What I loved in July

It is with great sadness that I must report the best month of the year has come to an end. I loved July.

I loved the long days. The warm evenings. The hot weather. The blooming flowers. The trips to the pool.

July included baseball tournaments, a trip to southern Illinois, adventures in Chicago, taking kids to summer camp, shooting a short film and lots of other things I can’t recall. All of this fun also meant time in the car, which gave me lots of time to listen to audio books. As a result, my list of books is a little longer this month.


It’s a tough call to choose my favorite book of the month, but I’m going to go with:

RECURSION by Blake Crouch

It’s difficult to even categorize this book in one genre. It was science fiction, thriller, mystery and a love story wrapped up in one. Recursion looks at our memories, time and identity and the very concept of how we see our lives as linear. What if you could travel back to a memory and live that part of your life again? What would happen if someone built a technology to make this possible? The consequences would reach farther than we could imagine, as illustrated in this thought-provoking novel.

Recursion is narrated by a male and female to tell the story of the two main characters. I downloaded the audio book through Audible.



Small Great Things was definitely a close second for my favorite book of the month. (I only chose Recursion as my favorite because I love science fiction!)

This was a thought-provoking look at racism told from three perspectives. A white supremacist family insists that an African American nurse not be allowed to touch their newborn baby. But she is condemned for not doing her job when the baby stops breathing. I love how this book looks at racism not only from the perspective of the nurse, but also from the White Supremacist antagonist, as well as the white attorney who believes she understands prejudice. The way Picoult forms the characters is eye opening and gives great perspective on all of the characters.

The audio book is read by three narrators, which helps differentiate the voices of the three main characters. I downloaded the audio book from the library through Overdrive.


AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl is a psychological thriller that had me hooked from the first few minutes of listening. A young woman signs up for a psychological study to make some extra money. But the questions grow more and more intense, and the psychologist running the study becomes directly involved in the young woman’s life.

The audio book is read by two narrators from two perspectives. I downloaded it through Overdrive.


LOVE DOES by Bob Goff

This was actually my second time reading Love Does. I love Bob Goff’s stories, and I wanted to reread his first book because I loved Everybody Always. He is a great storyteller, and I just try to soak in his way of writing. 

It would have ranked higher on my list, but it was a second read so I kind of breezed through it. The audiobook is extra special because Goff reads it. I downloaded it through the Hoopla app.



Vance is a former marine and Yale Law School graduate who tells his personal story of growing up in Appalachia, one of the poorest areas of the United States. His writing combines stories of his love for his family and heritage with facts and data about the struggles of the white working class in America.

Growing up in a rural area in southern Illinois and then moving to Chicago as an adult, I felt like I could relate to some of what Vance described (although not nearly to the same extreme). The book was a little slow, but listening to the author tell his story on audio book kept me entertained. I downloaded the book through Overdrive.



The girls and I made a five-hour drive to southern Illinois, so I downloaded this book for our trip. We listened to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children nonstop both directions, and finished just as we were pulling into the driveway.

It was fun young adult fiction with fantasy and some mild horror. It kept us entertained for 10 hours, so what more can I say? I loved that my 9-year-old, 14-year-old and I were all equally captured by the story. We listened to this one through Overdrive.



My kids love all of the Marvel movies, but I feel a little out of touch when a new one comes out. I’ve watched many of the movies, but I also feel like I have huge gaps in my knowledge of the Avengers storyline.

I decided to watch all of the movies in chronological order. So far, I’ve made it through:

Captain America: The First Avenger

Iron Man

The Incredible Hulk

Iron Man 2


The Avengers


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (We watched this one slightly out of order. I was supposed to watch Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World first.)

We own some of the movies, and I’ve been borrowing others from the library.



We rarely spend the money for our entire family to see a movie in the theater. But this month, we did go see The Lion King. The CGI was great. I was kind of tired of the story since Jayda was in The Lion King, Jr. this summer. Still, it was fun to see on the big screen.


What about you? What did you read or watch this month? I would love to hear!

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