July Rewind

This is a look back on the books I read in July. I read A LOT of books this month. I finished some books I’d been working on for a while, and I also got very petty and weird and thought, fuck it, let’s read some books I never planned on reading, because reasons. I had fun though.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I wrote a review on this book on the blog, but in short: I LOVE IT! Rainbow Rowell is an amazing author. She made me cry, which I’ll easily admit is not hard to do, I cry at pretty much anything, and she made me laugh, out loud. That doesn’t normally happen to me. It’s so gorgeous and beautiful and I love it so much. I’m going to stop gushing now. Anyway, it’s about a girl named Cath who is going to college with her twin sister Wren. For the first time Wren doesn’t want to share a room with Cath, and Cath has to manage on her own. Cath struggles with anxiety it seems, it’s never said outright, but she won’t go to eat dinner because she’s afraid to ask someone where the dining room is. She likes to spend her days writing fanfiction about Simon Snow (which is supposed to be Harry Potter, sort of, a slightly camp-y version). It’s really funny, and good and exciting, and read it. Now.

Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle
It’s quirky and funny and sweet and cool. The book is about a 17-year-old named Vivian Apple who lives in Pittsburgh with her parents Ned and Mara. Her best friend is Harp and she’s just a normal sort of kid. Recently there has been a sort of surge in religious fervor in America. A man named Beaton Frick has created a new church, the Church of America, and he has created a world where they’ve gone back to a sort of men-are-awesome-women-are-whores. He tells his followers they’ll be reaped and go to heaven on a certain day, and that day when Vivian comes home from a party she finds holes in the ceiling and her parents gone, presumably Reaped. Like a meek, obedient child she goes with her grandparents to New York. She spends a while there and gets more and more disillusioned with her grandparents apathy and she runs away. She goes with Harp and a boy named Peter to find out what has happened. They go on a drive to California. It’s exciting, it’s a little scary to see how easily America slips back into further ignorance and cruelty in this book, how easily the capitalist church sneaks into their minds again. I really liked it and I’m really excited to read more about Vivian Apple.

Night Witches by LJ Adlington
This book is a book I bought just because the cover was great, and it’s about teenagers flying bomb planes. It’s about Rain Aranoza who lives in Rodina and along with her cousin she joins an elite team of pilots who are only teenagers. The people of Rodina lose their night vision when they become adults so when the God fearing Crux attack Rain and her friends fly out in old planes to bomb the Crux at night. It’s really interesting, Rain and the other people of Rodina are ruled by Aura, who tells them of science and truth. Everything about God, witches or superstition is illegal, and Rodina is basically a more severe and advanced Soviet. They can’t question or oppose Aura in any way, and are the people of Rodina more suppressed, or the god-fearing Crux? They are all ruled by something, but is science or God the right way? This was very incoherent, but I really loved it. I thought it was amazing.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

I finally bloody finished it. It’s basically exactly what the title says. It’s a history of the world, and science and it’s very interesting. It’s basically about the development of science and it is about things that I learned in school, but also more concise and more inquisitive. I really like it and I think I’ll have to look into his travel books.

Vidunderbarn by Roy Jacobsen
This is a book I’ve had on my shelves forever, for some reason. I don’t remember exactly why I bought it, probably just because I tend to buy books just cause. It’s about a 9-year-old kid called Finn who lived in Oslo in the early 1960s. He lives in this sort of precarious balance with his mother, and then his half-sister, by his father, comes to stay with them because her mother is a junkie of some sort. It’s basically just the story of what happens to them in the year that his half-sister lives there. It’s about how Oslo is, how life is for a single mother in the early 60s. It’s not the kind of book I normally read, and I was worried I wouldn’t like it, but I really did, it was interesting and it was heart-breaking and beautiful.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
I’m not done yet, but I will finish. I love it so much. It’s sooo good!

Saga, Volume #1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I really liked it. I thought it was bloody amazing. I thought the art was amazing and the story was really good. Marko and Alana are on opposing sides in the war, but they fall in love and run away. They get married and make a baby together. They are now being hunted by both the sides of the war and by some free agents. There are ghosts and monsters and people with screens as heads. I thought it was great, I’m excited to read the second volume.

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Eehr ma gherd it’s ehrzerm. I’m done gushing. No I’m not. I started reading Scott Lynch this year, because I saw the cover of this one in a store, and the author’s name looked really familiar, and I realized I had the first book at home, so I read that, then the second, and now this one. There might be spoilers for the first two, not like major things, but some stuff. So, you’re warned. The books are about Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, who are con artists and thieves. In the first book they piss of the Bondsmagi, who are some sort of sorcerers, and in the second book they get poisoned. Jean is cured when Locke tricks him into taking the only cure they have. They only have enough antidote for one. In the beginning of this book Jean is trying to get doctors to cure Locke, but no one can. Then the bondsmagi turn up and say they’ll cure Locke if Locke and Jean help them win an election. So Locke is cured and they start working on the people of Karthain to fix an election, basically by cheating. And the person who has the same job for the opposition is Sabetha, the love of Locke’s life, who they grew up with. It’s really good. I might need to do a whole review, but I really liked it. I like so much about Scott Lynch. The way he writes women is really interesting and good. And I like the writing, he’s an excellent teller of stories. I love how the books are built up. You get like the plot and then the backstory of the Bastards growing up, which is pertinent to the rest of the story, which is cool. And I love Sabetha, so there. It was so good.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
This is the first book in the Dark Tower series. It has been in my shelves for about an eternity, and I finally read it, go me! Stephen King has been working on it for like, decades. I liked the first book. It didn’t blow me away, but I thought it was interesting. It’s about Roland, a Gunslinger, who is travelling across the country, chasing a man in black. He moves through towns, deserts, over mountains and into forests. Throughout the novel we also get to know Roland’s backstory, he’s in a sort of creepy brotherhood of men who shoot people. I have no idea. He’s a fascinating person and the story is fascinating, and I will want to read the rest of the series, eventually.

Emma by Jane Austen
I was going to finish The Wise Man’s Fear, but I felt like Emma was hanging over me, because I’ve been reading it for so long, so I sort of forced myself to finish. I really wanted to finish it too, but it felt like I had to make myself. Also, I’m watching Emma Approved, and you know, that’s the best thing in the world. I realized when I finished reading it that it’s basically about NOTHING. There’s no real plot, it’s just this sort of look into a life for a while, it’s fascinating, there’s just long, very mundane conversations. It’s fascinating though. It’s about a young, wealthy woman, named Emma Woodhouse, who lives with her father, and likes to think she knows everyone’s business and that she’s responsible for her former nanny marrying their neighbor. Her only critic is the old family friend and her sister’s brother-in-law George Knightley, who tries to keep her humble. She befriends a young woman, Harriet Smith, who is a much lower class, but sweet and fun. Emma tries to set Harriet up with the new preacher in their village, but it doesn’t really work out, so her world sort of shifts. She grows amazingly throughout the novel. She becomes a much better person, a much more thoughtful person, and she doesn’t rush to judge or come up with ploys. I really liked it.

How I am doing so far

I’ve currently read 51 books, so I’m pretty far ahead on my 70-books-challenge. Which is good. I have finally finished a classic, so whoo. I finished another Norwegian book, but I’m not exactly on schedule, it’ll be fine. My Mount TBR challenge, is sort of okay. I’ve read 19 of 36, I should be on 21. I’ll be fine. I have all the faith.