The 5 Books I Finished in July

* Linking up with Sheila Craig at The Deliberate Reader and Anne Bogel at Quick Lit *

I was all business with reading this month – with three books to finish for books clubs, I actually – nerd alert – wrote out a book priority list so I’d finish everything in time. Without further ado, here are the five books I finished in July:

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

My Thoughts: The thing that struck me the most about this book was this: Although Malala was and is extremely brave in standing up for girls’ educational rights in Pakistan and endured a terrible act of terrorism, she also was a typical young girl who experienced normal ups and downs during her childhood. I would recommend this book as required reading for American middle school kids, as it might help them to gain appreciation for their easy access to education; to realize that even on the other side of the world, kids are kids with similar hopes and dreams; and to be inspired by Malala’s courage.

Length: 9 hours, 55 minutes on audio (I sped it up to about 1.5 speed, though, so it didn’t take quite that long.)

When I Read It: June 2-July 3, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold on the audiobook through Overdrive; listened via the Overdrive app.

Memorable Quote: “When someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.”

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A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

My Thoughts: I almost gave up on the Inspector Gamache books after I read the first one and thought, “Well, that was OK, but why is everyone crazy about these books?” I’m so glad I gave book 2 a chance because I really loved it. Penny’s writing is much more even in A Fatal Grace, and the mystery is so much more engaging. We keep learning more about the quirky characters and the sweet-yet-murderous town of Three Pines. There are hints of trouble ahead for Inspector Gamache, and I’m intrigued. I have books 3 and 4 out from the library right now, and I hope I can get to them before they’re due back.

Length: 320 pages

When I Read It: July 3-9, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold at the library; read it the old-fashioned way.

Memorable quote: “In my teens my drug of choice was acceptance, in my twenties it was approval, in my thirties it was love, in my forties it was Scotch. That lasted a while,’ she admitted. ‘Now all I really crave is a good bowel movement.”

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 

My Thoughts: I’ve been looking for a series to dive into, and this month I found two – the Inspector Gamache books as noted above ^^^ AND the Cormoran Strike series, which begins with The Cuckoo’s Calling. I loved Galbraith’s (aka J.K. Rowling) introduction of the gruff-yet-lovable private investigator Strike and his overqualified secretary and all of the intriguing characters in this London mystery. I found myself wanting to read it all the time and have already started book 2, The Silkworm. I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, but I’ll call myself a J.K. Rowling fan now. My informant at the library says this is slated to be a seven-book series. Yes.

Length: 480 pages

When I Read It: June 28-July 19, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold at the library; read it the old fashioned way.

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Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

My Thoughts: This book was recommended to me by smart women as a book “every woman should read,” and I concur: the science and psychology are eye-opening. This concludes my review of this book. You’re lucky I even told you I read it.

Length: 416 pages

When I Read It: June 15-July 27, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Bought it at Gibson’s Bookstore; read it the old-fashioned way.

Memorable Quote: “Emotions are tunnels. You have to go all the way through the darkness to get to the light at the end.”

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

My Thoughts: I loved diving into the world of Alice Mary Love – a 39-year-old wife and mother of three who fell off her bike at spin class and lost the memories from the last ten years of her life. Moriarty, as always, writes relatable characters and deftly weaves in humor with serious storylines. I think every young (in age or at heart) woman should read this book because it is both highly entertaining and contains a great deal of wisdom on marriage and family life.

Length: 488 pages

When I Read It: July 25-31, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Received it from my fellow SortaLiterary Traveling Book Club member, Mary; read it the old-fashioned way.

Memorable Quote: “Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It’s light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But … after you’ve seen the worst and the best– well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.”

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You can friend or follow me on Goodreads for the latest updates on my August reading progress.