July 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)


With school just around the corner, I’m sad to say good-bye to summer.

However, I’d call my July reading month STELLAR. Here’s my Wrap-up by the numbers:

  • 13 books total (2 DNFs)
  • Average Rating: 4.5
  • 8 physical books, 4 e-books, 1 audiobook
  • 8 fiction, 5 non-fiction
  • Genre: 4 contemporary fiction, 1 literary fiction, 1 historical fiction, 1 memoir, 4 non-fiction, 1 thriller, 1 young adult
  • Rating: 7 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, 2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
  • Author: 9 female, 3 male, 1 they/them

So far this year, I’ve read 100 books and my average rating is a 4.0!! I’m pretty super excited about that!

My favorite book of the month was Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by: Lori Gottlieb! It’s like getting free counseling and I guarantee you can find pieces of you all over the pages. I underlined the heck out of my copy and know I will refer back to her #truthbombs over and over again.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📖 Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by: Lori Gottlieb (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) – Pub Date: April 2, 2019

Like getting a year’s worth of free counseling, this book had me underling ALL THE THINGS! I saw myself reflected on every single page. This book is PURE GOLD!

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 📖 Three Women by: Lisa Taddeo (Avid Reader Press) – Pub Date: July 9, 2019

The most hyped book of the summer, I was sadly disappointed in this one. The further away I get from reading it, the less I like it. I think the marketing blurb is to blame for me not liking this one. It set me up for a novel about female desire (yes, please!), but it felt more like a look into three women’s lives as they overcome the sexual trauma they experienced when they were younger. The writing is good, but don’t feel bad if you decide to skip this one.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📱*** American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by: Maureen Callahan (Viking) – Pub Date: July 2, 2019

I could not put this book down! So well-written, I was fully immersed in this story of a serial killer I’d never heard about. If you were a fan of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by: Michelle McNamara, you’ll like this one as well – maybe even more!

Memoir/LGTBQ+ Voices:

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 📖 *** A Year Without a Name by: Cyrus Grace Dunham (Little, Brown) – On Shelves: October 15, 2019

This book is small, but mighty. As Cyrus Grace Dunham struggles to find their identity, they reflect on the year they transitioned from a woman into a man. The writing is intense and beautiful and this isn’t a story I’ll soon forget.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📖 *** The Chain by: Adrian McKinty (Mulholland Books) – Pub Date: July 9, 2019

Looking for a thriller with a twist you’ve not read before? This is it! When Rachel receives a phone call that her daughter has been kidnapped, she’s instructed to kidnap another child if she doesn’t want her daughter to die. Just like the chain letters we’ve all gotten that say some horrible fate awaits us if we don’t forward it on, this book had me questioning what I would do in the same situation. The book lost a little bit of steam towards the end, but it was still an intense and action-packed ride!

Something Lighter:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📱 *** Waiting for Tom Hanks by: Kerry Winfrey (Berkley) – Pub Date: June 11, 2019

Just when I think I can confidently say I’m not a #romcom fan, a book like this comes along. Cute, sweet, and with just enough quirk to make me enjoy it, Waiting for Tom Hanks captured my heart. I loved everything about it – the plot, the characters, the writing. It was the perfect summer/beach/pool read!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📱 **** The Lager Queen of Minnesota by: J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books) – Pub Date: July 23, 2019

Another sweet and quirky read, Lager Queen made me wish I loved the taste of beer! But beyond that, the story was so unique and well-done that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I have yet to read Stradal’s first novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, but many have commented that it’s still better than this one. If that’s the case, I’m in for a treat!

Cultural/Historical Fiction:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📖 Americanah by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books) – Pub Date: May 14, 2013

Initially I wasn’t loving this book but I know it was because I chose the wrong time in my life to read it. We were on vacation and there wasn’t a lot of time to sit and get immersed in the book. But this isn’t a book to be taken lightly. Tackling themes of race, immigration, emigration, finding one’s “home” and love, it’s obvious to me now that I wouldn’t have struggled as much had I waited for a less chaotic time to read it. None of that is the book’s fault; the blame fall solely on me. Once I gave it the attention it deserved, its importance became clear very quickly. I believe this is a book that will one day be a classic, inspiring generations to come! I truly think this should be required reading for all humans.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📖 The Editor by: Steven Rowley (Putnam) – Pub Date: April 2, 2019

I wasn’t expecting to love this one as much as I did. Maybe it’s because I have a secret wish to be a writer, but this book touched my soul. I LOVED the addition of Jackie O and found the addition of her character a true delight. 

Complicated Issues/Relationships:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📱 *** The Gifted School by: Bruce Holsinger (Riverhead) – Pub Date: July 2, 2019

When I initially finished this book my first thought was, “What’s the big deal?” Everyone seemed to be raving about it on #bookstagram and I wasn’t quite as smitten as they all seemed to be. But as I got further away from it, I found that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept going over and over what happened, so I bumped it up a star. The writing is excellent and I found it quite relatable as a parent of middle school kids. I think all parents really just have their children’s best interests at heart, but it doesn’t take much to cross the line into crazy territory!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🎧 *** Daisy Jones and The Six by: Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019

I read and loved this book earlier this year, but had a strong case of #fomo for not listening to the audiobook. Both formats are equally good and I’m glad I listened to both! (This book make my #halfwaytopten list!)

YA/Social Justice:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📖 Internment by: Samira Ahmed (Little, Brown) – Pub Date: March 19, 2019

Given what is currently happening at the United States/Mexico border, I think everyone would benefit from reading this one. Set “15 minutes in the future”, Layla and her family are relocated to an interment camp after the president declares “all Muslims enemies of the state.” It’s a sad reality of what our politics look like right now. Internment is another book that should be required reading for all humans – especially those in a leadership political position.

“What’s that thing people always say about history? Unless we know our history, we’re doomed to repeat it? Never forget? Isn’t that the lesson? But we always forget. Forgetting is in the American grain.”

For the Writer at Heart:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📖 *** Wild Words: Rituals, Routines, and Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s Path by: Nicole Gulotta (Roost Books) – On Shelves: October 15, 2019

If you’re a writer (or a creator in any sort of way), this book is for you! Methodical and inspirational, Gulotta tackles all the hurdles creative people fight. This book touched my soul and reminded me that writing is part of who I am.

Not For Me (AKA: DNF):

*** 🎧 Whisper Network by: Chandler Baker (Flatiron) – Pub Date: July 2, 2019

I listened to 23% and realized I just didn’t really care. After seeing many mixed reviews, I didn’t feel bad about throwing in the towel. 🤷🏼‍♀️

📱 Bunny: A Novel by: Mona Awad (Viking) – Pub Date: June 11, 2019

From the beginning I felt like this one was going to be too weird for me, but the reviews had me curious so I pushed on. Eventually the thorough confusion I was feeling was too much for me and I DNF’d it at 42%. If you read it and finished it, feel free to spoil the ending for me!

Also, in case you missed it:

My #halfwaytopten list!

And I’ll be publishing the August Book Club Read Alongs soon (here’s the July Book Club List)!

4 thoughts on “July 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

  1. My gosh, you read a lot with everything else you have going on! We are in complete agreement on Three Women and Bunny- only I bailed before you did. I hated that book. I’ve added American Predator to my TBR and am now thinking Maybe You Should Talk sounds like something I could use these days!

    Add Kitchens to your TBR! I thought Lager Queen was marvelous (and I don’t even like beer!), but Kitchens is even better.

    Liked by 1 person

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