I never could’ve guessed when I started this series at the beginning of 2020 that I would be reading so many books this year! 2020 has been the craziest year yet, so reading (and listening) to books has been such a calming activity during the busy chaos, especially in the last couple months. This month was full of some wonderful reads, so let’s dive into what I read in July!
HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS BY J.K. ROWLING – 5 STARS
The greatest finale to one of the greatest series ever written. If you’ve never read HP all the way through (or even if you have), this ending will wreck you in the best way.
THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE BY C.S. LEWIS – 5 STARS
I decided that 2020 is the year for rereading all of my old favorite series like HP, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Hunger Games. My fifth grade teacher read us the entire Narnia series in school, but after the second book, I literally don’t remember anything about them. So I’m taking quarantine to reread the classic series and refresh on the tales of Narnia. They’re an easy, youthful read!
OPEN BOOK BY JESSICA SIMPSON – 5 STARS
LOVED this book!!! I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself a Jessica Simpson fan, but I am 100% a fan now. This book tells the story of her rise to fame, tumultuous relationships, alcohol addiction, and so much more. I am amazed by her resolve to stick to her morals and beliefs through the toughest of times. I love the behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood and her vulnerability! Highly recommend!
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE? BY IJEOMA OLUO – 5 STARS
This book was eye-opening and wonderful and taught me so many things. I am ashamed to admit there were so many aspects to the issue of race that I’ve never even considered because that just hasn’t been my experience in my life growing up. Oluo tells stories of her life experiences and the experiences of others so beautifully and covers a multitude of issues with ease. Some of the main points that she focuses on are actively listening to what people are telling you, be prepared to be uncomfortable, and do your own research! Highly recommend.
PRINCE CASPIAN BY C.S. LEWIS – 4 STARS
In my opinion, The Chronicles of Narnia progressively gets less interesting as the books go on. This could be because The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe is so iconic. But at any rate, Prince Caspian just falls short for me after following up such a great book. I still gave it four stars because it is a great book, it’s just hard to switch tracks and move to a new cast of characters after reading about the first visit to Narnia.
ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING BY MAX LUCADO – 4 STARS
I had to stop and take notes many times over the course of this book. I love Max Lucado’s writing style and how the book is full of Scripture as well as nuggets of wisdom from Lucado himself. In a season where anxiety is at an all time high for so many, this was a great read to remind me of what is most important.
THE STRANGER BESIDE ME BY ANN RULE – 5 STARS
I’m a sucker for a serial killer / cult story, so of course I needed to learn more about the woman that was close, personal friends with Ted Bundy. I wasn’t super familiar with Ted Bundy’s story in general, other than knowing that he was known as a somewhat attractive murderer? But this was such an interesting angle given that it’s told from the perspective of a friend of Bundy’s who was tasked with writing about the murders in real-time.
THE ONE BY KIERA CASS – 5 STARS
I love this series – it’s a little cheesy but just so good. The One wraps up the original story of the Selection through the eyes of America Singer and Cass does a wonderful job keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very end. If you’re looking for an addictive series, this is the one!
THE HEIR BY KIERA CASS – 4 STARS
The Heir picks up a generation after The Selection began and continues the story of futuristic society, monarchy, and The Bachelor style romance, so buckle up!
YOU ARE A BADASS AT MAKING MONEY BY JEN SINCERO – 3 STARS
I wasn’t a fan of this as much as I expected to be. I loved reading about a different mindset and approach when it comes to money. I didn’t love talk of manifestation and putting energy out into the world – it just got a little too woo-woo-y for my liking.
THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING BY JOAN DIDION – 5 STARS
What a beautiful and heartbreaking look at grief. Didion writes about the time in her life when her husband died suddenly while their daughter was in the ICU in a coma. Her philosophy on life is so interesting.
THE CROWN BY KIERA CASS – 4 STARS
The finale to another one of my favorite series! You know how much I love The Selection!
THE CIRCLE BY DAVE EGGERS – 4 STARS
Okay – this book was unlike anything I’ve read recently, and I loved it. I was on the edge of my seat the entire, watching fall deeper and deeper into the web of technology taking over her life. This is a story of what could happen to us in the not-so-distant future if we let social media take over our entire lives.
You can follow along with all of my 2020 reading here: