Bookends: July 2017

July was a mix of hot, muggy days interspersed with phenomenal, California-like weather that left me feeling renewed and (almost) ready to put up with the mugginess again. It’s difficult on days like these to imagine that snow is only a few months away.

I’ve continued doing work around the house, and I find myself looking around the house wondering what else to do and/or what else to get rid of. There are just four big jobs left to do, three of which I’m hiring out (if I can get people to schedule the work). The quotes I got for the fourth job made me choke on my kombucha, so I’m going to try reupholstering my kitchen set with my own hands and a book about upholstery I’m getting from the library. And some fabric. I would leave it, but the vinyl is cracked and it looks pretty tacky and unkempt. Not that I generally have a problem with looking tacky and unkempt, but I prefer my kitchen to look, if not stylish, at least kempt. If I think that my ham-handed attempts will leave it looking better than it does now, I’ll give it a try.

I kept up with my TBR List Declutter this month. Each Thursday, I post the titles of ten books that are on my TBR, why I added them in the first place, and whether I’m keeping them or taking them off of the TBR. This week I’ll pass the 10% mark of my initial TBR. Crawling right along!

Speaking of crawling, July also brought our annual shipment of monarchs to rear.


Totally cute, right? Hopefully we’ll have nine to eleven healthy monarch butterflies to release at the end of the month.

And now to the primary purpose of this monthly post—books!

Grown-up Books:

White Teeth by Zadie Smith (fiction, SBC June Selection)

The Mothers by Brit Bennett (fiction, audiobook)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (fiction, audiobook)

Howards End by E.M. Forster (fiction, SBC July Selection; by far my favorite book of the month)

The Dinner by Herman Koch (fiction)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer (fiction, audiobook, stopped reading. The format got annoying, as did the characters and the predictable plot.)

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp (memoir, stopped reading. I certainly won’t criticize someone for wanting to tell their story, but it should at least pass the “so what?” test.)

Kids’ Books:

I got back into reading aloud to my kids this month. I’d forgotten how fun it is. And they seem to enjoy it, too.

The Sea Beggar’s Son by F.N. Monjo (picture book about the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule)

Anno’s Spain by Mitsumasa Anno (wordless tour through Spain. My son and I enjoyed spotting little details and historic and literary references.)

The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a Spanish Loss by Sally Schofer Mathews (picture book)

Lost Treasure of the Inca by Peter Lourie (picture book. Spoiler alert: The treasure is still lost.)

Currently Reading:

My To-Read List for August:

  • Style, Stitch, Staple: Basic Upholstering Skills to Tackle Any Project by Hannah Stanton
  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel
  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë (Cavalcade of Classics)
  • Some of the books my kids have been reading (cyborg fairy tales, talking dragons, mythical creature preserves, etc), although I have no hope of catching up with them.

What have you enjoyed reading in the past month? What’s on your to-read list for August?

7 Replies to “Bookends: July 2017”

  1. That “what else can I do, or what else can I get rid of” gets me in big trouble often! 😂 .. My husband told me once, “if I come home to you painting another room, or throwing more of my stuff away today I’m gunna loose my shit” 😂😂


    1. This sounds all too familiar. Luckily this time my spouse is relatively on-board with my shenanigans, provided I don’t ask him to help. I also don’t get rid of his stuff, I just stare passive-aggressively in its direction and sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

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