July Reading Summary

Another month over and another ‘Reading Summary’. I loved so many of the books I read in July that I’ve found it almost impossible to choose just two or three favourites like I usually do…so instead I’ve chosen six.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson – I was worried this book might not live up to the hype, but I loved it and couldn’t put it down.
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy – one of the Hardy books I was most looking forward to reading and it didn’t disappoint.
Therese Raquin by Emile Zola – my first experience of Zola. I was very impressed and will definitely be reading more of his work.

I also read three books set during World War II and all three were among my favourite books of the month too.

The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons – a great story about an Austrian girl working as a maid in England during the war.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer – I started reading this in June and finally finished it this month. It’s a long book but I thought it was definitely worth the time and effort.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – I’d been wanting to read this one for ages, so I was pleased to find I loved it as much as I’d hoped I would!

Other books read this month:

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox
The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone
Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer
The Swimmer by Roma Tearne
Burned by Thomas Enger
The Observations by Jane Harris
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick

All outstanding reviews have been written and will hopefully be posted in the next few weeks, so you shouldn’t have long to wait to find out what I thought about all of these books.

What have you been reading in July? Which books do you hope to read in August?

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12 thoughts on “July Reading Summary

  1. Sue says:

    I love Zola – do try Nana. A quieter month for me. I did enjoy The Night Watch by Sarah Waters which I wanted to read before the t.v. adaptation, followed by Jeanette Winterton’s Oranges are not the Only Fruit. There was far more humour in the latter than I remembered from the t.v. series. Reading The Wyvern Mystery by J Sheridan le Fanu demanded a lot of concentration – it is a while since I’ve read a Victorian novel. A simple plot meticulously described. I found I kept needing to re-read. Will look out for more of his though – might try the ghost stories. Did like Bela Pollen’s The Summer of the Bear – what is it with all these animals in the new books at the moment? It is the unraveling of the death of a British diplomat who is branded as a spy told through the eyes of his family and their relationships with each other. Looking forward to finishing Broken April by Ismail Kadare about blood feuds in Albania and starting The Birth of Love, The Absolutist by John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) and have just read Anita Desai has a new book out (one of my favourite authors). Book club demands a rereading of To the Lighthouse!

    • Helen says:

      Looks like you’ve been reading some interesting books this month! I’ve read a couple of short stories by Sheridan Le Fanu but haven’t tried any of his novels yet. And I’m glad you enjoyed The Night Watch – I love Sarah Waters.
      Thanks for the Zola recommendation too.

  2. Jo says:

    A real good mixture of books this month.Some I have read, some I have waiting and some I might need to go an investigate.

    Look forward to your review on The Observations – I loved this book and read it ages ago long before it took off and gathered hype!

  3. Karen K. says:

    So nice to find another Zola fan! I look forward to your review. I finished two of his works this month, Germinal and Pot-Luck (Pot-Bouille). I thought both were wonderful though a bit different. Germinal was much more intense. I have three more of his books on the TBR shelf, Nana, L’Assommoir and The Ladies’ Paradise, and I hope to read The Masterpiece as well. Too many great books waiting for me!

    • Helen says:

      I can’t wait to try another Zola book. I’ve heard good things about so many of them, the only problem will be deciding which one to read next.

  4. everybookandcranny says:

    I’m always impressed by the number of books that you’re able to read in a month’s time.

    I’m waiting for Therese Raquin to arrive in the mail. It will also be my first Zola. Glad to hear that you were impressed with it.

  5. The Book Whisperer says:

    Wow, how do you manage to read so many books in one month?

    I read Therese Raquin some years ago too and loved it but still haven’t got round to any more Zola despite having a few on my shelves now. I am always a little afraid of Hardy even thought I loved Tess (I wonder why?) – which one should I go with: Jude or The Mayor of Casterbridge? (I think you’ve read them both, haven’t you?)

    • Helen says:

      I think if you loved Tess there’s a good chance you would love Jude too. I haven’t read The Mayor of Casterbridge though, so I can’t comment on that one!

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