Books I Read – July 2019

Books I Read - July 2019 | Midsummer Life Dream

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

Books I Read - The Silent Patient

I did a couple of thriller books this month, starting with The Silent Patient. I’d give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. It was really engrossing at the beginning, then there was a segment in the middle where it kind of felt like it would be straightforward, before becoming riveting again as the author wraps up the story. Basically, a woman supposedly kills her husband and becomes selectively mute, and so is sentenced to a psychiatric facility. The narrator is a psychotherapist who is fascinated by her case, thinks he can help her speak again, and manages to score a job at her facility. The book is trying to piece together what actually happened, and who is actually at fault, and of course, nothing is as straightforward as it seems. Definitely add this to your reading list!

Cleopatra’s Daughter – Michelle Moran

Books I Read - Cleopatra's Daughter

This book was pretty good. It tells the story of Cleopatra’s children after her suicide, who died and who was raised in Rome. It was interesting, with a few side story lines to keep you on edge. I didn’t love the ending – there were a few fairly abrupt changes that felt more like tying up the ends. Since the ending was fairly accurate to history, I think the situation should have been better set-up earlier, but that’s my own personal preference. If you’re interested in Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt, or Ancient Rome, you should read this book, although Rome certainly doesn’t come out of it with essentially any redeeming qualities.

The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarity

Books I Read - The Husband's Secret

I’ve read several books lately by Liane Moriarity and liked them, so I was pumped to read this one. And then…I found the book generic and mediocre, and was shocked because it seemed subpar for her style of writing. Read it anyway. The ending was so amazing, and made the predictability of the rest of the book make sense. It really had me thinking, and I ended up kind of loving this book!

I Was Here – Gayle Foreman

I’m going to give this 4 out of 5 stars. It was an amazing book – dark, but well written and extremely meaningful. The issue I have is that the author threw in a romance. I’m fine with romance novels, but it’s annoying to have the romance be in everything, and there was really just no need for it here. I honestly think she could have left the characters as friends and the story would have been that little bit better. Anyway, it tells the story of the best friend left behind after a suicide and her struggle to make sense of this completely alien situation. The novel demonstrates very well the difference between depression and sadness, and how hard it can be for someone to understand what drives someone to take their life, and for those who might be considering it, this is a great reminder of what they would be leaving behind – and it’s not relief that the person is no longer a problem. I strongly recommend everyone read this.

A Spark Of Light – Jodi Piccoult

Ok, this book was…something. There were parts that were confusing (a lot of time-jumping), there were storylines left open-ended, there were a lot of characters to keep track of – backstories, current stories, and so on. Read this book anyway, including the afterword. The book’s main storyline is a mass shooter in a Mississippi abortion clinic, with insight into the lives of all the people involved. It’s definitely dark at points, and very honest and straightforward, so be sure you can handle it. There are even parts that are graphic. For a book that, frankly, is political, I think it did a good job keeping some balance, although there’s certainly no doubt which way the author leans. And in my experience, it honestly reflected the views from each side. I hope that reading this book gets people thinking and starts conversations.

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

This book was so weird. I mean, the plot was beyond twisted. The writing was really well-done – intriguing, and kept a solid pace, but wow-there were just NO redeeming characters in this book. I mean, these people were William Faulkner-level crazy – and I HATE Faulkner’s characters. I’d read another book by Ms. Jewell, preferably if I knew I’d like at least one character, but this book specifically – skip it.

The Liar – Nora Roberts

Image result for the liar nora roberts

Yet another Nora Roberts hit. It was a bit predictable – I guessed a lot of key points within a few pages of opening the book, but the journey was still good. Really, you can never go wrong with Nora Roberts. This wasn’t my favorite by her ever, but it’s great for tossing in your beach bag or bringing on a plane or something!

Wagons West Series (Books 1-20) – Dana Fuller Ross

Image result for dana fuller ross independence

I read this series years ago, I guess when I was about 12? And I loved it. It covers a couple of families from when they pioneer the Oregon trail and begin settling the West all the way into the 1900’s, as they deal with the major changes that are happening in the country. Rereading them as an adult is enlightening. For one, they’re well-written, so the stories are interesting. But for another, they don’t sugarcoat much. Women are raped, lynchings and murders happen, there’s sexism and racism. It really makes you think – and I found myself trying to say, “things were different then”, but you know what? No. I would not have been ok with sexism or racism or lynchings. Bone-deep, I know that to be true. And people in the books, and people in that time in real life, were not ok with sexism or racism or murder. That’s something I think we often forget. And in today’s political climate, when people say this statue or that is ok because the person it’s memorializing may have been a terrible person but they were from a different time, we need to remember it’s still not fine. They didn’t have to be ok with it, they didn’t have to accept the status quo. I don’t know…I’m still finishing the series, but it definitely makes you think! If you want to read them, the books can be hard to find, but they’re on

It’s been a good reading month! Next month I should knock out the other half of the Wagons West series, and then…who knows what books I’ll pick up next?

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