Lol, this has been in my drafts since August. Get read for a posting spree!
July was a pretty good month! I read 8 books and 2863 pages, which is pretty respectable seeing as though I went on a week long trip at the end of the month!
I started out my month reading Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam. This is a collection of short stories that follows the same characters through their experience starting in med school and their practice.
All four of the prospective doctors that it follows works in emergency rooms. The story covers a variety of personalities and problems that face people working in the medical field.
The most moving part of the book was the last story in the book which took place during the SARS epidemic and the challenges it presented to those who are treating the sick. As in most epidemics it was medical personal who fell ill during epidemic.
I rating this book a 10 out of 10. I thought it was a fantastic book.
Next I read So Sad Today by Melissa Broder. This is a collection of personal essays that cover topics ranging from what it is like to deal with depression to love and everything in-between.
My favourite was essay in the collection was “Help Me Not Be A Human Being.” In this section she talks about love and relationship and lists titles for love stories that will make you laugh and remind you of your own past relationships. It was the most fun essay to read.
I ended up rating this book a 5 out of 10. I don’t really think it was the book for me. Although I didn’t dislike it I found many of the essays disjoint and some of them were trying a bit to hard to be funny and relatable. Still a very interesting read.
After that I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This has been one of my favourite films for a long time and I had been putting off reading the book for a while. A few years ago my brother read it for class and really enjoyed it so I decided to make it one of my goal books for 2017. I’m really glad that I ended up reading this book. Being familiar with the movie did ruin some of the reveals but it was a wonderfully crafted novel.
The story follows a group of children as they grow up who live in a boarding school together. This part of the story sounds rather normal, but they are not normal children despite this relatively normal life. The story is narrated by Kathy, an adult who is reflecting on her childhood.
I rated this book a 8 out of 10. It wasn’t my favourite book that I have read this year but it was still really good.
Then I read A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I don’t think that it has been a well kept secret that I don’t really enjoy Martin’s novels and think that they’re a bit overrated. This one was no exception.
Although I was glad for the return of several of my favourite characters as narrators, I also missed the new narrators that we met in the last book who gave the story some new life.
I found that the novel felt stale. There was several scenes that were repeated from the last novel. I didn’t really find that these scenes added anything to the overall story. I also found that several of the narratives were annoying and trivial.
I ended up rating this book a 5 out of 10. It’s nothing special and it’s really long for the amount that happens. It was all a bit of a disappointment.
Next I read my first real graphic novel, Paper Girls vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan.
This is a collection of 6 comic published in a full volume. I can say that I don’t think I could have read it as individual comics because that would have been way to stressful and I wouldn’t have been able to wait with such weighty cliffhangers.
If you’re looking for a nice story that’s not super weird, this may not be the book for you. It may be close to the strangest scifi experience I’ve ever had. But strange in the best way imaginable.
I rated this book a 9 out of 10. It was the perfect book to pick up while I was on vacation and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.
Then I read The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. This is one of the two books chosen for July for The End of the World Book Club.
This was a really weird story. It starts with a “day out” where everyone in the small village of Midwich mysteriously was unconscious for a day and no one could enter or leave the town. Shortly after the day out was over it was discovered that all the women were pregnant with some sort of monstrous children who could use mind control.
I think the weakest point of the novel was that it was from a male perspective and there was a weird part in the middle where the narrator leaves and then comes back. The ending, however, was so fantastic.
I rated this book 9 out of 10. I was really impressed with the book and I’m definitely going to pick up more by Wyndham in the future.
After that I started my buddy read with my friend Vivian. In July we read Obasan by Joy Kogawa. This is a fantastic novel.
This follows a family during the Japanese internment in Canada during the Second World War. It starts during the present time and the narrator is reflecting on her childhood in one of these camps and how it affected her and her community.
This is one of the darker points in Canadian history and one that I didn’t really know that much about it as it wasn’t really a thing that we talked about on this coast.
It is an incredibly sad and moving novel. I rated it a 10 out of 10. I think that it’s an important novel for every Canadian to read, but would also recommend anyone who is looking for a strong narrative and good writing.
The final book that I read in July was Moving Picture by Terry Pratchett.
Moving Pictures starts off a new sub-series, The Industrial Revolution, which I have decided to put all my misgivings about the novel onto the world building side of the start of a new series. I did, however, enjoy the majority of the book. It is probably the longest thus far in the series, which is also a part were I found that it struggled as a book because it had more room to drag in the middle.
It was just a really strange combination of magic and movies and greed. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book. There were a lot of characters which made things a little confusing, but there was a talking dog so you know that I really loved it.
I rated this book an 8 out of 10. Although I really enjoyed reading the book the middle was a bit slow when you were waiting for things to happen and there were too many characters to keep track of at some points which made the action slow down a bit. If you’re a fan of discworld you will probably love this book.
So there we are. July. Something that was literally half a year ago now. Hopefully next July will be as great as this one was!