July 2023 Books – Part 2

Still lots of graphic novels and illustrated works. I achieved my 52 books very early this year as a result.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill

Cozy fantasy. I loved this sweet fantasy series. I realized that dragons are part of my wheel house. This series had a lot of lovely messages about creativity and being true and gentle with yourself.

4.5/stars. Read July 15, 2023.

Say Good Night to Insomnia: The Six-Week, Drug-Free Program Developed At Harvard Medical School by Gregg D Jacobs

I am currently in a CBT-I workshop and this was the required reading. As a book, this was very good. The course has been educational and helpful so far. I may write a separate post on what worked for me after the course is completed and my insomnia is further minimized. This book deserved 5 stars because I do think the program is potentially life changing. If I read this without the workshop, I wouldn’t get all the benefits or knowledge since the doctor running my course has been amazing.

5/5 stars. Read Jun 11-July 17, 2023.

Heartstopper: Volume 3 by Alice Oseman

This series really captures being a teenager except I was a teen who had no romantic interactions whatsoever. I’m only assuming based on memories of hormones.

4/5 stars. Read July 17, 2023.

Heartstopper: Volume 4 by Alice Oseman

This one was a tad heavier but still very well done. What a great YA series.

4.5/5 stars. Read July 18, 2023.

Bullet Journal by Ryder Carroll

Read entry here.

3.25/5 stars. Read July 14-21, 2023.

Provençal Cooking: Savoring the Simple Life in France by Mary Ann Caws

I bought this memoir years ago at a used books sale. In the last month, I’ve been going my books which were stored at my parents’ house. I tried another food memoir right before which I did not finish, but this one was easier to read. It’s published in a smaller paperback. The style of the writing is slow and has no defined timeline. It has various memories and anecdotes over the course of decades. There are no dates when any of this happened which is reflective of a place like Provence wherein people and the land has not changed very much even in the 20th century. The book was a solid three stars because I did like the writing. I found it even better the second half when she started talking about markets and the recipes. It felt quite cozy and reminded me of my time living in France near the Jura and Lake Geneva where I would go the market every Saturday. I miss the French markets so much. The recipes are written in a casual and very simple way. It gave me a couple of ideas actually. I like the format and will probably keep the book a bit longer.

4/5 stars. Read July 21-26, 2023.

Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play Among Figures of Speech by Ted Kooser, Connie Wanek, and Richard Jones (Illustrator)

Poetry is often hit or miss. You either love it or you don’t. I loved this middle grade picture poetry book. I read them all out loud to myself. I enjoyed the imagery, the word play, the light humour, and I understood them. They were not emotionally raw and I actually don’t want to read that these days. I do want to think and enjoy the ephemeral nature of the poem. I became fan of all the people involved but my library does not carry many or any books from any of them. In any case, loved this and would not reject a copy if I ever saw this book elsewhere. Good recommendation by NPR books from last year. A great way to mark my 52nd book of the year.

4.75/5 stars. Read July 26, 2023.

Smile by Raina Telgemeir

This is a popular coming of age memoir centred around a dental accident. It was really highly rated. It really captured the feeling of puberty at that time including braces, bodily changes, school work, having a crush, being crushed on, and questionable friendships. It really reminded me of when I was the same age. I don’t know why but I just didn’t love it. I liked the protagonist and felt for her. I liked it but I won’t seek out the next one about her and her sister.

3.25/5 stars. Read July 32, 2023.

The New Yorker count:

1 from 2021.

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