It’s so fun to talk books again! I read some great things in July and I can’t wait to share them with you.
The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor: I read this one while on the beach, which was a bit ironic because the plot centers around a shark bite. Surprisingly, given the theme, the book is pretty light and fun. I appreciated how the author kept me engaged (I like a good escapist novel), but managed to wrestle with some weightier themes like grief and family dynamics. In my opinion, that’s what makes the perfect beach read. If you’re looking for a good, quick vacation read, this is for you. And for all you book nerds, Taylor is the daughter of Sue Monk Kidd who wrote The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings., which I thought added to the fun.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow: I may be the very last person to read this book, but it was probably my favorite book of the month! It hit so many of my buttons – historical fiction, a book about books and reading, and a great sense of place. Aside from all of those things, I completely fell in love with the characters. They’re so quirky, endearing and surprising that I found myself picking up the book just to connect with them again. It’s a pretty short book, written in letters, which made for a quick read. If you haven’t read it yet, you should definitely bump it up to the top of your list.
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”
– The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: As I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for books about books. I had heard good things about this back-list title so I picked it up on a whim while on vacation. It’s part mystery, part time-travel, part fantasy and full of literary references. Some people adore this book, while others hated it. I found myself somewhere in the middle. It was pretty far outside my favorite genres. The characters were mostly lovable, and the threads of reality helped me connect with them, but the plot was a little far-fetched for my taste. I was also expecting the connection to Jane Eyre to be stronger throughout the entire book, which was disappointing, but when the author finally got there it was fantastic.
4. We’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman: Eh, not my favorite. I listened to this one because it was an Audible Deal of the Day. I think in this case listening hurt my overall experience with the book. I found the characters whiney and the plot slow.
5. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: The month definitely ended on a high note with this one. Brown Girl Dreaming is the story of the author’s childhood growing up as an African-American both in the south and New York City. I also listened to this one, and would highly recommend it. It’s written in verse and narrated by the author. I really enjoyed experiencing 60’s and 70’s America through the eyes of a child.
Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought!
I’d also love to know what you’ve been reading lately.