Reading Round-Up: July Edition

It’s going to look like I didn’t do a ton of reading in July, but that’s because I’m currently in the middle of four other books and I’ve been reading those, too. So August should be a big month.

The first book I finished since my last Reading Round-Up was Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. A friend on Twitter suggested that I read it so we could talk about the writer’s style. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

“This was a haunting book, based on true events that took place in the US in the first part of the twentieth century. It’s the story of a family of river gypsies and what happened to them as a result of the corrupt and horrifying practices of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. It’s written from the point of view of two/three characters (you’ll see why I say that when you read the book), but I think that’s almost the way the story had to be told. The language is descriptive and evocative–I think this is going to be one book that stays with me.”


You may remember from last month that I read The Merlon Murders and that it was the first book in a two-book series. Well, I finished the second book and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it as much as the first one. The Merlon Murders II, by Victoria Benchley, is a great summer mystery. Here’s my Goodreads review:

“In this second book of The Merlon Murders, readers are treated to some exciting twists following the harrowing ending of Book One. Duncan becomes more deeply involved with the beautiful widow Menzies, he enlists the help of a Swedish expert in game theory, and he begins to form some alarming hunches about the identity of the person who killed Stuart Menzies. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery, and especially one set in Scotland.”


I’m becoming more and more interested in eating a plant-based diet as often as possible, so I read The Mediterranean Table, which is a cookbook of easy Mediterranean recipes. The Mediterranean diet is largely plant-based, though there are recipes in the book featuring meat, poultry, and fish, too. The recipes are not only easy to follow, but they use ingredients that are widely available. The book includes a great description of the Mediterranean diet, along with the countries making up that region of the world and their individual contributions to the cuisine of the area.


This is a diverse collection of short stories about death. Most of the stories involve some element of whodunit, though not all of them are mysteries. The four I liked the most were by Robbie Cheadle and debut author Aly Locatelli. Cheadle’s stories are fictionalized accounts of historic events and legends and Locatelli’s story is a suspenseful read about a mysterious death. It’s an atmospheric treat that makes for a great debut.

I’m excited to get into August and finish all those books I’m working on! So many books…so little time…

Until next time,


20 thoughts on “Reading Round-Up: July Edition”

  1. I really enjoyed Before We Were Yours. Like you say, is “enjoy” the right word? But the author makes the characters real, the horrors of the ‘kidnapping’ of kids real and how they coped incredible, and real. I was glued to the pages of that book. I think I’d like to try the Scottish mysteries – they sound good. Maybe at the beach? 🙂


    1. The beach is a good place to read mysteries because they’re not too heavy. I don’t think the beach is a good place to read a book like Before We Were Yours because it’s too jarring to be reading such a horrifying subject at such a happy place. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Robbie,

      I’ve been off the blog for several days, so I’m sorry for not responding to this earlier. I enjoyed your stories very much! You are so skilled in writing in different genres–I’m very impressed. Best of luck with the collection!


  2. I want to add that I’m reading and loving The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves. I’ve watched the Vera Stanhope TV series based on Ms. Cleeves’ books, but never an actual book. Excellent writing. I’ll read more.


    1. I met Ann Cleeves at Malice Domestic once (maybe you did, too) and she was charming. I have one of her books on my nightstand (White Nights), but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I haven’t seen any of the shows based on her books, either. The Glass Room sounds good–I looked it up on Amazon. There are so many books I want to read!!


  3. You do find the most intriguing books, Amy. I’m especially interested in the Mediterranean Table, as I love the food of that region and also want to adopt a mostly plant-based diet.


    1. That’s one I bought on Kindle several years ago and just got around to looking at in earnest. There are some negative reviews for it, and I can understand the reviewers’ points, but for my purposes the book is great.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You picked some winners, Amy. I find your description of the first book intriguing enough to investigate.


    1. I haven’t read any of Lisa Wingate’s other books, but I intend to. I was impressed by the research she did and liked that she put a note in the book explaining how the research was incorporated into the book. I hope you enjoy it, though “enjoy” is probably not the right word.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m envious. Wish I had the time to devote to that much reading. I grab a few minutes here and there as I can, but always feel as though there is something else (including writing) that I should be doing.


    1. I’ve adopted a new schedule and I’m finding that if I stick to it, I have time to read every night (AND exercise!). I also read at lunchtime when my husband isn’t home to join me. It can be tough to fit it all in, but so far it’s working.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I find that I almost never watch television anymore, except when I’m making dinner or cleaning the living room. Otherwise, I’d rather be reading or playing a game.

        Liked by 1 person

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