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  • Olivia Swindler

July Reading Roundup

It still feels early in the year, but I am 90% sure that I read my favorite book of the year in July. Or at least a top five read. This month was full of vacation reads, wonderful audiobooks, and some backlist books that had been on my TBR for a while. Cheers to one more month of summer reading!




The Vacationers – 3.5/5

Straub is a master character writer, and this book was no exception. However, I found the plot a little slow, and though I really liked the book’s structure, I would have loved some more profound resolution. This book felt like a mix of Good Company and Malibu Rising.


Going There – 4/5

I grew up watching the Today Show every morning and have always enjoyed Katie Couric’s thoughtful interviews. My one complaint about this book is that it is long, but the warning is in the title; she really goes there and everywhere. Nevertheless, I enjoyed listening to this on audio.


The Last Thing He Told Me – 3/5

After reading this book, I honestly don’t understand the hype around it. This book was all tell and no show. The main character was insufferable, and there was no character development. The plot had so much more potential.


Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – 5/5

I absolutely loved this book. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve played a video game, but this book made me wish I had grown up with them. It is a story about love, friends, work, Shakespeare, and of course, games. I found the characters to be incredibly moving, and I will be thinking about this story for a long time. Read with tissues.


Upgrade – 4/5

Science fiction is normally not my genre, but I trust Blake Crouch with my whole heart. Not only does he break the science down in comprehendable language, but he is a master of human emotions. I really enjoyed this book.


Modern Romance – 4/5

This book is a humorous yet scientific look at modern dating. As one of the 2629463017 people on an online dating app, some of this hit very close to home. I enjoyed it on audio.


The Woman in the Window – 3.5/5

For all of the hype, this book felt underwhelming. The premise was original and held my attention, but it felt too long and anti-climactic. I love a thriller, but this one wasn’t my favorite.


We Were Dreamers – 5/5

I absolutely adored this memoir. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me dream. I have never seen anything with Simu in it (which I will change asap), but I loved hearing his story. He really is a testament to the power of hard work and chasing every opportunity thrown your way. Highly recommend on audio.


The Christie Affair – 2.5/5

I wanted to love this book, but I could not get into the writing. It felt like all tell and no show. There were too many characters that I found I had to keep flipping around to keep track.


Bomb Shelter – 5/5

Mary Laura might be my favorite essayist. This beautiful book is sprinkled with love, laughter, and lessons (even if turtles may or may not be here to teach us something). Though I don’t have children, I still could relate as Mary Laura writes about the real essence of being human and all the worries that come with it.


The Mutual Friend – 4/5

This book is truly unlike anything I’ve read. The closest comparison I can think of is the writing style reminded me of Kevin Kwan. How I Met Your Mother is one of my favorite comfort shows, and so I was hyped when I heard about this book. Though the tone is entirely different, what remains is the group of 20-something friends in NYC trying to sort out the future, dating, and friendship. This is a fun read if you like a book with a large cast of characters and a unique narrator!


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