July is already speeding past and I haven’t read nearly as much as I hoped to. You’d think that having the summer off would mean lots of leisure reading time. There’s definitely more than during the school year, but I always seem to have responsibilities that need to be handled before settling down with a book.
Let’s hope I get to more of my TBR the second half of the month! Here’s what I’ve read so far in July:
Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout
I picked this book up because it’s a selection for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, of which I am a member. I went into it completely blind; I didn’t even read the publisher description. All I knew was that it is a companion to Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton, which came out last year. For some reason, I thought Anything Is Possible was going to be a calm and quiet story about a idyllic rural town, with tame problems and a happy ending. It was about a small town, but that’s about all I got right. The characters were damaged people with upsetting problems and tragic pasts. Once I realized that Anything Is Possible wasn’t the comforting pastoral tale I thought it would be, I really appreciated Strout’s ability to convey the difficult lives of the characters in short snapshot-like stories.
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers To When You Work in the White House, by Alyssa Mastromonaco
I kept hearing about this book from different blogs and podcasts, and even though I’m quite politics-averse, I thought I’d give Mastromonaco’s book a try since it didn’t seem like your run-of-the-mill White House staff memoirs. And run-of-the-mill it was not!
The last thing I expected was vignettes about the perils of IBS on the campaign trail and the challenges of getting your hands on a tampon in the West Wing. Mastromonaco’s candor was refreshing and entertaining, plus she had thoughtful advice for young women aspiring to work in politics (and any competitive career field, really).
Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977 – 2002, by David Sedaris
I will read anything David Sedaris writes and this book was available through Book of the Month Club for only $10! Since it was so cheap, I splurged and also downloaded the audiobook. Sedaris narrates and his delivery makes the already fantastic text even better. Theft by Finding has been on the NY Times non-fiction hardcover bestsellers list for the past 6 weeks, so I will be writing more about it soon in my Worth the Read? series. Keep an eye out for it!
The Wanderers, by Meg Howrey
The premise of this book captured me: three astronauts are chosen to simulate an hyper realistic 17-month roundtrip to Mars, and over the course of the mission, the lines between what’s real and unreal become increasingly blurred. The Wanderers was a much slower-paced read than I’d anticipated, but the lack of action allowed for much more of the internal lives of the characters to come through. It is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time. Covering everything from the search for personal identity to the struggle to differentiate reality from fantasy, Howrey has written a book that all humans will relate to in one way or another.
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
See my thoughts here: Worth the Read? – A Man Called Ove
What have you been reading lately? Share in the comments section below!