July 2020 Wrap Up | The month I traveled through books!

It’s 1st of August and I’m supposed to be writing my July Wrap Up (this post), instead, all I care about is how beautiful my TBR stack for August looks! I even started reading two of the books from my TBR, just to see whether they will be a quick read or not. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself for the past hour or so. 

Don’t you find it difficult sometimes to prioritize blogging over reading, when all you want to do is start a new book? I’m sure it can’t be just a me thing. 😀 

Every single month I tell myself that I can’t leave wrap ups for the end of the month. That I need to start the post as soon as the month starts and keep updating it throughout. Just like I did in June! But we all know that more often than not it doesn’t happen. What does happen often enough is me sitting at my laptop at the end of each month, trying to remember what I did, loved and hated in the last 4 weeks. *facepalm*

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY IN JULY

1 – New Little Mix single – «Holiday»! 

I am OBSESSED! Not just over their music or the new song (which is so fun and sexy!) but mostly over their personalities and friendship. If there was a way of tracking how much time I spent on YouTube last month watching videos about Little MIx… I think I’d be scared to discover that I spent all of my free time doing that. 

2 – The beach! 

As someone who literally lives 15 mins away from the ocean, I barely ever go to the beach. I finally made an effort last week to not worry about stuff that won’t get done and just go to the beach, enjoy the sun, swim in the ocean (water has been surprisingly warm!), and relax. The best way to do that is to head to the beach right after work. It’s been so relaxing! 

3 – I had my 2nd best reading month of the year!

Reading stats will be below, but I’m going to tell you right now that in July I managed to read yet another 18 books! Which is completely insane! It’s the same number of books I read in April. Some of them were shorter, of course, but I’m so happy with the number of books I read so far this year. My initial goal was 50, but I bumped it to 100 in June, and now I’m already at 83 out of 100!

MONTHLY READING STATS
Total Books: 16 read, 2 DNFs
Total Pages: 5647
ARCs: 7

In July I set two reading challenges for myself:

  1. to travel through books by reading 4 books set in different parts of the world; and
  2. to participate in the Reading Rush. 

I did both, which I’m very happy about. I also read some ARCs and some other books from my TBR. Overall, July was a very good reading month. However, out of 18 books, I only loved 2 or 3, the rest was just “okay”. And none of the books I read made it to my “favorites” shelf.

5 ★

The only book I gave 5 stars to in July was «The Kite Runner» by Khaled Hosseini. Based on how heavy the story was, it was impossible to give it any other rating. Will I be reading more books by Khaled Hosseini? Yes. But! after this one, I’m scared of the impact his other books might have on me.

4 ★

There were quite a lot of 4-star books in July. The majority of my readings, as you can see, were good but not quite there to get to that 5-star ratings. And honestly, I’m a bit disappointed. So many of these books have been on my TBR for a very long time – «The Song of Achilles» and Elizabeth Acevedo books. Some of these were my most anticipated books of this year – the new Sara Pennypacker book (author of «Pax»). I was hoping to find so many new favorites, and while I enjoyed all of these, none of them had that “wow” factor I was looking for.

During the Reading Rush, on a complete whim, I decided to pick up the 3rd books in the Wayward Children series (which I said I wasn’t going to continue with), and surprise surprise! «Beneath the Sugar Sky» is my favorite so far! The books in this series are just so short, it’s very difficult to resist them…

3 ★

Sadly, not all the Reading Rush books were excellent. Most of them got a 3-star rating, which isn’t bad of course, but I was definitely looking for more from these particular books.

«Wilder Girls» by Rory Power was probably the book I was the most excited about from my Reading Rush TBR. It started on a great note, but it lacked atmosphere, in my opinion. This was supposed to be a horror story, and it didn’t read like horror at all. And then the ending and the reveal of how it all happened were very underwhelming and not surprising in any way.

Books I didn’t like & DNFs

«A Song Below Water» was the biggest disappointment of this year. I love the cover art and I was determined to love this book as well. But oh my… it was a STRUGGLE to read even the first 10-15%. It wasn’t capturing my attention, I didn’t care about anything that was happening and it took me 3 days just to read the first 50 pages. Maybe during any other week, I would have given it a little bit more time, but this happened to be one of my RR books, so I had to put it down and read something else instead.

And finally, «The Once and Future Witches» by Alix E. Harrow… I know how much everyone loves her books, so I wanted to give her another chance, I wanted to really dedicate my time to it, read it as slowly as necessary, absorb the story and the characters. And I did that. I finished the whole book, but it was a huge struggle… There were many elements I loved – the characters, the battle for women’s rights, how dark at times the story got, how diverse the cast of characters was, etc. However, the pacing was all over the place and that’s why it was so difficult for me to stay in the story, to not get distracted.

JULY TOP POSTS
JUNE BOOK REVIEWS

2020 MONTHLY WRAP UPs:
January 2020 Wrap Up | The month I learned how to stay on top of things!
February 2020 Wrap Up | The month I was too busy to learn anything new!
March 2020 Wrap Up | The month I fought my way out of a reading slump!
April 2020 Wrap Up | The month I read too many books!
May 2020 Wrap Up | The month I didn’t read all the books on my TBR!
June 2020 Wrap Up | The month I learned how to enjoy little things!
July 2020 Wrap Up | The month I traveled through books!


I hope July was a good month for you! Did you find any new favorite books? Let me know in the comments below!

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28 thoughts on “July 2020 Wrap Up | The month I traveled through books!

  1. I always love reading your wrap-ups, they are so pretty and well-structured!
    That said, you’ve read so many books! That’s amazing! And I’m so jealous you live close to the beach, it looks so pretty 😍
    I hope you have a great August! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Wrap ups are the posts I dread the most 😀 because I know it will take all evening for me to write / edit and make graphics, but I love the end result so definitely worth all the time. It makes me so happy to hear that others like them too ❤
      August has been good so far, less books but lots of things on my to-do list as I'm slowly trying to prep posts until the end of the year, as I think studying will take all my time in Sep / Oct / Nov. I hope you have a more relaxed August and enjoying all the books! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your photo of the beach! It looks so pretty. I regret not taking advantage of living 5 minutes from the beach. Now that I live an hour from the beach, it totally sucks! I’m glad you were able to go and it was so relaxing. 🙂

    OMG 18 BOOKS!! That is amazing!! Totally jealous over here as I only read 2 books and listened to 1 audiobook 😦 It looks like you read a lot of great books! I wasn’t really blown away by Wilder Girls either and I really didn’t like how it ended. I hope August is just as amazing for you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I need to take more photos. This one is from yeaaaaars ago (although everything is very much unchanged), but when I needed to use a photo for this post I had to really dug deep on my pc to find one D: Lol I went to the beach 4 or 5 times so far, but hopefully can go more this month.

      I know! I have no idea how that happened. I’m trying to take is slower in August but suddenly I got ARCs approvals on NetGalley and all my plans need to be adjusted. 😀 As much as I love NetGalley, I hate when my requests stay there pending for months and months and I never know when I will get the ARC (and IF I will). Lol
      Hope you’re having a great month, hun ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 18 books is an amazing month for sure!
    The Song of Achilles is on my TBR, if it makes to my 4 star rating I will be happy tbh bc it has been on my TBR for soo long! Honestly, it’s about time I finally read it 😅
    Hope you have a great August!! ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I have no idea how I managed to read so much, but I wish I’d had a bit more 5-star reads 😀
      I hope you enjoy The Song of Achilles! I’m definitely more of team “Circe” (as Emer said 😀 ), but TSoA was very good as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Damn! 18 books, girl that’s amazing!
    It looks like you had a good July. I’m a little jealous you went to the beach… I still barely leave the house. We’ve hit stage 3 of opening things back up, but I’m not really ready yet.
    I also totally feel you on prioritizing blogging over reading. I still have some blogs I have to finish for this week… but all I’ve wanted to do is read today… so it hasn’t happened yet! 😅
    I hope you have a great reading month in August! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahaha, thank you! 2nd best reading month of the year. At least I’ll hit 100 books in 2020 😀
      Because I live in a smallet town, I didn’t really feel the quarantine as much as everyone else (I think). Our office closed for 2 months, but we still worked a lot and at the beginning there were maaaaany things to do. I still went food shopping, etc. Last week was the first time we went out for a dinner, which was lovely, and the restaurant even had a line at some point. Lots of tourists now here as well. So I’m feeling a little bit braver when it comes to going places, but we cancelled out trip plans this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow your situation was definitely different from mine. I’m still working from home (probably will until next year) things are just starting to open up, but it’s all dependant on the numbers. That’s awesome that you got to go out for dinner! I’m not ready to eat indoors yet, but I’ve eaten out on the patio twice, which was nice 😊
        Yay! Hopefully you’ll continue to have some incredible reading months this year! 💞

        Like

  5. What a great month!! I read 16 thanks to The Reading Rush. That’s a very high number for me. And I’m so jealous of your beach. I’m a beach girl who lives 5 hours away from the closest one. 😉 I own The Kite Runner but haven’t read it yet. I loved the film. I need to pick it up soon! Great wrap-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Reading Rush is probably one of my favorite read-a-thons. I also read more books solely because of it, as I picked up shorter books for the prompts. 🙂 The beach here is great but water… brrrr, freezing. Sometimes water current changes and it’s warmer, but usually it’s at 17-18 degrees.
      «The Kite Runner» was so sad. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the movie… but highly recommend the book!

      Like

    1. I wanted to write a review for it, but not sure if I’ll be able to… So many tragic things happend in the story, it’s so powerful, I don’t know if I can write a review that will do it justice. Absolutely loved it, but I’m kinda scared of his books now. 🙂

      Like

    1. It’s not exactly a beach house but close enough I guess 😀 The weather has been amazing and we had a couple of weeks in July when the water was warm too, but now it’s freezing cold again, lol. I’m patiently waiting for the current to change and bring some warmer waters here.

      Like

  6. Lovely to hear you had such a good reading month Alex! I absolutely adored The Kite Runner too. I highly recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns as it’s my favourite book by Khaled Hosseini (plus one of my all-time top reads) and left me even more of an emotional mess than The Kite Runner – if that’s possible…
    X x x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m the same way, I always need to remind myself to start my wrap-ups soon, but…. only to help me keep track of the blog posts I enjoy and want to share 😂 I forget it all otherwise 😂
    I’m so happy to see you had a great reading month, yay! I read With the Fire on High and loved it so, so much, can’t wait to read more from the author 🙂
    I hope you’re having a lovely month! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This month I even added a weekly event on my calendar “Update August Wrap Up” 😀 And I’m still struggling to keep it up to date. Lol
      Thank you! August has been good so far, a little bit slower than the previous month but that was something I expected anyway.
      Hopefully, you’re enjoying this last month of summer ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I Alex! It’s been a while. Congrats on the great reading month. That beach looks amazing. I used to live at a walking distance from the beach for the first 18 years of my life, but now I live about an hour away. I do miss it sometime.

    I also have a question. In a little while (when things settle down) I want to get back into blogging. I absolutely love how you do your wrap-up’s now, with the graphics. I always struggled a bit with how to wrap up the books I read in a month and not have it be a giant block of text. Would it be alright with you if I did something similar with graphics with arrows? I would credit you of course and it would be in my own style. It’s fine if you would rather not! Just let me know what you think. 🙂 And yes, I definitely know the problem of starting with wrap-ups too late! Sometimes it’s even hard to remember the last week, let a lone the whole month 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey!!!!! It’s been a loooooong while 😀 I hope you’re doing great and it’s so nice to see you post again! I got the notifications but this week was CRAZY. Now that it’s Friday evening I can finally sit down and sort my blog, and all notifications.

      Oh, absolutely! And thank you so much. Feel free to use a similar graphic thing. I find it so much fun to create and I love how it looks as well 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m doing pretty good all things considered 😋 It’s nice to be posting again and interacting with all the lovely people in the community. I really hope now that my studies are coming to an end I will finally be able to keep up with blogging 🙂

        Thank you! I really love creating graphics too. They also really help making posts more fun to read.

        Liked by 1 person

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