Links I love and a look at July Book of the Month selections

Good morning, readers, and happy July! Let’s kick off the month with the best things I read on the internet this week:

How to read an entire book in a single day. “Reading an entire book in a matter of hours may seem daunting, but it all comes down to simple math.”

Seven favorite outfits for the summer. I love Emily’s style.

How to retain more from the books you read in 5 simple steps.

• The Life-Changing Habit of Journaling (Why Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Many More Great Minds Recommend it)

New Book of the Month picks are here.

(I’m a paying customer as well as an affiliate; these are my affiliate links.)

A new month means new picks for Book of the Month. Here’s a look at the July offerings:

  1. The Child by Fiona Barton. The much-anticipated follow-up from the author of the surprise bestseller The Widow. I read this in a day—for this storyline, imagine Kate Morton meets Deborah Crombie.
  2. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong. The critics love this (read the Kirkus review here); I couldn’t get into it. It was a little dark and sad for me, but I’m not ruling out a second try.
  3. American Fire by Monica Hesse. If you loved S-Town, this true crime investigation into a mysterious East Coast arson spree is for you. It comes out on July 11 but you can get it early with BOTM.
  4. The Windfall by Diksha Basu. Judge Rachel Syne calls this “a bubbly, fun, witty comedy of manners about a family attempting a lifestyle upgrade in Delhi.” I adored Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel Windfall: in her version an 18-year-old kid wins the lottery, in Basu’s a New Delhi family makes an instant fortune selling a website.
  5. Final Girls by Riley Sager. Stephen King called this “the first great thriller of 2017,” which made my ears perk up. Release date is July 11 but get it early when you add it to your box.

Above: you can see my dedicated Book of the Month shelf on my bookshelves, because I think they look so pretty lined up all in a row.

Of note:

• Book of the Month has recently changed their pricing structure: now you can sign up for a one, two, or three month membership for $10/month.
• Sign up for two months or more and get a free tote bag with the code TOTALLY.
• Each month Book of the Month announces a small, carefully curated selection of hardcovers members can add to their box for $9.99 each. This month one of my favorites is available as a $9.99 add-on: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Roxane Gay’s brand-new memoir Hunger is also available for $9.99.

Sign up here; and please share your experience with any of these titles in comments.

On the blog:

One year ago: What makes a relationship work? 10 tips for making it last. On my anniversary, drawn from one of my recent favorite nonfiction reads.

Two years ago: The life-changing magic of tidying up, six months later.

Three years ago: Books I want to read this summer that happen to be YA.

Four years ago: Burst of insight. In MBTI speak: I still can’t believe I used to think I was a J.

Five years ago: Like blackberries on the vine. Thoughts on growing up—especially on the twenty-something years.

Have a great weekend!

more posts you might enjoy


Leave A Comment
  1. I see The Pearl Thief on your shelf. Have you read it? I’m a huge fan of Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire and have Pearl Thief on my Kindle, waiting for me. My goal for a our family road trip later this month is to only bring a Kindle (no piles of books this time!), so it’s up soon in my rotation.

    Happy summer!

  2. Christine says:

    I just finished the audio book of Hunger yesterday. It took about 5 hours. It is read by the author. I found this to make it feel more like a conversation with the author. You could feel the sadness and anger in her telling of it because it was her story and not just her reading a book. I have always been overweight and could relate to parts of her story. I have not been abused and I am not black, so I don’t know what it means to live with those pieces of her life. It felt like an it’s time to lay it all out there book. Like she needed to do this. It’s raw. The writing style is kind of short, staccato and fits. She has made some bad choices, quite a few in fact, but she owns them.

  3. Dana says:

    My sister and I both have BOTM, so we obviously talk monthly and make sure to not pick the same book! lol

    July for me was American Fire and I had a free credit, so I snagged Hunger.

    My sister grabbed The Child and then added The Identicals and Final Girls.

    We will be happily reading all July!! 🙂

  4. Christine says:

    I just ordered The Child for my BOTM selection. I can’t wait to read it!
    Thanks for providing a little insight into each book. It really helps me narrow down my picks.

  5. Tammy says:

    So much to think about from this post!
    Your descriptions of the books really helped with my decision this month.

  6. Megan C. says:

    I just used the tips from “How to Read a Book in a Day” to finish reading “he said/she said”. I’m SO glad I did because that book is SO good.

  7. Bridget McArthur says:

    I wanted 4 of the 5. I picked The Windfall, The Child, and Final Girl. The choice for the third book was between Final Girl and GOodbye Vitamin. Maybe I’ll get Goodbye Vitamin as my audible credit in July.

  8. Colleen says:

    Whew! I made my BOTM pick before I read this post, and I was a little unsure of my decision. Based on your summaries (which I totally trust more than the summaries on the BOTM site) I am pretty sure I chose well.
    My choice: The Windfall.

  9. Clara says:

    Anne, I’ve been following your blog and listening to your podcasts since the beginning of the year, and enjoy both very much. I’m one of those “voracious readers” and can’t enough good book talk. So thanks!
    Your link to the post on retaining more of what you read made me sad, though. This blogger’s key suggestion is “Only read books that teach you how to overcome your current challenges.” Yikes! He also essentially dismisses reading fiction (you may want to read it from time to time for “entertainment,” but, clearly, nonfiction is the REAL reading.) Sigh. I’m feeling a little sensitive about this since an acquaintance told me recently that she reads only fiction because she wants to “learn something.” Sigh again.
    So much for reading fiction to better understand the human heart, or to learn how to respond to the world around us, or about the lives, thoughts, and feelings of people who are different from us, or….well, you get the drift. Or how about simply to luxuriate in language, or to experience the thrilling variety of great writing? OK, I know I’m talking to the converted here, Anne. Here’s to reading books that don’t have a bullet pointed-list on every page. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as any character in ‘Seinfeld’ would say…) And thanks for the space for a little literary rant.

    • Anne says:

      I whole-heartedly agree! He had some good points that I thought made it worth sharing, but … come on! (On the reading personality quiz he could totally be a student: someone who resists reading fiction until they perceive its “usefulness”—and I totally think “luxuriating in the language” is useful. 🙂 )

  10. Clara says:

    P.S. Typo Alert! Clearly, I meant that my acquaintance said she read only NONFICTION because she wants to “learn something.”

  11. Jennifer Moss says:

    May I ask: How do you get more than three selections from Book of the Month? I am only allowed 3 per month.

    • Anne says:

      Sometimes they send me extras because I’m an affiliate. I also know readers who say they maintain two subscriptions per mailing address so they can get all the books some months.

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