July 2023 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

One of the rare months (apart from pandemic times) when I did not leave Belgium, or even venture far from my normal Brussels-home-Tienen axis. I wrote about Kurt Vonnegut’s muse, and the top and bottom rated Doctor Who episodes on IMDB.

I did not write it up properly at the time, but Anne and I went to the Musée Fin-de-Siècle in Brussels and were really impressed by a couple of the pieces on display:

Emigrants, by Eugène Laermans
Promenade, by Theo van Rysselberghe
Marketplace, by James Ensor
The Dragonfly, by Isidore Verheyden

Crucially, this was the month that I stopped shaving. Ten days in, it was looking promising, though one or two of my colleagues were more advanced than me.

I read 35 books that month.

Non-fiction 9 (YTD 48)
Amy Dillwyn, by David Painting
After the War: How to Keep Europe Safe, by Paul Taylor
The Popes and Sixty Years of European Integration
How to End Russia’s War on Ukraine, by Timothy Ash et al
Blackpool Remembered, by John Collier
Drawing Boundaries, eds John C. Courtney, Peter MacKinnon and David E. Smith (did not finish)
The Deadly Assassin, by Andrew Orton
The Awakening, by David Evans-Powell
One Bible, Many Voices: Different Approaches to Biblical Studies, by S.E. Gillingham

Non-genre 7 (YTD 14)
The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
A Burglary, or, Unconscious Influence, by Amy Dillwyn
Jill, by Amy Dillwyn
Jill and Jack, by Amy Dillwyn
Nant Olchfa, by Amy Dillwyn
The Murder on the Links, by Agatha Christie
Whose Body?, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Poetry 1 (YTD 4)
The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran

SF 12 (YTD 122)
The Memory Librarian, ed. Janelle Monáe
Atlantis Fallen, by C.E. Murphy
In the Serpent’s Wake, by Rachel Hartman
Ancient, Ancient, by Kiini Ibura Salaam
Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep, ed. Paula Guran
The Drowning Girl, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Legends & Lattes, by Travis Baldree
Tofu Brains: Life on Zeeta 21, by Lars Koch
There Will Be War Volume X, ed. Jerry Pournelle (did not finish)
Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
Knights of God, by Richard Cooper
The Golden Enclaves, by Naomi Novik

Doctor Who 2 (YTD 21)
Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin, by Terrance Dicks
Doctor Who – The Awakening, by Eric Pringle

Comics 4 (YTD 14)
Arena of Fear, by Nick Abadzis et al
Saga, Vol. 10,  by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Partitions irlandaises, by Vincent Baily and Kris
Once & Future Vol 4: Monarchies in the UK, by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora and Tamara Bonvillain

8,200 pages (YTD 54,900)
17/35 (YTD 94/225) by non-male writers (Gillingham, Dillwyn x 4, Christie, Sayers, Monáe, Murphy, Hartman, Salaam, Guran, Kiernan, Novik, illustrators of Arena of Fear, Staples, Bonvillain)
2/35 (YTD 30/225) by a non-white writer (Gibran, Salaam)

The best of these was The Cider House Rules by John Irving; you can get it here.