July was one of the reading months where I tried to make myself read some books that I had purchased, somewhat on a whim, simply out of joy of being in a bookstore and most of them were mediocre at best. I also kind of think that I was trying to make myself read and watch stuff when I was mostly bored and distractable and didn’t want to read or watch anything that I had access to. One of the books I don’t even know if I should be counting because I DNF’d it after only about 40 pages.
This book is a 6/10 maybe, I think it went a bit too slow, but it did have a good story overall and I definitely did not call the ending. It has trigger warnings for suicide, sexual assault, and family violence. The murderer was a complete surprise to me which does not normally happen to me, I am very good at calling endings. We start by meeting a young couple who are having some challenges in their relationship, he leaves London, convinced that his garden business isn’t doing well because of London, and moves home to the countryside. He convinces his now ex-girlfriend to come visit for the weekend and they have a great time, until he goes for breakfast in the morning and comes back to their tent to find her reading his diary, up until this point we are in her head and she is horrified but what she is reading, and not in a “I discovered he has a secret family” way, but in a “this is the most horrible thing I’ve ever read” way. He opens the tent to see her reading it, drops their breakfast, takes off sprinting and throws himself off a cliff. This leads us into a tale of a tortured family and mommy-dearest that was honestly disgusting.
I think what redeems it is the feminist angles, the first murder is of an esteemed feminist writer and then there is an attempted murder of her publisher that leads us into a side story of women being their true selves no matter what, but I don’t think it fully makes up for a very disturbing tale. Although it could work as a Midsummer Murders plot.
This book was also good, maybe a 7/10. It is the story of a British police captain who investigates mysteries on trains/involving trains. It seems to be a series. In this edition he has been sent to India to investigate corruption on the East India Railway, he then gets caught up in a series of killings and injuries caused by someone leaving various venomous snakes hidden in the first class carriage so that when the snake is alarmed or bumped it bites the unsuspecting person, and then a man is murdered in the compartment next to him as they travel from Calcutta to Jamalpur and he wonders if it was meant for him.
It is a very Indiana Jones tale, including a fear of snakes, that of course gets beautifully wrapped up by the end of the book. It was alright, nothing fantastic.
This was one of the books I bought on my birthday book bonanza (I bought 13 books at once, it was glorious). This came so highly recommended that it almost couldn’t live up to the expectations. It was very good, but it wasn’t the spectacular, world changing read that I was expecting.
It’s the story of two unlikely college friends from the same hometown (who didn’t know each other) start a tradition of doing a summer trip together every summer. They start off dirt cheap, and as she becomes a travel influencer and then a travel journalist, she begins to invite him on her sponsored and extravagant work trips, they bring their partners, but their relationships never last. Throughout the whole book their last trip is alluded to, that something happened between them and that it ruined their friendship. But they try and reconnect and go back to their roots by doing Palm Springs dirt cheap and they have a terrible time, but they finally act on their feelings for each other only to ruin it by questioning whether it was just the vacation. That’s not where the book ends, but I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.
I love the idea at the end though, that the people we meet on vacation are versions of themselves, that we can meet someone different in the same person on each vacation, but being that person at home is the real goal.
Maybe it was more world-changing than I thought. 9/10.
This is the book I DNFd (DNF= did not finish), I probably should have given it more of a chance, but do you ever just know that you aren’t going to enjoy a book. This seems like a British (technically Manx) pirate story essentially and I was just displeased with the start of the book. Some books just reek of being written by men, which is fine, if you like stories like that, but I don’t. So I didn’t make myself read it. 2/10.
I’m really excited to have a fat stack of new books for my August reading list!