Month in Review: July 2016

Book of the Month


This month, I was most impressed by The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation. It’s a fantastically-written revisionist view of the American War of Independence, largely from the point of view of a slave who has grown up as the subject of experimentation by his white masters. I’ll be sharing more after I finish the second volume.

Here’s the rest of what I reviewed and read this month, which took me all over the map both geographically and emotionally…



  • I reviewed my Classics Club Spin book, Lucky Jim, widely acclaimed as one of the funniest books of all time.
  • From hilarious to heartbreaking: Edith Wharton’s relentlessly gloomy Ethan Frome was my next read.
  • After that, it was a relief to celebrate Paris in July with four French delights: The Sun King Conspiracy, Constellation, Girl in the Afternoon, and The Life of Elves.

Other Books Read

  • Christianity and Islam by Rudolf Frieling
  • Roses and Rot by Kat Howard – Reading New England
  • Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell – Reading New England
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling  – Reread
  • The Shimmers in the Night by Lydia Millet – Reading New England
  • Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell – Reread
  • The Sirens Sang of Murder by Sarah Caudwell – Reread
  • The Sibyl in Her Grave by Sarah Caudwell – Reread
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Part One: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson – Reading New England
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes – Reading New England
  • Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome – Classics Club
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis – Reread

Other Features and Events

  • I praised once more the marvelous Slightly Foxed, the appearance of which in my mailbox is always cause for celebration.
  • After noticing that male writers dominate in the usual lists of comic masterpieces, I had to make a list of my favorite funny books by women just to balance things out a bit.
  • In my discussion post this month, I asked Do we need genres? My somewhat incoherent rant produced some interesting responses.
  • We got to take a trip to Amesbury, MA with author Edith Maxwell, visiting locations from her new historical mystery Delivering the Truth.
  • And I got to take a trip to Washington, DC, and shared some pictures of my favorite bookish locations there.
  • Throughout July I participated in the Summer Comment Challenge, paired up with Kathryn of The Book Date. Thanks, Kathryn, for visiting and commenting on my posts this month! I enjoyed checking out your blog and getting to know you a bit.


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Month in Review linkup at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction


27 thoughts on “Month in Review: July 2016

  1. Lory thanks for partnering me in July, I really enjoyed it too and so nice to see what someone else reads. We are quite different but still readers! And I liked learning something of those New England reads.


    1. It is a book that has to be read to be appreciated, but I hope sharing my thoughts may pique some interest. Thanks for good wishes, I wish you happy reading in August as well.


  2. The Astonishing Life is literally one of the first books I logged on Goodreads when I joined the site 8 years ago. I loved it, but have never picked up the sequel.

    It’s also mentioned frequently in Gary D. Schmidt’s book, Orbiting Jupiter.


  3. Wow, you’ve read loads of books! I have now finished my result for the Classics Club Spin feature, Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne – I hope to have my review up soon. I wish you more happy reading in August 🙂


  4. Lots of ideas… I’m very intrigued by Octavian Nothing.

    Lory, you do a lot of rereading. Could you tell me how long between rereads?, what books you like to reread, etc?

    I also liked your genres post.



    1. Oh, I forgot to mention that, since my sister was coming to see us all the way from Spain, I asked her to bring me The Life of Elves in Spanish, and she did! I know I’m going to love it (I love books even when I don’t know very well what’s going on, as long as the writing is poetic and captivating).


    2. I did a lot of rereading this month but I do not really have a system at all. The ones this month were actually inspired by a list I did of ten funny women authors. I then wanted to reread some of the books I mentioned! That’s where the Caudwell and Willis rereads came from. And I picked up the illustrated copy of Harry Potter that I got my son for Christmas and enjoyed reading that again. But there are some months when I don’t reread anything.


    1. I know, there are so many posts coming through my feed that it’s really helpful to have a summary once in a while. I’m something caught your eye to visit!


    1. I think I actually liked it much more as an adult than I would have as a child. The initial detail of the silversmithing apprenticeship would have bored me, whereas now I find it fascinating.


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