Archive of ‘My Reading Life’ category

July 2023 Book Report

I had a goal to read 12 books this summer. I didn’t think it would be difficult since I average about four books a month anyway. Since summer doesn’t officially end until mid-September, I had a good shot. Maybe I still do, I read three books in June, but I only read one in July.

I had a tough month. I was depressed, and my regular dose of Zoloft wasn’t cutting it. I had enough energy to work and watch baseball games, and that was it. Reading felt like a chore rather than a welcome escape. After finishing the one good book early in the month (which I’ll get to in a minute), I borrowed Did You Hear about Kitty Karr? from the library. But I returned it the next day after hearing a reviewer say it was a great story with a slow burn. In book-speak, this means it could take a while for readers to get into the story and reach the good parts. I knew this wasn’t the time for a challenge. I was already feeling challenged enough.

Did Not Finish (DNF)

I also DNF’d This Time Tomorrow, which I put down at one point and never picked back up. I thought it would be easy to jump back into the story, but as I began to read, I remembered why I didn’t like it in the first place. This hurt my heart and my pocketbook because I was halfway into the book and bought it as a hardcover when it first came out. These two strikes cost me time and money—two things I hate to waste. But I had to let it go. I donated it to the swim club library.

A Five-Star Read

The one book I did enjoy was The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose. I listened to it for three days straight on Audible. I hung on to every word and plot twist until the final chapter, which brought about an unexpected but fantastic ending. Here is the set-up. A top-notch defense attorney and her husband, a struggling writer, have what seems to be the perfect marriage. They have career success, beautiful homes, and a great life. But everything changes when the husband’s mistress turns up stabbed to death in their marital bed. Of course, he is the primary suspect and looks guilty as hell, but he insists he didn’t do it. Heartbroken, the wife decides she is the best attorney and the only one that can defend him. As the mystery unfolds, there are many other characters who had the motive to kill her. With each new clue revealed, I found myself changing my mind as to “who dunnit,” which made this a lot of fun to read.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved The Plot or The Silent Patient. This is a book you won’t soon forget, and listening to the audiobook was an added bonus.

No Book Buy July

The other challenge I put upon myself was not buying any books for the entire month. I wanted to save a little money and couldn’t justify bringing more books home when I already had so many unread ‘must-have’ novels. Still, a little retail therapy might have come in handy. When I’m depressed, I like nothing better than passing the time in an indie bookstore. The hunt for a new book feels productive to me, and being present amongst a community of readers always brings me joy. Instead, I tried to find that joy in the comfort of my bookshelves or at the local library. I’m not saying that denying myself the pleasure of buying books added to my depression. But it might have made it a little harder to bear.

Happy August!

I’m happy to say that I am doing much better. The new medicine has kicked in. I have more energy for reading and for life in general. I’ve already purchased two new books and am halfway through the first one now. I will continue to shop my shelves in August because I know I have some five-star books I can dive into. I’m not going to make a list of books that I promise to read this month. I will ease back into the reading life, pick up books I’m in the mood to read, and hope I have more of them to review next time.

What have you been reading lately? 



No Book-Buy July

Inspired by a fellow blogger’s No Buy July post, I decided not to purchase any new books this month. As you know, it is difficult for me to refrain from supporting independent bookstores or downloading new titles from my ultra-convenient Audible and Kindle accounts. Right now, I have one Audible credit for July, and I’m not cashing it in until August. Is it killing me that it’s sitting out there, and I could have a new shiny book to listen to today? Well, yes. But I’m not giving in. I have shelf control.

I mean self-control.

So far, I’ve listened to one book I own — which turned out to be a 5-star read — and started a book on my Kindle that I purchased a long time ago. I’m also reading more New York Times articles and cleaning up my Kindle by catching up on the samples I’ve downloaded and never read. I deleted a few of them and put the two I liked on hold to buy later.

Here is the only downside. I haven’t stopped myself from making other random purchases this month. Just yesterday, I spotted a sterling silver bracelet featuring pressed flowers in a charming jewelry shop. I had no intention of buying anything for myself, but after I tried it on, I loved it. This sort of impulse buy would not have happened if I had made a recent trip to the bookstore. But since there was no chance of that, I decided to support a different kind of small business and bought the bracelet. While I had a little buyer’s remorse, I woke up this morning happy to see it sitting pretty on my wrist.

Of course, now I want a manicure, so this no-book-buy July might wind up being too dangerous for my pocketbook. But at least I won’t add any new books to my TBR tower. So, silver lining!

How to Pick Your Next Book

to be read pileWhat should I read next, Elisa?

As an avid reader, I get this question a lot. And while I love to share books I enjoyed with others, I worry they won’t be their cup of tea. We all have different tastes when it comes to reading, so I’m never sure if the books I recommend are the right ones. While I’m happy to share my book recs, here are a few do’s and don’t for you to consider when choosing your next book.

Do: Think about what genre you like to read. Are you looking for a romance novel? Do you like mysteries or thrillers that keep you guessing? Is there a topic you want to learn more about? How about a celebrity memoir that you’ve been dying to read? Deciding what type of book you are in the mood for helps you weed out the titles you don’t want to read.

Don’t: Give in to the hype. Just because a book is on the bestsellers list or won a fancy award doesn’t mean it’s the right book for you. Take it from me. I’ve fallen for the hype and have been burned too many times.

Do:  Look at what books you have read and enjoyed. Selecting books similar to those you’ve already read is a good way to narrow your choices. Maybe there is a new book written by that author or a particular setting you want to revisit.

Don’t:  Don’t be afraid to quit a book. If you start reading a book 50-100 pages in and decide you don’t like it, put it down and find another book! It’s okay. You aren’t obligated to finish it. Life is short, and reading is supposed to be fun. There are plenty of books to choose from. Don’t waste your time on the ones you don’t like.

Do: Ask your friends what books they like. Be careful with this one. If your friend loves Stephen King and you want Emily Henry, find another friend to ask. Or better yet, visit your local independent bookstore and talk to the staff. Let them know what you are looking for. It is literally their job to know their inventory and help you pick the books that are right for you.

Don’t: Read the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads before you read the book. Every reader will have a different experience with a book. Some will love it. Others will hate it. Don’t let that influence you! Plus, you could read spoilers which could ruin the whole book before you even open it to the first page. Even if you are a “read the last page of the book first” type of reader, the reviews could talk you out of reading it altogether. Wait until you finish the book, then read the reviews and see if you agree with them.

Here is how I found my latest 5-star book – “The Perfect Marriage” by Jeneva Rose. I happen to love listening to book-themed podcasts. I knew I was in the mood for a psychological thriller, and this title popped up on a few summer reading episodes. And then the stars must have aligned because I saw the book was part of a sale on Audible. I knew this was a sign, so I downloaded it and finished it in two days. It was EXCELLENT!

I know the right book is out there for you too. Keep looking and enjoy your summer reading!

What are you reading lately, and how did you choose it? Tell me in the comments.



1 2 3 22

%d bloggers like this: