The Monthly Round-Up: July

A really great idea I had was to write my monthly round-ups as I go along, so I’m not faced with the task of summing up 30+ books all in one go on the 30th. Sadly, this month I forgot my own brilliant idea, so was faced with the task of summing up 30+ books all in one go on the 30th. The Goodreads challenge total currently sits at 229/200.


  1. Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy
    I really liked this collection. I especially enjoyed reading it while sitting on the floor of the school library getting weird looks from students.
  2. Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green
    This amused me a lot. Although I’m not entirely sure all the representation is entirely PC, it’s got a lot of Adrian Mole about it and that’s obviously a good thing.
  3. We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy
    Interesting novel about two connected families who both have homes on a secluded, private island.
  4. A Change is Gonna Come by various authors
    There are some really good stories in here, especially Phoebe Roy’s and Patrice Lawrence’s. Overall, it’s an excellent collection.
  5. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
    I am usually far too snooty to read anything that has sold this many copies, but one of my students is writing about it for her coursework so I had to. It annoyed me a lot, then the last few chapters nearly gave me a breakdown.
  6. Restless Continent by Michael Wesley
    Don’t tell me you too don’t sit around reading books about the geopolitics of Asia.
  7. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
    LOVED this. Life-affirming, witty, real feminism for teenagers, filtered through a prism of Riot Grrrl and zine culture. It is all the things.
  8. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer
    Wild, crazy speculative sci-fi from the author of the Southern Reach trilogy. It’s brilliant. Review here.
  9. Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel
    This was a disappointment and I will now be avoiding all YA books in what I am referring to as the Dead Sibling genre.
  10. The Establishment (and How They Get Away With It) by Owen Jones
    As a champagne socialist myself, much of this was essential reading. Some of it was slightly ranty, obviously.
  11. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
    Verse novel about basketball-playing twin brothers. I liked it.
  12. Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence
    From the author of Orangeboy, a novel about a girl in care who witnessed the murder of her mother by her father as a small child. Overall it’s less bleak than that makes it sound.
  13. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
    Another brilliant July read; I am basically always here for dysfunctional families and this delivered that in spades.
  14. Negroland by Margo Jefferson
    I really liked the style of this autobiographical reflection on being black and middle-class. Jefferson’s perspective is very interesting.
  15. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
    More YA circus fun. Loads of craziness. I enjoyed it a lot.
  16. How Much the Heart Can Hold by various authors
    Pretentious-sounding but pretty good collection of stories, each inspired by a different kind of love, with fancy Greek terms.
  17. The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon
    Initially intriguing but ultimately messy take on modern slavery and people trafficking. Review here.
  18. Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda and the War on Terror by Helen Epstein
    Fascinating study of Ugandan politics and US involvement in the region. Quite shocking, very well-explained.
  19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    Possibly the millionth time I’ve read this book, and doesn’t diminish with each reading.
  20. The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith
    Odd little YA about a girl who runs away from her hoarder mother and finds a motley crew of 20-somethings who take her in. It’s good, but peculiar.
  21. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    I finally read it! I’ve been saving this for my holiday and it was worth it. A brilliant book, as expected. She’s a genius.
  22. Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
    Fascinating and well-executed historical YA about Suffragettes.
  23. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
    Excellent memoir from the Slits’ guitarist, with great punk anecdotes.
  24. The Ascendance of Harley Quinn, ed. by Shelley Barba
    Excellent collection of academic essays about my favourite comic book character.
  25. Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah
    Slightly underwhelming story of a boy from Zanzibar and his family saga.
  26. How to Be Human by Paula Cocozza
    Incredibly weird book about a woman who gets romantically obsessed with a fox.
  27. The History of Bees by Maja Lunde
    Really compelling vision of a future without bees. An excellent surprise.
  28. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
    Maybe the most disturbing book I’ve read this year; warped father/daughter relationship, abuse, strange survival skills. It’s excellent, but kind of horrifying.
  29. Because You Love to Hate Me, ed. by Ameriie
    Good short stories based on villains, with unnecessary commentary from BookTubers.
  30. Kompromat by Stanley Johnson
    Reasonably silly satire of 2016’s crazy political events. Dizzying array of characters, amusing caricatures.
  31. The Book of Etta by Meg Elison
    Sequel to The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, continuing the scary post-apocalyptic scenario in which most women have died or will because of a childbirth-related illness.
  32. The Glow of Fallen Stars by Kate Ling
    Sequel to The Loneliness of Distant Beings, which I loved. This one’s good too, following Seren and Dom as they try to start a new life on a strange planet.
  33. The Village by Nikita Lalwani
    Really disappointing in spite of an intriguing premise (an open prison in India inhabited by murderers and their families, which becomes the subject of a BBC documentary). An annoying book to end the month!


2 thoughts on “The Monthly Round-Up: July

  1. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    Jesus, so many books again!!
    Reading on the library floor while getting weird looks from students sounds like a great experience 😝
    And yay I’m so glad you enjoyed Half of a Yellow Sun, it’s one of my favourite books! ❤


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