Impressively I thought I hadn’t managed to do last month’s book blog but I totally did! I think I forgot because I was drunk while posting it. That was the night I had like 4 shots of tequila and a beer. Oh man. Oh wait and then the other thing with like 3 shots of vodka. Ok, but that was after I posted it so it barely counts. I mean, sure, the whole room was spinning, but whatever. Whatever.

So July! I did SHITTY. But a lot of July was spent taking care of kids and driving and….starting my internship. My excuses even suck. Not every month can be a 30 books read! Stop judging me.

Books Read: 8

Books Partially Read: None. I read them all! That’s a first.

Books Bought: 9

Money Spent: $27

Books Borrowed: 4

Books Given: 4

Books Re-read: 0

Money made (from selling books): 0

Books on To-Be-Read Shelf: 41

So once again I bought too many books. Seven of them were from this awesome used book store in Alameda which I discovered while house-sitting there last month on my many walks across the stupid island gathering blisters and broken foot bones. The other two were at used book stores in Oregon.

Out of my eight books this month, guess how many were favorites? It’s not eight, don’t panic. It is six. But the other two I didn’t even hate, I just didn’t love them.

Favorites: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, The Shadow in Hawthorn Bay by Janet Lumm, Divergent by Veronica Roth, What Every Woman Knows by James M. Barrie, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, and Life Among The Savages by Shirley Jackson.


Beauty Queens is about a bunch of teenage pageant girls who get stranded on an island and have to survive an evil lair of bad guys under a volcano, an Asian dictator, and some pirates from boarding school. It’s hilarious and socially scathing.

The Shadow in Hawthorn Bay is old school YA set in Scotland/Canada. It was pretty and nostalgic.

Divergent is amazing and everyone should read it. Dystopic future a la Hunger Games, equally awesome but in very different ways.

What Every Woman Knows is a play by the author of Peter Pan. I bought it at the library book sale in Bandon, OR and found the very smart female character overcoming sexism to be delightful.

Girl Who Circumnavigated is the second book by Valente I’ve read. This one is much more a kid’s book similar in scope to Alice in Wonderland with girl entering alternate world and having to go on adventures and deal with a mean Queen, save her friends, etc. It’s very whimsical and entertaining. Would be great to read with a kid but was good to read as an adult too.

Life Among The Savages is Jackson’s partial (fictional) autobiography about living in the country and raising her kids. It is hilarious and baffling and awesome. She wrote the famous short story “The Lottery” which everyone should have read. Katherine (my cousin) was reading this at the beach and kept chortling and relaying passages so I got it from the library when I got home and devoured it on the houseboat. It’s a fabulous vision of parenting mid 20th Century. Also apparently there is a sequel, say what now. Must get.

Less favorites: Follow My Lead by Kate Noble (unexceptional romance novel) and A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner (4th in the Queen’s Thief series which I wrote about last month).

Book Quotes:

“Desire played by its own rules. She wanted him to want her. Madly. Truly. Completely. His wanting her supplied a missing piece she couldn’t supply for herself; no matter what the self-help books said, desirability was something reflected back to you. And right now, she needed that.”

From Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

“The sun hitched up her trousers and soldiered on up into the sky. September squinted at it and wondered if the sun here was different than the sun in Nebraska. It seemed gentler, more golden, deeper. The shadows it cast seemed more profound. But September could not be sure. When one is traveling, everything looks brighter and lovelier. That does not mean it IS brighter and lovelier, it just means that sweet, kindly home suffers in comparison to tarted-up foreign places with all their jewels on.”

From The Girl Who Circumnavigated by Catherynne M. Valente.