July has been kind of a weird one. I feel like I read fuck all, and when you look at it, that’s kind of what happened. I only read one actual physical book, plus a couple of comics and a few audiobooks. So yeah, that’s probably why it feels like I didn’t read much. I have about 10 books on the go right now, many of which I’m a good bit of the way through. I just need to get my shit together and make the effort to finish them. I seem to have fallen into some bad habits over the past few weeks, which means I’m not reading in the mornings and I’m often too tired to read when I’m in bed. GET IT TOGETHER, KAREN.
What I Read in July
Out of Orange, by Cleary Wolters
Finished on 4 July – Paperback
This is the story of the woman that Alex Vause from Orange is the New Black is based on. And, well, the reality varies a lot from how it’s portrayed in the TV show. In the show, Alex is a badass drug smuggler and Piper’s ex-lover. These basic elements are roughly true, although Cleary is way less badass than Alex, and her relationship with Piper seemed fairly fleeting and not particularly deep to me. In reality, Cleary was scared of the heroin-smuggling world she’d thrown herself into and wanted to escape it almost immediately (though struggled to do so). It was interesting to learn about how drug smuggling actually works – I now know a few methods for getting that shit through airports, which is, you know… nice – and overall the story is well written and well told. The book’s mostly concerned with the before-prison picture, although Cleary’s stint in prison is covered briefly. Also, Christ, the lady talks about her cats WAY too much.
Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, Book 2) by Ian Rankin
Finished on 5 July – Audiobook
I decided to give Rebus another bash, because my brother told me the stories get better. But this one also felt generic and not particularly enthralling. It was okay – easy to listen to and not terrible. But just, you know, not great. Eh. I don’t think I’ll bother with any more. To be honest, I don’t think this crime/thriller shit is for me. I simply don’t care who the killer is or what the twist is or any of those other things I think you’re supposed to be in a hurry to find out. I also feel like I have an aversion to stories about police. Hmm.
Saga, Vol. 5-6, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (graphic novel)
Finished on 9 July – Paperback
I fucking loooove Saga! It is an epic story of love and war set across the galaxy (well, a galaxy. Probably not this one, to be fair) and it is so so so so good. It’s hilarious, I love pretty much all the characters, and the story is simultaneously heart-rending and action-packed. Seriously guys, epic is the right word for it. I actually re-read a few of the previous volumes before diving into the latest two, though I’m not including them in my yearly book count because they take, like, an hour to read. If you’ve never read graphic novels before, start with Saga.
I Let You Go, by Clare Mackintosh
Finished on 14 July – Audiobook
Okay, so I decided to try one last thriller, this time of the non-Rebus variety. I did enjoy this more than the Rebus novels, even though I hated basically all of the characters. There were a couple of twists I didn’t see coming, although I expect someone who’s well versed in thrillers probably would have done (such as my mother, who is the type of person who will predict what’s going to happen next when watching a TV show, whereas I will always just sit back and wait to see how things unfold). Again, this was easy to listen to and I whisked through it quite easily. I think it helped that the main character was not a police detective (although one of the narrators was, and his chapters were dull dull dull), and there was one narrator introduced later in the book who was creepy as fuck, which made him interesting to listen to. So, not a bad book, just not for me.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Finished on 25 July – Audiobook
THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE DETECTIVE STORIES, GUYS. I fucking love me some Sherlock. I read the first two books, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, a couple of years ago, but I have to say I preferred this one, the third book, which is a collection of short stories as opposed to a novel. I don’t usually like short stories OR detective stories, so the fact that I fucking love Sherlock is saying something. Arthur Conan Doyle was a fricking genius. I will admit it does also help that I picture Benedict Cumberbatch. OMG if only he narrated the audiobooks. Although to be fair, Simon Vance does a fucking marvellous job. Hands down one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to, and one of the best narrators I’ve heard. This is the audiobook I’m listening to. (Side note: listening to Victorian classics on audio is just the best.)
My July Book Statistics
Books read: 6
Kindle books: 0
Progress towards 2016 reading goal: 57/75 (76%)
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