What I Read in July

(Ever so slightly behind schedule, but here we are!)

I think I had an expectation mismatch with I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez. I must’ve placed the hold ages ago and then just…forgot what the book was. It turns out to be a young adult novel! It was fine. I think I would’ve loved it if I’d been able to read it when I was younger, but I didn’t connect with it as much as an adult. Still a perfectly good book, still would read whatever Sánchez comes out with next, but it didn’t blow me away.

Kurt Andersen’s Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire was fascinating & really educational/thought-provoking, as evidenced by the fact that I have over 350 Kindle highlights for it. Definitely the kind of book that could have its own lengthy post. It’ll make you think a lot about what kinds of magical thinking & irrationality you buy into, and what the large-scale consequences of that could be. Andersen is pretty smug and very dismissive of lots of religious beliefs, which can get irritating even if you think he’s mostly right. But the book is just deeply interesting, and offers a lot of insight on how we got to…you know, where we are.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was exquisite. I was completely absorbed in it and can’t wait to read more from Thomas. I thought she did an incredible job of capturing her protagonist’s daily life: the microaggressions she deals with at her mostly white school, the tensions between members of her own family, the grief and trauma she deals with after the unjust & tragic central event. I cried a lot and laughed as well.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was a long-awaited library hold that did not disappoint. I don’t think I liked it quite as much as Everything I Never Told You, but it was close. Ng is amazing at moving you through different characters’ perspectives. Some plot points were a little obvious, but even when I knew what was coming I very much wanted to know how we’d get there.

Everything this month was an e-book. Maybe I am really joining the 20th century.

Still in progress but very good and deserving a mention: The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty. 📚