June & July in (Reading) Review

Well, it's nearly the end of July...and I'm back in the United States after six months in Australia! The last few months have been hectic and stressful to say the least, but I'm in California for the moment and loving the summer after the Australian winter. Sadly, my reading life hasn't been great. Still, there have been brief spots of shining greatness (starting when I realized that I could check out e-copies of graphic novels - that was marvelous). Without further ado, here are the best of June and July.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban & Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling. Ah, Harry Potter. What more needs to be said? Prisoner of Azkaban is perhaps my favorite book of the series (though I reserve the right to change my mind), and so much of Goblet of Fire is just clever. In addition, I've now reached the end of the Potters I've read more than 10 times each. I've only gone through the last three two or three times, and I'm excited to see how much I remember and how much has changed.

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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for graphic novels, so I was thrilled beyond measure to learn that I could check out graphic novel ebooks from my library. Wonderful! I started with Relish, which combines two things I love very much: food and family. Knisley includes several family recipes in the book, which I'm looking forward to giving a shot once I'm back in my own kitchen.

El Deafo, by Cece Bell. This one's just charming. Think Arthur except with a very cute deaf bunny rabbit as the main character. Bell's voice is captivating, and I love the way the book conveys so many of the challenges involved in being deaf without sounding didactic or incomprehensible.

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Devoted, by Jennifer Mathieu. Rachel Walker is a teenager girl growing up in a highly religious community modeled on the Quiverfull movement who begins to question her upbringing. Things unfold from there. I believe this one was recommended by Kelly Jensen at Stacked, but I haven't been able to find the review on her site again, so I could be making this up. In any case, Devoted is a quiet contemporary novel with a compelling voice and compassionate heart, for both questioners and believers.

Books read (June): 13
Books read (July): 4 (This is horrible. I know, I know, I know.)