Each month I do a round-up of all of the books I’ve read throughout that month. This gives you, as a reader of my blog or a reader of books, a chance to maybe find a new great read based on my thoughts on what I’ve read this month.
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July was a slower month of reading for me because essentially I picked up a tomb of a book in Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. Gardens of the Moon is over 600 pages long and is a very deep and challenging fantasy book to read. More on that later though.
So here are the three books I read throughout July:
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This was my first TJR book after seeing a heck of a lot about her books across my social media feeds. Malibu Rising popped up in my local ASDA in their “2 for £8” deal which was something I just couldn’t say no to.
It’s a story about the Riva family and the abandonment of their father and the struggles that comes with that including financial, mental health and so much more. It’s an interesting read that offers up some deep family
My summary of Malibu Rising in my review: “Malibu Rising had so much potential. It started off wonderfully, gripping me and making me fall in love with the characters. However, with a really boring middle section that added absolutely nothing to the story, if it hadn’t been for the final encounter and grand finale, it may well have been quite a dull book. It has me hyped for TJR’s story-telling abilities and makes me want to explore a lot more of her books.”
Gardens of the Moon By Steven Erikson
So this book is the reason I read so little else in July. I’m a fantasy fan and to consider myself a proper fantasy fan, I feel like I needed to start the Book of Malazan series. Gardens of the Moon is famed within fantasy book-reading culture for notoriously being a very difficult start to the series. You’re dropped into cultures, lands, people and events that you’re given very little background about.
However, I absolutely loved Gardens of the Moon. Yes, I found it challenging at times as new people would be introduced when I was already trying to remember who the other 25 people introduced were and yes I did have to reread at times or reference a WIki to feel like I was up-to-speed, but by the end of it, I felt a sense of having achieved something and look forward to subsequent books.
My summary of Gardens of the Moon from my review: “I would have given Gardens of the Moon five stars if it weren’t for the constant need to reread some areas to check I was right and the fact that characters are often introduced without any real introduction at all. Gardens of the Moon and the Malazan Book of the Fallen series as a whole is often talked of as being difficult to read and this is very true. But when you find yourself two-thirds of the way in, utterly enthralled by everything going on and the world that Erikson is carving, you can’t help but be in awe of it all.”
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Blood Orange was a book I picked up after seeing the length of Garden of the Moon and realising I needed something a bit lighter and shorter to read whilst I read Garden of the Moon. Blood Orange is a relatively short book and came highly rated by my partner and was recommended to me by everybody on social media when I asked them to choose from a selection of short books I owned.
Blood Orange follows a woman who is having an affair and the constant struggles she faces juggling the betrayal with trying to get her own personal family back together. It’s a story that is constantly morally grey and leaves you feel constantly uncomfortable with a lot of the decisions the protagonists choose to make.
My summary of Blood Orange in my review: “Blood Orange has a fairly slow first third but quickly picks up the action and tension which leaves you flipping the pages to find out what’s going on. It’s a book that explores two different forms of domestic abuse in a mature way, leaving you feeling uncomfortable quite often. The final third will leave you shocked and you’ll do well to guess it. Blood Orange is an easy thriller that if you’re into your down-to-earth mysteries you’ll likely enjoy!”
Summary of July 2022 reading round-up
So those are the three books I read throughout July and the reason why I only actually managed to read three.
Gardens of the Moon was an absolute epic and a new fantasy series I’m looking forward to continuing. Do I think I’ll ever finish all ten of the books? Who knows. I’m about five books through Wheel of Time and I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully finish those either. However, it’s still a great first book in the series and apparently the second only gets better.
Blood Orange and Malibu Rising were two great reads but both had the potential to be better than they eventually were. Both had some great themes and both had me flipping the pages at a rate of knots but both also had their quiet moments (Blood Orange had a slow start and Malibu Rising had a very dull middle).
Let me know if you’ve read any of the books above or whether they’ve given you any inspiration.