The Books I Read in July

 Oh boy, did I ever have a great month of reading!  Up until our vacation hit I was reading nearly a book a day.  And despite having many great books waiting for me at home once I returned life got a bit busier and my reading slowed down a lot.  Hopefully I can make it through the stack of novels I have piling up in my library basket before our next trip. 



1.  As Good As Dead (A good Girl's Guide to Murder book 3) by Holly Jackson-- This 3rd book in the series is pretty dark and suspenseful. Pip is pretty sure she has a stalker but the police don't see the connection between the online threats and the ones Pip perceives in real life.  Struggling to get back her equilibrium after her last case, Pip is determined to beat her stalker at his or her own game and find justice that will help her regain her semblance of control.  I can't say this was my favorite in the series but wow; I could not put it down.



2.  A Family Affair by Robyn Carr-- Anna and her 3 grown kids are all struggling in the aftermath of her husband's sudden death. As Anna struggles with the truth of their relationship and the very real possibility that her husband has left behind more secrets, lies, and ugliness for her to deal with her children are all struggling as well.  Her son idolized his father and feels like he can never have the perfect relationship with any women or future children and live up to his father. Her older daughter deals with feelings of resentment and always getting the least attention; even from friends and her own personal relationship, and her youngest daughter who has always struggling while navigating the world while on the Autism spectrum starts to have panic and anxiety attacks once again.  It was heartwarming reading this family's struggle to relate to one another and come together without the glue that they all believed held them together. 


3. On Assignment: A Memoir of a National Geographic Filmmaker by James R. Larison-- Wow; this book really makes me look at National Geographic films in a whole new light and all that the videographers go through to capture such perfect images.  Larison and his wife often traveled together (sometimes with their two kids) and I can't believe how many near death experiences he's lived through while on location!  It was a fabulous page turning read and really made me want to get out and explore so much more of this beautiful world we live in.


4.  It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover-- Oh this booked wrecked me in the best possible way!  I don't love all of Hoover's books but this one sucked me right in and just 24 hours later found me crying through the end (thankfully just a few dignified tears sliding down my cheeks and not ugly, heaving sobs!).  Growing up Lily could never understand how her mother stayed in such an abusive situation and her only saving grace was the one friend her mother and father could never know about.  Atlas was a homeless boy (recently turned 18) living next door that Lily befriended and fell in love with just before her 16th birthday.  Tragedy and circumstances drove them apart but Lily has never forgotten him even if it seems like Atlas has forgotten her.  When Lily is 24 and living in Boston on the cusp of starting a new business she meets Ryle; a drop dead gorgeous neurosurgeon.  Just as lily is grappling with this new relationship Atlas reappears and everything Lily has ever thought she knew about love, life, and herself gets tested.  

 


5. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid-- I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book but I did really enjoy this story.  Kit and her 3 grown siblings are all preparing for their yearly party while each dealing with their own "things." Nina, who's husband has just left her for another women is dreading the party.  Jay has a medical problem he's recently been diagnosed with that he's keeping secret and Hud has a secret that he knows could wreck his relationship with his brother.  Kit, the youngest is struggling with her need to break away from her siblings and show them she's not just the baby anymore.  In between stories leading up to and through the party there is a second storyline that deals with how their parents met, their relationship, and all that has led up to how these 4 kids grew up so intertwined in each other's lives living in the shadow of their famous father.   


6. The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson-- After losing her job and her boyfriend in one day, Dillon decides to head home to her grandfather's farm to surprise him... only to find her mother is there as well.  With little room in the house her grandfather offers her use of an old camp trailer he inherited and Dillon takes to redecorating it and making it her home.  With a new job, a "new" camper, and a new potential romance Dillon's life seems to be finally running smoothly until her ex shows up and threatens to ruin everything.  This was such a cute story.. even if I thought the ending was a bit abrupt and out of nowhere.  



7. An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan-- I didn't realize this was part of a series; the Mure book series has 4 other books in this series, however I didn't feel at all lost in following the characters or the storyline. Flora is planning her wedding to Joel but everything gets a bit tricky when she agrees to a tiny, immediate- family- only ceremony on a tiny island where everyone expects to be invited.  Then Flora books a HUGE wedding at the hotel where she works for the same weekend she's planned on having her own thinking the two weddings wont add that much extra work.  With cute and quirky characters and a few subplots this was an adorable story that kept me entertained. 


8. Someone Else's Secret: A Novel by Julia Spiro-- Lindsay has been hired to help out as a nanny for a very wealthy family on Martha's vineyard for the summer.  The story, told in two parts, deals with what happens to Lindsay and Georgie one fateful summer night and how it alters the course of their lives.  Georgie is just 14 and can not wait to be grown up, Lindsay is fresh out of college and feeling lost as to what to do next... then 10 years later the two reconnect and decide it's time for justice.  This story actually reminded me quite a bit of That Summer but set on Martha's Vineyard with a different cast of characters.  A pretty good read that passed the time just fine.  


9. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee-- My mom gave me this book to read and I was so happy to see that it was by the same author as Luck of the Titanic (which I enjoyed a lot!). This book did take a bit of work to get into but then I really enjoyed it a lot.  Set in Atlanta, GA in the 1890's, 17 year old Jo is a ladies maid. Unhappy with her life and the treatment of those around her she starts writing an advice column in the local paper called "Dear Miss Sweetie." Her column grows in popularity and sparks opposition from people who are determined to unearth the truth behind the writing. At the same time as all this is going on, Jo is working to uncover the mystery of who her parents are and what debt her "uncle" who has raised her from birth has to repay.  With a slow start this book really picked up and had me turning pages quickly to see how everything resolved. 


10. The Bungalow by Sarah Jio-- This was such a sweet story! Anne and her friend Kitty have just finished nursing school and are at odds with what to do when so many of their contemporaries are heading off to war or getting married and setting up house.  They decide to join the Army Nurse Corps and are sent to Bora Bora.  Their time on the island will change them completely and set their lives on different paths.  I really enjoyed this part romance, part historical fiction novel a lot. 


11. The Suite Spot by Trish Doller-- I really enjoyed Float Plan so I was happy to see that the two main characters from that pop up in this book!  Rachel loses her job at the hotel in Miami and finds herself apply for a job on a tiny island off the coast of Ohio.  When she arrives in Kelleys Island she finds that the job isn't quite as described but soon find herself and her adorable daughter settling in.  


12.  The Summer of No Attachments by Lori Foster-- I just adored this sweet, sweet story!  Ivey and Hope are best friends working together at a small animal hospital in a small town.  Ivey kicks her boyfriend to the curb and is ready for a carefree summer.  Then she goes with Hope to check out a new guesthouse rental where they meet Corbin and his son Justin. Despite Ivey's promise to herself to enjoy a carefree summer she finds herself drawn to the two and their unique story.  Hope, always skittish around strangers is happy for Ivey and agrees that Corbin seems like a good guy.  So when Corbin's brother Lang shows up, Hope is surprised to find herself a bit drawn to him. It was such a sweet unfolding of love and friendship and healing and happy endings that I just loved.


13. Something Wilder by Christina Lauren-- I thought this book was so cute! Set in the wild of Utah, Lily Wilder is running a tour guiding tourists through a "treasure" hunt based on some maps and an old journal of her father. When embarking on what she has decided will be the company's last tour, Lily finds herself face to face with the one man who broke her heart years ago.  As things go horribly wrong on their last excursion it seems like Lily might have to rethink her plan.  Part love story, part treasure hunt it was a fun and cute novel that kept me turning pages to see how it all worked out in the end.  It might have felt far fetched at times and I might have wanted a bit more romance thrown in but it read a bit like a Romancing the Stone or Indiana Jones meets the wild west to me; so cute and enjoyable. 


Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, Thinking Out Loud,















Comments

  1. Ooowww what a great list- thanks for sharing- adding a few to my queue! :)

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  2. Have you read After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid? I read it in July and it may be one of the best books I have ever read! I cannot stop thinking about it...even still. I have read several of those you mentioned and enjoyed them as well. Have you noticed that Melody Carlson is great at helping you dislike the more annoying characters in her books? I could not stand the mom in Happy Camper! I'm laughing. I love her, though.

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    1. This is the only Taylor Jenkins Reid book or Melody Carlson book that I've read though I will definitely be checking out more of their works.

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  3. You had some great reads this month.

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  4. You read some good ones! I loved The Suite Spot and I love Sarah Jio!

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    1. I haven't read anything else by Sarah Jio but can't wait to read more of her work.

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  5. Wow Joanne, you read a lot of books recently. I love the books by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I haven't read any books by Colleen Hoover but I know she is a popular author right now.

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    1. Her books are usually pretty good; though there have been a few of hers that were huge misses for me.

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  6. Be on the lookout because the sequel to It Ends with Us comes out this fall! I can't wait to read it!

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  7. Oh, that On Assignment one looks amazing. I always love the behind the scenes stories.
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I do too and I guess I never really thought about how hard and dangerous it is to get some of those shots-- especially back in the day before drones and stuff.

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  8. I haven't read that book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I love her writing style. I think I have it on Hold on Libby. I recently finished The Magnolia Palace and Holy Hot Mess. I really enjoyed both of them!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. Just Googled both of those-- the Magnolia Palace sounds like a book I'd really enjoy!

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  9. I haven't read any of these. But I have read a few good reviews about Malibu Rising

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    1. It was wild reading about an out of control party of the rich and famous.

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  10. I love reading book recommendations as they help me chose books for the next round of books the book club I am part of. Recently the books I've read have been mostly dwelling in sad subjects so I need to read something that has humor and lightness

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    1. Yes, I find I am the say way; I can only read so many sad/ heavy books at a time and then I need a break.

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  11. I've read about half of these and the other half is on request! I think The Suite Spot was my favorite chick lit book of the summer. I am excited about The Happy Camper. That's about the speed of the books I can handle now!
    I lose interest in summer themed books when the weather turns, but I had to remind myself that fall allows for lots of patio reading time. Bonus if I can have a fire going in my Solo Stove. That's a good use of a weekend afternoon!

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    1. Our weather is still super hot and dry and sunny so I am still enjoying those summer reads. Usually around mid- September I start turning to more fall/ year round types of stories.

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  12. I have seen The Bungalow recommended several times this summer! You have convinced me that I need to pick up a copy. Have a good weekend!

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  13. What a great reading month you had! I love Hoover and loved It Ends With Us! I also really enjoyed The Bungalow. Wasn't a huge fan of Malibu Rising. I am on hold at the library for Something Wilder.

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    1. I did have a great month of reading. So far August is shaping up to be a good one too.

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  14. Hi, Joanne - You have had a wonderful month of reading. This is a very impressive list. On Assignment most caught my attention. I will take a look for it. Thank you for the recommendation. We greatly appreciate you being a regular at WOYBS.

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  15. The Downstairs Girl sounds really interesting! I like old timey books like this.

    Alexandra
    OnRockwoodLane.com

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    1. It was a great book. It was worth the effort to keep reading.

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  16. Wow! You did have a great month! I love Jenny Colgan's Mure Island series. Each has been lovely to read. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. I only recently discovered her book (I think maybe this past Christmas?) and I'm enjoying them.

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  17. Hi Joanne I love your first sentence and could feel the joy you found in reading this month. I've not read any on your list so thank you for sharing and also for linking up with us. I have read Jenny Colgan before so need to revisit. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks! I feel like I have really been lucking out lately on my book picks.

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  18. I’m just catching up on some blog reading. I loved Malibu Rising and can’t wait for her new book to come out next week! I thought the Suite Spot was cute too. I want to read that Sarah Jio book now. I loved her book From London with Love (I think that’s what it was called). Thanks for sharing all your books!

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    1. I’m having trouble logging in - It’s Sarah from Sunshine & Books :)

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    2. I don't know why Blogger is doing that lately! Grr... but I'm so glad you stopped by, Sarah! I'm definitely planning to check out other books from Jio now.

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  19. You really did read a lot last month! And some interesting stuff too. I added several of these to me (enormous) TBR list.

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    1. Oh I know; my TBR list grows so much faster than I can possibly read from!!

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  20. Great job! I got a lot of reading ON my vacation this year, which was nice. That doesn't usually happen. I really liked As Good As Dead, but yeah, definitely not what I expected. LOL I also really loved The Downstairs Girl. I still need to read her book about the Titanic.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I just bought 4 books for our trip and only managed to read 1; I should have known though as we were headed to Disney and those vacations never seem to have any down time.

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