Month in Review: July 2022

Literature

This month saw the end of the Narniathon, which made me sad. Happily, next month Annabel of AnnaBookBel is starting a readalong of the five books of Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising sequence, which will take us through the end of the year. Hooray!

I enjoyed doing the Six in Six meme as a way to recap my first half o the reading year. Otherwise, lots of interesting things this month, including a couple of authors I’ve been meaning to read forever: Laurie Colwin and Dorothy Dunnett. I can see why they are so beloved now.

Here as usual are the links to my Goodreads reviews:

Language

The accomplishment of this month was finishing a reread of Le Grand Meaulnes in French, together with a Discord group set up by Emma of Words and Peace (that in the end consisted only of me and Emma, though some others started the journey with us). I was proud of myself for reading this classic in the original language and feeling that I did get more out of it than in translation. I think we’re going to make this summer French readalong an annual tradition.

Life

In the midst of Europe’s heat wave, we had an absolutely marvelous trip to the cooler Alpine region of Val Surses in eastern Switzerland, with a short excursion to northern Italy. More pictures to come!

We also bought a new car to replace our aging and ailing diesel Mercedes: our first-ever hybrid, a Toyota Auris. Here’s hoping that it will prove both reliable and economical. There was a small hiccup the first time we drove it, because my husband forgot to turn it off (there is no ignition key, only an “on” button), and when we returned after a couple of hours we could not get it to start again. After a number of frustrated attempts, by chance I tried locking and unlocking the door and that seemed to reset it. Whew!

I am still keeping up with my One Word challenge, although at this point I find I’m not thinking about my word so often. I do find the monthly prompts a help in calling me back to the task. My post this month took inspiration from Scripture: Connecting with the head.

What have been the highlights of your month?

Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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38 thoughts on “Month in Review: July 2022

  1. A lovely picture of you in the coolness of the mountains—you look so quietly content!

    July for me was mostly female writers – Patricia Highsmith, Muriel Spark, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Penelope Fitzgerald, though even the Simenon novel was largely focused on a woman, Mme Maigret herself. And the books were mostly based in Europe – England around 1900, 1945 and the 50s, France of course, and Americans in Italy in the 1960s. There was also the tail-end of the Narniathon for which I’m very grateful to you (of course!) and the other mostly female bloggers who joined in with gusto; the mystery is why males didn’t participate – I wonder why?

    And now August, and though you’ve officially stopped hosting Reading Robertson Davies Week that won’t stop me for the next few years as I read his novels at the rate of one each year every August! It’s A Mixture of Frailties this time.

    1. It was soooo nice there. I want to go back.

      Reading one RD novel a year will give you something to look forward to for a decade at least. 🙂

    1. Do you mean the Narnia and Dark Is Rising readalongs? It’s been fun to join in those this year. Don’t know if anything similar will come up for next year.

  2. For me, there is something helpful in reading a book with a group. I am motivated to continue with the book even when my initial enthusiasm lags, and I get more out of the book by reading the posts and comments of others. That is what happened when I read Moby Dick with Brona’s Books and it’s what happened with the Narnia group read. I’d like to do more of it.

    I hope you will share more about your trip. Beautiful photo.

    Congratulations on completing the reading of a book in French. Emma is a fantastic person, and I’m glad that you and she are going to do this each summer.

    1. More about the trip is coming — already scheduled in fact. 🙂

      Yes, a summer French readalong group sounds great. Already thinking about Verne for next year.

  3. I love learning about travelling and doing things for the first time even if you make mistakes. This is my first time to your blog and it looks terrific @theglobaldig.blogspot.com

    1. I have always wanted to go to Wales. (Since reading The Dark Is Rising books, actually.) Your pictures are beautiful.

        1. Your images will greatly enhance our readalong I am sure. Constance just went to Cornwall, I wonder if she’s planning to join?

          1. Is there anywhere Constance didn’t go during her time here?! I don’t know if she is joining in but I do hope so, I always relished what she had to say on Narnia.

  4. I am so sorry that I’ve missed out on Narniathon, I meant to join up the whole year and it never happened!

    Gorgeous photo of you, glad u guys are enjoying summer. It’s winter here in the southern hemisphere and this weekend is especially cold. Perfect weather for reading.

    Have a good week and month!

    Elza Reads

  5. I enjoyed reading your review of The Game of Kings! I love Dorothy Dunnett and working through all six of her Lymond Chronicles for the first time a few years ago was a wonderful experience. The books do become easier to read as you get used to her style. It’s best not to worry too much about understanding all of the foreign quotations and literary references on a first read, but there are companion books available which I’ve found quite helpful when re-reading.

    1. The foreign quotes didn’t really bother me, but I could use a primer on the Scottish history. Any book involving military strategy tends to make me feel cross-eyed; I just have a deficient brain for understanding that stuff. (e.g. The Waterloo chapter in Les Miserables, ugh…..) Probably I will just let that wash over me and enjoy the characters, which were terrific.

  6. That is such a nice photo of you, Lory. The hills suit you and glad you could get out of the heat wave for a bit. I don’t know how much I will blog in the near future, but you have me excited about the Dark is Rising readalong…Oh how I loved those books!

  7. Glad you were able to escape Europe’s heat wave for awhile. The weather has been so crazy. My husband is currently in Kentucky helping with flooding relief. So tragic.

    I’m wondering how many different languages you know! So impressed.

    1. Er, well I speak English of course, and I consider myself an intermediate learner in French and German. I feel as though I should be far more comfortable with French, as I studied it for ten years and even earned a college-level certificate, but seemingly under false pretenses as I just never got to be really fluent. I keep plugging away though. Reading is getting better but I still have a hard time understanding people when they talk fast, which they always do. I don’t really get enough practice with that because I tend to interact more with German speakers.

      I started independent study of German when I got together with my husband, that’s almost 20 years ago. I can now have simple everyday-life conversations, so I’m up to about a B1 level. My progress is slow, but at least I’m getting somewhere.

  8. Glad you got into Game of Kings. It really takes several times through to absorb it – I think the others are easier but not everyone makes it. Dunnett is my mother’s favorite author so I heard a lot about them before I even read them.

    The picture of you is great! I cannot recall if you’ve read one of my favorites, And Both Were Young? It is set in Switzerland.

    1. It was definitely a good book to take on vacation when I was able to give it some good chunks of time before the interest really picked up. I will look forward to the others for sure.

      I have read And Both Were Young but I need to revisit it now that I’ve been to the place where it’s set (near Gstaad, I believe).

  9. What a lovely place to vacation! I much prefer mountains and alpine valleys over the typical beach destinations. And congratulations on the new car!

    Thank you for the heads-up about the Dark is Rising readalong. I haven’t reread those in much too long, and a readalong sounds like a great way to revisit them. Also, I’m looking forward to reading your review of Katherine Langrish’s book, but not until I finish writing up my own (very overdue) review.

  10. The highlight of my July was breaking up from school and heading straight off for a relaxing week in the Kent countryside with Christian friends, where they had a pool I could enjoy in the heatwave! 🏡🏊‍♀️🌞

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