Bookish Chatter | July 2022 Reading

Friends, I have been trying to get back into the habit of a monthly reading recap for quite a while now. You should see my WordPress drafts — months of efforts are saved, in vain. I keep running out of time and before I know it – poof – it is way too late to share! But I’m in an acceptable window right now and am doing my best to get this published.

July included a round of covid for my family and a week of quarantine. You’d think that would mean lots of reading time but my experience didn’t pan out that way. I barely read for two weeks as we worked our way through the illness and played catch up around the house as we started creeping back into our typical routines. I often ebb and flow with my reading and it’s not uncommon for me to have a few quiet weeks while my focus turns to other projects. The difference this time is that I really wanted to be reading and couldn’t. It felt devastating at the time but now that I have a little more perspective, I can see that it was okay. All of those books on my lists are still there, waiting patiently for me to get to them.

A few highlights from the month:

  • I returned to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society when I began to reenter the world of reading after covid. It hits the spot every time.
  • The 2022 Booker Longlist was released on the 26th and I finished two of the books that very day! Small Things Like These and Oh William! were both highly readable and quick to get through, if you’re looking for a place to dip your toes.
  • I finally finished The Books of Jacob, despite starting it in April. I wasn’t a fan but am glad to say that I read it. I have a goal this year to read more big books, so this one helped me stay on track with that aim.
  • The newest Ruth Galloway mystery, The Locked Room, was published in July and I saved my Audible credit for it. It was another excellent addition to the series.
  • My love of Japanese culture was stoked by The Housekeeper and The Professor and My Year of Meats. Another one of my reading goals for the year is to prioritize Japanese literature, so check!
  • I finished four chapter books with my kiddos this month and Josefina is my favorite American Girl so far.
  • If you’re looking for a very weird book, then Bunny just might be for you.
  • My favorite of the month: Oh William!. There’s a close tie for second: The Housekeeper and the Professor and Small Things Like These.

I’m thinking about how to incorporate this year’s bookish goals into these monthly recaps if I’m able to continue them, but the goals I wrote aren’t very helpful to me right now. I made them vague on purpose because I’m no longer counting books read, which makes measuring progress a little tricky. So they’re hanging out in the back of my brain and I’m trying to find ways to make them a little more specific and measurable without making reading feel like homework.

August is going smashingly so far, so I’m looking forward to writing another monthly recap as soon as the month ends. How has your reading been? Any new discoveries lately? I’d love to hear from you!

23 thoughts on “Bookish Chatter | July 2022 Reading

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  1. I’m reading The Hail Mary Project on the recommendation of a friend right now and kinda surprised to be enjoying it as it’s science fiction, which isn’t usually my cup of team. Lots of nice humor and generous helpings of physics and biology. (And yes indeed, I’m skimming a little!). Your longing for measurable goals reminded me of some ‘good old days!’

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    1. Hahaha — I do think about that work whenever I set any kind of goal. It’s just a smart thing to do 😉

      Glad you’re enjoying The Hail Mary Project. I started it but wasn’t able to finish it — I had a hard time with it. I think I’d like it more on audio? But the author is so good at writing propulsive science fiction and I expect that it will become a movie, just like The Martian. We shall see if my prediction ever happens!! Enjoy the start of your week 🙂

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  2. On the “Big Book Reads” I just started Hanya Yanagiraha’s A Little Life… and I am settling in just wonderfully! 🙂

    I, too, loved Oh, William! So much!

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    1. Oh my goodness – A Little Life. I wish you luck! That one is devastating. I’m glad to hear that it’s working for you — I’ll be anxious to see what you think about it.

      Oh William! was amazing — I have to go back and read the whole Lucy Barton series now!

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  3. You had a good month – you managed to read a lot (and with 2 weeks of no reading, Covid, etc., etc.!!). I remember liking The Housekeeper and the Professor a lot when I read it and I just finished The Locked Room last night. It was a very good addition to the series. I have a couple of books on my nightstand that I am looking forward to jumping into. First up is Sorrow and Bliss for the Read With Us group and then Fellowship Point (which is longer – over 500 pages – than I had realized!). And…our hibiscus is now blooming!

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  4. Always impressed with your reading goals, even when you had COVID. Perfectly understandable that your focus was on other things when you and your family were sick. I am coming down the homestretch with “The Shell Seekers.” Is there going to be a post where we discuss it?

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    1. Laurie, I’m trying to decide how we could discuss this better. I’m leaning towards starting a channel on discord so that we can post as we go and hide spoilers for those who aren’t as far along. That way everyone can join in as they go without worrying about having things revealed before they’re ready. Is that a format you’d be okay trying?

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  5. You read very interesting books . I have yet to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but will some day. I finished the Bloomsbury Girls, which was good but felt it was just ok, if that makes sense. I’m currently reading The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan and loving it. Hope you and your family are doing well and have recovered.

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    1. Tina – I think you will LOVE Guernsey. I know what you mean about Bloomsbury Girls – it was enjoyable but not great literature. thanks for the Jennifer Ryan recommendation, I loved her novel about Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown!

      And thanks for your kind words – we are fully recovered, thankfully!

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      1. You’re so very welcome Katie! This is the first book of Jennifer Ryan’s I’ve read but really like it. I will need to check out her other books as well. Glad to hear you are all recovered 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on getting in a Monthly Recap post! I know what it’s like to feel like you’ve missed the window, happens to me a lot.

    I have the new Ruth Galloway on hold at the library – woohoo!

    Sounds like you’re in a good groove with the reading. Enjoy!

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    1. Yay for the newest Ruth Galloway! I think you’re going to enjoy it. And I should just delete my old drafts because it’s so depressing to see them there and knowing they’ll never see the light of day.

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  7. Well, we’ve already chatted on our love of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. 🙂 My reread of it a couple of weekends ago was perfect. And this time I listened to it on audiobook. I still prefer reading it, but this was a nice change and the narration was wonderful.

    I read Small Things Like These towards the end of last year and wow! It was powerful, gripping, and poignant; and amazingly written in such a small amount of pages.

    I just started Oh William! today and was drawn right in from the opening page! It’s been a few years since I read My Name is Lucy Barton but I remember I liked it. Reading Oh William! makes me want to go back and re-read it.

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed your recent reread of Guernsey – I always feel like I’ve been on vacation when I revisit that story! And I’m happy that you enjoyed Small Things — it WAS so powerful. It’s amazing what the author was able to do with so few pages.

      I haven’t read any of the other Lucy Barton books but am planning to this fall. Oh William! was so good!

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      1. I have had Strout’s book Anything is Possible on my shelf forever. I need to get to it at some point. It’s not a long book.

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  8. I just read Oh William last week! I loved it. In anticipation of reading it I reread Lucy Barton and Anything Is Possible. Wow, what an incredible writer she is!

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  9. It’s never too late to share a reading wrap-up (my July one is planned for NEXT week 🙂 I read Housekeeper and the Professor years ago and I’m so glad to see folks still picking it up and loving it. I remember being completely delighted by the mathematics and the baseball. Your Booker LL reading sure got off to a great start!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement! And how funny, because I skimmed the math and basement in the Housekeeper. Ha! And yes – my LL is going well. I finished my fifth yesterday (The Colony) and am hoping to start Glory on audio after I finish Sense & Sensibility. I struggled with The Colony until the last several pages. It ended with such a gut punch!

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