Wrapping Up: July 2020

July is officially over, and I hope that the extreme Summer heat will soon follow suit. I know we probably still have another month of 90 and 100Β° heat, but I am dreaming of the coming days when I will be able to comfortably eat lunch in my car with the windows down, and drive without the air conditioner.

How did July treat you, Readers? Did you participate in any summer-themed challenges? Here’s how my reading went this month.

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Books Completed This Month: 11

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πŸ“šΒ Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards – ⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed getting to know more about her life, but I’m not enough of a movie buff to truly appreciate all of the details.

 

 

 

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πŸ“šΒ Immersed in West Africa: My Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau by Terry Lister – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Travelogues can be hit or miss, but this one was fun! The author’s voice is highly engaging, so reading this book is like listening to a friend talk about their vacation or something they are passionate about.

 

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πŸ“šΒ We Alcotts by Aileen Fisher – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I LOVE this middle-grade biography from the perspective of Louisa May Alcott’s mother, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about their family life.

 

 

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πŸ“šΒ A Strand of Hope (Librarians of Willow Hollow #1) by Amanda Tero – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have found my ultimate favorite niche genre with this series: Christian Historical Fiction about the packhorse librarians of Kentucky. This story has painful moments, but ends with such a deep and meaningful hope.

*This book JUST released on July 28, and the author has an incredible giveaway on her blog until August 4!

 

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🎧 Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4) – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another enjoyable addition to the series!

 

 

 

 

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πŸ“šΒ The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was less impressive than I anticipated. I’m not accustomed to being critical of Lewis, but I have issues with more than one part of the theology he presents here. Overall, it’s a dynamic philosophical work, and I’m glad that I read it. I just don’t agree with it as much as I thought I would.

 

 

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πŸ“šΒ The Sky Above Us (Sunrise at Normandy #2) by Sarah Sundin – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sundin does it again! Yes, her books are fairly predictable – but I love them. The characters, the plot, and history…these books are amazing.

 

 

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🎧 Throne of Grace (Cliff Walk Courtships #1) by Cecily Wolfe – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (re-read)

This story is just as sweet the second time around! It’s a perfect idealistic escape from real life. Look for my review very soon!

 

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πŸ“šΒ The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett – ⭐⭐⭐

A fun and fairly short story about the Queen of England discovering that she loves recreational reading. Unfortunately the language is not clean, and there are more than a few unnecessary sentiments regarding various characters’ behavior and preferences. The more I think about it the less I like it, but while reading it the story was a fun jaunt and quite unlike most of what I read.

 

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πŸ“šΒ I Love to Tell the Story (Librarians of Willow Hollow #2) by Faith Blum – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The second book in the Librarians of Willow Hollow series is, for the most part, more lighthearted than the first book. It still deals with some moderately heavy topics, and is thoroughly soaked in scripture – a quality which I appreciate and didn’t realize how much I needed. Review coming soon!

 

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πŸ“šΒ Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I completely fell in love with the depth of emotions and the aesthetic this book offered. I’m still putting my thoughts together about it, and will share my review of this soon as well!

 

Average Rating: 4.36⭐

 

Books Read but Not Completed This Month:

πŸ“šΒ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

πŸ“šΒ Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities #5) by Shannon Messenger

πŸ“šΒ The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

πŸ“šΒ So You Want to Be a Librarian by Lauren Pressley

 

Reviews Posted This Month:

πŸ“Book Review: Immersed in West Africa by Terry Lister

πŸ“Β Book Review: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson

πŸ“Β Five-Star Book Review: A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

πŸ“Β Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

 

TBR & Goals Follow-Up (Originally posted here):

πŸ“½As a nod toΒ Jane Austen July, which I do not have room for in this year’s reading schedule, watch Emma (1999),Β Love & FriendshipΒ (2016), andΒ Marrying Mr. Darcy (2019).

  • I checked out all three movies from the library, but the only one that I actually ended up watching isΒ Marrying Mr. Darcy, which I enjoyed despite the shallowness of the plot.

🐝 Finish everything that needs to be ready/done by the time I start grad school in August

  • I think so!

πŸ“ Post at least 4 reviews

  • Yep! They are listed in the section above this one.

πŸ“ Just keep up despite everything that is going on, and try to have a positive attitude

  • This is difficult to quantify, but I think so. I’m counting it as a yes.

 

Your Favorite Post(s) This Month:

πŸ’• First Line Friday {July 24, 2020} Featuring: A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

πŸ’• New Release Spotlight: Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth

πŸ’• Tackling the TBR #12

 

Other Things I Loved This Month:

πŸŽ† Homemade ice cream

πŸŽ† Home-grown tomatoes and peppers from my own plants!

πŸŽ† Doing crafts with my nephew

πŸŽ† Made a presentation about playing the ukulele for my pre-grad school success class.

πŸŽ† Somehow the up and down of things at work led me to have more time to read than usual, meaning I got more books read than I anticipated this month, and yet I’m still behind on a few of my specific goals!

πŸŽ† I made sugar-free Key Lime Pie, and it turned out wonderful!

πŸŽ† Participating in the launch team for Amanda Tero’sΒ A Strand of Hope

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Key Lime Pie clipart, photos and royalty-free images | iCLIPART.comWhat was the best thing you ate this month, Readers? For me it was the sugar-free Key Lime Pie that I made.

Have you read any of these books? I plan to share mini-reviews of all of them shortly, as well as full reviews for a few that stood out to me the most.

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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