It’s a few days into August, which is my birthday month, yay! 25 here I come… I have some celebrations prepared that will involve a lot of pampering, food, and -of course- books! I may talk a bit about it at the end of the month, in August’s wrap-up, but for now, let’s have a look at how my July reading went. I will say though, before anything else, that my reading for July was a little overwhelming, because I realised I had a lot of ARCs to catch up on, as well as a few readalongs and some books to read for work (the joys of the bookseller), and there were times I just wanted to give up on it all, but I pushed through and decided that once I have read all my current NetGalley books, I will take a little break from requesting more titles because I have so many amazing books on my shelf that I’d like to spend some time with, including some physical ARCs publishers were kind enough to send me and I want to read before release dates!
I started 10 books in July and finished 7, which is pretty good for a busy month, I’d say.
- Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim – a beautiful retelling of a Grimm Brother’s fairy tale in an East Asian setting, this was my first encounter with the author’s writing and I really enjoyed the whimsical yet tense world she created. You can see my review for that over here.
- Map’s Edge by David Hair – one that took me by surprise and I whizzed through this story of a ragtag town of Empire dissenters trying to set up a mining colony to swipe wealth from under the nose of their controlling invaders. I’d been wanting to read David Hair for a while and this certainly won’t be his last book I pick up! Review for that one is here.
- She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan – long awaited, the final component in the Holy Sapphic Trifecta, it certainly did not disappoint, and I expect great things of Parker-Chan in the future with their brilliant character building and their way with words. Review for it can be found here.
- The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse – another debut author, and another Chinese-inspired story, though this one is heavily based in fantasy, unlike Parker-Chan’s book. I enjoyed this, though I hold my full opinion until I can read more of the series, since this was more of a setting-up story, with the main character growing into his identity and power. Definitely one to watch, and you can read my full thoughts over here.
- Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North – another author I had been wanting to read, and her skills did not disappoint, though at times this novel hit a little too close to home with its tale of environmental disaster and selfish leaders running everything to the ground, but it’s brilliantly written and I’m glad I read it, even if it took me a bit longe than I would have liked! Review for it can be found here.
Malice by John Gwynne – I did it! I finally got through Malice after starting and restarting a few times! What it took was a Twitter Readalong that is going through the four books, one a month, starting in July and ending in October. It was slow going at first, and I had to force myself through but my fellow readers are correct, and once I passed the half-way mark I was rushing through it, and will definitely pick up Valour this month.
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – I read this as part of The Fantasy Hive’s Women in SFF month, and we did weekly discussions, which I really enjoyed. I probably won’t pick up book 2 right away, as I have so many other things going on in my reading life, but I am glad I finally read it, as I feel it’s a staple in the current fantasy world and I can see how it has influenced more recent books. If you’re curious, you can see my week by week thoughts: Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four. Gemma and I were also very ambitious and planned to do a lot more over on our instagram for the Women in SFF photo challenge, but alas life got in the way, and the main thing we have to show for it is our Life Time Achievement Award Post in which we nominated books, authors, or characters for various awards.
- Why the Germans do it Better by John Kampfner – this was Waterstones’ Non-Fiction of the Month for June, and I’ve been reading it to my husband in the evenings so it’s a slow ongoing one, but I’m finding it incredibly insightful!
- The Iron Crown by L.L. MacRae – one that I wish I could already post a review for, because I sped through the first half, and then found myself overwhelmed by eARCs which all have a time constraint, and so this beautiful book of dragons and mysterious memory lapses will have to wait, but I am hoping to soon get back to it and give it the attention it deserves!
- Scoff by Pen Vogler – the August Non Fiction book for Waterstones, it’s definitely one I’d recommend! It’s a history of class and food and the way they have shaped the eating habits of Britain. As someone who lives in England but didn’t grow up here I’m finding it fascinating where the little habits I’ve picked up in my eating come from. This is my night time read when fiction would just keep me awake!
- The Boy With Fire by Aparna Verma – expect a review for this one soon, because I am simply flying through this amazing debut! A curious blend of sci-fi and fantasy set in a world inspired by India and its mythology, with vivid characters and a setting that makes me want to visit the desert!
This month my sister and co-blogger Gemma returned and graced us with some lovely reviews, definitely brining a bit of a balance to our blog, after my fantasy-heavy posts! You can see her reviews for The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles by clicking on the respective covers above, and I’d really recommend it – she did a fantastic job!
She also read The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec and Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris, and I’m very jealous she got to read my copy of that before me, but I’ll also get to it soon and perhaps we shall do a joint review on that! She’s currently reading The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab, and apparently really enjoying it, so my recommendations are once more successful!
Thank you for tuning in to our little update, I love being able to share my bookish thoughts on here, then my family don’t have to bear the brunt of me rambling about my latest read! Have you read any of the books I talk about? Any I may have pushed up the TBR list for you? Let me know in the comments!