I re-read what my goals were at the beginning of July and wow I thought I was going to be much more productive than what I actually was. I fought to get these few books done by the end of the month and need to re-evaluate my goals for August. So what did I read in July?
First, I finished off Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. I enjoyed it, but I think London was better. I am very interested in getting to New York which is sitting on my NOOK taking up a huge amount of storage. Sarum was the largest book on my TBR, and now it is at the used book store as I exchanged it for credits.
Next up, I read Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett. I really enjoyed it and have since put her other books on my OverDrive wish list. It was fun, it was very educational, and it all tied in together. There is talk of climate change, but also real world solutions highlighted. There was balance between fun and education. I’m glad I finally pulled the lever and read this book.
I was not impressed with Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink. This was the minute by minute play back of what happened to Memorial Hospital in New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. I DNF’d this book at 40 pages for the following reasons: 1) the history of this area and the hospital pretty much foretold what was going to happen during Katrina; 2) the main doctor featured used the n-word with the hard r with regularity; and 3) the writing was a little too melodramatic for me. There were a lot of mistakes, bad policies, corruption, racism/sexism/classism/ableism, and generally a lot of non-caring about disaster-proofing a public good. I couldn’t get up enough energy to continue on with this car-wreck.
My Summer of Science project standing now stood at 1-1 when The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan walked up to the plate. This was a great, in-depth look at the Dust Bowl of the 1930s in the western part of the U.S. Midwest. For a history book, there was a ton of science found – including science of the time. In fact, there was science being distributed by non-scientists – long-time ranchers and Native Americans in the area knew that the native grasses were important to the ecological health of the region – granted, they may not have known the scientific terminology or the process, but they knew by their success that tear up the soil and getting rid of the protective grass was a bad idea. AND they were ignored/mocked along with the scientists, because Americans have a history of ignoring experts, much to their own peril. Well, they learned the VERY hard way that ignorance lies madness. I loved this book and it’s probably going to be a top ten nonfiction book of the year.
So first month of Summer Science standing is 2-1.
Finally, I finished Murder on Location (Charlotte Brody #3) by Cathy Pegau, the last book in the trilogy. I felt very satisfied with the character development, but the mystery faltered a little for me. I wanted more real red herrings – I figured the culprit pretty early on in the book and it was just a matter of time before finding the person out. I think the strongest mystery was in the first book, but the character development over the three books were what kept me reading.
I started a new series, The Knickerbocker Club by Joanna Shupe, with the prequel novella Tycoon. It was good but too short (83 NOOK pages) for the real grovel scene I wanted (the hero knows what he did). I hope to see the couple in the other books.
So I finished one series for the Finish That Series and started a new one. This is where I really failed because I was to start two new series and work through Knickerbocker series (I should have been finished by August, now it looks like I will finish by the end of the year). My November and December are going to be a race to finish all the books I was supposed to finish in June and July.
At last, I got a little over 200 pages into Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor. This is ssslllooowww reading; it’s designed to go way in-depth on the subject, to the point I can’t read more than a chapter at a time with some chapters taking two days to finish. One is just my headspace, one is that the font is too small for me to read much while riding as a passenger in a car – the space I was in a lot in the last two months. So I am not going to push myself to finish this book on a set time schedule, other than I will finish it by the end of the year. I am going to read my other B.A.B.s while working through this book.
So I am going to take tomorrow to really drill down and set goals that are somewhat more attainable than what my original plan for my summer reading was.