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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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,

Amy

Last Tuesday Book Round-Up for March

Happy Last Tuesday in March! I don’t know if it’s going out like a lamb, as the old adage says, but it’s going out in a flurry of springtime weather, and I love it!

I read three books and one manuscript in March–I can’t tell you much about the manuscript except that it was by D.B Corey, an author skilled in the art of the thriller. The manuscript will hopefully be the eventual sequel to his book The Lesser Sin. I can tell you more when it’s available!

So on to the books I can tell you about: the first one, Messing Around with Words, is a stark, heavy-hitting book of poetry written over the span of fifty years. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

“Stephen M. Honig has amassed a collection of poetry written over fifty years of his life, and the collection is like no other I’ve read. It’s passionate, raw, and poignant, yet relatable and accessible. The reader is both invited and thrust into the mind of the author, and the collection offers a fascinating look at the ways he and his world view have evolved.”

The second book is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. I had read his book The Vintage Caper years ago, so I knew I would enjoy this one. I wasn’t disappointed. This follows the lives of Mr. Mayle and his wife just after they move from England to the Provence region of France. Their first year is filled with new neighbors, a new language, a new and befuddling work ethic, and lots of wonderful food. This was an enjoyable read from the first page to the last.

And finally, a friend told me of a book she was reading by Kimberly Belle. I looked for Ms. Belle’s books at one of my local libraries and I chose Three Days Missing, a chilling account of a young boy who goes missing from a class camping trip. The book is told mostly from three points of view, but I won’t tell you who does the talking. And the narrator of the last chapter brings a little twist to the story. This is a book that will leave you breathless and reading long past your bedtime.

Please share what you’ve been reading in the comments below!

Until next time,

Amy