July Ins and Outs: What I Bought and Read Last Month

July Ins and Outs

July was a month of a lot of reading, probably because I've spent a lot of time listening to audiobooks while painting. I've also been tearing through a lot of home decor books lately.

The month's highlights include The Goldfinch, which I read for book club and which I thought was just amazing. The character Boris definitely gained entry to my list of favorite characters of all time.

I also finally found the time to sit down and tear through the first trade of Sex Criminals, and I was just blown away by how smart, funny, and sexy it was. I can't wait to see more from this series.

All My Friends are Superheroes was another highlight. It's hard to explain this poetic, funny, haunting, romantic, beautiful book. It's not like anything I've even read, and I kind of want to read it again just to spend more time in that world.

Landline was just a perfect romantic comedy of a book. Rainbow Rowell is really killing it. I'm glad I decided to stick with her after my lukewarm reaction to Eleanor and Park because I've liked all her other books much more.

An Untamed State was a real powerhouse. It's got a lot of tough stuff in it, but it was riveting, so I ended up reading it too fast and really messing myself up for a few days.

I got my nonfiction fix from Bonk and Smarter Than You Think, which were both entertaining and informative, exactly what I want nonfiction to be. 

The Magician King was even better than The Magician. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that Lev Grossman once again asks questions and goes places that I've just never seen done before. He's opened so many cans of worms with this series, and is really treading brave, new ground. He explores meta questions of genre in a way I haven't really seen since Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is not to say it hasn't been done since then, just that I haven't seen it), and I've just been eating it up.

I finally read Interpreter of Maladies, which has been on my TBR list since I read Unaccustomed Earth in college. Now that I've read both short story collections of Jumpa Lahiri's (and loved them), it's time to tackle the novels. I guess I feel the need to take my time with her because I know that I'll love all of it, and I'm comforted by the fact that it's still out there waiting for me. Sometimes you want to gorge yourself of things you love and other times you want to savor them.

Minor disappointments include The Woman Upstairs, The Fever, and Little Failure. The first two had their moments but I've found them to be pretty forgettable in retrospect. The third I read on a whim after enjoying a Fresh Air interview with the author. It was disappointing in that it just wasn't as funny as I expected, and it was kind of meandering in that way memoirs can often be. I'm not giving up on Shteyngart, though, as I suspect I may still enjoy his fiction.

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