July Reading Roundup

July was… quite a month. What else can I say? At the beginning of July I was with my parents and cousins exploring Berlin and by the end I had accepted a (great, amazing, awesome!) job offer and mentally preparing for life in Pittsburgh again. I’m still a little shell-shocked my all of the changes my life is still going through, which might account for some of the radio silence on the blog, and it seems like all I could do in July was just ride the wave of turmoil for a while until it settled down. Heck, it’s the middle of August and I’m still riding that wave.

But I did get a few books read in the between. Hopefully I’ll be able to say the same about August, which is not turning out to be much calmer. In due time, which I should hypothetically have a lot of, right? Right.

Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende

Fiction / Recommended

I can’t say that this story really influenced me very much, but it was an enjoyable read and it… flowed. I loved that the story revolved largely around identity (or lack thereof) and that there was so much variety of lifestyles described; it made for a good read.

Thanks Colleen from Colleen Brynn Travels for recommending this to me!

A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

Nonfiction / Recommended (with trigger warnings)

If you’re easily disturbed by descriptions of torture or rape, then I don’t recommend this book for you. Others who can stomach it, this is an honest and heartbreaking account of a woman kidnapped in Somalia for ransom. It broke my heart in the way hearts sometimes need to be broken, to remember what the rest of the world can be like.

Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

Nonfiction / Recommended

Me and German history get along really well, so no surprise that I recommend this. The accounts of Stasi men and the interrogated were not just intriguing but also disturbing, plus disturbingly timely. I’d advise anyone who lives in the USA to check out this book and keep an eye out for parallels with the current NSA and privacy situation.

I can tell you now that August’s reading roundup will very likely be sad. But I’m doing my best over here, and once my schedule is a bit more solid and consistent, then I’m sure my reading schedule will come back to life. Until then, read a book or two for me!

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If you’ve got book recommendations, I want to hear them, as always!

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