Hello Friends, and welcome back! It has been awhile. When last we spoke, it was the middle of July and I was bringing you my June reading wrap up. And here we are in the middle of September and, though I’m back with another reading wrap up, it’s now for the entire rest of the summer.
I took a bit of an unplanned writing hiatus this summer. Between the stresses of figuring out whether or not we were still going to Newfoundland this year, and a number of big family things that happened between the end of July and the end of August, writing just didn’t happen. My one week break turned into two, and then next thing I knew, it was the middle of September, and it had been two months without a single post.
With previous blogs and writing projects, this break would have been enough to make me quit the project all together. But I’m trying really hard not to do that this time. 2020 has been such a crazy year that I’m trying to give myself a good measure of grace when things don’t go the way that I’ve planned. Sometimes life demands that you take a break from your projects, and that is okay.
So I’m going to pick myself up, dust of my keyboard, and get back to it. And this month you’re going to get a wrap up that covers two months instead of one.
Speaking of the wrap up… since this post covers two months, and quite a few books, I’m only going to comment on a few of the books individually, and I’m going to try to keep those comments short and sweet. I’m also not going to stay strictly chronological to allow me to group books together to talk about them. Sound good? Okay, let’s get to it.
I had a rocking reading month in July. I read a total of 12 books, 2 of which were audiobooks. I started off the month continuing the paranormal mystery series by Dionne Lister that I started in June. Because these books are like candy, and are fairly short, quick reads, they gave me a significant amount of reading momentum to carry through the rest of the month. I also got on a bit of a romance kick this month, which kept me moving through books at a quick pace.
I read 4 more books from the Dionne Lister series I started in June. I enjoyed some more than others, but overall I cannot get enough of this series. I actually had to force myself to pause my reading of this series, because I didn’t want to devour them too quickly. (That reminds me, I think it’s time to pick up the next book…) I won’t go into each book, but if you enjoy cozy mysteries and also enjoy stories that have a paranormal aspect, I would highly recommend you look into this series.
1. Witchslapped in Westerham by Dionne Lister
2. Witch Silenced in Westerham by Dionne Lister
3. Witch Haunted in Westerham by Dionne Lister
4. Killer Witch in Westerham by Dionne Lister
I read quite of bit of romance this summer and, though they were a mixed bag in terms of quality and enjoyability, for the most part I enjoyed them all. I also think that some of my complaints were less about the books themselves and more about my personal preference when it comes to romance (in particular steaminess level). Of the books listed below, my favourite was without doubt “The Governess Game.”
5. Against Her Rules by Victoria Barbour
You might recognize this title from my post about books set in Newfoundland. If I manage to read a few more from that list, I’ll do a bit of a wrap up, but for now I’ll just say that this one was enjoyable, but the style wasn’t my favourite. If you don’t enjoy “insta-love,” maybe pass this one by. For me, it depends on how it’s done and this one fell just short of the mark.
6. Swipe Right for a Cowboy by Karen Foley
7. Falling for the Highlander by Emma Prince
8. The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
This series is is pretty much everything I want in a romance series. There is plenty of steaminess, and romance (of course), but Dare also incorporates humour, and brings a depth to her characters that is sometimes absent from others in this genre. I cannot wait to pick up book 3.
These last few books from July include a little bit of mystery and a little bit of fantasy (okay a lot of fantasy) and, all but the Agatha Christie book, include a combination of both. I have touched on the Jim Butcher series before, and I will again most likely in an upcoming post, so I’ll just tell you a bit about the last book for now.
9. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
10. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
11. Phantom Evil by Heather Graham
12. My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodie Meadows
This series (each of which can be read as standalones), is a perfect combination of historical fiction, fantasy and humour. I would highly recommend the audiobooks, because the narration adds an amazing aspect to the story, especially as the narrators often provide commentary on the story. Even if historical fiction is not your thing, if you enjoy fantasy with a good dose of humour, I would highly recommend you give this series a try.
My reading slowed down quite a bit in August. This was partially because work was so busy that I just didn’t feel drawn to reading in the evenings, and partially because I started working on some art/craft projects more regularly. This list is also a bit skewed because I read a very long book at the end of August that I didn’t finish until the beginning of September. In total I read 5 books in August, 2 of which were audiobooks.
1. Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown
2. Sweet Nothings by Kim Law
3. The Cat Came Back by Louise Clark
This is the first book in a series that, oddly enough, I forgot I started. This gap in memory is not a comment on the book so much as it is a comment on the craziness that was August. This is another new cozy mystery series that includes a good dash of the fantastic and paranormal. This was a solid first entry, and I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series. (A tip to draw you in… there is a talking cat and he is amazing).
4. Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
I had a lot of fun with this rom-com style book. It was funny, and cute, and I thought the relationships were well developed. I did guess the twist, but despite that the ending was completely worth it and it was just different enough from how I guessed to keep my interest to the very end. If you enjoy fun romances with quirky characters and plenty of movie references, then I would highly recommend you pick this one up.
5. Death Masks by Jim Butcher
Altogether this summer I read 17 books, and I would say that is quite the accomplishment. I enjoyed most of the books I read, and I found a couple new series and new authors that I am excited to continue with. How did your summer reading go? Did you read as many books as you were expecting? What was the best book you picked up this summer?
Until Next Time,