I’m not entirely sure how we’re closing in on the end of summer, but somehow we are and it is time for another monthly wrap up! I read some really good books this month that I’m excited to share with you, including some of my favorite romances of the year. And this post is long, but stay tuned at the end for an adorable surprise!
Like I said, lots of good reading this month! I read some amazing romances (including an advanced copy of The Governess Game that I got at RWA!), plus I made it to a couple of my arcs from Book Expo. Don’t forget to click on the titles to see my full thoughts on Goodreads.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I’m all for gossipy dramas, but the wasteful displays of wealth in this book and the fact that I didn’t really like any of the characters made this a bit of a bust for me. Though I now really want to visit Singapore!
It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke by Maya Rodale: I wasn’t a fan of this historical romance. The hero and heroine fell in love instantly and spent the rest of the book feeling guilty for wanting to be together, and it got kind of irritating.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: This was such a great immersive fantasy! Novik did a beautiful job with this book and I can’t wait to read more of her works.
Down Home Cowboy by Maisey Yates: This was an excellent addition to the Copper Ridge series! I really liked seeing the characters’ individual growth and was rooting hard for their HEA.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling: Meh, this isn’t my favorite Harry Potter book, though it does introduce a lot of key parts of the Harry Potter world. You can read my full thoughts here.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: This was much more my speed! I love how things are finally starting to come together and drive towards the conclusion. Read my recap on my rereading experience here.
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat: This book was a lot. There were definitely parts I wasn’t a fan of, but I was interested enough in where the story was headed and the series isn’t that long, so I decided to continue with it.
Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat: The series really picked up with this one! The political maneuverings take center stage in Prince’s Gambit over the shock factor that seemed to dominate the first one, plus you get to know the characters a lot better. This book made me glad I continued with the series.
King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat: Such a great conclusion to the trilogy! I loved watching the story really come together. I didn’t quite get all of the answers and insights that I wanted from a conclusion, but it was still a very satisfying end to the series.
Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness: It’s so great to return to the All Souls world! I loved getting more of Marcus’ background, and it was fun to see how it connected with American Revolutionary history. Fans of the original trilogy will definitely want to check this out!
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: This book is amazing! I loved it even more than A Princess in Theory. There’s just so much amazing character development and growth, plus the couple’s chemistry was amazing. And I loved how it played with a lot of elements of historical romance in a contemporary setting. So good!
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare: Another new favorite! Tessa Dare created such an amazing couple in this book while weaving in her signature humor (I was especially pleased by a Titanic film reference). It was an adorable read, and I’m already tempted to read it again.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: I went into this suspecting to be burned by the hype but still wanting to know what the fuss was about, but dang was I pleasantly surprised! I really, really enjoyed this romance and definitely recommend checking it out.
There’s so much exciting news to share this month! I’m not even sure where to start, honestly.
We got some amazing cover reveals in July, including Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse (April 23), Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23), Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (March 19), and 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (January 29). I need all of these books now!
And Lisa Kleypas has released the gorgeous cover for her next book, due out February 26! Possibly even more exciting, though, is the interview below in which Kleypas says she’s thinking of writing books for more of the children from her original Wallflowers!
Then there’s the adaptation news: Shonda Rhimes is adapting Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series for Netflix!!! And Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game is getting a movie adaptation! And Netflix just released the full trailer for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I don’t usually care much about adaptation news, but these announcements deserve all the exclamation marks!! Ok, I’m sorry, I’ll give them a rest now.
We also have the title for Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s new project. It will be called Aurora Rising and is scheduled for an April 30 release date! And Sandhya Menon has announced that her next book, a sequel to When Dimple Met Rishi, will be called There’s Something About Sweetie!
And I saw on Twitter that the author behind the madness that was #cockygate has settled her suit and is withdrawing her trademark. If you haven’t heard about cockygate yet, it raises some really important trademark and copyright issues in the book community. You can catch up on it here.
There were a bunch of articles published in July that I’m really excited to share and think you should check out!
It seems like so long ago, but there was a lot of conversation at the beginning of the month about the Association for Library Service to Children’s decision to rename the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. I thought Book Riot had a great article detailing some of that conversation and articulating why it’s an important change.
Also, did you see this great New York Times piece about diverse romance? Considering what a disaster the NYT Book Review’s romance coverage was last fall, I never thought we’d see such an excellent article from them!
Goodreads had a great interview with Megan Whalen Turner to accompany the announcement of Return of the Thief that I really enjoyed. I can’t believe I haven’t been reading these books since they were first published in the nineties, but better late than never!
I also really enjoyed Trail of Lightning, and I’m only more impressed with it after reading this article titled “Rebecca Roanhorse on Which Aspects of Diné Culture Are Featured in Trail of Lightning.” If you haven’t read that book yet, you need to!
And I know I’ve posted about this a few times already, but I highly encourage you to check out Suzanne Brockmann’s speech accepting the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and Sonali Dev’s keynote speech at Library Day, both of which were given at the Romance Writers of American Annual Conference in July. They’re both really amazing speeches about how important diversity and inclusion are in books, and I dare you not to tear up while listening to them!
I’m actually pretty behind on reading blog posts and watching videos right now, so this section is a bit short this month, but hopefully it will be extra long next month to make up for it! I do have a couple of videos I want to mention, though.
First off, Rincey had a great video on Book Riot recommending books by Native American authors! It’s awesome that Native authors are getting more love lately, and I definitely want to check some of these out. I mean, Murder on the Red River is set in North Dakota, so I have to read it! And I can personally recommend Trail of Lightning as an amazing read. I would also add Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot to this list of books to check out; I need to get to this one soon!
And I love discussing pretty books, so I really enjoyed book designer Holly Dunn’s video featuring her original tag, the Book Design Tag! She has some gorgeous books, and I really need to get around to doing this tag on my blog so I can talk about some of my pretty books, too.
I’m still struggling a bit to get back on my blogging schedule, though I think this time the summer and all of my trips are more to blame than my not-so-new-anymore job. I did get a few posts up in July, though, and I have big plans for August!
- June Wrap Up
- Rereading HP: Order of the Phoenix
- Monthly Recs: Books Worth a Reread
- Rereading HP: Half-Blood Prince
- RWA Book Haul
- RWA Blogger Day Recap
- 6 Romances RWA Reminded Me I REALLY Need to Read
Oh, and if you live in or are visiting the New York area, don’t forget to check out my signing calendar! I update it at least twice a month with a bunch of upcoming book signings in New York City, and there are some really great ones taking place this fall that you won’t want to miss.
I know there’s a lot in this post, so for sticking with me until the end, have a picture or five of my sister’s new puppy Cobalt! He’s a husky/kelpie mix and basically the cutest thing ever. You can follow him on Instagram, though we’ll need to shame my sister into posting pictures of him more frequently.
How was your reading in July? Let me know what your favorite book you read last month was in the comments! And maybe I can bully my sister into posting a photo of Cobalt to Instragram for every comment about what an adorable pupper he is.