Book Chat

July 2016 Reading Log


Summer is always so busy but it’s the best kind! I have to rely on my photos to even remember what happened in July… thank goodness for smartphones that make it so easy to document everything. A quick recap: we spent the Independence holiday with hubby’s family in MS, my brother came to visit one weekend, I went on a ton of pokemon hunts, my guild did a shop hop AND a design lecture, I worked on 2-3 cross stitch projects and started a new baby quilt, we went to New York at the very end of the month for a Radiohead concert… and of course the baby has been growing and so has my belly as I enter the third trimester. Whew! No wonder I can’t remember what I’ve had time to read either, but that’s why I keep up with a reading log 🙂

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

July 2016 Thoughts


Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, by Shauna Niequist

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
Start date: 6/11/2016
Finish date: 7/1/2016
Grade: B
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

I don’t mingle in the Christian publishing world much, so I’d never heard of Shauna Niequist before reading this charming collection of essays on life, centered around food and faith. At this point in my life, my world does not revolve around those two aspects, and I am the exact opposite of the go-go-go extrovert author who thinks nothing of throwing an impromptu dinner party while renovating her home with fifty deadlines looming, but I can still appreciate the message of a life well-lived. Some of the rhetoric went over my head, some of the essays seemed very thin or well-trodden (slow down during the Christmas season, got it), but the more personal reflections on friendship, marriage, and motherhood really resonated. Several glowing recommendations probably overhyped this one for me personally, but I know a ton of people who would love and underline it like crazy. I only highlighted one sentence, in an essay about disconnecting from technology, and I still think about it: “It’s better to be in one place, wholly and full-heartedly, than a thousand splintery half-places, glamorous as they may be.”

Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott

The Amateur Librarian // June 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 6/19/2016
Finish date: 7/4/2016
Grade: A+
Genre/Format: Memoir / Paperback

I didn’t even mean to reread this one, but as I was purging books for a trip to McKay, I couldn’t help but pick it up and got sucked right in. I finished it on the car ride home from visiting family, reading paragraphs out loud to Sam when I couldn’t keep the giggles at bay. But as hilarious as Anne Lamott’s searing commentary on motherhood can be, she’s also completely raw and open about the painful and vulnerable parts of life. I always laugh, I always cry, I always love this book no matter when or where I read it. My maiden name is written on the inside of the cover, so I probably first read this in college, and now that I’m expecting my first baby, it resonates in a new but still familiar way…

Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley

The Amateur Librarian // July 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 7/13/2016
Finish date: 7/29/2016
Grade: A
Genre/Format: Thriller / Kindle

 I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this being the “thriller of the summer” and I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Gone Girl but it still lived up to the hype. The catastrophe happens in the first chapter: a private plane crashes in the ocean, leaving two survivors: a down-on-his-luck artist who was only on the plane by coincidence, and a four-year-old boy. The story alternates between the aftermath of the crash and the resulting investigation, and flashbacks to each of the characters who went down with the plane, from the mega-wealthy media mogul to the crew members. The author is also a screenwriter for the Fargo TV series and the writing felt very cinematic; I wouldn’t be surprised if this will eventually become a movie. It was also a surprisingly thoughtful look at the media’s portrayal of tragedy from several different viewpoints, which I enjoyed, even if the plot itself was pretty basic.


Still Reading:

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), by Marissa Meyer

The Amateur Librarian // March 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 3/29/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Library book

Still reading. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been reading this since March, and still haven’t finished it. I finally gave up on the library copy but I did give in and buy the eBook when it went on sale. So it’s waiting for me… but for some reason I keep turning to other books instead. One of these days I’ll finally finish the series!

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson

The Amateur Librarian // May 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 5/14/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Nonfiction / Paperback

Still reading, Or rather, I still have the book lying around but I haven’t actually picked it up all month. One of these days I’ll get back to it.

Longbourn, by Jo Baker

The Amateur Librarian // Reading LogStart date: 6/9/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Historical Fiction / Audiobook

Still listening. I’m enjoying this retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ point of view but most mornings I gravitate toward podcasts on my commute, so progress has been slow.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay

The Amateur Librarian // June 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 6/25/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Hardback

Still reading. The illustrated edition is gorgeous and I’m savoring each page. I put it on hold to read The Cursed Child (I have thoughts and feelings but they’ll have to wait for the August reading log!) but I can’t wait to dive back in.

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins

The Amateur Librarian // July 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 7/10/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Hardback

Still reading. This collection of summery YA short stories are fun but I got stuck a couple stories in and haven’t picked it back up lately. Perfect for stop-and-go reading that’s been my MO this summer!

Books read in July: 3
Books read so far in 2016: 39
Still reading: 5

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of July, the seventh (!) month of 2016.  I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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One thought on “July 2016 Reading Log

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