The last two months were fun reading months for me; though, this is the first time this year I have not finished a book I started. More to come on that later! I really enjoyed the majority of my reads over July and August, especially the thrillers I read.If I had to pick my very favorite books, I thoroughly enjoyed You’re Invited and The Hotel Nantucket in July and The Dinner List and Girl, Forgotten in August.
Here is everything I have read so far in 2022 and a look at what I’m reading this month. If you would like to see my reviews, check out what I read in January & February, March & April, and May & June.
Everything I Read in July and August 2022
Everything I Read in July
- I picked this book up from our suite at the Library Hotel to read (I’m returning, don’t worry!) because the title was intriguing to me. I will be honest, I had never heard of Adena Halpern before and I’m not 100% sure who she is now, but this was a really fun read. It is a memoir about her life and experience with clothes and she includes a great, heartwarming connection to what she was wearing and what happened in her life and the impact it had.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
- I have a confession: I haven’t finished this book yet. I picked it up because I so enjoyed Doerr’s novel, All the Light We Cannot See, last summer. He is an incredible author–really. I’m not just saying that. However, it has just taken me a little time to get into this. It has received high praise from people who I respect their book opinions, including Grace Atwood. It is my plan to finish this book this year, and I’ll update accordingly once I do. In the meantime, the book takes place over 3 different time periods with three different experiences to create lives that are intertwined in what has been claimed “a wildly inventive, a humane and uplifting book for adults that is infused wit the magic of childhood reading experiences” according to the NYT.
- star rating TBD
You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa
- This book was *wild,* y’all. Wild. The main character, Amaya, is invited to her ex-best friend’s wedding in Sri Lanka. Her ex-best friend, Kaavi, and her haven’t spoken in years, so the invitation is out of the blue for Amaya. They stopped speaking because of something bad that happened between Amaya and Kaavi’s family, though we don’t know what. Amaya becomes obsessed with stopping Kaavi’s wedding to Amaya ex-boyfriend. Kaavi’s family is Sri Lankan royalty and she is a social media influencer and founder of a charity to support underprivileged girls, so she has quite the fan club. However, it turns out that she has made quite a few enemies and turns up missing. The story flows between the past, present, and the police reports for various characters at the end of the present chapters. It was a page turner and I quite enjoyed it.
- trigger warning for self-harm
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
- David and I were at Ocracoke when I finished this book and I absolutely flew through it. It was such a delightful beach read and I found myself daydreaming about wanting to be on Nantucket as a guest at the hotel so I could dine at the Blue Bar! The Hotel Nantucket is a historic property that is haunted by a ghost (!!!) and it is bought and renovated to be a showpiece and opening in time for the summer. The story is told from a variety of perspectives and includes a breakup, romance, island drama, and a happy ending. Honestly, I couldn’t put it down. It was so good!
The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan
- I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel–set in England during World War II, it follows three women and their work lifting the spirits of brides on Britain’s home-front. The story opens with renowned fashion designer, Cressida Westcott, losing both her home and her design house during one of the bombings of London, which forces her to go back to her family manor house. She is greeted by her niece, Violet, who is devastated that the village men are off at war and not available for her to find a suitable aristocratic husband. Cressida is not interested in a relationship and continues her work on her fashion line while joining the village group that repairs clothes. The third woman, Grace, is the local vicar’s daughter who is trying to repair her mother’s wedding dress for her upcoming wedding, of which she is having second thoughts. The village women join up in repairing wedding dresses and offering them to brides around the country to offer them the opportunity for a white wedding despite the ongoing war.
Everything I Read in August
Verity by Colleen Hoover
- This book has been on my TBR list since last summer after I finished It Ends With Us because I thoroughly enjoyed Colleen’s writing. Since then, this book has been blowing up on TikTok and other social media platforms. So, I was a little hesitant to read because of all the added hype. However, it was quite a ride and a book that is exactly what this book is billed as, a psychological thriller. Lowen is a struggling writer whose mother just passed away. She is hired to finish best-selling author Verity Crawford’s series. Verity was in a horrible car crash and is not expected to recover to finish her novels. Verity and her husband, Jeremy, had a set of twin daughters. They experience the unfortunate losses of both daughters through separate experiences. Lowen moves in with the Crawfords to go through Verity’s office to compile her notes into the manuscripts to finish the novels. While doing that, she finds Verity’s autobiography, where she divulges devastating secrets and bone-chilling admissions. I stayed up reading it all night–it’s that good.
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
- I read One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle earlier this year and quite enjoyed it. And it was nothing compared to The Dinner List. When I tell you I sobbed at the end–whew. This book is a play of naming five people, living or dead, with whom you would like to have dinner. Sabrina arrives at her 30th birthday dinner to find her best friend (borderline estranged best friend, IMO), three significant people from her past, and Audrey Hepburn. The story starts with Sabrina being late, appetizers being served, wine being served, and conversations being had that help shine light on the reason why all have been gathered. It is a beautiful novel and I cannot recommend enough.
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins
- I read two books in August that were takes on Agatha Christie classics, and this was the first one. Six twentysomethings end up on Meroe Island, a desolate island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It has a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and murder, plus ruins from when it was used as a base during World War II. The journey starts out beautiful and carefree before they begin realizing just how far they are away from civilization. One person goes missing and another turns up dead, so those remaining beginning wondering what additional chaos may ensue. I do with the ending had been a little more flushed out; otherwise, it was a quick thriller and an enjoyable one at that.
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
- A dysfunctional family meets Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None in this novel. I first discovered Alice Feeney last year from one of my Book of the MonthBook of the Month picks, Rock, Paper, Scissors, which was one of my favorite reads in 2021. Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart. After years of her family avoiding each other, they are gathered at her Nana’s house to celebrate her 80th birthday. The family arrives at her nana’s gothic house on a tiny tidal island. As the tide comes in, they are cut off from the mainland for the next 8 hours. At the stroke of midnight, Nana is found dead. An hour later, the next family member follows. It is quite an interesting read and Alice Feeney’s trademark shocking twists will keep you engaged.
Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter
- I loved Karin Slaughter’s book The Kept Woman, so when I saw this as an option for my Book of the Month in August, I immediately added it. this book is actually the second in a series, which I did not know until after reading it. It did not affect the story line for me at all. However, I do plan on reading the first at some point this year. The book is based on new to the force, US Marshall Andrea Oliver. He is investigating a cold case to see if there is a link to her father. Andrea arrives to protect a federal judge who is receiving death threats. The judge also happens to be the mother of the cold case that she is investigating. It’s a twisty tale and I highly recommend.