Here are my thoughts on the books I read in July. It was a quiet month as I’ve been caught up in work, planning for my son’s birthday, prepping for a trip to Germany for a friend’s wedding in early August, and sneaking in a little of my own writing time. But, I have been working hard on reading my own books. Also, two of my July books were already covered in my Flash Reviews where I caught up on several months of blog-lag, Addicted to You and The Devious Dr. Jekyll.
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
3 Units. I may have accidentally stayed up all night reading this. Whoops. It was fun and I’m planning to read the second book, but historical romances aren’t quite my thing, so it didn’t wow me. Just entertained me and I enjoyed the forbidden pleasure of reading all night long (truly, I was up until 4 a.m.). Moms don’t get to do that pretty much ever, so it was a real treat. And this book was easy to read, the characters were nice, the romance was fine enough to keep me going. All night long. (What a good pun for a review of a romance story!)
What Do Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen
4 Units. I was given this by a friend and passed it on to a friend who is pregnant with her first. It’s less of a “how-to” book on parenting infants and more of a “how-it-is” book. Reading it, as the mom of two, I was just like, “Yep. Oh yes. Oh man, I wish someone had told me this when I had a teeny-tiny.” I think any new-mom/mom-to-be should give it a read. Having someone confirm that your feelings and experiences are valid and normal is totally reassuring, esp with a new baby.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
3 Units. I bought this book for my brother at Christmas and he loved the series so much that he blasted through them in a week, then waited a month for the final book. And, he’s not much of a reader, so this is notable. (He used to be a reader, but you know how it goes for lots of grown-ups.) Anyway, I wanted to give it a try, even though he wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it a ton. And he was right. I liked it ok. I don’t like war stories. I don’t like first person narrators. And I found this book kind of sexist, in the way that I think the author might be kind of sexist, and not that he was trying to portray a sexist society. Seriously, all the female creatures (including horses and wolves) were helpless without a male to save them (EVEN DARROW’S DAMN HORSE), the guys make all kind of homophobic comments to each other when trying to insult each other, they only rape the girls(?) when they are, AND the female characters basically just serve as motivators for Darrow’s story. Also, is this another case of a white-only future, or was I just not paying very close attention? I am going to wikipedia the plot synopsis of the other two books, but I don’t think these are the books for me. My brother knows me well!
Imprudence by Gail Carriger
3.5 Units. I enjoyed this one more than Prudence, but I don’t have a whole lot to say. I like that Carriger has expanded her universe to see some more ethnicities, and that she is thorough about the cultures and the way she presents them. I like that she showcases different sexual preferences in her books as being normal and part of a happy life for some people. I like the lines we can see connecting this series to the previous two series. But, I didn’t feel sucked into the story the way I have with some of Carriger’s other books. Maybe her writing has gotten more Wodehousian, which isn’t quite my style. I’ll keep reading, but I am more excited for the short stories and I probably won’t buy.
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brenden Kearney
5 Units. I read a lot of picture books with my kids every month, and I don’t include most of them (mainly because it would get too long and I don’t have tons to say on most of them). But, I LOVED this one. It had a great rhythm, fun pictures, and a nice story about friendship. Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast race each other across the fridge full of leftover to reach the last drop of syrup. It’s wonderful, and you should go read it.