# of Books Read: 10
# of Pages Read: 3,315
Favourite Book(s) of the Month: Lanny, Norse Mythology, There There
The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation by Rich Cohen
The Last Pirate of New York is a very interesting historical true crime book. It centers around Albert Hicks, who was the last man to be publicly executed in NYC. What I appreciate most about this book is all the information about the time in which Albert Hicks was alive. To me that was even more interesting than Hick’s story!
Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior
Ellie and the Harp Maker is one of those romances that is so quietly beautiful. It is more about each of the characters growing as individuals than about the romance itself. I didn’t always agree with the choices that the character’s made, but I did understand them. The focus on music and the making of harps was the highlight for me!
Lanny by Max Porter
I am so thrilled that Lanny has been longlisted for The Booker Prize- it completely deserves it. This is a book unlike anything else I have read- it is entirely original. For a novel that is only 224 pages, it has a lot of interesting things to say. It found the perfect balance between fantasy and reality. I have so many more thoughts about this one and you can read them in my full review!
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
I am still sorting out my thoughts about this one! On Chesil Beach highlights how complicated relationships can be and is a reminder that there is no one way to be in a relationship. You almost feel uncomfortable reading this story because it is so intimate and deeply personal. I appreciated the flashbacks as they helped me understand what brought these two together. It was both a sweet and deeply sad love story.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
I am so glad that I finally read Norse Mythology and it was as entertaining as I was hoping it would be! Reading about Thor and Loki’s antics was exactly what I needed at the time. I hope that Gaiman continues to write about mythology because he is amazing at making these ancient myths accessible to a modern audience. My only complaint is that I wanted more!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a must read for any book lover! It is pitched as a romance but in my mind the romantic relationship was in the background and the highlight of the story was the main character growing as a person and forming connections of all kinds. I think many readers will relate to Nina- I know that I certainly did!
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi
2019 has been the year of true crime for me and I felt that I could not let the year go by without finally reading Helter Skelter. I thought I knew about the Manson Murders, but after reading this book I realized just how much I didn’t know or was misinformed about. At almost 700 pages, Helter Skelter is well-researched and informative. It did feel tedious at times, but in the end I appreciate all the added knowledge. I loved that we were given the perspective from someone who worked closely with the case. Very twisted but interesting case!
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Memoir by Samra Habib
We Have Always Been Here was such a powerful memoir, and I hope that it ends up getting the attention that it deserves. Samra Habib has a voice that needs to be heard! I thought her story was particularly interesting being that I am also a Canadian. It was intriguing to read about someone who immigrated to this country and to see the struggles that they faced. I found myself cheering Samra on and I am in awe of her courage. Since finishing her memoir, I have done more research on her and she is a very fascinating woman. If you have a chance it is worth checking out her ongoing photography project. I will have a full review of this book posted on Sunday!
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
I am so glad that I finally made Exit West a priority! It was just as brilliant as I imagined it would be. I loved that it tackled some very hard-hitting and relevant issues while adding in a touch of magical realism. It just worked so well and made for a completely compelling read! I was not expecting the novel to focus so much on a relationship but I thought it worked and found myself invested. Exit West is one of those heartbreaking novels that also has an element of hope!
Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior Palmer
Rough Magic is a very interesting memoir! Lara Prior Palmer was only nineteen when she decided to attempt a 1000 km horse race through the Mongolian grasslands. I appreciated that she shared a details of the race as well as details of her earlier life. It made for a completely riveting read. I could not put it down because I just had to know whether or not she won in the end. It also piqued my curiosity about the race itself, and it is something I might just research more about. I love when nonfiction books do that!
There There by Tommy Orange
Wow! There There is such a special book. It is hard to believe that it is Tommy Orange’s debut! I think we are going to see some incredible things from him in the future. The story that he managed to weave is quite genius. There are many characters but each one of them was distinct enough that I had no trouble keeping track of who was who. I appreciated that it was divided in to four parts and that the reader slowly begins to see how each of the characters’ stories relate to one another. Another gut-wrenching novel that I am so glad to have read!
July went by so quickly! Where is the summer going?! I am spending all of August at the beach, so I am hoping that I will get a lot of reading done.
Have you read any of these books or are they on your TBR? What was the best book you read this month?