Wednesday, July 30

July, July

What a whirlwind month!

Prepping and painting the living room, dining room, and kitchen grabbed all my attention for a while, and then I enjoyed a 10 day visit from Marius, our foreign exchange student from two years ago, which included a weekend in Duluth and a visit from his parents. And that was the month!

Here's what I read in July:

Ha Jin. Waiting. I was disappointed.

Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice. My first Austen novel, though I've seen the movies! This was an annotated edition for teens, and it defined obscure words and outdated concepts, which slowed me down in the past. Very helpful and just the nudge I needed. This is part of the "DK Illustrated Classics" series.

Donna Tartt. The Secret History. Deliciously creepy! An elite group of students in a New England school get in trouble when they experiment with Dionysian rituals, but their solution lands them in trouble that haunts them all their lives.

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis. A graphic novel about growing up in Iran as Satrapi ages from six to fourteen, during which time the Shah was overthrown, the Islamic Revolution triumphed, and the war in Iraq battered Tehran.

Shannon Hale. Austenland: a novel. Very funny take on Austen and her fans. For Jane Hayes, no man can compare to Mr. Darcy, and it's ruining her love life. Her great-aunt sends her to the expensive Austen Land resort, where women act out their Austen fantasies, hoping it will help her get over Mr. Darcy. The story unfolds in echoes of several Austen tales. If you like Austen, you'll enjoy this!

Monette, Sarah. The Bone Key. More good creepy fun! A series of short stories about a man who attracts the supernatural. Very well written.

Jennifer Lee Carrell. Interred with their bones. The search for a missing Shakespearean play, with the standard elements: clues in dusty books and archives; codes and double meanings, the race against another group also looking for the play. This one's stroke of originality lies in setting part of the search in the desert Southwest. This is at least the second "Missing Shakespeare play" book I've read this year, but I still enjoy them.

Lee Child. Nothing to Lose. I've been a Reacher fan for years, but the series is getting stale.

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