I’ve so enjoyed reading in July, and, as usual, read quite a variety! I started off with Dorothy Koomson’s The Chocolate Run, picking it up when looking for a light holiday read while we we had a couple of weeks off and were enjoying a nice slow pace of life at the start of the month. It’s years since I read a Dorothy Koomson book but I remember really liking her writing and enjoying both light, warming books like Marshmallows for Breakfast and the more pacy and thriller-like The Woman He Loved Before which really drew me in. Unfortunately I really wasn’t keen on The Chocolate Run, one of her earlier books, published back in 2004 – although it did totally tick the box for an easy read to pick up anytime, and with the added bonus of having to be read with a wee taste of chocolate too! I just couldn’t get on board with Greg as the romantic interest and really didn’t like some of the ways Amber was treated by him and how accepted it seemed to be.
That’s the second romance novel I’ve read this year that I’ve felt exactly the same way about (One Day in December the first) and I was disappointedly thinking maybe I really couldn’t get on board with that type of genre anymore, once a well-loved escape. But then I turned to my old friend, the very best, Bridget!
Re-reading Bridget Jones’ Diary, as it always does, reminded me what I love so very very much about a good romantic comedy. I love everything about it – Bridget’s determination and spirit, all the ups and downs of the story, the camaraderie and tight bonds of that wonderful “urban Singleton family”, the painfully relatable and disarmingly funny take on family relationships and work struggles, and of course, a truly lovely male lead in Mark Darcy. I’ve re-read both of the first Bridget Jones novels so many times over the years and I was pleased to see once again that my love for them is undiminished by time. ❤️ In an introduction to a newer edition of the first novel than my battered and so very well-loved copy, Caitlin Moran writes:
Apart from having the self-control to keep the re-reading to every five years or so (I usually find my way back to either one or both of them during the days between Christmas and New Year each year!) I couldn’t agree more, Bridget Jones is undoubtedly just as much of a friend to me now as always.
My next book was another new one to me but one that’s made it into my favourites straight away – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
I have been meaning to read this for so long and don’t know how it slipped down the pile but it was our book club book for July and I’m so pleased that gave me the shove I needed. I found it a thought-provoking, sad but life-affirming book. I adored Eleanor and her way of viewing the world, and was rooting for her so whole-heartedly from the off. The other characters she encountered, Raymond and Mrs Gibbons, Sammy and Laura, were wonderful too, and I got completely lost in Eleanor’s journey and in this little story about loneliness, bravery, and the indescribable difference friendship can make to a life.
And it’s definitely been the month for getting to long-awaited books as I have also just finished reading Michelle Obama – Becoming, which I’d started away back last year and for one reason or another only got a little way into. Coming to it now, I have so thoroughly enjoyed it. Writing with dignity and poignant reflection on everything from her kindergarten days to navigating parenting in the White House, the former First Lady draws such an vivd picture of her incredible story. This was a wonderful book to read, uplifting and inspring, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It’s been a good month’s reading – it’s never a bad one when it involves my beloved Bridget, I enjoyed racing through a holiday read, fell in love completely with Eleanor Oliphant and have really enjoyed spending the last couple of weeks sitting evening after evening with Michelle Obama’s strong and inspiring voice for company.
Looking forward to mapping out what to read next – heading into my 33rd book of the year having coincidentally just turned 33 this week – my birthday bringing with it (as well as lots of truly lovely family time ❤️) many more books to add to the to-be-read stack! I’m so enjoying all the books I’ve been reading this year and journaling on them all too!
Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. X