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2020 Recent Reads: July-September

We are three quarters through 2020!! Thank goodness, right? That also means that it’s time for me to share what I read in quarter 3, aka July, August, and September. I didn’t read as much in this quarter as I did in past ones, but I did hit my 2020 reading goal in this quarter. As of now, I’ve read 31 books! So let’s get to talking about those books themselves.

2020 Recent Reads Post | All Recent Reads

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I'm sharing the books I read in the third quarter of 2020 (July through September). It includes historical fiction, a memoir, classics, and more.

Code Name: Verity – “Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun. When ‘Verity’ is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?” (x)

This was a book that I got when Audible had a sale, but I really enjoyed it. AKA, I couldn’t stop listening to it, and the ending it made me cry. This book is in 2 parts: Verity’s tale and then Maddie’s. Before you read it, it is important to remember that it is focused on Verity’s capture by the Gestapo, so there are many trigger warnings for Nazis and various Nazi actions, even if it is fictional. If you aren’t triggered by those things, then you should definitely read it.

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide – “Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation. In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness” (x).

There are plenty of people who don’t like My Favorite Murder, Karen and Georgia’s podcast, and they are welcome to their opinion. If you are one of them, you won’t like this book. But I am one who does like the podcast, and I really enjoyed this book. As far as memoirs go, it’s a very fun one, even considering all of the things included in it.

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King of Scars – “Face your demons…or feed them. The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, Nikolai must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha general, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal” (x).

I got this book for my birthday, and I absolutely loved it. The Grishaverse is a fascinating world – and I can’t wait for the show! – and I love how much Leigh Bardugo has written about and in it. This book takes place after the Six of Crows duology, and so years after the initial Grisha trilogy. And the cliff hanger at the end! Thankfully, Bardugo has shared online that she has turned in the sequel’s copyedits. Hopefully the sequel will be out in 2021!

Spindle's End, Sleeping Beauty, Robin McKinley, Sleeping Beauty retelling, Spindle's End retelling, retelling of Sleeping Beauty

Spindle’s End – “The evil fairy Pernicia has set a curse on Princess Briar-Rose: she is fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an endless, poisoned sleep. Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps the princess in order to save her; she and her aunt raise the child in their small village, where no one knows her true identity. But Pernicia is looking for her, intent on revenge for a defeat four hundred years old. Robin McKinley’s masterful version of Sleeping Beauty is, like all of her work, a remarkable literary feat” (x).

I adore this book. I recently reread it and it’s even better than I remembered. My copy is falling apart. I sped through this book because I still, after all this time, couldn’t put it down. You really need to read this book, even if you’re an adult.

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Anna Karenina – “Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel’s seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness” (x).

I finally read Anna Karenina and oh my goodness I loved it. How had I not read it before?! It’s a beautiful novel. And it’s totally up my alley! I totally understand how it is one of the most famous classic novels. I listened to it on audiobook – through the library because it is LONG and therefore an expensive audiobook – and it was so good. If you couldn’t tell, I definitely recommend it!

The Fellowship of the Ring – “In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose” (x).

I tried to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was a teenager, and I read The Hobbit, but I couldn’t get into the trilogy then. I decided to try it again as an audio book, and I did really enjoy it. I am going to keep reading the series, but so far it’s not one that I adore.

What did you read in July, August, and September?

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