*blows dust off*
Dear oh dear. I kind of suck at this regularly blogging business, don’t I? How do you all do it? Between working full time, reading books, taking photos for instagram, chores, and other social engagements, how does one manage to squeeze in blogging time?
In an attempt to have a semblance of regularity, I thought I’d start on a monthly post summarising what I’ve been up to in terms of books and travels. It will most likely feature books, since going through travel photos takes up a lot of time, but we shall see!
⦁ Books Read ⦁
Since I completely slacked and ignored writing reviews, I managed to read six books last month! I find I go through a book quicker if I don’t have to stop and jot down notes, but they do help a lot when come back to write a review. I will attempt to write full reviews for (some of) these books once I find more downtime, because I will have to comb through the book again since I neglected note-writing.
My Name is Leon
Heartbreaking but hopeful, My Name is Leon tackles the issues of adoption. Leon is a black kid while his baby brother is white, and the council had to make the decision to put them up separately for adoption. Written skilfully from the point of view of ten-year-old Leon, this book definitely tugs at the heart and could even work on your tear ducts. Still, I love the hopeful tone it sets towards the end, and how family does not have to be blood relations.
Jessie Burton’s sophomore book after the highly successful The Miniaturist, the book has the elements of romance, mystery, history, art, and legacy. An absolutely fantastic read; I couldn’t put it down! Definitely on my list for the best reads of 2016. [Thoughts/Review]
A Court of Thorns and Roses
I have been trying to get back on loving YA books, but it’s been very difficult for me lately. (I’m not sure if it’s due to thinking differently, now that I’m nowhere near young adult age, but that’s a topic for another day.) So I was positively ecstatic to find this book enjoyable, and I even stayed up until almost 4 AM just to finish it! Billed as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it is the first book in a series that involves magic (elemental and everything else), and faeries that are more of an elf-in-the-Lord-of-the-Rings kind rather than the Tinkerbell kind.
A Court of Mist and Fury
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, and I wish S.J. Maas left it at that, and just branched off into a different story to tell us more about the other fae courts. This book is more well-received and loved than the first, and I cannot fathom why and how, because it was like watching a great couple that you know have an intense and escalating argument in public. Awkward, embarrassing, and cringey, and you wish they can just go back to being their wonderful selves.
This book was published 3 years ago but is still very relevant, especially in the conversation about race. I liked seeing reading about the heroine’s experiences as she tries to live and integrate in the US as an African black woman. The heroine narrates and shares thoughts and experiences of overt and subtle racism and discrimination, as well as how Africans may perceive things differently from African-Americans.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
I’m doing my first ever re-read of Harry Potter. Finished this just a few days after July, and while it’s not my favourite Potter book, it definitely delivers on making you excited about discovering the wizarding world.
⦁ Books Acquired ⦁
July is my birth month, and July 2016 marked the return of a Harry Potter! Not another book, but a stage play. They know how devoted Potter fans are so they had the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child rehearsal script published in book form, which I couldn’t help but getting, of course, because my initial reaction to anything Potter does not involve critical thinking. I haven’t opened the book since getting it though; I’m planning to re-read all the Harry Potter books again, but I’m afraid I’ll get to see the play first before I finish.
Most of these are purchases — the two Vintage books (Bright Star and Charlotte Sometimes) are from a local independent bookshop who had a Vintage tea time for one week to promote Vintage books; the Penguin Modern Classics (Hotel du Lac and Breakfast at Tiffanys) are impulse buys because I think I need novellas (like I don’t have other books that need to be read); A Monster Calls was influenced by positive reviews by Resh of The Book Satchel; Uprooted has been raved by some bookstagrammers whose book tastes and reviews align somewhat similarly to mine, so I grabbed a copy when I saw it in a charity shop in Cambridge; and green Pride and Prejudice edition is from G. David Bookshop, another independent bookshop in Cambridge.
I got After Alice from Headline, and the three books on the right (The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, One, The Green Road) are books I won from Erica of The Bookshop Around the Corner, from her 2016 Independent Bookshop Week Giveaway Competition. The beautiful Folio Society Pride and Prejudice is a present from my best friend for my birthday! Not a surprise, since she asked me what I wanted. Haha!
I usually never plan my monthly reads, so I don’t know when these books will be featured again! I’m hoping to get to the novellas soon-ish, so maybe they’ll crop up before the year ends.
Let’s have a chat!
How did your July go? Link me to some of your July hauls/wrap-up posts in the comments!