July Reading

1. Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe ★★ (Library)

Book #3 of the Tufa series. Book one was my favorite and is one of my top books for the year. But so far the rest of the series isn't as powerful. I am slightly disappointed, I expected more. Though each story is very unique at the same time. Favorite character: Mandalay. Least favorite character: Byron. Favorite line: "Can't you use those magic phones?" he said dryly. Would I read it again? Depends on the rest of the series. 

2. Super Powereds: Year 3 by Drew Hayes ★★★ (Audible)

I really wanted to enjoy this book but there are a lot of things that stuck out to me as issues. I feel like the author isn't really social aware of how minorities feel but is really trying to know and trying to portray that in his writing. It's a good attempt but I think if he had study minorities it would have helped massively. There are other issues I have too, like descriptions of characters and semi repetitive scenes, especially in this year. What keeps me reading though, is that it is a solid story and I enjoy the details he goes into without it feeling cumbersome for the most part. I am hoping that book four is the last book though.

3. Chapel of Ease by Alex Bledsoe ★★ (Library)

Book #4 of the Tufa series. As I said with the first book I read for July above, each book of this series doesn't quite live up to the power of the first one. And that's sad because they are great stories. I think what frustrated with most with this book was how quickly the secrets came out. In every other book it's been a huge deal to talk to outsiders about the secrets and yet in this one wasn't treated that way at all, at least by Ray's family. Favorite character: toss up between C.C. and Thorn. Least favorite character: Billy though I kinda felt sad for him at the end, but only kinda. 

4. Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe ★★★ (Library)

Well this book was better than the last two of the series. I enjoyed the story but I think that is partial due to my experiences with pigs. Pigs are horrible creatures and not only could I perfectly imagine the scenarios described in the book, but I've seen similar things. Though with cats and it's freaking terrifying. I don't wish that on anyone. Pigs are evil. Favorite character: Mandalay wins again. Least favorite character: Renny.

5. The Fairies of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe ★★★★ (Library)

I am glad to be finally finished this series. I am also glad I did read this book. I was debating whether or not I wanted to spend another afternoon in this series. But for I wanted an ending. And an ending is what I got. Overall I would say it was a really good ending to the series. These aren't books I would probably read again but it was a unique story for sure. Favorite Character: Bronwyn or Tucker. Least favorite character: Veronica. 

6. Please Don't Go Before I Get Better Poems by Madisen Kuhn ★★★★ (OWN)

tonight, i’m thinking about the beauty of embracing life’s chaos with knowing that we can’t choose a lot of things, but we can choose to be good people. we can choose to love without ulterior motives, and to be stronger than our emotions make us feel, and to always keep spinning forward. it’s all okay, it always will be
— Please Don't Go Before I Get Better Poems by Madisen Kuhn, page 33

7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman ★★★★ (audible)

I read this in early 2017. Watched the show in June. Now I listened to the audio book with a full cast. It's not my favorite book, but it has great character descriptions and a unique story line. Reading it in three different formats was definitely unique. Favorite Character: Mr Ibis and Mr Jacquel. Least Favorite Character: Robbie. 

8. Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge ★★★★★ (audible)

I am glad that we choose to read this book as our serious book next. It went through the black history in Britain, a topic I have never really thought on. History is not something I've ever really dived into and it was definitely eye opening. I think when I am ready I will see if I can find something similar for US history. 

9. light filters in poems by Caroline Kaufman ★★★★★ (OWN)

I picked up two poetry books this month. Book six for this month and this one. Both hit me in different ways. I think though out of the two this one was my favorite. There's a poem that I feel perfectly describes my sister (I have three so good luck guessing which one) but I am uncomfortable sending it to her because I don't know how she would take it (it's on page 29). There are many, many poems that have beautiful rhythm. A poem you read the normal way and then backwards that is a good description of a few of my relationships platonic and romantic. Poems on depression and sweaters, self-harm and giving back. I am happy to add this collection to my shelf and am looking forward to future work by Miss Kaufman. 

10. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin ★★★★★ (OWN)

There is always a worry when buying a book series that you haven't fully read that books two and three will ruin the story and you'll end up hating it. But in the cause of Broken Earth I took a chance. This is book two and it was just as good as book one. The story picked up where it left off, didn't lull like a lot of middle books do, and was very interesting. I am glad I own book three already and I can dive into it right away. Favorite Character: Hoa, right from book one till now I like how he hasn't changed and yet totally has. Least Favorite Character: Nassun. I'm actually undecided if you are suppose to like her or not. I had hoped the story would go one way and it didn't. I am curious to see where her story line goes next. Though she did very much do one predictable thing.

11. Black Panther A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze ★★★★★ (OWN)

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book. The world building book which is placed before this one had parts I enjoyed but overall I rated it three stars and walked away a little unhappy with it. So I hesitated in reading this volume. Panthers are my favorite animal so that made me immediately choose him to also be my favorite superhero. I really did enjoy the story told here. It also made me thankful for the world building book because it made things make a lot more sense. So I will definitely continue to buy the rest of the books as I can. I think the parts that were confusing will get flushed out in future volumes and is intriguing enough to keep reading. 
However the last ten pages are dedicated to Stan Lee and Black Panther's first appearance in the Fantastic Four in 1961. Those ten pages are painful and I do not understand why they are included in the book. They show a time were a white man was writing about a culture he didn't understand (though that really isn't something that's changed). To me those ten pages just felt full of racism and a fair amount of sexism. I hope that they do not continue to include aspects of the old comic if that's what it continues to portray. 

12. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin ★★★★★ (OWN)

The last book in the series. It ended well, all the important things were wrapped up and you got what you were looking for. However I kinda want more. I want to know about the next generation. I know a solution is reached but how is it accomplished. There needs to be a side series to go with this one. Favorite character: Nassum, which when I read book two she was my least favorite character, so this is quite the change. Though Hoa is definitely still very high up there. Least favorite character: Steel. But that's how it was suppose to be. Excellent writing, great story, please give me more. This line I think is one of my favorites and also relaveant to today.

But for a society built on exploitation, there is no greater threat than having no one left to oppress.
— N.K. Jemisin

13. Your Body, Your Yoga by Bernie Clark ★★★★★ (OWN)

Something this book repeatedly said was to look at the core of the body and work your way outwards towards the extremities and not vice versa when correcting. The core is where most of the alignment changes need to come from. This outlook has changed how a lot of postures sit for me. Suddenly I can go far further than ever before. My focus is on my core and hips verse my feet and knees. Plus it feels a million times better and I've had less sore knees, which makes me happy. Alignment is so important and I wish yoga teachers were taught it better from the beginning. 

I pushed myself to read this book fast. Because I didn't want another yoga book to take me months to get through. Did I understand every aspect of this book, no. But I got a heck of a lot more out of it then I did in the last yoga anatomy book I picked up. I think with repetition and constant study I will eventually figure out all the terms and get a clue as to what the body looks like. This book was written far kinder than the other anatomy book. But it also cover far less details. Just the lower body. Hips, knees, ankles and everything in between those. I really hope that Bernie Clark actually writes two follow up books to this one because I would definitely pick them up. (I have so many pictures of me reading this book; one, two, three)

14. Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience by Sharon Salzberg ★★★ (Library)

I both enjoyed this book and hated it. My first initial thought was that it was another book from the eat, love, pray phenomenon (though this book can first). White woman goes to India to find a holy person and her life is forever changed. It is that type of book. She uses almost that exact line word for word. So at least you know what you are getting into. Having that bit acknowledged I felt like I was able to relax into the words and actually see what it says. Chapters 1-4 I enjoyed, the rest felt very odd to me. If I had just had those four chapters I would have rated this 5 stars. But I didn't enjoy the last half of the book. I've written a fuller review on Goodreads and you can see if here, if you are interested. If you have thoughts questioning religion this is an interesting read to add to the thought pile. 

15. Love Her Wold by Atticus ★★★★★ (OWN)

Recently a Facebook group I apart of had a debate about men writing poetry. How a lot of it was creepy because it was always the man watching the woman and commenting on something about her. Kinda the idea of "she's beautiful but doesn't know it". Anyways it made me curious so when I saw this book in target I picked up it just to see. Sure there are definitely those types of poems in here, but there are other types of poems too. This one definitely did not have the inpact that all the previous poetry books I have read have given me. But I still enjoyed it. I think my favorite line is on page 179. Let me know if you want to know what it is.

The October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire 

16. Rosemary and Rue
17. A Local Habitation
18. An Artifical Night
19. Late Eclipses
20. One Salt Sea
21. Ashes of Honor
22. Chimes at Midnight
23. The Winter Long
24. A Red-Rose Chain

So happy to dive back into this series, you can see read my review of all the books this post. To be fully honest I am still hoping to finish this series by the end of tomorrow. Only three to go. EDIT: Technically 23 and 24 were finished later in the day of the 30.

Books not Finished

1. Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean - was written in a talk down to you tone. Also the author acknowledges that she is focusing on white women only because "racism kept her writings at the margin of it". I got frustrated with the feel of the first chapter and decided to read something else that read better. 

Did you read anything interesting this month?