Bookends: July 2015


Between ordinary busy-ness and re-joining Netflix, not a lot of reading happened this month.

Well, that’s not really true. I read for my class, and I read to my kids, and I listened to kids’ audiobooks, but I got precious few books read from my personal reading list. I expected to be done with Uncle Tom’s Cabin long ago, but it’s been surprisingly challenging, subject-matter-wise. Poor Herodotus got no attention at all in July.

But, it’s August now, so let’s just look at the list and then put the past behind us. Onward!

July’s books…

Grown-ups’ Books:

For class:

The Qur’an: With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation by Ali Quili Qar’ai

The Blackwell Companion to the Qur’an by Andrew Rippin

How to Read the Qur’an by Carl W. Ernst

The Story of the Qur’an by Ingrid Mattson

Approaching the Qur’an by Michael Sells

Understanding the Qur’an by Muhammad Abdel Haleem

Major Themes of the Qur’an by Fazlur Rahman

Not for class:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (SBC July Selection)

Kids’ Books (read-alouds and audiobooks):

Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright (audiobook)

The Unmapped Sea by Maryrose Wood (audiobook)

The High King by Lloyd Alexander (audiobook, re-read)

Currently Reading

  • The Histories by Herodotus (for my Cavalcade of Classics, as a read-aloud with my daughter, skipping some of the more questionable parts)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (for my Cavalcade of Classics and the one I didn’t finish for the Classics Club Spin #9)
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein (read-aloud, re-read, in a single-volume edition)

My To-Read List for August

In addition to this one, as I mentioned last month, I’ve decided to participate in the reading challenge our city library has for grown-ups. By August 14, the goal is to read a book from each of the following categories (titles can be fiction or nonfiction and can count in as many as two categories each; the ones I’ve read are in grey):

  • A book set in your hometown (I either don’t have a hometown or I have eleven) – The Moment of Everything by Shelley King (set in Mountain View, California, which I called home from 2005-2008)
  • A banned book – All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • A book that became a movie – The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winner – The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • A National Book Award-winner – The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • A Man Booker Prize-winner – Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
  • A book with a color in the title – Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  • A book with a one-word title – Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
  • A book with a number in the title – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (SBC July Selection)
  • A book published this year – The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod
  • A book published the year you were born – Speedboat by Renata Adler
  • The first book in a series – Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The last book in a series – The High King by Lloyd Alexander
  • A book written by someone under 30 – Lucky Girl by Nell Freudenberger
  • A book written by someone over 60 – Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • A book you chose because of the cover – Lucky Girl by Nell Freudenberger
  • A book with a non-human main character – The High King by Lloyd Alexander
  • A book set on a different continent – Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (SBC June Selection)
  • A book based on a true story – Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
  • A book originally written in another language – All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • A book set in antiquity (before 500 C.E.) – Confessions of Augustine of Hippo
  • A book set in the future – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The first book by an author – Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  • A book published posthumously – Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
  • A book originally published more than 100 years ago – Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe


I wonder how many of these I can read in the next twelve days?

What have you enjoyed reading in the past month? What’s on your to-read list for August? If you blog your answer, please post a link in the comments (and/or link back to this post, if you’re so inclined).

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