Tuesday, August 09, 2016

What I Read | July

A look back at what I read this past month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread - What I Read | July - A Simpler Grace



Well, July has come and gone and I thought it would be fun to share some of the highlights from the bookshelf for the month. I usually read eight or more books in a month but slacked off a bit in July for several reasons. I did manage, however, to find some really good books and I'm happy about that.


I frequently share the books I'm reading on Instagram using the #ASGbookshelf tag and am very active on Goodreads, so feel free to follow along on either (or both) platform. 


Must Read

This is the story of twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan who begins a year-long trip by volunteering for three months in the Little Princes orphanage in Nepal. Having never had any experience with kids, he quickly falls into the routine and forms a connection with the children there, only to learn that most of them are, in fact, not orphans, but have been sold or traded into a trafficking ring by parents who believed they were saving their children from the perils of civil war. After learning the truth, Conor vows to step up and try to help reconnect these children with their families, which is not an easy task and involves trips lasting several weeks into the remote and rugged villages of Nepal.

This story is both heart-breaking and uplifting as you follow the fragility of a child's life in Nepal and Grennan's relationships with the kids, their families, the local orphanage staff and the special bond he forms with his long-time pen pal, Liz. I couldn't put the book down and will surely be buying a copy for my personal library.

Noteworthy
American Sniper by Chris Kyle★★★★★
This autobiography recounts Kyle's journey from joining the Navy, working through the strenuous Seals training program and becoming the man to hold the record for the most career sniper kills in US military history. While most of the book is focused on his time in the battlefield, it does include bits from Chris's wife, Taya, as she shares the struggles of being a Seal wife and the strain her husband's career put on their lives.

The book holds a little something for everyone, from eye-witness accounts of being in the thick of a very dangerous war, the humor that comes with having to keep things light in stressful situations, the emotional turmoil a soldier goes through when he has to choose his country over his family time and time again, and the un-sugarcoated truth from a man whose job it was to kill others.

Other mentions for the month of July:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  | ★★★★
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett  | ★★★☆☆
Paradise Lost by John Milton  | ★★★☆☆
The Whole Thirty by Melissa Hartwig  | ★★★☆☆

What did you enjoy reading this month?

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23 comments:

  1. I've been dying to read American Sniper! How would you say it compares to the movie?

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  2. That first book sounds really good. I'll have to put it on my list. I just finished reading the new Giffin book, which is in a totally different genre, called First Comes Love. It was a fast read, but I didn't love it, like I was hoping.

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  3. I've been reading so much more this year and loving it! in July I read 'You Are A Badass' by Jen Sincero and 'The Defining Decade' by Dr Meg Jay. (The latter was a second read-through from a few years ago).

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  4. Do it! You won't regret it. I haven't seen the movie yet because I have a thing about waiting until I've read the book in it's entirety. I will soon, though!

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  5. I was sent a copy of the new Giffin book by the publisher and I've been holding off on reading it because I am dreading it. I LOVED Something Borrowed and Something Blue but the series went straight downhill after that. I wanted to bang my head into a wall. I'm hoping this new one is a little better.

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  6. I've read neither of these books but might add them to my list soon. They sound interesting!

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  7. I highly suggest You by Caroline Kepnes. SO good. I'm reading In a Dark Dark Wood right now. it's quite interesting.

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  8. Added to the list! And you are not the first one to mention In a Dark Dark Wood. I follow a pretty big author on Instagram and he was telling me how amazing it was. He actually compared it to creme brulee and wine. Haha!

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  9. Oh can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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  10. Heather Gullett DennistonAugust 9, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Makes me laugh you mention Ken folliet way down the list. Like you could just read one of his books in a weekend. You must be a very fast reader. Ken, for me, would be. Quarterly read recommendation! I love it. Definitely going to get the first one!

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  11. Haha! I have a secret to reading Ken Follett. I listen to the audiobooks and double or triple the speed, I finished The Pillars of the Earth in a weekend and Fall of Giants in a day. Audiobooks are a lifesaver when it comes to the big door-stoppers.

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  12. Oooh, I am definitely going to check out Little Princes, it sounds awesome! I just finished The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith and it was better than I thought it would be!

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  13. Mia, I have heard about that book forever but have never picked it up. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks for stopping by today! :)

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  14. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm trying to put together a must read list for the rest of the year.

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  15. I always want to read classics like Leo Tolstoy but they kill me. I can't get into it for whatever reasons. Is Little Princes fiction or non-fiction?

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  16. Awesome! I love having a list of things I need/want to read. :)

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  17. I have to be in a certain mindset to read some of the classics, otherwise I won't get into them. Little Princes is non-fiction.

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  18. I have such trouble with the classics! But Little Princes seems like a great read!

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  19. It was awesome! You should give it a try. :)

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  20. I am currently reading Tuesdays With Morrie, it's so lovely. I recommend it. I have been wanting to read Whole 30 stuff, sounds interesting!

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  21. Lana, I LOVED Tuesdays With Morrie and actually just reread it last week. Such a good book!

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  22. Wow, I am super impressed at the classics you read! Both Anna Karenina and Paradise Lost seem daunting to me! Have you watched the movie American Sniper? I want to see it but I get squeamish with a lot of violence or heartbreaking scenes, so it might help to read the book first so I can stop when I need a breather unlike a movie where it just keeps coming and coming!

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  23. I love reading the classics but have to alternate between them and other genres. I have not seen American Sniper yet. I will only watch a movie after I've read the book. I'm a stickler about that and I think it might help you to read the book first. I've heard the movie is a tear-jerker, but I'll probably end up watching it soon.

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