Everything I Read in July 2020.

Everything I Read in July 2020.

Another good month of reading. To be really honest feel a little bit of weird shame for having read so much (this is a LOT, even for me) but as I talked about last week I’ve been in a bit of a dark place and when I am feeling low I tend to just  hole up at home and read. My favorite thing to do when I don’t feel great is to read a twisty thriller in one sitting. You know, read something really messed up to take your mind off/escape of how messed up real life feels?

EVERYTHING I READ IN JULY 2020

In July, I read 14 books (eek – double my usual) and from this list, nothing got below an A-. I’d say I’m a medium-tough crowd so this is pretty wild. Usually there is at least one or two books I only felt medium about. My favorite book from the month from a pure enjoyment perspective was The Boys Club. But honestly, everything on this month’s list is some combination of enjoyable or moving. It was an excellent month in books.

TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE READING! I’m always looking for great recommendations… I love reading your comments!

IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BOOK CLUB PAGE.

Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every book I’ve read in the past six years. The best part is that now you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, books by Black authors, etc!) Now you can also filter by GRADE to find exactly what you’re looking for or just peruse my top picks. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list and everything I read in 2019!

This month’s anti-racist reads.

(These came highly recommended by you and are on my personal anti-racist reading list.)

Everything I Read in July 2020Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

So many of you recommended this and I am so happy I read it as I absolutely loved it. I have been a huge, huge fan of Trevor Noah (and of course The Daily Show) for a very long time and had somehow not realized he had a book. And it’s amazing. As one would expect, Trevor tackles heavy stuff with grace, wit, and (when it is appropriate), humor.

This is the story of his childhood in South Africa. Because of apartheid his birth was a literal crime (his father was a White Swiss man and his mother was a Black Xhosa woman), so he was kept inside for most of his early years. Then, as he got older we learn about his more mischievous teenage years (from his love of computers as a teen to his early encounters with girls and life as a “colored” child – not Black, not White, never quite fitting in.)

The book is at once light and optimistic while also talking about serious things like domestic abuse. I cannot recommend it enough. And while I am usually a paper books purist, this one is especially wonderful as an audiobook as Trevor himself narrates it. My favorite part was everything in regard to his mother: fiercely independent and fervently religious. She seems like an absolutely incredible person. I will warn you that the last 25 minutes are extremely intense. But everything wraps up okay in the end.

  • Overall Score: A+

When They Call You a TerroristEverything I Read in July 2020, by Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele

I cannot recommend this book enough. Please read this book. I think it’s especially powerful after reading one of the more academic anti-racism books like How to Be Anti-Racist or So You Want to Talk About Race. I split my time reading and listening to this one and preferred the audiobook. Especially as it’s narrated by the author. (I used to be soooo anti-audio books but have come to really enjoy them. Particularly for memoirs when the author of the book reads it to you.) Patrisse Cullors is one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the book is her memoir.

From growing up Black and queer and watching the men in her life struggle with addiction and mental health issues (and wind up imprisoned for it) to founding what has become a global movement, it is absolutely amazing (though yes – very hard to read at times). It’s hard to read. I didn’t know the whole story of how BLM was founded. And hearing the stories of the early movements (especially leading up to Trump’s election) feel eerily similar to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I loved this book and I hope you all will read it. It’s an important book. It will break your heart and is a lot to absorb. But it’s definitely one of my favorite books from this year.

  • Overall Score: A+

Fans of Younger, rejoice!

Everything I Read in July 2020Older by Pamela Redmond (out 9/8/20)

Oh I LOVED this book. And sometimes I will feel a little bit guilty reading something so far from the pub date but this one was sitting on my shelf just taunting me! If you know me, then you know that Younger (which is based on a book!) is one of my all time favorite shows, about a woman in her 40’s who re-enters the workforce, pretending to be 26. And this is the sequel. I didn’t read the first book but watch the show religiously so was fine.

Liza is now turning 50, and a little lost in life. She’s broken up with her on again off again boyfriend Josh, her daughter Caitlin is pregnant, and she’s just published her book, Younger! Her friend Kelsey is out in LA, shopping the book around, and it gets optioned for a show. So Liza heads West to help work on the show. Through that we are introduced to a whole new cast (literally) of characters, including high-maintenance actress Stella and older dreamboat actor Hugo. Hugo is playing her boss (think Charles in the show) and the two of them develop quite a flirtation.

I loved this book. It isn’t going to change your life or leave you thinking for days, but it scratched such an itch for me and made me really happy. Highly recommend pre-ordering it and that way in September you’ll get a little treat in the mail!

  • Overall Score: A

These will both haunt me.

Everything I Read in July 2020Lakewood, by Megan Giddings

This book is part horror, part thriller but not the usual light and twisty story about somebody murdering their husband or a wife that’s been locked up. You know I love those books, but this goes much further and deeper than those books.  This is an important book and a horror thriller of the psychological nature. It’s the sort of book that sticks with you. And makes you break out in chills upon thinking back on it later.

Lena Johnson is a college student with a heavy weight on her shoulders. Her mother is sick, her grandmother just passed away, and they are in a lot of debt. The best job she can find involves dressing up as a corn chip for $9.25 an hour. A new job offer surfaces and it seems like a dream. Move to Lakewood, Michigan with free rent, high pay, and health insurance for both her and her mother. It will be more money than she’s ever known. The catch? She’ll be participating in a secret research study. She drops out of college and takes the job, and that’s where the horrors start. From memory drugs to drops that can change your eye color, the experiments range from innocent(ish) to potentially devastating.

As the book goes on it becomes increasingly difficult to tell what’s real and what is fake. It’s set in modern day but with a nod to the horrible tests and experiments that have been conducted on Black bodies in the name of science. It’s part Black Mirror, part Handmaid’s Tale…  I can’t stop thinking about it.

  • Overall Score: A

Everything I Read in July 2020Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

While this book was excellent (beautiful story, beautiful writing, just a beautiful book in general), it was at times very very (very?) hard to read! And I don’t want this review to discourage anyone from reading it but I do want to warn you. I read it during a week last month where it was thundering and raining every day and I hadn’t been sleeping very well, and the combo of that + this book really affected me. So I would recommend this book 1000%, but I’d also say that it’s probably best to read it when you are in an emotional place to handle all of the heartbreak that comes with reading it. Does that make sense?

It is the story of two half-sisters. One is sold into slavery and one marries a white man who works in the slave trade. Every chapter is the story of a different descendent, working all the way from the 18th century to the 80’s. It’s fascinating seeing what happens with every new generation, especially when previous characters are referenced. I should note that I’m also someone who (generally) doesn’t like short stories, so this one was hard. Every chapter was a different heartbreak for different reasons. And just as you felt yourself bonding with/getting attached to the character (or the storyline improving), the book moved on to a new story.

A reader commented saying that “it ripped my heart out and threw it down the stairs in every chapter,” and those words are very true. The ending was magical and I really did love it. But I don’t remember the last time a book affected me this way.

  • Overall Score: A

Lighter Stuff!

The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Everything I Read in July 2020If you read and loved The Royal We as much as I did, The Heir Affair is going to be such a treat for you! Honestly, reading this book felt like I was being reunited with my long lost pals Bex, Nick, and Freddie.

After a scandal turned their would be fairy-tale wedding into an absolute nightmare, Bex and Nick have fled the palace for a tiny town in Scotland where they’re working in a bookstore. But when the queen has a health scare, they find themselves having to return. Back at home, Freddie is furious with them and we aren’t sure the guys can ever recover… the media and their former (traitor) friend Clive is having a field day (especially with digs at Bex), and the whole family is having a hard time forgiving them for leaving. It starts out a little bit slow, but as Becca said to me, I’d read about these characters doing anything so I truly didn’t mind – it was just so nice to have them back in my life!

It’s really in the last third of the book that things pick up and there is a new juicy scandal, baby fever, a romance for Freddie and much more… but I don’t want to ruin it for you! This was a very fun read (no surprises there), and despite being 460 pages long I read it in a single weekend! Highly recommend.

  • Overall Score: A-

Everything I Read in July 2020Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

When Becca told me that I had to read this “romance novel about gymnastics,” I was not exactly sold. I definitely balked a little. But I “knew” the author from social media and after reading some really heavy books this month, I desperately wanted to something light and happy where the ending was tied up in a bow. And this book delivered! It’s so much more than just a romance story. There’s a redemption story (I love when a character gets her act together and finds her passion… falling in love along the way), a powerful friendship between the female characters, and the coaching dynamic was very sweet and heartwarming.

Avery is a former gymnast whose career was ended at the Olympic trials with a devastating injury. Since then, she’s never been able to get her act together… dropping out of college and never really figuring out her passion. When she’s brutally dumped by her quarterback boyfriend, she returns back to her hometown, desperate for a fresh start but unsure what that will look like. When an old (and very handsome) acquaintance reaches out with a coaching job she accepts, and things finally start to fall into place. But it’s not all perfect… there’s a shocking scandal that rocks the gymnastics world, and old struggles with her former best friend and coach (who are now married!). I read this in a day and absolutely loved it.

  • Overall Score: A

The Boys Club, by Erica KatzThe Boys Club, by Erica Katz

Oh how I LOVED this book! I read it in just a couple days; despite being a thicker book, I could not put it down!!!! (TW: Attempted rape + some violence.) This is the story of a first year law associate (Alex) who moves to New York, fresh out of Harvard, to work in Biglaw. It’s (true to the name of the book), a Boys Club. As she strives to make her way in the hyper competitive environment working in mergers and acquisitions, she finds herself changing. Drifting from her long-time boyfriend, getting competitive with the women she works with, developing a crush on the handsome partner at the law firm, letting down her family.

I have likened it to Devil Wears Prada (toxic, stressful work environment) meets Suits (an old favorite show of mine with good looking lawyers and lots of drama), Tell Me Lies (toxic relationship, coming of age story as our loveable but human protagonist makes some terrible romantic decisions). But I could not put this book down. I loved it so much. It’s such a New York book (and made me mourn the days of fancy restaurants and big nights out), and it’s very fun to read while also touching on the really important stuff like sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexism. It was one of those books where once I got invested (early on), I literally could not stop reading. I can’t recommend it enough! I also think it is so interesting that the author still works in law but writes under a pseudonym.

  • Overall Score: A

The One About Friendship

Big Friendship by Aminatou Sou and Ann FriedmanBig Friendship by Aminatou Sou and Ann Friedman

As a long time listener of Call Your Girlfriend, I was excited to read this book! I think one of the most interesting things about the book is the voice that Aminatou and Ann decided to use… it’s written entirely in third person! This is effective for so many reasons but I think the biggest thing is that it allows them to talk about their friendship in a really objective manner. The book itself was fascinating and deeply relatable. It’s the story of their “big friendship.” The good parts, the bad parts, and how they’ve gotten through the tougher times. I flew through it.

If you’re a listener of their podcast, you’ll love it because you’ll feel like you know them so much better after reading. (I really identified with Aminatou’s introvertedness – and her openness about it… she said a lot of things I’ve thought but been unable to articulate as eloquently!) And if you don’t listen to their podcast (you should!), I think you’ll still get a lot out of it as it’s an interesting story about their friendship and also a hard look at being a better friend. I also took away a lot from the chapter about having an interracial friendship and the nuances of that. Highly recommend it!

  • Overall Score: A-

This Month’s Bad on Paper Pick!

The Comeback by Ella BermanThe Comeback by Ella Berman

Oh I loved this book. There’s so much to talk about with this one. (TW: Sexual Abuse – it’s not graphic but wanted to disclose) Becca and I were in a reading “war,” over what our August book club pick would be and this was her pick and did not disappoint.

A young actress (Grace, great name) disappears from Hollywood mysteriously, at the height of her career (the night of the Golden Globes). When the book opens, we aren’t sure what’s happened to her or why she’s decided to leave behind what by appearances seems like the absolute dream. As the book alternates between modern day (living at home with her parents in Anaheim and eventually returning to LA) and the past, we learn the abuse and trauma she suffered at the hands of her famous director boss Able Yorke. We slowly learn what he did to her and how he managed to manipulate her for eight years, and how she moves on.

While Grace is not always likable (you see a lot of how what she endured impacts her relationship with her family, friends, and husband), you also understand why she did the things she did and you root for her, wanting her to thrive. I tore through this one and loved the mix of a thrilling page turner with the importance of the #MeToo movement and standing up for what is right. Similar to The Boys Club (another fav from the month), it weaves heavy issues into something unputdownable.

  • Overall Score: A

Some Excellent Thrillers!

The Wife Stalker, by Liv ConstantineThe Wife Stalker, by Liv Constantine

I am a big Liv Constantine fan (fun fact “Liv” is the pseudonym for sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine) and The Last Mrs. Parrish was one of those books I devoured in a single day (you can read my review of it here). I somehow missed that they released a new book (this!) in May. So was v excited about this. I devoured it in a day. I stayed up late reading it and then woke up to read it the next morning. There’s a fantastic twist that totally got me, too.

Piper Reynard moves to Westport, CT to set down roots and move on from a horrible tragedy. When she meets successful and handsome lawyer Leo Drakos, the wedding ring on his finger is just a minor obstacle. Meanwhile, Joanna has just seen Leo through a terrible depression. And is waiting for the man she fell in love with to return to her. Slowly he starts to come back to life… only to throw her out of the house and fall in love with Piper. Joanna returns to her mother’s home, told by Leo that she can still see the kids. She won’t let him go so easily though. And becomes determined to find something she can use against Piper… diving deeply into her past and unearthing terrible secrets as she does. I loved this book. It was a fast, fun read and I love that I didn’t guess the twist!

  • Overall Score: A-

Allegedly, by Tiffany D. JacksonAllegedly, by Tiffany D. Jackson

OK I don’t even know what to say about this book because the last chapter is going to maybe haunt me forever? (TW: a baby is murdered, some violence). I had been asking you guys for recommendations for thrillers by Black authors and Tiffany D. Jackson kept getting suggested (I’ve ordered her other books too!). This did not disappoint.

Mary Addison is a Black girl who (allegedly) killed a (White) baby when she was nine years old. After serving six years in baby jail, she goes to a group home where all the odds are stacked against her. She faces social workers who could care less about her. Intense bullying and the women in charge of the group home turn a blind eye to it. She’s basically on her own with no support system (her churchgoing mother is untrustworthy), though she dreams of reopening the case against her… and taking the SAT’s to go to college. Now, she has her boyfriend Ted and has a baby on the way. But as a ward of the state (and given her history), the state is threatening to take her baby away.

I don’t want to ruin the plot for you but I will just say that this one has a Verity-like twist. It hit me over the head and SHOCKED me!

  • Overall Score: A

They Wish They Were Us, by Jessica GoodmanThey Wish They Were Us, by Jessica Goodman

Oh boy this is a good one. It’s a twisty, YA thriller… the perfect summer thriller, in my opinion! I stayed up all night reading it. It’s been compared to Gossip Girl meets One of Us is Lying, which is a pretty perfect description!

Jill Newman is a high school senior at Gold Coast Prep. She has it all: a full scholarship to one of the best prep schools in the country and is on track to head to likely Brown in the fall, a loving family, a handsome and smart boyfriend… and she’s a member of The Players: an elite (not so secret) society. Everything’s perfect except for the fact that her best friend Shaila Arnold was murdered three years ago. Her boyfriend at the time confessed to it and the case was closed. But three years later, Graham and his sister Rachel are insisting he’s innocent.

Jill is torn: open up old wounds, or move forward with that “perfect” senior year? The book alternates between past and present day as we get to know Shaila and some of the secrets she was hiding. And come to find out what really went down on the night of Shaila’s murder. I highly recommend this one – you won’t be able to put it down!

  • Overall Score: A

A sweet, sad YA read

Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline WoodsonMiracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

This was recommended to me by Elizabeth Acevedo when she came on the podcast. Published back in 2010 this is more of a children’s book than a YA adult. (I think? It says ages 10 and up on the back of the book.) I wanted to read it because a) it’s a big focus for me to read stories about people with different backgrounds than my own and b) Elizabeth Acevedo recommended it and she’s one of my favorite authors/someone I respect so much.

It’s told from the perspective of a 12 year old Black boy (Lafayette). His father died when he was just a baby. His mother died more recently (his 22 year old brother Ty’ree is raising them and working around the clock to try to keep the family together). And his formerly loving and sweet brother Charlie has just gotten home from reform school and is now hostile and cruel. The book is short but powerful and a testament to the importance of family and looking out for each other. One weekend, events unfold and the brothers must choose whether to be there for each other or give in. This one made me cry! It’s a fast read only 131 pages and larger text. Read it in an afternoon and then pass it along to someone younger!

  • Overall Score: A-

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Photo by Allie Provost.

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Comments

  1. I find it so incredible that you can finish so many books in a month! Thanks for the reviews! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Casey says 8.4.20

    Such an impressive list! Definitely adding many of these to my cart.

    Quick question – Would you consider adding Amazon links alongside Bookshop? I love the idea of Bookshop and that you’re supporting them, but I read everything on my Kindle. I purchase lots of books that you recommend, and hate that you’re not getting the commission from it.

    • Hi Casey, to be honest I don’t think so – to be honest, this list already takes me A LONG TIME!

      To be honest, don’t worry about it. I earn very little from books… for all I talk about books here, books are rarely more than 5% of my total affiliate income. I put these lists together out of a love of reading more than a money maker. But I appreciate you looking out for me, it’s very kind.

      • Casey says 8.4.20

        We all have to look out for each other these days xxx

      • Casey says 8.4.20

        We all need to be looking out for each other these days 🙂 xx

  3. Annie says 8.4.20

    Great list! I too read a lot more than usual in July. I’m anxious about the start of the school year (I teach MS English), and reading has been my escape from those spiraling thoughts – and it helps me unwind from parenting my highly energetic almost 2-year-old. I don’t really have the attention span for TV, but books I can do! I think so many of us are in this boat where we are turning to specific creature comforts to ameliorate difficult and heavy feelings, whatever those comforts may be.

    Most of the books I read were fantastic! Like you, I read “Homegoing,” “Heir Affair,” and “Born a Crime” this past month. I also read “American Prison” (it paired well with “Homegoing,” but I definitely needed a light read afterward) and “Red at the Bone,” which is one of Jacqueline Woodson’s two adult books. Then “The Mothers,” “Miracle Creek,” “All American Boys” (LOVED – great high-low book for teens), and “Book of Longings.” I then read a couple I wouldn’t recommend, and finally, I did a reread of “The Thornbirds,” which is one of my all-time favorites (sweeping saga of a family in Australia). Whoa! I’m not sure if I should be impressed or ashamed that I did literally nothing but read and parent this month.

    I have some books specific to teaching that I am going to read in August, but I will definitely pick up “When They Call You a Terrorist” some time soon.

    Oh! And I would categorize many of Woodson’s books as “Middle Reader,” which is typically for kids 10-12 (or a little younger/little older depending on reading level and interests). Miracle’s Boys definitely falls into that range!

    • Mackenzie says 8.4.20

      So many books!! Thanks for sharing. I added Thornbirds to my list. I spent a summer in Australia so I can’t wait to pick this up!

      • Annie says 8.4.20

        Mackenzie,

        Oooh, yes PLEASE read it! It’s part of my life’s work to get people to read Thornbirds haha. My sister once said that it’s a book that makes you fall in love with reading, and I wholeheartedly agree. Fair warning – it is loooong.

        Annie

    • Thank you for all the recs!!!!! And for the term – will now be using Middle Reader!!!

    • Abbey says 8.5.20

      “When They Call You A Terrorist” is an excellent audiobook. I find audiobooks can be hit or miss depending on the narrator. Patrisse Khan-Cullors narrates it herself, and she is excellent both as a writer and narrator.

  4. Caroline says 8.4.20

    I read Mexican Gothic last weekend and loved it. Set in the countryside outside Mexico City in a mansion but has a lot of mystery/horror/romance vibes. Well written and a great story. Twist at the end I could not have predicted and am still thinking about over a week later. Couldn’t put it down!

  5. Elizabeth says 8.4.20

    I read Born a Crime recently too and loved it! I learned so much about his background and South African culture – and he made it very entertaining too. Adding a bunch of your July reads to my TBR list!

  6. Michelle says 8.4.20

    Had to order a few of these after reading your reviews.
    I’m the same way, if I’m feeling low I read more. I always tell my friends that they can judge my mental health based on how many books I’ve read in a month. If the number is really high, or really low it means I’m really low.

    • YES – agreed!!!! I also go in big waves, TV vs. reading and there is nothing good on TV right now!

  7. Mackenzie says 8.4.20

    Hi Grace! So many great reads. I just added Trevor Noah’s book to the top of my list. I also didn’t know that he had a book. I just finished the Vanishing Half based on your last months reading list. It was an incredible book! I also just recently read Tiny Imperfections and highly recommend. It’s about a black woman (Josie) who lives with her aunt and daughter who is applying to colleges. Josie is an admissions director at a prestigious school in California. The book is about her natigating admissions season and giving guidance to her daughter. It has a little big little lies feel with the admissions drama! I don’t want to say anymore, but it’s light hearted, witty, and about strong women! One of my favorites this year!

    • Oh my gosh it is WONDERFUL, especially as an audio book!
      Thank you so much for the recommendation – Tiny Imperfections sounds amazing!

  8. Taylor says 8.4.20

    What a great reading month! Ever since the libraries reopned in Chicago, I have overcommitted myself to my reading list (yikes) but I’m finally reading so many books I’ve been waiting to get my hands on.

    This past month, I finished “The Vanishing Half”, “Hollywood Park” by Mikel Jollett (such a good memoir!), “How to be Alone” by Lane Moore (so relatable, but also funny/quirky), “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett (eh), “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi (the audiobook was incredible and powerful!), and “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller (I’ve been recommending this to everyone! I can’t fully explain how much this book impacted me).

    Over the next month, I’m hoping to finish “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb, “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett, “Red at the Bone” by Jacqueline Woodson, “Homegoing”, and “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’ve also heard great things about “Hood Feminism” by Mikki Kendall that I’m going to pick up from my local bookstore this weekend.

    I’ve added all the newly released books to my library holds so looking forward to reading those over the next few months as well!

    • This is such a great list! I just bought Americanah as well.

    • Annie G says 8.15.20

      Oh god, Hollywood Park was amazing! I feel like that book ripped my heart out but also put it back together. (Also please tell me you’re a fellow Airborne Toxic Event fan!) Same with Know My Name — that was hands down my favorite book of 2019. I’m with you 100% Taylor, I can’t even put into words how both those books impacted me.

      I’m reading They Wish They Were Us now after your recommendation, Grace. Have a feeling I’ll be up until dawn finishing it lol

  9. Liz says 8.4.20

    Your book/reading content is always my fav! I just finished Big Friendship and loved it – it really made me think a lot about the friendships in my life.

    I’m about to finish Eight Perfect Murders (best described as a murder-y novel about a series of murders inspired by murder-y novels), and it’s really good! When I finish it today, I’ll have read it in only two sittings. The Last Flight was also SO good and different. Home Before Dark (the new Riley Sager) is one of the scariest books I’ve read in a long time! (maybe ever?) One to Watch, The Vanishing Half, The Guest List, and The Paris Hours are also all recent favorites!

    Mexican Gothic, All Adults Here, A Good Marriage, A Happy Catastrophe, American Royals, and The Great Alone are all on my current TBR shortlist, so can’t wait to dive into those.

    I’ve found that I’m able to read a lot because I make time for it and prioritize it! I’ve had people ask me the same thing and used to feel weird about it, but being able to have that language in my back pocket really helps. I totally know how you feel, though!

    • THat is so true re: reading a lot!!!!

      Also: everyone keeps recommending Mexican Gothic – I can’t wait to read it.

  10. E says 8.4.20

    I love your book round ups! I always add things from your list to my TBR pile.

    I also hit is “reading PR” in July. Looking back, I just realized that my favorite July reads were suggestions from you! The Last Flight was just so fun, gripping and fast! I also read Save Me the Plums, which, I didn’t expect to be for me, but her writing and story telling was amazing! I loved that it was very “girl boss” without being #girlboss. Also that 2nd Paris chapter was so perfect.

    I also read Rodham….which gave me a whole roller coaster of reactions. Not sure if it is something I’d recommend? But for some reason I continued to think about it…a lot…after.

    • Rodham is on my list. Def planning to read it this month… though it’s gotten mixed reviews!

  11. Cate Green says 8.4.20

    I always love to read your takes on the month’s books, thanks. The Heir Affair was fun for me as well and I need to give Homegoing another try when things don’t feel so heavy (mom and work at a school in FL).
    Every time you post about people asking how you read so much, I feel a strong kinship. I agree that it was a bit easier before kids, but mostly it’s just that reading is my default activity. I also read before bed every night. We have “quiet time” most afternoons and especially weekends and that’s usually spent reading. My sons (14 & 7) are both readers because it’s just part of the family culture.

    • I am so glad you enjoy them! And agree – it’s definitely just a favorite activity! I barely watched any TV or movies this month… but I read… a LOT. 🙂

      Homegoing was so heavy. I loved it but in hindsight probably wasn’t in the best place to read it!

  12. Cy says 8.4.20

    Thanks for all these interesting recs. I love Trevor Noah too and the audio book sounds great! Since my dad has been sick, I commute a lot back and am mostly listening to true crime podcasts. Red handed is the best, you would love it. I just finished reading Lakewood. I love her writing voice and found it fascinating, but the ending was so disappointing! Too many lose ends, I wanted to know what happened to all the other characters. Maybe there’s going to be a sequel? I’m also into thrillers, they are my favorite. I loved “ The Idea of you” so much and am a huge Younger fan, so I have to read “Older”. I love that show!

    • A sequel to Lakewood would be amazing. And I’m sorry your dad has been sick!!!!

  13. Stephanie says 8.4.20

    I just started reading your blog and am loving all of this… especially your book recommendations! I have been reading so much more during this crazy year, but my most recent favorite has been “Sharks in a Time of Saviors.” I know that it comes off as magical realism, but it’s actually grounded in ancient Hawaiian beliefs while still being very contemporary.

    One question that I had for you: Do you keep all of the books that you buy? If not, how are you passing along or donating books now given coronavirus? I’m in need of space and trying to pare down my collection but am not sure what the best options are to pass along !

    • Oh good, I’m so glad!

      haha I get asked this a lot. It really depends! I mail them to friends and family all the time, I give to friends if I have dinner plans, and usually donate to a used bookstore. It’s a lot of giving to friends and family!

  14. miki says 8.4.20

    Amazing list, I’m intrigued about “The Boys Club”, seems interesting!:)
    Miki x

  15. Jenn Bishop says 8.4.20

    So interested to see that you read Miracle’s Boys and enjoyed it. Books published for ages 8-12 are called middle grade, FYI, in the publishing world. (I am a middle grade author myself and a longtime follower, so excited to see you reading middle grade!) There are some absolute gems out there, and plenty for adults to savor even if the intended audience is upper elementary and middle schoolers. Like with YA, there are *all* kinds of MG genres, though less in the thriller-y vein because, well, 12 year-olds aren’t big on murder.

    • Ah great to know! Yeah, it was a sweet book. I probably wouldn’t have read it if it weren’t for Elizabeth Acevedo but am glad I did!

  16. Eve says 8.4.20

    I know just what you mean about feeling shame about reading so much…last year I read over 170 books and when people were impressed that I read so much I felt really awkward about it because the truth was it was a really tough year for me and I was basically reading constantly as a form of escapism. I certainly didn’t feel like it was anything to be proud of! It’s a strange one. Anyway thanks for your reviews, lots here I haven’t read! I loved Homegoing though and Born and Crime and Big Friendship are high on my list. My favourites from last month were Americanah which I see you’ve bought and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo which i highly recommend!

    • Yes, this exactly!!!! I am not really that proud of it this month as I was kinda just a sad sack!!!!

      I just got Girl, Woman, Other in the mail and am so excited to read it.

  17. coco says 8.4.20

    how do you find so much time to read? hahahha… how many hours do you spend reading a day? i’m curious.

    • I talked about that on my instagram stories today. We also have a whole episode about making time to read on the podcast! xo

  18. monica says 8.4.20

    Please never stop publishing these lists, I depend on them now!! 🙂
    xo

  19. Sarah Bates says 8.4.20

    These are my favorite posts! I love to see what you have been reading and your ratings on books. Love your red lacy dress in the picture, can you tell us where to buy?

  20. Kari says 8.4.20

    I listened to born a crime on audiobook, it was amazing! I would highly recommend it! I love Trevor’s voice! He is our morgan freeman.

  21. Laura says 8.5.20

    Great month of reading, Grace! I can’t wait to get my hands on The Boys Club!!
    Have you ever read anything by Michelle Campbell? I think you’d love A Stranger on the Beach (now out in paperback). She also has a brand new book that was just released called The Wife Who Knew Too Much.
    I haven’t read her latest yet but I think it sounds fantastic!

  22. Erika B says 8.5.20

    You read so many good books this month! Are you going to read Cobble Hill (coming out in October) this month? I’m so excited for it!!

  23. Jackie says 8.5.20

    I had to LOL a little when you said you’re ashamed of how much you read – so many bookstagrammers I follow are like “so disappointed in myself, only read 19 books this month ☹️ .” Lol. Or the Currently Reading podcast (which I love) – they each read and discuss three books weekly. I get what you mean though – I get the feeling people think I’m weird for how much I read and it’s funny to me because the bookstagram community is just so opposite of that and motivates me to want to read a ton!

    • HAHA I know, but like, it’s a reflection on my mental state this month… like I was super lame, avoided people, and just read a million books!!!! Makes me laugh too though as I know exactly what you mean!

  24. Lisa Autumn says 8.5.20

    YAY thank you for the reading inspo x

    Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  25. Steph says 8.6.20

    You have so many great recs in this post. I ordered They Wish They Were Us and can’t wait to read it. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin sounds like a book you might enjoy.

  26. Della says 8.7.20

    You’ve read a wide collection of books this month – I loved reading this. I’ll have to put a few on my list to pick up when I’m next in the book shop xx

  27. The Career Edit says 8.22.20

    What an impressive list! I am adding a few to my reading list. Actually, I think I might just go run and pick up “The Boys Club” if I find it at the store, to get a kickstart! Thank you for all the recommendations!

  28. arianne says 9.1.20

    I LOVED Boys Club!! Read it in a day after your recommendation and recommending to several of my girlfriends. Thank you!!