July 2016 Monthly Recap

Hi!
Monthly RecapHappy August, friends! How’s life? This start to the new month begs the question: where has summer gone? While I still have several weeks until I head back to the classroom , I feel as if I just wrapped up my junior year – and now I’m working on my college essays and opening a new planner! Fortunately, I think the next few months have plenty of fun in store. Before summer slips through our fingers, though, I wanted to give a proper recap to July; I’ve skipped over the past few months so a recap post is long overdue. What are your plans for August?

Poison is Not Polite{Find intelligent detectives, charming characters, and a mansion setting in Robin Stevens’ adorable newest release.}

Reads: Book reviews have been sporadic and spaced out throughout the summer, so excuse the mash-up of posts from May, June, and July! From a touching, well-written memoir to a funny and heartwarming YA anthology, good books were aplenty – and made writing reviews all the more fun.

  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi | “Kalanithi achieved his dream of writing a complete work, but he passed before he could see and touch a finished copy. What Kalanithi proves to be meaningful through it, though, is something I think he’d take pride in: deeper conversation on life and death and the relationships among us all.”
  • Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins | “This anthology nails depictions of the summertime. Not all the stories are hits, but as a whole, they are a terrific option for anyone seeking a summery escape.”
  • Poison is Not Polite by Robin Stevens | “With or without the well-written case, I could easily see budding detectives and avid readers devouring this book in one sitting, but even I found it hard to put it down once I was invited into Fallingford Mansion – a testament to the novel’s addictive nature if I ever saw one.”
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord | “[Lord] weaves details together to evoke the five senses, painting pictures of a bonfire on the beach, a moonlit dinner party, and open pottery sessions. In other words, she makes it easy to immerse oneself in the charming town of Verona Cove.”
  • Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee | “I enter contests on a whim, happy to win any book I have interest in, but I’m oh-so delighted to have Gemini on my shelves, as I have a feeling Clara and Hailey will last in my memory for months to come.”

July BooksFrom day trips across New England to afternoons outside on the porch, I’ve been lucky to have so many opportunities to read in July! It was a rare month where I have something good to say about all ten books, but if I had to pick favorites from the bunch, I’d give the title to hidden gems True Letters from a Fictional Life, a compelling coming out story, and The Square Root of Summer, an interesting twist of physics in a contemporary narrative. I have my fingers crossed I find August’s pile just as good.

The Cookies and Cup CookbookEats: The summer heat isn’t very friendly to the oven, so I haven’t posted a recipe in recent months! I did, however, receive The Cookies and Cups Cookbook as a birthday present, and I’m so excited to experiment with Shelly’s recipes; I already tried one – the cookies and cream cookies – with my sister and friend, and the family gave it a thumbs-up.

Jen Sievers{I love the bright colors in Jen Sievers’ abstract art collection.}

MoreOutside of reviews and recipes, I have plenty to share! For the bookworms, I listed the beach reads I can’t wait to get to – complete with matching swimsuits – as well as the novels I want to read before the year ends in two new Top Ten Tuesdays; for the artists, I posted yet another edition of Eye on Art {get a preview above} and a summery version of Picture Perfect. In earlier birthday fun, I shared some of the items I was crushing on – catch them all HERE – and finally, you can take a peek at my summer list for the year HERE.

Smitten Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies{via Smitten Kitchen}

Favorites: Whether you need something to brighten your day or something to keep you thinking, I have a few pieces picked out! Here are my recommendations from around the web.

  • Take a peek at the newly redesigned Smitten Kitchen website and bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies at the same time! The five-inch treats look scrumptious, and I’m looking forward to baking them come the fall.
  • Topaz’s writing is magic, a skill she demonstrates in her blog posts, her free-write pieces, and most recently, in her poem collection, Heaven or This. I’m all about supporting other bloggers in their writing endeavors – particularly when they’re as talented as Topaz! – so give it a download HERE.
  • Jo’s Motherhood Around the World posts are such an interesting glimpse into cultures outside of the United States. While each interview is biased to a certain degree, I look forward to reading them, like this recent take on parenting in Iceland, all the same.
  • There’s no hiding that writer’s block makes writing anything tough, let alone a book review! I’ve bookmarked Emily’s post, complete with nine suggestions on how to start a review, for the next time I stare at a blank screen with nothing coming to mind.
  • Finally, I loved reading this interview between author Megan Abbott and blogger Kelly Jensen. So many excellent points were made, convincing me to grab You Will Know Me next time I’m at the library!

August Looking Ahead{via My Cute Graphics}

Looking Ahead: I think I will finish my summer off on the best note! This coming weekend brings four more and the final performances of You’re Perfect, I Love You, Now Change at my local community theater where I’m stage managing; I start my job at a new ice cream shop downtown; and I have plenty of outings and books to get to before I start my senior year {and college stress!} in September.

Have a lovely Tuesday!
Bella

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2 thoughts on “July 2016 Monthly Recap

  1. Oh! What a kind thing to link to Heaven or This – I thank you endlessly, my love. I am truly honoured that you enjoy my work, and it means so much that you chose to share it with your lovely readers. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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