July 2024
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TSS – July wrap-up and end of the July book blowout

It has been a busy reading month for me.  I originally set my goal for the July book blowout, hosted by The Blue Archipelago, at 20 books. I actually read 25 books this month, and most of them were pretty good!  I’m pleased with myself, as that’s the largest number of books I’ve read in a single month since I started keeping track in 2006.  The list, with links to reviews:


  1. The Heartbreak Diet by Thorina Rose
  2. Surviving Ben’s Suicide by C. Comfort Shields

Literary/Contemporary Fiction

  1. When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Feather Man by Rhyll McMaster
  3. The Leper Compound by Paula Nangle
  4. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  5. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
  6. So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz
  7. The Pools by Bethan Roberts
  8. The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden
  9. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry


  1. Inda by Sherwood Smith
  2. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  3. The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
  4. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
  5. Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell

Historical fiction

  1. The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
  2. The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
  3. Stealing Athena by Karen Essex
  4. The Streets of Babylon by Carina Burman
  5. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran


  1. Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe
  2. The Watercooler Effect by Nicholas DiFonzo


  1. First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader


  1. My Antonia by Willa Cather

To be honest, I struggled a lot with choosing a favorite from this list.  There are just too many!  So, instead, I’ve chosen a few:


I highly recommend all these books!  If you’ve got them on your TBR pile, read them soon, and if you haven’t, you should!

The Blue Archipelago has provided some questions for a brief survey of the challenge’s reading:

1. Did you discover a new author?

Several – I really liked books by Michelle Moran, Rhyll McMaster, Karen Essex, and Michael Cunningham this month, and I’ll be looking out for future releases of their work.

2. Where was the most unusual place you found yourself reading?

Nowhere unusual, though I did finish The Winter King somewhere in between Connecticut and New York on a train.

3. Did you read more than usual?

Yes, a lot more!  I had a lot of time and I was happy to have a goal to complete.

4. Did you give up anything in order to read more?

Not really.  I haven’t been playing any video games this month, but it seems to be my natural trend away now, rather than a specific exclusion in favor of reading.

5. If you won the Amazon voucher what would you spend it on?

More books, of course!  I have a huge wishlist.  I’d love to get The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig, The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro, and Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell in particular.

6. Would you like to see a 2009 Book Blowout?

Sure, why not?  I enjoy challenges like this one.  Thanks for hosting it, Mrs. S!

As you can see, I’m still behind on reviews, probably about 5 or 6 left to write.  I should have a review for The Richest Season up later, though.  I enjoyed it quite a lot.  As for today, I finished The Sea by John Banville, my unexpected first book of my Book Awards Challenge II.  Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by it.  For the rest of the day, I’ll be reading Sweetsmoke by David Fuller, my LibraryThing Early Reviewer book.  I’m not far in enough to say whether or not I’m enjoying it, but I’ve read some good reviews and I am looking forward to getting further in. No idea what’s up for the rest of the week, I’m just going to see where my random choices take me.


7 comments to TSS – July wrap-up and end of the July book blowout

  • Jen

    You should check out Karen Essex’s last book “Leonardo’s Swans,” I think it was even better than “Stealing Athena.”

  • Twenty-five books! Wow! And I thought I was doing well with the measly six. Of course, that is about my average so I can’t complain. :-) And I enjoyed the books I read which is what really matters, right? I hope to read First Daughter this month. It sure sounds like a good one. Have a great week!

  • Meghan – WOW … 25 books! Good for you! I agree about Feather Man – a great book by an author I cannot wait to read more of!

  • Meghan

    Jen – I actually have that one on my TBR pile! I’ll look forward to reading it even more now.

    Literary Feline – Thanks! =) Certainly enjoying books is what really matters. I read around four a month during the school year, so this is definitely unusual for me. First Daughter was pretty good, I think I’ll be looking for Lustbader’s next novel featuring the main character, Jack McClure.

    Shana – Thank you! I loved Feather Man. Have you seen Rhyll’s Notes on the Novel about it? I think they’re really interesting.

  • Goodness – 25 books, that is some achievement. I think I am doing well with 8 or 9

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