What I Read in July

July was full of so, so many library books (SORRY, books i already own! i promise i’ll read all of you eventually!) and lots of Colleen Hoover and mostly easy, breezy romances… but hey, it’s summer, so NO SHAME.

Here’s what I read this July!

ps— affiliate links are included!

my top rec:

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown

my 2019 goal progress:

15 books this month

95/150 total

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

rating: ★★★☆☆

review: Give me ALL the quirky and delightful rom com books this summer pleaseandthankyou! Looooove this one’s main characters and their traits— Asian, autistic, poor, single mother, and totally endearing. Another win of a novel from Hoang!

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

rating: ★★★★☆

review: I’m 2 for 2 on reading Colleen Hoover books in one sitting, and I immediately went and ordered many more her books because I can’t get enough, so YEP, I’m a fan.

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

rating: ★★☆☆☆

review: For some reason, I’ve read so many books by comedians whose shows I don’t even watch... (Tina, Amy, Mindy, now Ellen) and then i wonder why I don’t really click with their humor or their stories... 🙄 I do think Ellen is funny, but I kept thinking her humor translates better on screen than on paper, and I skimmed through this one. Happy to be passing this one on to a friend I think will love it more!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

rating: ★★★☆☆

review: It was good, but it was no Hating Game. (My new metric for books, basically.) I was super confused by how this one opened and it took me a while to get into a groove with the characters (although I’m not sure I ever really did) and the chemistry/dynamic between these two just felt weird and it didn’t have that spark I hoped it would. The moral of the story: read The Hating Game.


Maybe Not and Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover

rating: ★☆☆☆☆ and ★★★☆☆

review: Continuing my summer of Colleen Hoover books with these two (#1.5 and #1 in the series) — I couldn’t finish the Maybe Not novella because it was just straight up sex the whole time (no gracias!) but I enjoyed Maybe Now even though there wasn’t a whole lot of plot to it. Honestly, the first in this series was the best and I could have stopped there and been happy!

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

rating: ★★★★☆

review: I loved this one! Parallel characters/chapters with distinct voices, quirky and charming, all the wit and warmth of the British, strong supporting characters (why are they so rare?), and a perfectly squeal-worthy ending.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

rating: ★★★★☆

review: When did I become this person that reads so many romantic love stories?! What happened to me?! (I still hate calling them “romance novels” because ew.) BUT ANYWAY. This one was back to the best of Colleen Hoover and I loved it a LOT and the end got me riiiiight in the feels. V V GOOD.

Grace After Henry by Eithne Shortall

rating: ★★★★☆

review: A random library grab that turned out to be totally delightful and surprising and right up my alley. Like a JoJo Moyes novel meets P.S. I Love You, with an ending I didn’t expect but loved all the more.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

rating: ★★★★☆

review: The second half (especially the last like 20 pages) won this an extra star from me, so if you’re finding it slow or just okay, hang in there! Loved Annika and her quirks (and love a main character on the autism spectrum! yay neurodiversity!) and the supporting characters (Janice... WHAT A FRIEND) and the highlights from counseling sessions. Yes, it’s a slower plot, and yes, it’s slightly predictable, but it was also charming and enjoyable

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

rating: ★☆☆☆☆

review: I had this plot predicted by page three, and immediately lost interest. I skimmed through the rest of it, half reading chunks, half seeing how right i was, and yeppppp— had it nailed. Such a bummer considering I loved her first two books! The writing style just felt super bland and boring, the characters didn’t have great depth, and it was a miss for me all around.

WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by Abby Wambach

rating: ★★★☆☆

review: Picked this one up during the World Cup (because HELL YEAH @uswnt!!!) — didn’t realize it was really just a speech Abby gave at a college — still loved it and found it to be such a motivating message. Moral of the story: we are better together. INTO IT. 🙌🏼 (but also a little bothered by college graduation/commencement speeches being turned into books because it feels like a desperate money grab situation... do we really have to package and publish and profit on EVERYTHING?! ...just me?)

Fourteen and Fifteen by Charlotte Harrison

rating: ★★★★★

review: I’m in awe of these little books. The talent of @charlottethepoetis incredible — the girl has such a way with words and I’m so impressed by the depth, nuance, heart, and emotion in her poems. To be a teenager and already publishing books of poetry is just so freaking cool! Cannot wait to see what she continues to create in the years to come. (AND I know her in real life and she’s just as genuine and well-spoken as you would hope, which makes it all even better!) Big, big fan over here.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

rating: ★★★★☆

review: A main character you’ll root for and relate to and love. A straight male best friend. A baseball player who has the “yips” and can no longer seem to pitch. A Maine setting. Events that felt totally authentic to real life, in the best way. This one was meant for summer reading, especially on a front porch in the evening with a cool drink in hand (which is exactly what I did). It feels like a Hallmark movie just waiting to happen (and I hope it does).

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

rating: ★★★★☆

review: Oh, Mister Rogers. You kind, tender hearted, world-changing man. Your words speak right to the heart of what every human (little or big) needs to hear: you are seen, you are known, you are wanted, you are loved. Your words were and are POWERFUL and poetic and so, so needed. I wish every child had a grownup to read these words to them, with them, and over them— so. so. good.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown

rating: ★★★★★

review: Brené Brown is my girl. My BFF. My leader, my sensei, my mentor, my coach, my cheerleader. This book has been on my shelf for months but was the perfect read for right now, when my team at work is going through changes and hard conversations are happening and healthy leaders are needed more than ever. I’m encouraged and empowered and excited about applying these principles to my life and work. I probably highlighted 5928 sentences and copied 263 into my journal for safekeeping. This one is just a GOLDMINE.