Um, I’m sorry, what happened to July?! Someone asked me the date today at work nd I unwittingly said the twenty-second before I was not-so-graciously (think lots of office laughter and condescending pity stares) informed that it was, in fact, THE LAST DAY OF JULY. Um. You turn around for one second and a whole month sneaks right past you. I need to be more a whole lot more of a whole lot of things, including, you know, observant.
Even though I obviously (see what I did there?) didn’t pay attention this month, I did read. A lot. Which I am quite proud of if I do say so myself, considering the fact that I’m actually writing this fool blog again, working full time, and finishing up some freelance projects (! more to come !). And so, for your cultural enjoyment, my favorite reads of the month of July. Now to figure out a way to put August on a leash to get him to slow down a little…
1. Flappers & Philosophers, F. Scott Fitzgerald I am a big believer in re-reading. If you find a book that truly speaks to you, makes you think, elicits genuine belly laughs, gives you that warm satisfaction in the pit of your stomach…why wouldn’t you read it again? This is one of those books. Whenever I got homesick in Washington I wandered bookstores (they’re my homes away from home) and my good friend F. Scott brought me right back to Chicago again with these wonderful short stories. I love them. He is just too good.
2. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan This book was awesome. It was equal parts conspiracy theory, supreme nerd heaven, romance, and hacker mystery. Sounds like a mess, but such a loveable mess. When you throw a protagonist team of a Google developer, an unemployed softie, and an entrepreneur that designs the *ahem* more…delicate parts of video game heroines, and throw them in a bookstore filled to the brim with codes and run by a quirky old man, you could have a disaster on your hands. But it worked. Any author that could get me cheering for such a stone-cold pack of weirdos is a master.
3. The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara I had to read this in D.C. for the nerd convention, and boy, never realized in 8th grade when I was required to read it just how incredible this book is. Shaara is an artist. This book is such a historical masterpiece. I’ll never think of the Civil War the same way.
4. The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis I got into more religious debates in Washington than I ever have in the rest of my life put together. Good ole Clive Staples saved my butt and gave me the logical answers I needed to explain to a bunch of Ivy League nihilists why my beliefs are not only valid…they’re logical. Got me fired up about the power of the gospel all over again.
5. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn I read this at the beginning of the summer and loved it. But I read it in one night, and I think I missed something, because it was entirely different and 100 million percent better the second time. What a chiller. That lady? Psycho. Freak. And I love every second of it (slash they are making a movie! LETSGO)
6. The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson Just in case you think I love every book I read (that’s not actually too far off, now that I think about it…), think again. Didn’t love this one. Too weird, trying way too hard, no likeable characters, abysmal plot line, absolutely no redemption from the psychotic mess at the end…ugh. How did this book win best book of the year. How.
Well, July, it’s been real. Bring on the next adventure.