• Jessica Sherry

Reading List: July 2022

What's read... and to be read... that is the question.

And for July, it's a long answer. To support our growing reading habit, I'm sharing thoughts on our latest reads and what's on our TBR lists moving forward.

Stack of books

Here are the books we finished this month:

From our local library...

Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. Joe and I both read this book, and benefitted greatly from his SMARTER goal-setting techniques and overall encouragement. We are implementing many of Hyatt's practices, so that'll probably be its own blog one day. From someone who's read many self-help books, this one's a keeper. I may buy a copy for the household.

"One intentional choice at a time, you make the world around you better." - Michael Hyatt

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This is a quick read, and there's a quiz at the end, so... fun. We learned that I thrive with words of affirmation followed a close second by acts of service and physical touch. Joe enjoys quality time most, followed closely by words of affirmation and physical touch. Understanding your spouse better is always a good thing, and it's changed our thinking. That Joe values quality time most, encourages me to carve out more time for it, even if it's just sitting in the backyard and discussing our gardening plans. And he's been quicker to offer positive remarks, especially when he edits my writing--he used to only point out mistakes or problems. Even after twenty-five years, Joe and I are still upping our marriage game. :)

From Audible...

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Am I happier for reading this book? I'd say... yes. In this book, Rubin focused on an aspect of her life she wanted to improve each month, like January was energy, February was love, and so on. Though I didn't do all the lists or monthly goals that she did (like I could've skipped the parenting chapter as that no longer applies to me really), I enjoyed the wealth of information and statistics she provided. She shared life insights from herself, her readings, and her social media friends and encouraged me to "act the way I want to feel." I also felt more aware of my interactions with people, especially Joe, and more present generally.

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens. Joe and I enjoyed listening to the first book in this series last year on a road trip (The Life We Bury). So, when another road trip came up, it was an easy choice. In the first book, Joe Talbert uncovers the mystery of a dying convicted felon for a college English assignment, English homework turned life-changing caper, while caring for his autistic brother and befriending his neighbor Lila. In the second book, Joe's a journalist chasing the story behind his father's murder. Both stories offer compelling mysteries, action, and intriguing interpersonal relationships between Joe, his brother, and Lila. We'll definitely listen to more from Allen Eskens on our next trip.

Bookstore Books...

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. So, I was in Barnes & Noble, buying coffee, and noticed this book featured on the counter. $5 with a purchase. So, yes, totally an impulse buy, but that's perfectly okay when it comes to books. It ticked many of my boxes anyway... best seller, psychological thriller, mystery, cool cover. What I loved first about it was Cole's conversational, often funny voice, which really made her characters pop to life for me, especially Sydney as she struggled to keep her precarious footing in her beloved neighborhood while dealing with a bunch of... well, entitled, sinister assholes. It had a roller coaster ending that kept me guessing. It helped me understand the damn devious underbelly of gentrification, something I've never experienced firsthand. And made me long to read more books by minorities, marginalized voices, and stories from a perspective much different than mine.

When No One is Watching book

Here are the books on our reading list now:

From Prime Reading...

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. After reading and loving Horowitz's novel The Word is Murder, I jumped at the opportunity to try another for free with my Prime Membership. I didn't realize until reading that book that I've been a fan of Horowitz's TV work for ages, including his screenplays for Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War, and Poirot. And since my current writing project is a mystery, it keeps me in a mysterious mood.

Bookstore Books...

Joe's reading Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus which covers a long list of healthy practices for working, learning, exercising, and living. Last night, he got through four chapters and started an outline of things we should remember, so I won't have to read it, too. Hmm, an act of service... bonus points, Joe.

Own the Day Own Your Life Book

I'm tackling the Novel & Short Story Writer's Market. Not exactly a spine-tingler, but I'll be querying agents in August (another goal I've set thanks to Your Best Year Ever), and this book'll give me a targeted list. My latest work in progress, One Thing Better, is almost agent-ready.

From Audible...

After receiving an email about a 2 for 1 audiobook sale, I cashed in my July credit for two promising reads. Missing Molly by Natalie Barelli & Run Away by Harlan Coben who's been popping up on many promising Netflix series lately (check out descriptions and rankings for those here). Run Away not only looks exciting but sold me on its narrator, Steven Weber. He also narrated parts of another recent fav If It Bleeds by Stephen King.

All that said, I just started Missing Molly and I'm already hooked. It promises to be a mysterious month.

If you're looking to develop a reading habit like us, then check out my last post on How to Read More Books.

Not to sound like a Capital One commercial (What's in your wallet?) but what are you reading? Share your latest reads or book recommendations below!

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