Books Read = 15
I had my second most productive reading month in July! Which is even crazier when I actually look at my book spreadsheet because apparently, I didn’t even finish my first book of the month until the 11th. Which is great because, not sure if anyone noticed, but I didn’t do a June Rundown because… I read 4 books. lol It was a massively busy month at work trying to get everything done before my two-week vacation to Ireland so my priorities were elsewhere. But I’m back at it! I read some pretty great books too (and actually wrote some reviews) so fingers crossed I can keep up that momentum into August. 🙂
- [13 Jul] Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt ★★★
- [13 Jul] The City Where We Once Lived by Eric Barnes ★★★½
- [13 Jul] The Broken Girls by Simone St. James ★★★½
- [13 Jul] We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories by C. Robert Cargill ★★★★½
- [20 Jul] An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim ★★★
- [29 Jul] The Line That Held Us by David Joy ★★★★
- [29 Jul] I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara ★★★½
- [29 Jul] Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin ★★★½
- [29 Jul] Awakened by James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth ★★★½
- Wittgenstein’s Lolita and The Iceman: Short Stories by William Gay ★★★★
- Crosstalk by Connie Willis (audio) ★★★
- Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ★★★
- The Pirate (Bloodlands Collection) by Harold Schechter (audio) ★★★
- I Dare You (The Hook Up #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills ★★★★
- The Naturalist (The Naturalist #1) by Andrew Mayne (audio) ★★★
- Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock ★★★★
- Queenpin by Megan Abbott ★★★★
Best of the Month: We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories by C. Robert Cargill ★★★★½
I’ve read several of Cargill’s novels and have thoroughly enjoyed them but I was pretty blown away at his short fiction. It takes a real talent to tell a story effectively in a short amount of words and boy did he ever accomplish that task. There were a few stories that I didn’t care for as much as the others, but Nightmares is a solid short story collection for horror fans.
Least Favorite: Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt ★★★
I read a stupid amount of 3 star reads this month, so picking a least favorite is basically my most mediocre read. I’ve been actively trying to accept review books only when I’m very much looking forward to these. Invitation to a Bonfire was one of those. The inspiration behind the story was intriguing but calling it a psychological thriller was way far off base. It should’ve been a DNF, honestly.
Biggest Surprise: Queenpin by Megan Abbott ★★★★
I’ve read Abbott’s Dare Me and The Fever and loved them both. In the early days of Abbott’s career, she primarily wrote female-centric noirs. I picked up Queenpin for $0.99 years back but kept putting it off. This past weekend, I decided to spontaneously participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and I picked up a few shorter stories that I could knock out and this was one of them. I don’t know why I waited so long. I also need the rest of her noir books, stat.
Biggest Disappointment: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara ★★★½
Yes, I listed this under biggest disappointment but that might be a bit of an exaggeration in this case. Unfortunately, it fit the bill best. I had high hopes for this one following all the hype with this book being released and shortly after the police using DNA to identify the Golden State Killer. I’m a big ol’ True Crime fan so I had my sights on this one for quite some time, but the need to read it became extreme. It was very obviously incomplete at the time of her death and was pieced together by her husband in the best way he could, but it was obvious it was working with an incomplete puzzle. I am still glad I read it, I am still glad that he published this posthumously, but I do so wish she had the opportunity to truly see the story to its end.