Another month FLEW by…or perhaps it’s just that they all blend together in this wibbly-wobbly-work-from-homey time. At least we always have books.
Also just a little shout out that this month (August, that is) I’m participating in the MS Readathon – mostly to raise funds for kids whose parents have MS, but partially so I have an excuse to be reading so much 😉 If you’d like to donate & help me raise much needed funds, you can do so by clicking here or the button below. Every little bit helps!
Now, on to July’s reads!
A Gathering of Shadows – V E Schwab
The follow up to A Darker Shade of Magic (one of bookstagram’s favourites I dare say), I loved getting to know more of Lila’s background in this one. Plus – magic battles are very cool. Bets on me actually reading the 3rd book now? (I think I have at least 4 unread ‘final books’ on my shelves…eek).
Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett
I am in AWE of the fact Camryn Garrett wrote this stunning debut at the age of 18. Shedding light on a side of life with HIV I haven’t read much (if any) about in fiction books, let alone YA, this was a great exploration of navigating secrets and communication in relationships and friendships.
I loved cheering Simone (and her friends) on throughout this book, and watching her grow and learn and open up (and visit her first sex shop, because what are friends for…?). Plus there was SO MUCH representation of various sexualities & cultures too, it made me smile to read a book with a cast that more closely reflects the world I see around me.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee
A historical fiction that proves a sequel isn’t always inferior to the first book! Like A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue before it, this novel is packed with adventure and fun, this time with a healthy dose of strong women fighting for their right to learn and take up space in the world.
The Long Distance Playlist – Tara Eglington
A fun YA set between Australia & New Zealand. Nothing exceptional, but a cosy tale of old friends, new romance, and lots of good tunes. If you’re a fan of YA typically, this is a quick & fun one!
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Written as a letter to his son, Coates packs a lot of emotion and knowledge in to this 150-odd page memoir.
This book was absolutely worth the extra brain power it took me (and the words I had to google definitions for, oops). I didn’t find the writing as easy to take in as Stan Grant’s (an Aboriginal author who writes on similar themes, but for Australia), that is likely because I’ve been out of education for a long time and I’m 90% sure I’ve gotten dumber in isolation – I still learnt a LOT from this read.
To be given the chance to peek inside not only Coates’ Brilliant mind, but his lived experience as a Black man in America, is one I won’t be forgetting soon.
And because you all know I love a quote, I’ll leave you with this: Race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming ‘the people’ has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy.
The Lost Love Song – Minnie Darke
This was a comfy romance spun with music, the perfect audiobook accompaniment for my morning walks (on the days it wasn’t too cold to get out of bed early!).
I enjoyed this more than Darke’s debut – Star-Crossed – but loved that there were still ‘interludes’ of random characters, whose story you hear for a half-chapter before getting back to the main action. It’s a charming addition to a classic romance.
CW: this book deals with the loss of a loved one & the accompanying grief.
With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo
This was an absolutely delightful read, full of heart, warmth, and love in so many forms spanning so many different relationships we have in life – from friends to grandparents and everything in between.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading With the Fire on High yet, I highly recommend picking it up. It’s the kind of YA book that reminds you this genre isn’t just for teens. Pairs perfectly with cosy socks, coffee, and any kind of snack.
Girl in Between – Anna Daniels
A slightly underwhelming Aussie romance, unfortunately. Predictable with a cast of quirky characters, it was comfortable enough reading that I finished it (via audiobook, the narrator was spectacular), but there are other contemporary romance books I’d recommend over this one. Oh well, you can’t win them all, eh?
The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett
It seems I read this book along with most of the world last month (ok confession time, I finished the last 30-odd pages in August but it’s joining my July reads). A compelling story of race, class, and family (both chosen and blood).
This was my favourite of the month but somehow I still don’t have words for it – pick it up and wonder at it for yourself, is my suggestion!!
I am really loving the shift I’ve seen lately in blogs & bookstagram which are helping highlight BIPOC voices (both authors and reviewers). My reading list is growing and I’ve picked up some incredible reads that I’ve peeked on socials, especially in the last two months!
I’ve also been working away on new products for my ‘A Cosy Reader Designs’ Etsy store this month, check it out here and keep your eyes peeled towards the end of the month for new stuff coming your way there!
Until next time,
Interested in buying any of these (or any other) reads?
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Book Depository (ships worldwide)
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And don’t forget to donate to my MS Readathon if you have the means & inclination!