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July's Reading List

Hello! It's been a minute. Quarantine has made me go full on introvert and I haven't felt as compelled to write on the blog because there honestly wasn't much to talk about. I started a new job in April at my company so I've spent the past couple of months getting acclimated to my new team and the now virtual work from home life. I live in a tiny (less than 550 sq ft!) apartment. A move I made pre-quarantine to save money, so I'm looking forward to moving at the end of my lease. 

Anyways, since the beginning of quarantine I've jumped back into a favorite pastime, reading! I used to read all the time when I was younger; one of my favorite ways to pass summers as a kid was reading as many books as I could and staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning because the book was just SO GOOD!  I haven't stayed up that late this summer but I have thoroughly enjoyed taking some Friday's off to just spend the day under my weighted blanket reading for hours.

This is going to be a new blog series where I share what I read the previous month in hopes to provide some of you with reading suggestions! Feel free to leave a comment if you've read any that I listed or if you have any suggestions!

Happy & You Know It

This book was a really fun and light read! Would be perfect for the pool or beach. It's about this playgroup of Upper Eastside housewives that have a private baby music class that meets weekly. They hire a new musician, Claire, who is struggling after getting kicked out of her band right before they make it big! Through this book Claire discoveries little secrets about each woman that eventually make it out into the open forcing everyone to deal with their imperfect lives. I really enjoyed it because it kept me guessing as to what would happen and I got somewhat invested in the characters. It wasn't one that I couldn't put down, but I enjoyed it as an easy read.

Grade: B

Where to buy: Amazon, bookshop.org

 

Home Before Dark

This book was SO GOOD! I'm not one to read horror, like at all. I like some spooky things, but it's more like Hocus Pocus scary lol. This book is about a girl, Maggie, who lived in a "haunted" house for three weeks before her family fled in terror from the home never to return. Maggie's father wrote a best seller recounting their time at the home for those three weeks and what caused them to flee, it was ghosts. 

When Maggie's father passes away she finds out that he left her the haunted home in his will. She decides to return to the home to finally discover if her father's novel was a work of fiction or if he was telling the truth all along. 

I want to say that I read through this book pretty quickly and I also recommended it to everyone I could. It was a nice escape from the real world and I loved how it kept me on edge, just waiting to see what happened next.

Grade: B+

Where to buy: Amazon, bookshop.org

Tell Me Lies

I hated this book. This book follows a freshman girl named Lucy. She moves to California from Long Island to get a fresh start and to be away from her Mother, who she has grudge against for something that happened when she was in high school (this comes up a lot in the book, and starts to make sense once you find out what happens, but that doesn't come until the middle of the book). She meets this guy named Stephen who is a Junior. They end up being enamoured by each other, Stephen looks at Lucy as more of something to chase and use, but Lucy falls in love with him and the idea of the chase. This book follows their dysfunctional relationship over 5 years. I don't want to give too much away, but this book is basically a warning/reminder to all girls of what it's like to be in a relationship where someone treats you like sh*t and you're just trying to figure out how to make it work. Maybe that's why it was so triggering to me?

Trigger Warning: There is drug abuse and eating disorders in this book.

Grade: B

Where to buy: Amazon, bookshop.org

 


Conjure Women

This book was really good! The writing is spectacular and really transports you. The story takes place in the South before the Civil War and then right after Emancipation. It follows the life of Rue, she is the daughter of the healer and midwife on the plantation. When her mother passes away she takes over the role of healer. The story explores what life is like for the slaves under the rule of their Master and then how they explore their new found freedom. The story also shows how entwined the lives of Rue and that master's daughter, Varina are. There is some mystery and magic involved in this story. It was sad and hopeful and left me thinking about it for a very long time.

Trigger warning: There are some graphic scenes and sexual

 

 

 

 

 

violence in this book.

Grade: A

Where to buy: Amazon, bookshop.org

 

 

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

So, when I picked this book I honestly thought it would be more of a spoof on a horror story, but I was wrong. It's very dark and it will make you hate the patriarchy even more. The story takes place over a couple of years, but begins in the 80s. It follows the life of Patricia, a housewife in the suburb of Mt. Pleasant, SC. This neighborhood is the American Dream. White picket fences, kids can play outside until dark, everyone knows everyone's name and no one locks their door. 

Patricia joins a secret book club that devours true crime novels and they spend their meetings talking about serial killers. Everything seems pretty normal in her life until a neighbor passes away and her long-distance nephew moves into her place. Then children in a predominantly black neighborhood start going missing and some show up dead under mysterious circumstances. Patricia decides to investigate and help her mother-in-laws nurse figure out what's going on. What Patricia discovers will test her relationship with her family, friends and sanity.

Trigger Warning: This book has some sexual violence and a lot of emotional manipulation.

Grade: B

Where to buy: Amazon, bookshop.org

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