What I Read in July 2020

Twelve books read in July! COVID has certainly helped me rediscover my love of reading, and I’ve been getting a lot of it in. As of July 31st, I’m at 65 books read in 2020, which is 7 ahead of the pace I need to be on to read 100 books by the end of the year.

Best_Books_Of_July_2020

White Fragility was an excellent non-fiction book, and on the lighter side, I really enjoyed Party of Two and Party Girl. (Ironic that they both have “party” in the title – something COVID won’t let us actually do!)

5 stars:

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin J. DiAngelo: I loved this book – which is not at all to say it was a comfortable read. DiAngelo pinpointed my feelings and racist behaviors quite well, and I have a lot of highlights of problematic / racist thoughts she highlighted where I thought “oops, I have absolutely thought that.” While this book is sometimes criticized for presuming what white people might think, I found DiAngelo to be spot-on with things I have thought or done in the past. I thoroughly appreciated that this book meets white people where they are, and says that it’s okay if you’ve made mistakes in the past; the point is to identify and correct them now. To me, this is much more helpful than the culture that seeks to vilify anyone who isn’t already completely anti-racist. I thoroughly appreciate that she has opened up the dialogue to admitting our mistakes and learning from them; without being willing to honestly reflect and do so, there is no path forward.

Party of Two, by Jasmine Guillory: Another sweet and fun novel by Jasmine Guillory! This was one of my favorites – I thought it was really interesting to see what the life of a senator was like and how public it is. I did think Olivia was a bit annoying with how unaccommodating she was, but I still enjoyed the book and seeing the romance blossom

Party Girl, by Rachel Hollis: LOVED this! It reminded me so much of Devil Wears Prada (which I loved when it came out), and it was such a fun look at the event planning world. I especially loved that it was a roman a clef based on Hollis’ own experience – it made it entertaining to try to figure out what was real and what was fiction.

4 stars:

Don’t You Forget About Me, by Mhairi McFarlane: This was really slow to get going, and I found myself annoyed with what an idiot the main character was. However, about halfway through, it picked up and I did enjoy it by the end.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be, by Rachel Hollis: I didn’t like this as much as Girl Stop Apologizing, but it was still a good / inspirational read. I’ve been listening to Rachel Hollis’ podcast quite a bit lately, so the material wasn’t necessarily new to me, but it was still thought provoking about what changes I can make in my own life.

The Unhoneymooners, by Christina Lauren: I found the main character in this to be kind of annoying in her stubbornness and pessimism, but it was still an enjoyable light novel that I read quickly; I was eager to see what would happen next, and the minor plot twists did not disappoint.

The Wedding Party, by Jasmine Guillory : This was cute, but not my favorite of Guillory’s series. It’s fun to see the previous characters pop up as cameos, but the timeline of this one seemed sometime in the middle of the other two books, and I couldn’t figure out when this was supposed to fit with the others. I also thought the premise of neither of them wanting to tell the other person they were falling for each other seemed a little silly / predictable, especially since it dragged on for so long. Still, a cute and fun read!

Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog Into Your Home, by Patricia B. McConnell and Karen B. London: Short, easy read that taught me a lot about what to expect when adopting a rescue dog. Lots of great advice and yet easily digestible.

Happy and You Know It, by Laura Hankin: This was a fun read – I expected it to be light and fluffy, akin to Nanny Diaries, but it surprised me with some meat to it and a thriller-like mystery. There was a bit of meat to it, and some good twists to keep me guessing.

Royal Holiday, by Jasmine Guillory: I wasn’t sure about following this character in the series, since I didn’t know if I’d be able to relate as well to an older character in a romance. But I really enjoyed this – it was just as good as Guillory’s other books! The royal tie in was a fun twist.

3 stars:

Evidence of the Affair, by Taylor Jenkins Reid: For such a short book, this packed quite a story arc in! I didn’t love it nearly as much as Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books, but it was still interesting.

2 stars:

Female Firebrands: Stories and Techniques to Ignite Change, Take Control, and Succeed in the Workplace, by Mikaela Kiner: This book was odd – it felt like it really needed an editor. The first 75 pages were profiles of female firebrands (which was what I expected from the book); however, they were all extremely short and dry. Very few had actual insights in them, and they seemed to read more like speaker bios in a conference program. Then the book abruptly shifted to narrative chapters about challenges that women face in the workplace, and the profiled women were occasionally mentioned in this narrative. However, they were usually called out without any context (“Jane advises us XYZ”), and there was no way I remembered who Jane was from the bios; it would have been just as effective without including those. Meanwhile, it felt like the author was trying to cover far too much material in this second part of the book, not getting into any of it in depth. I would perhaps recommend this to a young woman new to corporate America, to get a general view of what issues she might face, but for anyone who’s been in the workplace long or read similar books, the topics are skimmed over so generally that it didn’t provide a lot of value.


Any book recommendations for me? Follow me here on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.

Comments

  1. Naive Super by Erlend Loe. It’s considered Norway’s version of The Catcher in the Rye. Sweet, simple, and you could easily read it in one sitting.

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