Happy August friends and welcome to my monthly wrap-up post for the month of July! As always, I set myself a colossal TBR and didn’t get around to all the books on it, but that’s okay. I still read a decent amount. I’ve also taken time out to enjoy doing other things as and when I wanted.
Let’s take a look at what I read in the last month!
The House in the Cerulean Sea
I started off the month of July by finishing one of the last reads I picked up at the end of June. The House in the Cerulean Sea was a heartwarming read that I didn’t know I needed, but I was a big fan of. I talk about that book a little bit more in my June wrap-up, if you’re interested.
I was pleasantly surprised by the narrative, characters, and how invested I got in the book. It’s an experience that I’ll be looking to repeat when picking up more books by T.J. Klune.
Death at the Caravan Park
My next priority in terms of reading for July was to pick up Death at the Caravan Park by Susan Willis. I agreed to provide a review for the recent blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
In part, I decided to pick it up because it has been a little minute since I picked up a cosy crime. It’s not a genre I read a lot of, but it was a change that was well received. The setting of the book was quite relatable to me in that it was set in a seaside town. Living on a small island, I’ve never really far away from the sea myself! I’ve also stayed at a caravan park before, and I have known characters very similar to that in the book.
If you want to check out my full thoughts on that book, here is a link to my blog tour review post.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Having read and enjoyed another work of fiction that largely features mental health recently, I was excited for this book to come out of my TBR Jar. If you’re not familiar, I have a jar on my bookshelf, full of scraps of paper with book titles from my reading list to pick from randomly.
July’s pick ended up being Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I was also quite pleased that this book finally made it onto the reading list as it has been on my radar for the last five years. It was probably one of the oldest books on my reading list at that point, so it was about due to come up!
Whilst I had an idea that the book revolved around mental health, I didn’t really know much more about it. Aside from that, it has a gripping plot with intriguing characters and takes you on a journey you don’t expect. I enjoyed this book so much that I read pretty much the second half of it in one day! I’d ended up arriving early for a hospital appointment (just a routine check, nothing sinister) so I started my reading that day while sat in my car waiting. I continued to read all that evening until I was finished. Just don’t ask me how late to bed I was that night…
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is it very easy, five-star rating for me, and arguably, it was one of the best books I read in July!
Storm of War
Although not strictly for a blog tour itself, I picked up Storm of War by Peter Gibbons as I am reviewing the next book in the series later this week. With this in mind, I had to catch up on that first.
The events of Storm of War follow on quite nicely from Warrior and Protector. I was able to pick up the story and characters very easily, and the action packed narrative we saw in that first book definitely carried through!
If you enjoy historical fiction set in 10th century Britain, then the series is definitely one I’d recommend picking up. The narrative style is nice and easy to get on with. I also enjoy the amount of action and political machinations in the book. I feel there is a perfect balance to feel authentic for the period, and keep us guessing what happens next.
Storm of War set the foundation nicely to be able to pick up my current read, Brothers of the Sword.
Drawing with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson was also one of my favourite reads of the month. This third instalment in the Skyward series is, in my opinion, the best so far! That’s not to detract from the previous books, because they have laid down a lot of the groundwork that enable us to get stuck in with Cytonic.
Each of the books so far have been quite different in terms of the setting and plot arc. I’ve enjoyed each of them for different reasons, but I really invested into this latest narrative. Spensa is finally discovering who and what she is, and more about the universe around her. Having spent her life previously as an isolated young woman, there is only so far Sanderson was able to take the world building. There has been a lot of teasing and unveiling in order to keep us interested, but in Cytonic, everything blooms!
Also, I’m happy to have read the book and be caught up with the series, although I’m even more excited about the fact that this won’t be true for long. The next book in the series, Defiant, comes out in November!
Brothers of the Sword
As of the end of July, I just finished up my read of Brothers of the Sword by Peter Gibbons. As I’ve already mentioned above, I am due to be reviewing the book very shortly for the upcoming blog tour.
Even though I enjoyed Storm of War, I can very happily say that I enjoyed Brothers of the Sword even more. Without giving anything away, the author definitely isn’t pulling his punches on the events of this third book in the series. Set in a brutal time period where Vikings and Saxons clash amongst each other, there is always lots of action and plenty of risk to have us questioning the safety of characters we have come to love. In my opinion, the action scenes are written very well in order to balance action with detail to make for a vivid experience.
I finished Brothers of the Sword just in the nick of time for this monthly wrap-up! Well, I finished it at about 12:10am this morning, but that was before I slept for the night. In my eyes, that counts!
Once again, I didn’t get to the end of my ambitious reading list. I’m okay with that though! I set the list as a way of trying to push myself, but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t finish either. The truth is, I’ve enjoyed the reading experience I’ve had this month. Yet, I’ve still allowed for other hobbies and things I need to do.
It’s not going to stop me from setting another ambitious reading list in the next couple of days… let’s be honest! At least I have some time off during August to make a considerable attempt at it.
So, here concludes my monthly wrap-up for July 2023! Have you read any of the books I have featured in today’s list? Have any of them caught your eye to pick up for yourself? As always, I’d love to have a natter in the comments or on social media, so let’s chat!