July Wrap Up!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater & Florence Atwater

This is obviously a children’s book, written in 1938, so the writing style is suitable for a much younger age group than me but it was still enjoyable. Nothing about this book was complicated; it is very much a fun adventure story with penguins in it. Although I enjoyed the story, I didn’t find it as gripping as I would have liked but I still think that it is worth a read as it is a less-talked-about children’s classic.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

This was an amazing read and opened my eyes to so many references to this book that are used in our culture today, such as Big Brother and Room 101. Such a must-read classic that I will definitely be rereading at some point in the future.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

After a slow start I grew to really enjoy this book. I’d recommend it, it deals with some tough issues in a realistic way, and I’m looking forward to seeing the film at some point.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

This was a pretty good end to the series and I am so glad that I finally got around to finishing it. The pacing was a little slower than the first two and the epilogue was a bit disappointing but apart from that, this was an enjoyable, action-packed read.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

I picked this up late for a book club pick because I was curious about it and I really enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend it and it isn’t too scary so that was great for me!

Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

This was a fun entertaining collection of mystery stories starring Hercule Poirot and I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t recommend starting here with Agatha Christie. Some of the stories weren’t very intriguing but others really hooked me in.

UFO in Her Eyes by Xiaolu Guo

This was a random pick at the library and I really enjoyed it! This is my first read from a Chinese author and I liked the themes discussed such as modernisation and technology in a rural village.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I’m really glad I picked this up. I sped through it, especially reading the second half during the first day of the Booktubeathon but I found that I didn’t want to put it down! I loved the characters and Stephanie Perkins’ writing and can’t wait to pick up her other books.

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

This is a book that I’ve been told to read many times over the last ten years and only just got around to but I’m glad I did. It was a thought-provoking story and it only took about 45 minutes to read, which was great for the Booktubeathon! Also it completed the ‘Read a book with pictures in it’ challenge.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

This was an amazingly creepy first book in a series and I couldn’t put it down, finishing it in just 2 days! I absolutely loved it and would completely recommend it.

The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson

This is a brilliantly done prequel novella to The Name of the Star and I am so happy that I read this before moving onto the second book in the series. It gives so much more information about Stephen and sheds a new light on his back story.

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

This was a really fun adventure story based on a wide range of traditional fairytales. I flew through this despite the 436 pages and found the illustrations really complimented the story. I would definitely recommend this one.

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Volume 2 by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

This was a fun little collection of stories that had me thinking despite how few words were on each page. To be honest I mostly appreciate the illustrations that were included and preferred them to the stories themselves but I’d love to check out the other books in this series.

I Love Kawaii by Charuca

I know nothing at all about kawaii art so read this on ebook through Scribd. It is basically a collection of kawaii artists, a little information about the artists and then images of the art itself. I enjoyed this, don’t get me wrong, but I just found that the information was more about where the artist lives rather than their background or inspirations so that was a little disappointing.

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

I completely fell in love with this book and after finishing it have put it into my favourites. I loved the writing style, the characters, the ideas raised. I would recommend this to everyone.

Paul Hollywood: Bread, Buns and Baking by A.S.Dagnell

Unfortunately this one proved to be highly disappointing – repetitive, opinionated and dry, this really wasn’t a well-written biography at all.

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick

A brilliant portrayal of war and the story of a brave young woman, this book hooked me in and I absolutely loved the twist on the historical fiction genre. Sedgwick is definitely up there among my favourite authors.

3a.m. by Nick Pirog

Some aspects of this story were a little farfetched but I enjoyed the fast-paced writing style and the twists and turns that kept me reading. I would recommend this if you want a quick mystery story.

The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook by Alan Lee

This is one of the most beautiful collections of concept art that I have experienced and as you could probably tell by my full review (linked above) I absolutely adore this book.

Where There’s Smoke by Jodi Picoult

My first experience of Jodi Picoult and as this is only 41 pages, there was a lot left to be desired. Some of the ideas presented were interesting but I would have liked more of it, and some aspects felt a little shoe-horned in. Just not my kind of thing really but if you like detective fiction with a twist, give it a go!

The Spook’s Stories: Witches by Joseph Delaney

This was a great reintroduction to the Wardstone Chronicles for me. With brilliant characters, just the right amount of gruesome detail and a fun writing style, this book was a quick and enjoyable read.

The Story of English by Joseph Piercy

During my never-ending month of readathons, I fancied reading some non-fiction so picked this up towards the end of the #UnderHypedReads readathon that I hosted. I enjoyed this and it gave a good overview of the history of English as a language and the evolution of the language.

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

I really enjoyed this after picking it up randomly at the library. The illustrations throughout add something different to the story and although it was a little confusing at points I would definitely recommend it for fans of science-fiction and dystopian.

The War of the Rings (Lord of the Rings #5) by J.R.R.Tolkien

I didn’t do a full review of this book because it is the 5th book in the series (the first half of Return of the King). This one was much more action-packed than the rest of the series so far and I absolutely love following this set of characters compared to Frodo and Sam, and the way this one ended, I really need to read the last one soon!

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

This book was fun and creepy but if you’re looking for a really scary book, this probably isn’t the one for you. However, if you want a quick, fun read with the same kind of atmosphere as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, pick this one up!

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