Aug 212021

Whoa, hold the phone, I only read eleven books in July!

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Lol. Vacation really slowed my roll and I’m cool with that. I needed a light reading month! Anyway, here are the first five books of July because it’s like 90 degrees in my house and I can’t promise that I have the strength to sit here and recap all eleven while my thighs are literally sticking to the computer chair, ugh.

  1. That Summer – Jennifer Weiner

That Summer

I genuinely like Jennifer Weiner. This was my 3rd book of hers and I really think she is a good writer who creates characters with depth. This book is super inspired by the #MeToo movement so get ready to be pissed. Also, the synopsis essentially says it’s about a woman who keeps emails meant for another woman and I was so excited because THIS COULD BE MY BOOK except that in this case, it’s much more insidious and not just me getting Home Depot receipts from some rando Erin Kelly in Florida.

Anyway, I truly enjoyed this book and there is a very healthy and #goals relationship that happens with a maintenance man and I kept picturing Henry and there is also a teenage daughter who is fierce and independent and…Jennifer Weiner is just very much my cup of tea and I will ALWAYS associate her with the fact that one of her books was one of the first ones I took out of the library in January of 2020 when I decided I wanted to make a conscious effort to start reading regularly like I used to, so I really give her a lot of credit because when I read Mrs. Everything that month, it reopened my heart to reading again.

2. Inconvenient Daughter – Lauren J. Sharkey

Inconvenient Daughter

I admittedly barely remember this book but it’s loosely based off the author’s experience of being adopted from South Korea by white people. There was some stuff in there about a really abusive relationship that the main character, Rowan, finds herself in after high school and it did kind of trigger me a little, I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy to read at times but I just really wanted her to be OK and to let her parents love her. Lauren J. Sharkey is a really great writer and there was some really well-placed humor in here too, so I will definitely pick up any book she may write in the future (this was her debut novel).

Interracial adoption is a very interesting topic to me and I have been trying to read more about it. As a white person born into a white family, attending predominantly white schools, I never had to think about how these types of adoptions literally strip a person of their identity, not just racially, but culturally as well.

3. Twelve Nights at Rotter House – J.W. Ocker

Twelve Nights at Rotter House

OK Mr. Ocker, I see you. Finally FINALLY FINALLY a haunted house book that I actually REALLY liked. The writing was fantastic – conversational, humorous – and the mood was set right from the get-go. I was tense. I legit jumped at times. I felt very uneasy when I was reading it alone downstairs on the couch at night. There are some classic tropes here that might be overdone but they worked in this case. I have had a really tough time lately finding good horror books  that don’t make me roll my eyes (Kill Creek, I’m looking at you, you piece of shit novel) but this one had me rooting for the main character, and the dialogue? Chef’s kiss. I could hear it in my head. I could see this playing out in my imagination.

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This is how I like my horror. Would watch this if it was adapted to film.

4. Anxious People – Fredrik Backman

Anxious People

You already know that I love Fredrik Backman because of his incredible Beartown series, so it should come as no surprise that I wanted to walk around and give out free hugs after reading this. I mean, if it wasn’t still pandemic times and I didn’t flinch at the thought of physical contact with strangers. It’s the thought that counts, ok?

All I knew going into this was that it involved a bank robbery and hostage situation, but in true Backman form, it’s about SO MUCH MORE. Humanity! Love! Second chances! Found family! I’m starting to cry as I think back to all of the characters in this book, a real motely crew, and the bonds formed by complete strangers during one afternoon.

Highly recommend. I cried SO MUCH but also laughed because Backman’s dialogue isn’t just good, it’s Gilmore Girls-good.

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Five stars. MUAH.

5. The Decagon House Murders – Yukito Ayatsuji

The Decagon House Murders

Oh boy, if you’re into classic mysteries in the vein of Agatha Christie, then this book is totally for you. I believe it was written in the early 80s in Japan and, as the book cover up there has already told you, it’s reached cult classic status over the years. I thought it was a pretty good whodunit! I don’t know what else you want me to say!

Say it don't spray it.

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