What I read in July

Another three books in the books (ha!) for July. I am not breaking any records this year, but I am at least consistently reading lately.

Before we were yours by Lisa Wingate (★★★★☆)

Based on the true story of hundreds of children that were stolen from “poor” families between 1930-1950 by the real-life Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home and adopted out to wealthy families under the cloak of “doing a good deed” while enriching herself, this book is told in two narratives, one being a group of young children who were stolen from their shanty boat on the Mississippi in the 1930s, and the other being a present-day narrative of a woman who is exploring her family roots.

Wingate does a great job weaving together these two narratives in beautiful and heartbreaking ways. It is a history lesson wrapped up in a powerful and emotional fictional story. And while I do love happy endings, the only thing that bothered me a bit is how this book wrapped up a little bit too neatly in the end.

Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family by Amanda Jetté Knox (★★★★★)

I thought this book was phenomenal. If you want a first-person account on how to deal with coming-outs, and how to go about accepting people as “who they are”, read this book. Not without stumbling blocks, Knox does a great job sharing her family’s story and advocating for transgender youth.

This is a personal memoir. Knox makes herself vulnerable, admits that she’s made mistakes and will most likely make mistakes in the future. The book is written to inform and to prompt empathy and understanding, to help open your eyes to see everyone for who they are, and to advocate to try and change societal norms one day at a time.

Red at the Bone: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson (★★★★☆)

Woodson is a talented writer, the story intriguing. The narration shifts in time and perspective and explores the effects of teenage pregnancy on two families. At times it was hard to figure out who’s narrating and it was hard to really connect with any of the characters because their introductions were so brief.  While I can appreciate the literary style in which the author constructed this book, I wanted to dive deeper into this family saga, learn more about the different family members and their connections to each other. I felt like I just got a “first taste” of what could have been an extraordinary tale. Still, four stars.

What did you read in July? Anything you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. I loved Before We Were Yours and Red at the Bone, too! I ended up falling down a rabbit hole of reading about Georgia Tann and what she did after I finished Before We Were Yours. What a terrible human!

    1. I actually read Before We Were Yours and was mesmerized by it. I haven’t heard of the other two but will add to my list; I want to crawl out of my reading funk because I miss books so so much!

      Grateful to be here again; I’ve really missed you!

  2. I need to read Love Lives Here. Sounds like such a great book!

  3. I just ordered Love Lives Here. It’s an important book to read and I feel like it deserves to be read as a “real” book, not an e-book. Thank you for highlighting it! I haven’t read the others but they’re not really my usual type of book. Perhaps I should branch out a bit. ;)

    1. I am very random in the books I pick (as in, I bookmark a bunch of books randomly that sound interesting or that others recommended and then I read whatever becomes available at the library)… but I tend to read mostly historical and contemporary fiction and non-fiction. I am not much into thrillers and mysteries.

  4. Always fun to read your reviews as they do differ from my usual book picks. Before we were yours already awaits on my kindle. Not sure who recommended it but knowing you liked it makes me excited to pick it up.

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