July Reading Summary

pretty-july These end-of-month posts seem to come round so quickly! I have to admit, I often find them difficult to write – although in theory they should be very easy – and I almost didn’t post one at all today. I will be experimenting with some different formats in future months to see if I can make them more interesting for me to write and for you to read.

Looking back at July, I have read ten books and have reviewed eight of them. As usual, I’ve been reading a mixture of historical fiction, classics and ‘older’ books, so I thought it would be fun to see exactly where and when my reading has taken me this month.

The Luminaries In July I have visited:

18th century Portugal – The Devil on her Tongue by Linda Holeman

Arthurian England – The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart

New Zealand during the Gold Rush – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

16th century Scotland – Dacre’s War by Rosemary Goring

Tudor London – The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn

Days End Rural England in the early 20th century – Day’s End & Other Stories by H.E. Bates

19th century Paris – Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac

Ancient Rome – Imperium by Robert Harris

17th century France and England – The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas

14th century England and France – Isabella by Colin Falconer

(My thoughts on the final two books above will follow soon.)

I enjoyed most of these books; the only ones that disappointed me slightly were Day’s End, Isabella and The Lady of Misrule and I have explained why – or will explain why – in my reviews of those books. My favourite reads this month were The Hollow Hills, Imperium and The Vicomte de Bragelonne – luckily for me, all three of those books are part of a trilogy or series so I can look forward to continuing with The Last Enchantment, Lustrum and Louise de la Vallière respectively.

At the moment I’m in the middle of two books: The Odd Women by George Gissing and 1066: What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway. When I finish those I would like to read my copy of the new Antonia Hodgson book, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, as I had hoped to read it in July but didn’t have time. Beyond that, I don’t want to make any definite plans for August; choosing books depending on my mood works much better for me!

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? What have you been reading in July?

13 thoughts on “July Reading Summary

  1. eduardodefrutos says:

    I haven’t read any of the books you mention but the sound interesting according to your reviews. Last month I read Moll Flanders and I enjoyed it a lot (I would say I prefer it to Robinson Crusoe).

  2. Margaret @ BooksPlease says:

    I’ve read two of these books – The Hollow Hills (before I began blogging and I think it’s the best of her Arthurian trilogy) and Dacre’s War (which I also loved). I’d like to read Imperium (I’ve enjoyed other books by Robert Harris). I read 11 books this July – more than my normal monthly average. I don’t have any plans for August, apart from my local book group read for the summer, which is Adam Bede – we have a break in August so I have until the end of September to read this. Other than that, like you, I shall read whatever book looks good.

    • Helen says:

      I would definitely recommend Imperium – I have only read two Robert Harris books (An Officer and a Spy is the other) but I’ve loved both. I hope you enjoy Adam Bede!

  3. Jo says:

    Your reading has taken you everywhere. I really need to up my historical reading, but there are so many books calling out to me it suddenly becomes too difficult to try and fit it all in!

  4. jessicabookworm says:

    Looks like another great month. It is really interesting how you have organised your list of books by where and when they took you. Really highlights all the time periods and interesting places your reading has taken you 🙂

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I thought it might be interesting to list the books by setting and time period. I might do that again at the end of this month too. 🙂

    • Helen says:

      The sequel, Lustrum, was on the Walter Scott list in 2010 so I thought it would be a good idea to read Imperium first. Another of his books, An Officer and a Spy, was the winner in 2014 – I loved it and would highly recommend it!

      • whatmeread says:

        Oh, it’s a sequel. Hmmm, good plan. I only read one Harris book, about Jerusalem, and I didn’t finish it, but maybe that was just the book. I might try An Officer and a Spy first.

  5. Buried In Print says:

    That sounds like a great combination of reads for the month. I’ve read the Linda Holeman and Eleanor Catton novels and I have Cousin Bette and Mary Stewart’s trilogy on my TBR. My own July was a nice mix of backlisted and new books, but now I am back to reading from my own shelves again, including L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside (the last of her Anne books, which I’ve reread many times, but this is my first reading of Rilla) and one of G.R.R. Martin’s massive GoT series. Perhaps not the best combo, but I am enjoying them both!

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