You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about my July wrap-up when it’s already September. If you’ve read my last wrap-up post, I talked briefly about how busy and overwhelming life has been lately. Life continues to be so, especially that I have now officially joined the thirties club. There’s a lot on my mind lately and a lot to reflect on, hence this late post. But enough with the excuses and let’s get to it!
July wasn’t the best reading month for me. I read 2 novels and 2 short stories and none of them stood out unfortunately. And while I did a ton of shopping this month, none of them were books! I was mostly shopping for clothes and other travel-related gear in preparation for my big trip to Italy in August.
On a somewhat related note, I read Love & Gelato this month and also watched the Netflix adaptation. I’m not super into YA lately but surprisingly enjoyed both the book and movie. The story was incredibly heartwarming and cute, but of course I found the book to be better as I felt that it had more depth.
If you didn’t know or haven’t yet guessed from the title, Love & Gelato is set in Italy. I really enjoyed a lot of the references in Florence and it made me super excited about my trip. I even learned a few Italian words from the book.
“Tonight I watched the sun set at Ponte Vecchio. I think its safe to say I have finally found the place that feels right to me. I just can’t believe I had to come halfway across the world to find it.”Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato
Below are some photos that I took while in Florence. A lot of things seemed familiar as I’ve read it in the book. Florence is indeed a beautiful city!
One day I might write a separate post of my travels. But now let’s move on to what I actually read this month.
WHAT I ACTUALLY READ THIS MONTH
- Total number of books read: 4 books
- Total number of pages: 921 pages
- Book formats: 4 physical (2 short stories)
- Average rating: 3.5 stars
People We Meet On Vacation, Emily Henry
SYNOPSIS: Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love. Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer, by Fredrik Backman
SYNOPSIS: From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.
With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
The Deal Of A Lifetime, by Fredrik Backman
SYNOPSIS: A father and a son are seeing each other for the first time in years. The father has a story to share before it’s too late. He tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.
As he talks about this plucky little girl, the father also reveals more about himself: his triumphs in business, his failures as a parent, his past regrets, his hopes for the future.
Now, on a cold winter’s night, the father has been given an unexpected chance to do something remarkable that could change the destiny of a little girl he hardly knows. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he must find out what his own life has actually been worth, and only his son can reveal that answer.
With humor and compassion, Fredrik Backman’s The Deal of a Lifetime reminds us that life is a fleeting gift, and our legacy rests in how we share that gift with others.
Love & Gelato, by Jenna Evans Welch
SYNOPSIS: Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.