What I Read in July 2020
Today’s post is a look at what I read in July 2020. This month I’ve read eight books and it’s been across an array of genres.
Having returned to my flat in London my reading speed has diminished – strange as I thought I would have more time! But actually living alone leads to a lot of cleaning, cooking and admin that I didn’t have to do so much at my parents house.
But, I’ve still had a good reading month and really enjoyed what I read this month.
At work we’ve started a book club to read books by people of colour – one month non-fiction and the following month fiction – in order to educate ourselves as people and as publishers. I work for Avon, a commercial fiction publisher in the UK, and we all agree we would love to publish more diverse voices on our lists. But, we just don’t get the submissions or the agented submissions – so it’s time for us to be proactive and find them! Starting with educating ourselves about the PoC experience and new voices in commercial fiction.
Of course, our book club had to kick off with Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race. A must-read book that everyone should read at least once. It’s not a comfortable read, but a seriously important and insightful one.
A literary fiction that does what most literary fiction does – in my opinion – not do much in terms of plot. It’s an okay read, and I enjoyed the writing style but it didn’t grab me as much as I wanted it to. The story follows a young woman in the city who’s working as a temp but hoping to be hired full-time by her new employer, only for that not to be the case.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to educate myself but expanding my reading list with books by people of colour. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read anything by Maya Angelou before. I love her poetry, and her speeches were incredible. But finally, I’ve read the first of the seven autobiographies she wrote during her life.
I was after a quick non-fiction read to read before bed, and this was perfect. I had received my copy via NetGalley in exchange for a review. A really simple but resourceful book on working from home. It’s a must-read for anyone struggling with life in lockdown.
I feel like one of the last people in publishing to read this book. The Flatshare has been a bestseller pretty much since it went on pre-order in 2018. And now I understand why. It really is a charming and utterly loveable romance, which I was addicted to. The story has many twists and turns, the romance feels believable and the writing is *chefs kiss*.
I finally got around to reading this modern classic. It was different to what I expected, I hadn’t realised it was written in letter format, or that the ending was that way it was. The story focuses on Celie, an abused teenager in the southern states of the USA who we watch grow up, get married, fall in love with a woman and escape her past. A really good read.
I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of House of Glass in the background while playing Sims 4, and it’s been great. I love Hadley Freeman’s books as she writes across an array of topics. This book is a biography of her family, the Glass family, who were Jews scattered across Eastern Europe in and around the time of World War Two. It focuses on several strands of the family, including her great Uncle Alex, a designer to the stars who was best friends with Dior and had quite the life and near-misses with Nazi. To her grandmother, who was the baby of the family and spared a lot of the trauma of the war by being forced into a marriage and sent to the USA. It was a decision that saved her life, but ripped apart her family.
For my Book Club this month the title was I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. An espionage thriller for fans of James Bond and beyond. It’s a tome, but worth the effort.
And that’s what I read in July. It was quite a small reading month for me, but with going back to London and the length of the last book I was swamped!