In July I took part in the Pop Culture Readathon, where the first round was inspired by 90’s movies which I enjoyed so much. Not only were the prompts for the board I picked really fun – I read some books which I feel I might never have picked up otherwise, like Beartown by Fredrik Backman which was such a gem and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo which was always on my list but it was a brilliant excuse to get to it sooner. While I was trying to read all the books I picked for my board, I kind of lost steam and I didn’t have access to all of the books so I had to press pause, I managed to get a couple of bingos on the board so I’m still happy though!
Here’s my Pop Culture Readathon Board and how many books I managed to tick off the list! So as you can see, I managed to read just over half the board which is good enough for me, next time I’ll try and get a whole board though.
Here are the books I read in July:
- The Burning God by R.F. Kuang
- Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
- Beartown by Fredrik Backman
- The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
- The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
- Kindred by Octavia Butler
- Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
- The Memories We Bury by H.A. Leuschel
- The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
- Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
- The Name of Red by Beena Khan
- Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
- Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence
- The Sea of the Dead by Amy Kuivalainen
- The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
July Reviews & Posts:
My top picks:
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron – This was such an incredible retelling of Cinderella and I loved how while it had links to the original tale which everyone will be familiar with, it was also fresh and unique. I couldn’t fault this one!
Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho – Such an all round fun read which felt relatable due to the cultural elements and I loved the romance between the two main characters. I want to read more interracial romances where both leads are POC, so this checked that box and more.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – This book was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved the world building, the characters, the found family trope and the writing itself was simply beautiful. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. Book Twitter was so right about this one!
ARC’s of the month:
The Burning God by R.F. Kuang
After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.
Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.
Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?
Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence
Becks is into girls but didn’t come out because she was never in. She lives with her mum, stepdad and eighteen-year-old Silva, her stepdad’s daughter. Becks and Silva are opposites, but bond over their mutual obsession with K-pop.
When Becks’ mum and stepdad go on honeymoon to Japan, Becks and Silva are left alone. Except, Silva disappears. Becks ventures into the forbidden territory of Silva’s room and finds the first of eight clues that help her discover her sister’s secret life.
Meanwhile, Silva is on a journey. A journey to make someone love her. He says he doesn’t, but he’s just joking. All she has to do is persuade him otherwise …
The Sea of the Dead by Amy Kuivalainen
Penelope has accepted her role as the new Archivist for the Venetians, but with war brewing with the priests of Thevetat and the tide of magic on the rise, she’s going to have to learn her way around her new and dangerous world if she has any hope of outsmarting their enemies.
When Penelope’s friend and fellow archaeologist, Tim, uncovers a scroll containing a magical secret lost in the Dead Sea for two thousand years, Penelope and Alexis must travel to Israel to find him before Abaddon and Kreios get there first.
To defeat Thevetat and his followers, they’ll need to find a weapon capable of ending him for good, and as her old life collides with her new, Penelope will pay the ultimate price to keep the secrets safe…
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job