2020 · Long post · Wrap ups

July Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2020

Bad month… reading slump in the middle but I perked up at the end.

I did The Reading Rush at the end of July and a full Wrap-up can be found here.

Overall this was the month of struggles. I finished 5 books this month. 4 of this months book was done during The Reading Rush. My TBR had tons more but the reading slump prevented me from reading them all. I’m glad I finally managed to get on of my April TBR books even though I didnt finish it, I made a real dent in it. But the rest might end up on August TBR.

Let’s just dive in 🙂

As a reminder: To me, 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.

How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Audiobook – Library

Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of anti-racism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science—including the story of his own awakening to anti-racism—bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society. 

This was soo good! It wasn’t a finger pointing book saying “you are wrong”. It was a debate about how we can figure out what is right or wrong. How we all need to have a good look at ourselves and figure out how actively we behave and act towards anti-racism in comparison to being silent.

Definitely worth a re-read at some point. I might even buy the actual book and read that so I can make notes 🙂

The Sleeping Beauty by C.S. Evans

E-book – Library

Sleeping Beauty has enchanted generations of readers, young and old alike. The king and queen have a fervent wish; to bear a son or daughter. Their wish is answered when a beautiful princess is born. Unfortunately, at the banquet to celebrate the daughter’s birth, an evil fairy places a curse on the child, when she is fifteen she will be pricked by a spinning wheel and fall into a deep slumber. But such is the joy of the occasion that the curse is forgotten and seldom recalled as the child grows up. But indeed the evil fairy was speaking the truth, and upon her fifteenth birthday, the princess, along with the king and queen, and courtiers, fall into a deep century long sleep. But all is not as it seems and salvation may be at hand!

Well. As I guessed this was mild. And very “the prince will saved the day so lets just sit and wait” situation. I’m not sure why I’m surprised or disappointed. It was still interesting to see the original, but I prefer the Disney movie.

The Gilded Wolves (Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

Physical book – Owned

It’s 1889. Set in Paris as the city prepares for the Exposition Universelle with the newly build Eiffel Tower as the entrance. Treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is after something special. The Exposition Universelle drags in all sorts of exotic artifices. But then the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artefact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay who likes to blow things up. A historian banished from his home, and an addiction to puzzles. A dancer with a sinister past, who makes the best cakes ever! And a brother in arms if not blood, with an affinity for gardens and growing stuff.

I loved this book! And I was so disappointed when it ended, not for anything that happened int he book, but purely because it ended. How dare the author end the book?!?! it should last forever! LOL!

I loved tha characters, the love interest and the artefact-dominated “magic”. I love who the author has incorporated and woven religious mythology with history and made it into her own version that allows for these artefacts.

I cant wait to read the next instalment by I will wait for the final book to come out before I do it.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Physical book – Owned

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg urges women to take risks and seek new challenges, to find work that they love, and to remain passionately engaged with it at the highest levels throughout their lives.

The book grew out of an electrifying TED talk she gave in 2010, in which she expressed her concern that progress for women in achieving major leadership positions had stalled. The talk became a phenomenon and has since been viewed nearly 2,000,000 times. The book cuts through layers of ambiguity that surround working women, and in Lean In she questions the modern life and balance and how it all fits together. Her message to women is overwhelmingly positive.

I enjoyed this book a alot. I listen to the audiobook for most of it, but I started with the physical book.

I got a few good advice for taking charge in a corporate job. But I specifically liked the debate with herself on different issues women encounter that I have experienced. The one that stands out is the debate on mentor.

However, this book was written in 2013, and I can see that. Its coming towards its last legs. If you have never read any feminist non fiction this is a great place to start. But if you like me have explored the feminist section for years then there is old news in here. I still felt it was worth it, but in 5 years time probably not.

The Path Made Clear – Oprah Winfrey

Audiobook- Library

Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible.”

That journey starts right here.

This is a collection of interviews done by Oprah Winfrey through out her career focused on how people find their true path and what took them there.

Its very insightful if your are into the spiritual stuff. I’m not very into it but I dip my foot into it every now and then. Though I replaced all references to God with The Universe 🙂

The audiobook for this is narrated by Oprah herself and has the audio clips for the interviews so you get their true voice as well.

Reading Challenge check:

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month: 
    • none

Available credit from last month; 6

Credit transferring over to next month: 8

  • Only request two ARC’s: 
    • Addie LaRue

Available credits from last month; 6

Credit transferring over to next month: 7

TBR Shelf Reads

I also had a goal of reading one book form my physical shelf and one books from my e-book shelf per month. None of these can involve 2020 acquired books. Based on all the books I read this month these are the once from my shelves:

  • Physical shelf
    • Lean In
    • The Gilded Wolves
  • E-Book shelf
    • The Sleeping Beauty

That’s it!

Have you read any of these?

Of all of them Gilded Wolves was my favourite. No competition there 🙂 What was your favourite read this month?

Until next time; happy reading!

4 thoughts on “July Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2020

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