July 2020 Reads

So in June I managed to complete my 2020 reading challenge – I guess the pandemic has been good for something after all. I won’t be raising my goal, but I’m continuing to beat it. Here’s hoping I’ll surpass my all time best (67!).

For July I read …

Fiction

The Empty Chair (Jeffery Deaver)
I am continuing to enjoy the Lincoln Rhyme books SO much. I love the forensic detail, the details of Lincoln’s disability and how people see him, Amelia and her concerns – it’s all so good. The case itself had a lot of twists which I also appreciate. One thing I notice Deaver is very good at is making me hate a character (usually because of how they feel about the main characters or actions they take that seem annoying/frustrating), but then doing a 180 and making me come back around on them again. It makes for a real rollercoaster ride and reminds me of how the writers of Third Watch had me hating Sgt. Cruz so badly, only to reverse it and make me feel bad for her lol.
Note that this link to Amazon Canada will let you read the book for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare)
I forgot how much I loved this play. I read it probably 20 years ago, and I’d forgotten how funny it was. I don’t remember coming out of it thinking Oberon was a giant dick, so times have changed. I really was annoyed at how much Titania was shafted here – I’m ready for some Titania revenge fic – anyone? My favourite part had to be the play put on by Bottom and the others. I actually laughed out loud at parts.

The Stone Monkey (Jeffery Deaver)
This is the fourth book in the Lincoln Rhyme series. It involves human trafficking of Chinese nationals into the US and trying to catch the snakehead who is trying to kill them all after their boat sinks. This is the first time I figured out one of the twists in his books early on, so in that respect it was a little disappointing. In the end, I did enjoy the book a lot, and I really liked the place Lincoln came to in the end.

The Merchant of Venice (William Shakespeare)
I really didn’t like this play. It was a combo of Shylock being treated like crap, Shylock being a terrible stereotype, and basically everyone in the play sucking. Portia’s scene as the lawyer was good, but the outcome wasn’t so it’s hard to cheer for her. Overall, this play just really annoyed me.

Much Ado About Nothing (William Shakespeare)
I wasn’t sure in the beginning that I’d like this play at all, but I think what redeems it for me is Beatrice and Benedick and their quick-witted fights and eventual love for one another. She’s a very fun heroine, and he jumps right in to defend Hero alongside Beatrice. I hate that the trick on Hero doesn’t really amount to much punishment. Claudio is a jerk and it annoys me he still gets the girl.

As You Like It (William Shakespeare)
I read this years ago and remember liking it, but for some reason it really did do anything for me this time around. Maybe it’s the focus on love and the fact it all seems so ridiculous. I know it was probably expected for redemption arcs and off screen problem solving in Shakespeare’s day, but I’m finding it really annoying now. Oliver is redeemed off screen, the Duke becomes religious and changes his mind about everything off screen. The deus ex machina is infuriating, and the more Shakespeare I read, then less I can stand it.

Non Fiction

If You Ain’t a Pilot … (Ray Wright)
This is a book that covers Wright’s time in UPT, Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1987/88 for the USAF. This was before UPT was specialized. Back then you learned on the T-37 then the T-38 no matter what air frame you were going to. When specialization occurred, you’d train in the T-37, then track select for heavies (T-1) or fighter/bomber (T-38) (the first trainer is upgraded now – you train in the T-6 and go to T-1 or T-38s). I really enjoyed a lot of the stories and the struggles of UPT. I just wish there was a bit more follow up of what happened after Wright’s first assignment. Another book, perhaps?

Goodreads Reading Challenge – 59/52

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