• Ryanne Harper

Reading Challenge: July Update


The goal is fifty-two books in fifty-two weeks.

Current count: twenty-six

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica: 2 unenthusiastic stars

Okay, here's the thing, I wish reviewers would stop saying "This book is this year's Gone Girl" because it's not. You're doing the author a disservice by making the comparison. I went in expecting one thing and got...nothing. It's boring. It's also written from the first person POV, which is fine; except it's the POV of the woman who is kidnapped, the kidnapper, the kidnapped woman's mother, and the detective. Oh, and both before and after she comes home. So, yeah, basically eight different first person POVs. If you didn't get to stop and start at the beginning of a chapter, it took a minute to figure out who was talking and also if it was before or after. Except in the case of the kidnapper and his victim. Those were easy simply because they were in a cabin. I don't know if the Gone Girl comparison hurt of not, but I found The Good Girl boring and not at all thrilling.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman: 2 stars

A friend recommended this book to me and I wanted to LOVE it, but I just didn't. I totally understand why people do, but it wasn't for me. In the story, seven-year-old Elsa is best friends with her grandmother. They make up worlds to visit before sleep and get into all kinds of shenanigans. Then, grandmother passes and Elsa is left to navigate the world without her and also deliver letters, left behind by grandmother, to people granny owes an apology to. The idea is precious, but I just could not relate. Probably because my grandmother was more like a negligent Maxine (the lady from the Hallmark cards) with a tendency to lose me in large crowds than a lady who makes up fantasy worlds for me. And there's nothing wrong with either style of grandma, I just couldn't get in to it. It did, however, bring back a lot of memories of my own grandma: the time I almost hit her in the head with a giant rake; the time she accidentally became part of the Christmas parade; the time we went to Magic Springs, rented a tiny boat, and had to be rescued because we were both terrified of the giant catfish, and watching Bold and the Beautiful.

Word By Word by Kory Stamper: 4 stars

For some reason, I chose the audio of this one. That was my bad. I'm giving it four stars because it deserves four stars, but the audio doesn't do it justice. This is one of those books that you might read in chunks rather than all at once. If you like words, it's super interesting. Kory Stamper's job is to write the dictionary. Yep. There are people who do that. Obviously; I just never thought about them before. It gets really interesting then they're trying to determine what part of speech a word is and why "good" isn't a grammatically acceptable response to "how are you?" even though people have been saying it for hundreds of years. It's fun, it's interesting. Read it.

The Hill by Kevin Johnson: 4 stars

**Full disclosure: we represent the lollipop guild and this author**

Read his book. If you've read his book, leave a review. PLEASE. Reviews are so, so important for new authors. So do us a solid and leave one already.

The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir: every star in the sky

I wrote an entire blog about this book. You can read it here.

The Outsider by Stephen King: 3 stars

The Summer of Stephen is in full effect. When eleven-year-old Frankie Peterson is found murdered, and not just murdered, like, full-on gory, Stephen King-style murdered, the town is shocked when long time baseball coach and everyone's favorite dude is arrested for it. It's a pretty straight forward case and the detectives are feeling pretty good about it. And then Stephen King happens. It gets weird, more people die, he throws in a few digs at our President, and Holly from the Mercedes series shows up to help the gang fix this huge mess they've made. So, it's quintessential King. I gave it three stars because I prefer his stories that don't involve supernatural elements. That's why Apt Pupil is, and probably always will be, my favorite of his.

Currently Reading:

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Missed my other challenge updates? Don't fret. You can catch up. Or, just follow me on Goodreads.

June

May

April

March

February

January

*Typing the months in reverse order is both challenging and fun.


10 views

Recent Posts

See All

Reading in the Time of COVID

Readers, I have a confession to make. I'm having trouble reading. Me. The gal who reads at least seventy books a year. I'm having trouble. I think, with all that's going on in real life, I'm having tr