It’s officially summer and I am reading absolutely everything! I’m going to keep this intro short for the sake of getting into what I read, but just know after completing my first full year of teaching (!!), I am so looking forward to this season of reading and summer days!
I read a total of 13 books this month and 2 novellas. 2 books were rereads, my audiobook of One Italian Summer (please read this month ASAP in general, but better yet, listen to the audiobook with Lauren Graham as the narrator!!) and Majesty before reading Rivals, the latest American Royals books.
My FAVORITES of the month – it was hard to determine because the majority of the books I read in June were so good – include Every Summer After (not a total 5 star read for me, but I ate this one up on a beach day and def see the hype), I Kissed Shara Wheeler, The Hotel Nantucket, Rivals, and The Dead Romantics.
I also really enjoyed Fake, By the Book, & Counterfeit, and after some reflection, felt medium on The No Show (it took almost three weeks to fully read this one, but the ending did surprise me – I’m finding that Beth O’Leary’s later books take a twist on the premise), Stuck with You (I’m going to read the third novella when it comes out as an ebook, but unfortunately haven’t really been loving this novella series), and True Biz (I still enjoyed and loved the ASL representation, but it didn’t wow me as much as expected from the hype).
By the Book (Meant to Be Mine #2) by Jasmine Guillory | 4/5 Stars
I’m writing this wrap-up post on Memorial Day, which is my unofficial start to summer. I have read SO much this month – it honestly feels like the kind’ve reading I do from June through August when my schedule frees up and that makes me even more excited to see what my summer reading will be like. I also didn’t watch a ton of TV this month, but I have been really enjoying the shows that I did watch.
I did read some absolutely spectacular books this month, but it is no surprise whatsoever that my absolute favorite book was Book Lovers by Emily Henry. I’ve mentioned before and while there are a few other contenders for this title, it’s my favorite book of 2022 and possibly my favorite book ever.
Some other favorites from May include Dating Dr.Dil by Nisha Sharma, All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, and The Impossible Us by Sarah Lotz. I’m going to share a what I’ve been recently post soon with some of my latter reads that were mostly absolute GEMS.
In March, I got two of my most anticipated sequels of 2022: Sarah J. Maas’ second book in the Crescent City series, House of Sky & Breath, AND Bridgerton Season 2. Despite being consumed by both SJM and Bridgerton (when I watched last weekend, I did manage to finish 2 books while consuming the second season), I still read a total of 11 books in March. I am loving my reading progress this year, as I have read 39 books so far! Today, I’ll be sharing the books I read in March, my Bridgerton Season 2 thoughts, and reshare what I wrote this month.
I started this month with some poetry, then transitioned to the massive beast that is House of Sky & Breath, and made my way back to my usual romance self. My favorites this month were The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2) by Julia Quinn, If You Ask Me by Libby Huscher, The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith, and In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer. My absolute favorite though was One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle!
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson | 4/5 Stars
unlock your storybook heart by amanda lovelace | 4/5
House of Sky & Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas | 4.5/5
This month has been the BEST January of reading that I’ve ever had. January usually signals the end of winter break and the start of a new spring semester for me, aka my reading life taking a dip, but I am SO enjoying the free time that has come with post college life… and yes, I am prioritizing reading in my free time after work vs. scrolling on my phone and watching TV — on TV, I also feel like lately I find maybe 1 TV show a month I’m obsessed with, binge it in a handful of days (and yes, you’ll find out the show I’m talking about below), and then feel meh about any other TV I watch.
I read a total of 15 books in January and I either really enjoyed or LOVED all of them. I also spent the past two weekends starting a book on Friday night or early Saturday morning and then having it finished by Saturday night… and then starting another in between/after doing my weekly school prep on Sundays. I don’t even finding myself pressuring to read or thinking about any annual reading challenges, as I genuinely just want to be reading & hope to keep this motivation up!
This month was about getting to some backlist books I’ve had on my TBR, a new release from a favorite author, some ARCs, and the start of an unexpected YA kick. Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon was my favorite book of the month, always loving any adult contemporary romance or YA book that Rachel Lynn Solomon writes. I attended Matzah Book Soup’s book club meeting with Rachel yesterday afternoon and it was so fun learning more about the book & her upcoming releases. I read both Denise Williams’ The Fastest Way to Fall & How to Fail at Flirting – I enjoyed The Fastest Way to Fall the most out of the two & I attended BBBC’s virtual meet with Denise Williams. I FINALLY picked up my copy of Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming (this was one of my most anticipated YA releases of 2021), and reread my favorite book of hers, More Than Maybe, before picking the former up.
The books I was the most obsessed with below include The Boys Club by Erica Katz, Wish You Were by Jodi Picoult, & Very Bad People by Kit Frick. I’m so glad I finally read Jason Reynolds’ Long Way Down, definitely one of the most powerful books I’ve read and one with an ending I’m still thinking about. I’ve mentioned before that 2021 was exactly the year of YA books for me, reading way more contemporary romance than YA, but I found myself picking up so much YA this month, including some of the books I’ve mentioned & specifically, All the Right Reasons, If This Gets Out, and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
December was a mix of hectic times and relaxing times. My New Year’s Eve plans with friends have unfortunately been cancelled again this year, but I am actually looking forward to staying in with my family, watching some movies, and maybe finishing another book before midnight. I did my most amount of reading in December since the summer, as of right now having read 13 books and 1 novella. Over the past week or so, it’s been super nice to unplug from work and the screen and just dive into reading & relaxing. I’ve included some of my thoughts on the books I read this month – so many must reads!
I read a few holiday books this month, like Jenny Bayliss’ A Season for Second Chances (very cozy & cute) and Kara McDowell’s One Way or Another – this one is in my classroom library, and one of my students recently loved it, so I wanted to give it a read to). My favorite holiday read of the month was definitely Jean Meltzer’s Hanukkah inspired romance, The Matzah Ball. I remembered the day after Christmas that Rainbow Rowell’s e-novella following Reagan from Fangirl is available for free. The novella is also Christmas-themed, set in 2020 and 2021. There was a lot of covid/pandemic talk involved, but I loved being in the Fangirl world and loved Reagan’s banter & personality . I also read Elin Hildebrand’s entire Winter Street series in December, her holiday/Christmas series set on Nantucket. I wouldn’t necessarily say that they’re my favorite Elin Hilderbrand books, but they all had such a binge-worthy & cozy quality.
I also finally read the first book in the Bridgerton series. I found myself rewatching season 1 this month, and I think I’m going to continue on with the book series closer to season 2’s March 25th release on Netflix!I also found myself reading some adult fiction picks and was heavily addicted to them, specifically Lisa Patton’s Rush (following a fictional sorority at Ole Miss) and Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (following a high school English and a stay-at-home mom caught in school scandals).
The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer | 4.5/5 Stars
The Winter Street series by Elin Hilderbrand: Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storms, & Winter Solstice | Overall Series Rating: 4/5 Stars
And just like that, it’s the last month of 2021! I’m looking forward to my reading in December, not because I necessarily know what I’m reading (my December reading is always a mix oof holiday books and a mix of books I didn’t yet have the time to get to in 2021), but because I feel so energized by my November reading. I read a total of 12 books in November, much in part to some holiday breaks from work that were spread out throughout the month, and I also dived a bit more into TV than I had earlier in the fall.
My favorite books of November were Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox, and Palm Beach by Mary Adkins
In the words of Taylor Swift, this August “slipped away into a moment in time” so quickly! We’ve had some ‘meh’ summer weather where I live this month, so some days blurred together, but I definitely took advantage of the few sunny and not super humid days to run to the beach with a good book.
I read 22 books in August. I’ll include a bigger snapshot of my summer reading in my favorites post, but I’ve read the most amount of books over the summer than I ever have before! My favorite books this month (in no particular order) were The Guncle, Between Two Kingdoms, The Matchmaker, & The Beach Club.
While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory | 4.5/5 Stars
Another solid summer vacation month filled with so many books. I’m not even reading for quantity, I have just been genuinely been enjoying reading this summer and it’s the best feeling.
I normally share my monthly wrap up during the week with my regular content, but I decided to save this wrap up for the last day in July because I’ve been reading more than I ever have before & wanted to make sure I have all the books I read this month included. At the time of publishing this post (I may or may not finish my current read today), I’ve read 98 books so far in 2021, and I’m 2 books away from my goal of reading at least 100 books this year. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to surpass the amount I read in 2020 (133 books) because I’m beginning my first full time teaching position in September (let’s be honest, part of the reason why this post is getting published today is because I accepted said job offer this week and have been getting prepared), but I do still have more summer vacation so I can see myself reading so much more than usual this year.
I feel I’ve been repeating myself each month, but I read the most amount of books in July than I ever had with 21 books and one-novella. As always, I’ve listed each book with a star rating & I’ve either shared full or mini reviews already or have reviews coming for the books below. My favorites of the month were The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand and Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams.
Indestructible Object by Mary McCoy | 4/5 Stars
Beth & Amy by Virgina Kantra | 3.5/5
Heart & Seoul by Jen Frederick |4/5
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand |4/5
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane |4.5/5
The Sixth Wedding (28 Summers sequel novella) by Elin Hilderbrand | 4/5
I have loved my start to the summer, in thanks to beach days, pool days, and all the books I’ve read so far. June was definitely my best reading month so far, in terms of both quality and quantity. I think I’ve set a personal record when it comes to annual reading & summer reading in 2021, having read 74 books so far in 2021 and 19 books (18 books + 1 novella) in June – I’m hoping to get to a total of 20 books in June/75 books for the year so far by the end of today. I have reviews or mini reviews either published or coming for nearly all of the books below, so I’ll just be sharing my star ratings for them then transitioning into what I watched and wrote this month.
It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark | 4.5/5
A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin | 4/5
An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi | 4/5
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala |
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid | 4/5
Finally Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano | 4.5/5
My May was filled with so many books and life happenings! I feel like I mentioned it somewhere in a blog post earlier this month, but I officially graduated with my Master of Arts in Teaching and started my first full-time job soon after! My schedule as per usual has still been packed, but I read the most amount of what I’ve read in a month so far in 2021 with 15 books!! Since I have reviews for all of these books already shared or coming, I won’t be going into too much detail here.
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle | 4.5/5 Stars
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand | 4.5/5
Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher | 2.5/5
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Herron | 4/5
Anna K: Away by Jenny Lee 4.5/5
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney | 3.5/5