What I Read in July

Well I definitely broke my two book a month trend, finally. I read seven books in July, and I didn’t really read during my week off. Honestly, this is kind of blowing my mind. I cannot remember the last time as an adult I read this many books.

I’m attributing it to two factors, I’ve started eating lunch at my desk in the office and I read while I eat instead of watching YouTube, like I would when we were work from home. I now have an office book, a home book, and a purse book and it is really helping the quantity of reading I do. I also read some really light books this month, in the “cozy mysteries” genre, and you can get through them in an afternoon and that really helped.

Dress Code by Veronique Hyland

This is a series of essays about the history and current state of women’s fashion by the inventor of the term “millennial pink” (like actually, she used it in an article in The Cut and it exploded from there). It was incredibly interesting.

I don’t know if I agree with all of her viewpoints, but I do agree with her central thesis that every item we choose to wear makes a statement and we are always participating in fashion. It has a similar vibe to the “Cerulean” monologue in The Devil Wears Prada.

The idea that no matter if we say we care about fashion and clothes or we don’t, whether we truly believe that we don’t care about fashion or not, in the necessity of buying clothes because we don’t all live in a nudist colony, we are all participating in the fashion industry and what we choose to wear makes a statement.

The Girls by Emma Cline

This was a repeat read for me and it was a very interesting experience this time around. Last time I read it it was the summer the Charles Manson died, which is relevant because this book is a fictionalized account of a fictional girl who joins a cult that is based off the Manson family, up to and including committing murders similar to that of Sharon Tate’s and her unborn son’s (except in this book the child is alive and a toddler).

When I read this book the first time, I really, really enjoyed it. But this time, it was after listening to a podcast series that You’re Wrong About did on Go Ask Alice and I can’t help but compare the two. I have never been even close to a cult and I haven’t even considered doing some of the drugs that they do, so I don’t have any basis for how realistic this book is, but it seems similar to Go Ask Alice, in that it is the imaginings of some authors idea of what getting involved in a killer cult is like, and stopping the main character from participating in the murder at the last second because it is fiction and the protagonist always makes it in fiction.

I’m going to link the episodes about Go Ask Alice, this is still a good book, but I’m much more skeptical about it after listening to these discussions.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

This book was not at all what I expected, it is based off the real life disappearance of Agatha Christie between the two World Wars, after her husband left her for another woman, for 10 days. Her whole life she maintained that she did not remember what happened and many authors, TV, and movie writers have written all kinds stories about what happened in those 10 days. This might be the darkest and happiest version of that.

This book devastated me, and showed me that I really need a trip home to Ireland, I was sobbing for about half the book. This book delves into post-World War 1 trauma, the convents that “took in” unwed mothers in Ireland, grief, PTSD, and loss of life, relationships, friends, what we may be willing to give up for some relationships and where we might find love.

This book is beautiful, and even more important with the loss of Roe v. Wade in the United States.

These are the three lighter, “cozy mysteries” that I read. I really enjoy this series by Laura Childs, it follows Theodosia Browning and her friends in Charleston who run a tea shop and occasionally solve murders on the side. They are light and fun, but I did get a couple red flags in one of them. Like why can’t we have a book set in the South without there being racism. Like we don’t need it for these stories, but there had to be a “thin blue line” reference (major eye roll). So I’m not sure where that leaves me with buying future books, but these are fun reads.

That’s everything I read in July, I highly doubt I will read this many books in August. The books in my TBR pile are thick and heavier subject matter. I also need a bookstore run, my TBR is very small but I’m going to try and not buy any physical goods in August nor make any trips so that won’t be happening in August.


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