July Reads

July ReadsI’m insanely late with this post, but time sure flies when you barely have time to breathe. I worked pretty much non-stop in July and spent the last few days of the month rushing to pack up my things and move to a new apartment in between shifts. Before I even had time to unpack, bae and I were off to the Finger Lakes for three days of kayaking, swimming, reading, and wine and beer tasting with my extended family. It was so lovely to unwind, catch up with people I only see once a year, and race my cousins to finish reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Despite all the madness, July was the best reading month I’ve had in about a year in terms of both quality and quantity. I’m still working on finding the right life balance — clearly, I haven’t figured out how to blog with any type of consistency yet — but I’m getting there. It feels so good to finally be reading with joy again. Let’s take a look at the books I finished:

The Martian by Andy Weir: An astronaut, presumed dead and left behind on Mars, uses his wits and dry humor to try to survive on a planet that is trying to kill him. This book reminded me why I don’t tend to read plot-based fiction, and I liked it better as a movie.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler: A twenty-something girl reinvents herself as a backwaiter at the best restaurant in New York City, where she falls under the spell of a magnetic server/bartender duo with a complicated past. I loved the propulsive energy of the writing and got completely swept up in this coming-of-age story.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub: Over the course of one Brooklyn summer, relationships between former bandmates and their partners are strained when a filmmaker approaches them about making a biopic about their deceased fourth band member. This isn’t a novel that’s going to stick with me, but it was a fun, breezy summer read.

Dare Me by Megan Abbot: High school cheerleaders Beth and Addy have been best friends since childhood, but even Addy doesn’t know how far Beth will go to remain Top Girl when a young new coach draws them into her world. I had a few problems with this novel, but I loved the darkly complicated relationships.

Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith: Twenty years after moving to the Washington mainland, journalist Lucie returns to Marrow Island to visit an old friend at a mysterious commune. This haunting, atmospheric novel is one of my favorites of the year, so far.

(I also started The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but as I finished them in August, I’ll share my thoughts on them in a later post.)

I’m hoping things will calm down a bit more in August. I’m now living with one of my best friends, which is going to be such a good change: less roommate anxiety, more fun, less time spent in my car (it’s closer to one of my jobs and within walking distance of bae’s house!), and more kitty cuddles. The move was unexpected, but I’m calling it a win.

What was the best book you read in July?