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July Reading Round-up – Aliens, Monsters, & Being Human

So, regular readers *might* have noticed that my last reading round-up was…

So, regular readers *might* have noticed that my last reading round-up was in May (and, being a bit of a cheat, I shot it at the start of May and posted it at the end), so might imagine this will be a mammoth video requiring much popcorn and probably a loo break.

Eh. Not so much.

I mean, I know I have read quite a lot of books over the past few months, but evidently not many of them were all that amazing, as I can’t remember a lot of them. There were quite a few DNFs, mostly because they just weren’t for me, and others that I finished but wasn’t blown away by (special mention goes to Wicked by Gregory MacGuire here – one of the few books I gave away immediately after reading. It was also nearly thrown across the room a couple of times, and was put on the giveaway pile when I was halfway through, before I picked it up again and finished it. It was, for the most part, really well-written, but I just … I was bored. There was so much potential and such good world-building, but I was just bored. I didn’t care about the characters. I spent the whole book waiting for something to happen and I don’t know why I finished it. I was so upset with myself for persisting with a book I was neither enjoying nor learning from – I usually know better. But anyway …).

Goldfish memory aside, there were a few that really stuck with me, and this, then, is the May/June/bit of July round-up of the books I’ve loved – complete with cookie ratings!

The Humans, Matt Haig – be still my heart. This was beautiful, touching, funny, and full of the most affectionate insights into what it is to be us. I’m in love. Five cookies, a whole pot of tea, and a large chocolate cake.

The Outsider, Stephen King – classic King. I have very rarely been disappointed by a Stephen King book. They’re always dependable, and familiar, and this was no exception. Great characters (especially the return of Holly from the Mr Mercedes trilogy), good story, and good writing. A solid five cookies and a cuppa.

Sandman Slim, Richard Kadrey – demonic mishaps in the streets of Hollywood. You might remember one of my early book chats was of Kill the Dead, the second book in this series, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Snappy one-liners, a protagonist with more depth than I expected, and a great story. Five cookies and a large cuppa.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath – a haunting read. Immersive writing on a tough subject. Hard to read at times, yet without melodrama – the narrator is so matter-of-fact that it almost feels brutal at points. Definitely reminded me I need to read her poetry again. Five cookies.

Complicity, Iain Banks – slightly bonkers thriller laced with political and social observation and strange second person POV intervals. Shades of Irvine Walsh with the generally unlikable, excess-prone narrator, but tied in with quite an interesting serial killer story. Four cookies.

Now tell me, lovely people – what have your favourite reads of the year been so far? What have you re-read? What have you wanted to throw across the room? Let me know below!

Complicity, Iain Banks, Matt Haig, reading, richard kadrey, Sandman Slim, stephen king, summer reading, Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, The Humans, The Outsider

  1. Lynda Dietz says:

    I’m always so inspired and so discouraged when I see all these great recommendations. I need need need to make more time to read for pleasure. And of course, I’ll have to start with the one that has the most cookies and cake.

    1. kimwatt says:

      I think you might really enjoy it! It’s just such a beautiful read. But I know what you mean – so many books. Really never, ever enough time!

  2. Lynda Dietz says:

    Hmm . . . having trouble getting my comment to stick. WordPress keeps telling me I’ve “already said that.” Here’s hoping this one goes through, although I had trouble with another person’s blog (also WP) recently, so maybe it’s me.

    1. kimwatt says:

      Boo, WordPress! I have that same issue sometimes, but I swear all websites hate me commenting. They all try to stop me at various times. I have things I want to say!

      1. Lynda Dietz says:

        And then of course, all the comments posted anyway. But for some reason, WP didn’t want me to know until it happened . . . hmm . . . mighty suspicious.

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