and pretty much enjoyed the middle, but it was the last 20-25 percent of the book that was the most enjoyable for me. This was a slow burn book that I wish that I had been able to consume more evenly than I did. I listened to the audio book and had to break it up into way more pieces than I would have liked. It took me a month to finish this and that is just way too long. I do not recommend this one as a story that can be dipped in and out of the way that I did. Kvothe's story is told in great detail and is in no way a fast paced story. It is well paced, with a steady march towards a great ending, but you have to be committed to getting the details and moving slowly but steadily towards a payoff. I am going to continue this series because the ending really got me. I am not sure if I will do it as an audio book or read the book myself, but either way when I do, it will be with that story being my main focus and not as an aside like I did this time. I think that I missed the opportunity to really immerse myself in the story by often letting a day or two pass in between listening. 


  1. The Name of the Wind is one of those books that I want to read someday. It’s just so huge! I’m intimidated by it. Happy August!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. It is a chunker! I enjoy long books, but I definitely have to be in the right mood to read them!


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