July Wrap Up

# 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?


36 thoughts on “July Wrap Up

  1. Oh wow, you had a great reading month! I loved Norse Mythology and Exit West. Lanny and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill are on my list, hopefully I’ll get around the them soon. Have a wonderful August at the beach!

  2. Fantastic reading month!! I’m very intrigued to learn more about Lanny. The only book we shared this month was The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, which unfortunately didn’t work for me, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. Can’t wait to see what August has in store for your TBR. You always have such solid and varied selections! Happy reading!

    1. Thank you! Too bad it didn’t work for you. I can understand why it’s not for everyone!

      Lanny is so unique. I would be curious to see what you think!

      I have noticed that my reading tastes are all over the place. I’ve come to just embrace it!

  3. I haven’t had much luck with Neil Gaiman in the past but I’m becoming more and more inclined to pick up Norse Mythology. As I’m Scandinavian, I’m very familiar with norse mythology and I really want to see what Gaiman has done with it. Happy to see that you liked it

  4. Very nice! You know, I count my books and keep track of every book I read throughout the year, but just today I was thinking maybe in addition to all that I will count the actual pages too! Then I saw that you do this! Very cool.

  5. Wow, looks like you had a great reading month! I am really looking forward to picking up Lanny in August, as well as There There and Helter Skelter eventually. I’m glad to see you loved Norse Mythology and Exit West, and On Chesil Beach is certainly one to puzzle over! I hope you have another fantastic reading month ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I haven’t read any of these yet! I hope you have a lot of fun at the beach. I’ve been sitting outside on my deck a lot recently. Rough Magic sounds interesting.

  7. Amazing job reading 10 books! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love reading books about Charles Manson. If you havenโ€™t already, I would recommend reading Manson In His Own Words by Charles Manson & Nuel Emmons. Itโ€™s his thoughts and version on everything that happened.

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