Books I Read in July & August!

Where has 2020 gone? How is it November? Don’t ask me what happened this year, I simply don’t know! What I do know is that I read some really fun books, and some really odd books at the end of Summer. So here they are!

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

I love a zombie story. But a lot of them are illogical as far as where people choose to live. Don’t just board up your house in the suburbs, that’s so unsafe! In Wranglestone, they live on little islands on a lake. It’s so smart.
I desperately loved this book for a couple of reasons: the setting of a cabin on stilts in the middle of a lake in winter. Just the idea makes me feel cosy. Then there’s the romance, two awkward teenage boys not knowing how to talk to each other? Adorable. And the twist on the regular zombie story, no spoilers but it’s a really fun read. I can’t wait for the sequel and I’m definitely going to re-read this one.
“-staying awake with your thoughts while the rest of the world slept was a nightmare in reverse.”

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This was one of those books were I probably spent the same amount of time reading about the book, as I did reading the book. It’s an odd one! I thought the whole concept of the underground railroad being an actual physical railroad, rather than a network of people that helped escaping enslaved people, would get more page time! As it was, there was probably only 20 pages on the actual tracks and most was focused on the stops along the way. I wish that was explored more, but Whitehead uses the railroad to throw the main character, Cora, into all sorts of situations that one person might not have experienced if she wasn’t stopping off in all these places.
It covers a lot of things that were happening to Black people, and specifically Black women at the time all over the US.
Any book about this topic is going to be harrowing, and this was no exception. Prepare yourself!

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

This is the first Tey I’ve read and I found it absolutely charming. Rather than the usual murder mystery, two slightly oddball women are accused of kidnapping a girl and trying to force her to be their maid. And the main character doing the investigating is their lawyer, which I’ve never read before.
The investigation that happens in response was really nicely paced, there are always strands being unravelled and complications arising. Add the tiniest dash of romance and a love for the English countryside and you’ve got yourself my dream mystery. I can’t wait to read more of her books!
“The gardens were small miracles of loveliness; each succeeding one a fresh revelation of some unsuspected poet’s heart.”

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

This 2020 debut is just plain weird. In a good way. But also a confusing way. I originally described this as Skins (the UK TV show) mixed with Wuthering Heights and I still think that’s pretty accurate. It’s a book full of atmosphere and depressed students. You just need to add in some science-magic.
I think I’m going to re-read this as an audiobook, as Linda really enjoyed it in that format. I think I struggled with it mostly because I was struggling with reading physically at the time.
“As we walked by the windows that looked out onto the black yard, our reflections drifted like spirits over the glass.”

XX by Angela Chadwick

I really liked the first few chapters of this one but the rest was just too- something…. I can’t put my finger on it but I found myself rushing through because the story was interesting but the characters felt quite one-dimensional. It would’ve been a better read for me if there was less of our MC debating how she’ll love a child and more depth on the really interesting concept of two-mother-babies.
“I lost her when I was only a baby and simply don’t have the memories to wrap in sorrow.”

The Inimitable Jeeves, Carry on, Jeeves, Very Good, Jeeves and Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

I can’t remember a single dang plot from these books specifically. They all merge into the general storyline of Bertie getting himself into trouble, thinking he can get himself out, only to find that Jeeves has fixed it all from the sidelines. They’re wonderfully funny books, and a must for tired brains.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these?

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