The heat is getting to me – taking away my energy. I want to sleep – but I need to read. I have lots of books on my TBR. This is no time to lose energy. Summer sunshine.
My July Word of the Month
My July Haiku of the Month
Takes over relentlessly
Bible Verse of the Month
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
My July reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
☆ – I own the book and am ready to read.
★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
↓ – I didn’t even start. Complete fail!
Jane Austen July
I’m participating in a Booktube event called Jane Austen July. There are quite a few prompts but I don’t want Jane Austen to take over my month, so I’ll be doing only four of the prompts. Two are for books and two are for TV or movies.
★ Classic Fiction: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
I’ve started reading this. I tried listening to an audiobook but immediately became too confused about the characters and what they were doing, since I’m not familiar with their customs. I switched to a Kindle edition and got along with that much better. At least now I know who Fanny Price is and that most of her relatives are dingbats.
☆ Classic Nonfiction: Letters of Jane Austen, by Jane Austen
I really don’t know what to expect, but I’m open to learning more. There’s something so invasive about reading through the correspondence of someone long-gone, uncovering her innermost secrets. I wonder if she anticipated having millions of strangers seeking out her soul this way. I ask myself, “Should I read these letters, or shouldn’t I?”
The Third Booktube Spin
The Third Booktube Spin happened at the end of June and I participated. I had to come up with a list of twenty books I wanted to read. Rick MacDonnell is the creator of this spin which has become very popular on Booktube. We apparently like the random surprise of having a book chosen for us. The appointed books are to be read during the next three months. Here’s my video with twenty books set in California:
The results? Rick surprised us…
Therefore, during the coming three months I’ll be reading:
☆ California Fiction: California Gold, by John Jakes
I was SO EXCITED when this book was chosen. STILL excited. Even though this is the longest book on my list of twenty books, it is the one I wanted to read the most. Bill Ruttenberg, another Booktuber, inspired me to want to read this with a bookshelf tour video a year ago.
★ California Nonfiction: The Barbary Coast, by Herbert Asbury
I started reading this book years ago for novel research. Then it sat on my shelf neglected for years. Then it burned in the historic forest fire of September 8, 2020… just as I was considering picking it up again to read the rest. Well, I put it on my list for the Booktube Spin and sure enough – I had to buy another copy. I’m happy to be able to read it. I plan to start from the beginning again.
Big Book Summer Reading Challenge
Here’s Sue’s video explaining the challenge she created.
✓ Christian Romance: Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers
This will be my second book by Francine Rivers. This novel is set in historic California so that intrigues me. Christian fiction – maybe a “final frontier” for me. Maybe not. This book has been praised by many, so I’m giving it a try.
Another book I’m reading for the Big Book Summer Reading Challenge is The Stammering Century.
★ Nonfiction: The Stammering Century, by Gilbert Seldes
This is novel research. It is about cults, cranks, manias, and religious fanaticism of the 1800’s in the USA. I love that folk art was used for the cover!
More Fiction I Want to Read
★ Christian Fiction: In This Mountain, by Jan Karon
I’m still participating in the “A Year in Mitford Readalong” and this is the seventh book in the series.
✓ Juvenile Fiction: Ramona’s World, by Beverly Cleary
Two more chapters! Last book in the eight-book series! Yay! I’ve enjoyed reading the Ramona books!
★ Christian Allegorical Fiction: Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard
I joined the Sisters in Christ Book Club at Goodreads and this is the July monthly selection for a group read.
★ Children’s Poetry: Falling Up, by Shel Silverstein
I’m reading this for the PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt, to read a book with an oxymoron in the title.
★ Classic Epic Poem: The Divine Comedy (The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso), by Dante Alighieri
I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time. I’m still in part one, The Inferno. Not a good place to be.
More Nonfiction I Want to Read
★ Nonfiction: The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area, by Malcolm Margolin
This is novel research for me. I love reading about California, and I consider it a matter of responsibility to know something about the Native American tribes that once occupied the land where I was born and raised. It is such a tragedy that they were completely displaced and disappeared. So sad, so sad. I want to know who they were, what they did, and how they lived.
★ Christian: Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
I’m still reading this book but fell behind on the readalong.
★ History: The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience, by J.S. Holliday
This nonfiction history based on gold rush journals has taken me multiple months to get through. I’m reading this because I love learning about California history and because it is the thickest book I have right now… it is for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #41 – The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list. My plan is to read at least 4 pages daily. As of the beginning of July, I’m in chapter twelve. After much terrible suffering on the overland route, William Swain, a diarist and gold seeker, is getting weary from his lack of success in California.
★ Satirical Memoir: Roughing It, by Mark Twain
I dare not call this pure nonfiction… but it is based on Mark Twain’s journey out west with his big brother who was headed to Carson City, Nevada. The book exceeds nonfiction with numerous exaggerations, tall tales, and not-politically-correct opinions that are sure to leave some groups of people fuming. There are some things I really don’t like as well. Still, it is mostly amusing satire plus it tells a lot about living conditions and concerns of the mid-1800’s and I find that valuable. I’m audio-reading it as it is part of American history, and a classic.
My July 2021 Reading Diary
July 1 – I spent the day creating videos… here’s the June Wrapup.
July 2 – And now, the July TBR!
July 3 – I started reading Mansfield Park and am continuing with the audio-reading of Roughing It, though I’ve wavered quite a bit on whether or not I wanted to read Mark Twain. He is so not politically correct by our present day standards. Here’s an update I just left on that book at Goodreads: “Clearly, Mark Twain didn’t care who he insulted with his opinions, tall tales, satire and wild exaggerations. He didn’t live by the PC rules of our times and didn’t worry about rules of civility he wasn’t aware of. What he cared about was writing an amusing story and giving his honest opinions. In that he succeeded, though these days it is easy to get riled up by reading things that go against our current ethics.”
Portsmouth Square is a probable location for Captain Richardson’s home. This map shows the distance from there to the Presidio and from there to Mission San Francisco de Asis, aka: Mission Dolores.
July 9 – I just finished reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers… a Christian romance novel set in the California gold rush, mid-1800’s. I couldn’t put it down. So good! I’ve actually seen posts of women online who say they reread this book every year and learn new things from it. I don’t think I’ll go that far with it, but I’m glad I read it once. Here’s my Goodreads review of Redeeming Love.
July 17 – I don’t think I’ve finished anything lately. I’m just trying to read a little from each book daily – but sometimes can’t even do that because of out-of-town trips and other things happening in my life. I’m enjoying Valley of Little Rivers by Wally Coleman – a local book, and hard to find apparently. The Josephine County (Oregon) Historical Society helped publish it. I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying the Christian allegorical book, Hinds Feet in High Places. I didn’t think I’d be able to get into a book with a main character named Much-Afraid, but I was so, so wrong.