July Reads – 2018

1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I grew up reading and watching movie adaptions of Jane Austen’s novels, but I was completely unacquainted with “Northanger Abbey” until now. I found it very enjoyable to go into an Austen novel without knowing what to expect. I didn’t have any preconceptions of the characters based on the movie, so I could imagine them based solely on the descriptions in the book and my imagination. I loved it.


2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (audiobook)

In this delightful story, Professor Don Tillman lives a structured, ritualistic life. When he decides to get married, he tackles the project as he does everything else in his life: with an efficient, scientific method. He creates “The Wife Project,” a survey and elimination process to help him identify a potential wife. But when Rosie comes into his life and refuses to leave, she doesn’t meet any of his qualifications of a good match. The story that follows is both humorous and heart-warming as it examines what it really means to love someone.


3. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (audiobook)

This book was absolutely dreadful. I heard several sources compare it to Harry Potter, so I decided to give the audiobook a try. The story and characters were unconvincing and weighed down with plot holes. It was supposedly set in the early 1900s, but this wasn’t evident until midway through the book. Also, no major events took place during the first two hours of the audiobook (unless you count folding paper cranes and cooking pasta major events), but then suddenly a sorcerer appears on the scene and nonchalantly rips the heart out of a character’s chest. WHAT?!?! My friend and I finished this audiobook together, but only because we needed entertainment for our 40+ hour road trip. We did enjoy mocking the author and audiobook narrator, plus some of the 1 star amazon reviews are hilarious.


4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (audiobook)

It has been quite a few years since I lost myself in the world of Narnia. I’m making my way through the series and finding it even more magical and meaningful than before.


{Cape Breton, Nova Scotia}

5. Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I don’t think you can travel to Acadia without reading the poem “Evangeline.” My friend and I explored Acadia National Park and the Maritime provinces of Canada together, and she read this aloud while I drove. I love reading about the places I’m visiting, so this was perfect. “Evangeline” is a beautiful, tragic romance that also unfolds the history of the Acadians during their expulsion.


6. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr

I adore the way Doerr writes. “Four Seasons in Rome” is his memoir about the year he spent in Rome with his wife and twin baby boys. I have never been to Rome or raised twins, yet his descriptions and stories are both vivid and relatable.


7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I moved this book to the top of my reading list when I found out Netflix was releasing a movie based on this book. I’m so glad I read it! Written as a series of letters, this book is set during post-WWII and tells the story of a young author who travels to the island of Guernsey for inspiration. The characters she meets are so charming and enduring. This is a must-read in my opinion.


8. Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan (audiobook)

“Echo” is considered middle grade fiction, but both youth and adults will enjoy this book. The reader is introduced to three children who live seemingly different and unconnected lives but all use their musical talents to face life’s challenges. I love how the author mixed history with a touch of legend and fantasy.

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