Books that I read in July 2021
7 months of 2021 have gone by and I’m wondering how did all the days go by? The only goal that I have been able to achieve so far in 2021 is my reading goal. Yes! I have managed to complete my reading challenge of reading 36 books this year! I have been on a books based on libraries/bookstores spree and I have enjoyed reading them all. Here are the 6 books that I read in July.
1. What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
I was looking for books to read from the Kindle Unlimited Catalog and this was the one that was recommended by a few people to me on Bookstagram. The premise looked intriguing so I decided to pick it up and I was pleasantly surprised!
Anne Galagher has just lost her grandfather Eoin. Eoin brought Anne up after she lost her parents when she was just a child. Anne is devastated of losing the last of the family that she had. She travels to her grandfather’s childhood home in Ireland armed with an old journal that he had left for her, to scatter his ashes and while she is lost in memories of her grandfather and the history of Ireland that she learned about, she suddenly finds herself in a different era -the time of the Irish revolution.
I love historical fiction and this element of time travel made it a wonderful read! I’d started this book some time in May but then I ended up re-reading old favourites and shorter reads because I was in a slump. But once I picked this book up again, there was no stopping me. I was curious to know what happened next!
There is history, there is bloodshed and war, there is time travel but between all these things there is love. Each character is beautifully written. The book is set at the time of the Irish revolution and I ended up reading about the revolution- things that I didn’t have a clue about before I read this book! I think that is one of the reasons that I like historical fiction! It makes me want to read up more about the world.
I really enjoyed reading this book and if you are someone who likes historical fiction, pick this up. And yes, Yeats poetry before each chapter makes the reading experience more wonderful!
My rating: 4/5
2. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Continuing with the genre of historical fiction, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles was another wonderful book that I read in July.
Odile finally gets her dream job of becoming a librarian at the American Library in Paris. She enjoys her job and all the people she meets at her job. Things seem to be going well for her as she also falls in love with a handsome police officer who also loves books.
But things soon change as the war breaks out! Odile’s twin joins the army to fight the Germans and Odile wants to do something herself to fight the enemies. She decides to do her bit in the only way she knows how- through books.
But when people you like go away, when people you like aren’t what you though they were, what do you do?
Lily is a teenager who doesn’t have a lot of friends. She is eager to find out more about the elderly lady next door. Soon she befriends her and finds out more about her past, her early life and her language. They bond over their shared love for books!
The book has multiple narrators and goes back and forth in time. I really loved the way the stories were interconnected! Odile’s life as a young librarian in Paris during the war, the love and the losses, the friendships, and the betrayals – all of it comes together so well.
Lily’s character was an interesting one too! The way she and her next door neighbour bonded over books and a language was wonderful!
I even tried making a list of all the books listed in the book but gave up after a certain point because I was so engrossed in the story that I forgot to make a note of the books!
Paris, World War 2, Libraries!
Need I say more?
My rating: 5/5
3. Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reed
I have heard so much about Taylor Jenkins Reed’s books on bookstagram and I wondered why I hadn’t read any yet. So, when this short story came up in my recommendations on gloomy Sunday evening, I decided to read it!
This is a short story written in the form of letters exchanged between two people who find that their spouses are having an affair and the people who are having the affair.
Carrie and David write to each other and bare their souls about how their spouses affair has affected them. In the troubled state of their respective relationships, they find comfort writing to each other about things.
The ending just surprised me! Though this is a short story, there is so much to ponder about marriage and relationships!
I liked this one and I want to pick TJR’s other books soon!
My rating: 4/5
4. Maybe you should talk to someone by Lori Gottlieb
I do not read a lot of non-fiction but I had heard a lot of good reviews about this one so I decided to listen to this book on Audible.
Maybe you should talk to someone is a funny and emotional book of the author’s experience as a therapist helping people solve their problems while also trying to deal with her own problems!
Lori is therapist helping people with their emotional issues and then suddenly she finds herself in an emotional mess as something happens in her life when she least expected!
Dealing with emotions is a difficult thing. Though as a therapist Lori knows things about emotional problems and the way we react to them, she cannot come into terms with what has just happened! And soon she finds herself looking for a therapist to help her! The book is about her experience as a therapist while also undergoing therapy herself.
Mental health is a topic that isn’t given enough importance but in the current world, we could all do with some therapy. There are some interesting insights into the way we deal with loss, deal with emotions, and make decisions. Despite knowing things, we still choose things that we know may not help us.
I liked the book for its candor. There were parts that brought tears into my eyes. I liked this book for reminding me we are all humans and it is okay to be human – to fail at times, to cry, to feel bad. We are all messed up in our own ways, but what is important is that we need to realize when we need help and ask for it!
Read this even if you aren’t a reader! You could listen to it on Audible like I did!
My rating : 4/5
5. Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Loveday Cardew lost all things close to her one fateful night and since then she has found solace in books. Luckily for her, she works in a secondhand bookstore. Books are the only company she likes and no there is no surprise she likes keeping to her herself.
She avoids people because she does not like talking to them because often the conversations tend to veer towards her past – a past that troubles her, a past that she doesn’t want to think about.
But then she starts seeing books from her past being sent to the bookstore where she works. Book by book, she is reminded of the past, of the way things were, of the life that was once happy. She realizes that someone knows of her past and realizes the harm that it could to do to her present life.
This book kept me hooked and I really wanted to know about Loveday’s past that she wanted no one to know about. I liked how she found solace in books because that is what I do in troubled times(or any other times) too. The characters are well written. I really liked Archie’s character.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have been reading a lot of books about bookstores and libraries and this was a nice read.
My rating: 4/5
6. The Bookwoman of Troublesome creek by Kim Michele Richarson
Historical fiction about a travelling library- bring it on!
Cussy Mary, is a 19-year-old blue skinned girl who lives in the forests of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. She works as a Pack Horse Librarian riding along creeks and mountains to bring books to the people living there. Things aren’t easy for her being a woman, a blue woman at that! But she finds joy in the work that she does after seeing the smiling faces of her patrons when they receive their books.
I absolutely loved this book! I loved Cussy Mary’s character. She loves books and loves bringing books to people. But apart from just carrying books to people, she also finds ways to help them in their time of need. She is calm but determined when it comes to doing things that matter to her and helping people. The book also touches upon racism and the unfairness of it all. How people had to suffer only because their skin wasn’t white.
I read about the blue people of Kentucky. Though I’d read The Giver of Stars earlier and had heard of the Pack Horse Librarians, this actually gave an insight into what a Pack Horse Librarians life may have been like.
Please read this book!
My rating :5/5
I really liked all the books that I read in July. Reading books about the things I like, in the genres I like has helped me get out of my reading slump. This August I am reading books by Indian authors. I have a few that have been lying on my bookshelf for a while now and I thought to pick those up this month.
Which was your favourite out of the books that you read in July? Have you read any of the books that I have mentioned above?
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