Books I read: July 2017

favorite books of 2016

I ended up with some super long books this month and thus only read 5 books in total. Also, I’m in a “just ok” fiction rut. Send help  recommendations.


The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova: I picked this up at a library book sale because it sounded familiar. So….the reason it sounded familiar was that there was already a copy on the bookshelf at home. Turns out the author visited my husband’s archaeology graduate program while researching another book, and she had a bunch of signed copies of this book with her, so he has one. (He’s never read it.) Anyway. This book is vampire novel meets Serious Historical Fiction, and while the history was interesting the vampire stuff is sooo not my thing. But if it is your thing I have a spare copy I can send you. Seriously.

The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley: This book is longer than 4 average-length novels, and about 3 of those novels are good books. It tells the legend of Arthur from the perspective of the women in the story, and also does a good job of humanizing the characters who are traditionally villains. I felt like it just sort of petered out at the end though.

Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen: I give this a resounding meh. It was ok, but really didn’t live up to the hype for me. I felt like the circus was the main character in the story, so if you’re into depression-era circuses you’ll probably love it.


I Wear the Black Hat, Chuck Klosterman: This book is about villainy. Or public perception of villains/anti-heroes. Or both, plus a bunch of tangents. In other words, parts were really interesting but as a whole it was incohesive.

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin: Serious question: is Baldwin required reading in whichever grade you usually read MLK, and I just missed that somehow? Whether you read him in school or not, you should read some Baldwin. I’m going back to the library for more.


Ever accidentally bought a book you already owned?

What’s your favorite super-long novel?


Linking up with Show Us Your Books

17 Comment

  1. lol about having a copy of the historian already! i have done that way more times than i should have! that’s why i totally over organise goodreads now and keep track of every single book i buy or borrow. stops it from happening for the millionth time 😉 anyway i haven’t read it though it does sound intriguing. i’m not sure about the vampires either though.
    i read water for elephants yeeeeeeeeeears ago, before the movie came out i think. i actually read it in the airport in one sitting (kind of) because my flight kept getting delayed and eventually after 13 hours they cancelled it, and i’m standing there sobbing at the end (i get weirdly emotional) and they thought i was crying because of the cancelled flight and put me on another one with a different airline. ha! pretty snazzy. but i do remember liking the book.
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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I’m the one who organizes the books in our house, so I probably should have noticed…

  2. Karen says: Reply

    I have not heard of James Baldwin, so I asked ‘the google’ if it is required school reading. I didn’t really find it on any reading lists, so that is probably why you have not read it before. So, I am guessing not many adults have read Baldwin and you are not the only one who missed it in your early years.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Interesting. He was an important writer during the civil rights movement – or “the leading literary voice”, if you believe wikipedia 😉 Some of his fiction was very controversial though….I can imagine people might avoid putting any of his writing in curriculum because of that.

  3. I have bought a book that I’ve read before because they changed covers on me so I thought it was a “new” book. I hate that when publishers do that. I understand updating covers to make them more appealing but I wish they would do a better job of making sure readers knew it was a re-release or something.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Oh yes, one of the pitfalls of judging a book by its cover 😉

  4. SMD says: Reply

    Baldwin is not required reading but should be.
    I haven’t bought a book I already owned, but I have definitely unintentionally picked a book up at the library OR bought a book I’ve already read.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Oh yes, those too.

  5. I’m usually pretty good at knowing what books I own, but yes, I HAVE bought a book that I already own. Sigh.
    Favorite really long book? Hmm…I don’t really know! The Harry Potter books turn into chunkers, but I love them oh so much.

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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I *think* I would recognize a book I own….apparently my husband’s books are another matter, even though I organize all the bookshelves!

  6. I have The Historian, I haven’t read it yet.. I had no idea it was vampire-y. Interesting… here from SUYB. XO – Alexandra

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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Yeah…not what I expected either!

  7. I am generally pretty good with remembering what books I have – BUT I do have multiple copies of different books so I can lend them to multiple friends at a time!
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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      That’s a good plan!

  8. Morgan says: Reply

    As much as I love reading, I’m trying not to buy & keep many books (minimalism). The library is the place to be!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I agree… I still own a lot of books, but I don’t buy nearly as many as I read

  9. […] still in that fiction rut I talked about last month. I liked most of the books I read this month, but….well, see […]

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