July Reads

 

Wow! July was a banner month for finishing books at my house! 14 books in 4 weeks. How did I do it? I might have had something to do with great books—the kind that don’t let you put them down for any length of time and keeping you reading far past your bedtime!

So without further ado, here’s what I read in July.

Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren

When Susan May Warren releases a book, I want it immediately! But I have to make sure I have a clear couple of days because once I start reading it’s a heart-pounding race to the finish. Heart of a Hero was no exception. I met the two main characters in this book when they were secondary characters in The Way of the Brave. Then they were stuck on Denali. In a blizzard. They made it down alive, of course. Only to be thrown together once more—this time in a hurricane in the Florida Keys! Of course you want them to get out alive, but you also want them to admit they love each other, so it becomes very hard to let it sit for any length of time before you get to the end. But aren’t those the best kind of books?

A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is another author whose books hold me captive. I love how her stories revolve around pieces of history you don’t really know much about. This one involves President and Mrs. McKinley and the growing need to protect the American President and his family. Fascinating on a history level and completely compelling from a character level, too. Throw in a little bit of spy craft and—well, let’s just say I’m anxiously awaiting the third book in this series!

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

This is book 1 of a new series for Becky and it was awesome! It is signature Becky Wade in the romance department, but this might be her deepest book as far as hard issues and spiritual truth. I loved it!

Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins

A friend of mine gave me this book of poetry and it was such a lovely diversion for several days. Billy Collins is a former US Poet Laureate and his poetry to very accessible to even amateur poetry readers like me. His poems talk of ordinary things, like mornings or cows or looking at a painting in a museum—things we can all relate to—and yet his language and rhythm make these ordinary things into extraordinary thoughts. This one will definitely stay on my shelf!

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A few months ago my husband and I watched A Man Called Ove on Amazon and loved it. When I found out my mom had the book, I borrowed it. The book was just as wonderful as the movie. Sweet. Funny. Heart-wrenching. My husband is reading it now. I love hearing laugh as he reads–and then he reads the passage to me and we laugh together. This story, in both book and movie form, has quickly become a favorite at our house.

The London League Series 2-5 by Rebecca Connolly:

 

 

You might remember that last month I read Rebecca Connolly’s The Lady and the Gent, which is the first in the London League series. Well, this month I binged the rest of the series! At $1.99 each it was hard not to just click and read the next one! Regency romance with spies. And each one is delightful! I love the snappy dialogue and unique personality of each character. I was sad that I’d reached the end of the series, but then I realized there will be more coming! Yay!

The Reading Life: The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others’s Eyes by C.S. Lewis

This was another delightful read! A book of collected excerpts on reading from Lewis’s books and letters. If you want to know more about this book, look for my post next week!

My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson

Another new-to-me regency writer. And another delightful read. I look forward to more of her books!

Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews never disappoints, though I confess to liking regency works more than Victorian ones. But that didn’t stop me from devouring this absolutely precious story. It will stay with me a long time.

Among the Poppies by J’Nell Ciesielski

Another new-to-me author, but I love reading the novels that have come out about WWI. She puts a woman in unusual places in the war but does so in a completely plausible way. Very enjoyable.

Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race—and Getting Free from Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us by Benjamin Watson

I remember when Benjamin Watson wrote his facebook post after the grand jury decision not to prosecute the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. It resonated with me then. He wrote this book to flesh out that post. And it still resonates now. For me, it was great to hear his family stories because, as he points out, so few of us have deep relationships with a person of a different race from ourselves. My take-away from his stories and thoughts was two-fold: 1) don’t assume you know someone else’s story or motivations just because you know one part of who they are (race, religion, political leaning, economic status, etc.) I was really convicted about that on a lot of levels, because it is something every single person does without realizing it. 2) A reminder that the only hope for racial reconciliation is Jesus. Not the government. Not the educational system. Not even the church. It’s Jesus changing hearts. It’s each of us knowing we are sinners, just like every other person on the planet. A good and important read in these days of conflict.

Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

Loved this regency! Such a great twist to the story. I raced through it, eager to know that all would work out in the end for the strong and honorable characters! I would definitely read her again!

Whew! If you’ve stayed with me through this whole post–thank you! And happy reading!