7 and 7. Seven Essential Reads for July

I was able to read sixteen books that release in July and here are the seven best. It’s an eclectic list, but hopefully, there’s something for everyone.

As with my past lists, I will provide a short blurb about each book, and you can click on the title for the full review.

Releasing July 3rd:

City of Lies by Sam Hawke  – Honor-down! An excellent fantasy debut about a brother and sister pair tasked with helping a young new chancellor protect a city under siege. City of Lies is a book filled with intrigue and violent passion, young idealism and old-world fanaticism, but most of all a loyalty among friends that will keep readers eagerly coming back for more in this series.

City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai by Paul French – City of Devils is an awesome trip back in time to Old Shanghai between the wars, and Paul French should be commended for his imaginative storytelling. From the high rollers at the hai alai courts and the glitz of the dance reviews to the machinations of the world powers at the beginning of the second war, French strives to tell the complete story.

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce – Emmeline Lake and her friends aim to help the war effort in London during the blitz. After taking a job she thinks will lead to becoming a war correspondent, she finds out it will only be reading correspondence for an advice columnist. Yet Emmy sees what she can do to make the best of a bad situation. At its heart, Dear Mrs. Bird is a wonderful little book that posits work, romance, friendship, and a stiff upper lip during a time of great strife, and comes away a very enjoyable experience.


Releasing July 10th:

Halcyon by Rio Youers – A supernatural thriller centered around a young woman who is plagued by premonitions. After she and her family are rocked by tragedy, they are drawn to leave their community for a simpler life. Youers’s Halcyon is gut-punch of a thriller, one that had me thinking about our American rat-race, our own visions and dreams, and some people’s perverted paradises. My advice: Don’t be like me. Let yourself go and enjoy this book right from the start.

Releasing July 17th:

Gods of Wood and Stone by Mark Di Ionno – Two men of similar age are forced to look in the mirror and question their own lives against the vast changes in American society. Gods of Wood and Stone is a literary page-turner that I highly recommend. Held up against a backdrop of baseball and traditional agrarian life, the author tackles the crucial issues of nostalgia and progress, of instant gratification and a ‘like’ culture. There is great tragedy in this book. A mad dash home at the end… towards a final realization for all the characters.

Blood & Ivy by Paul Collins – Blood & Ivy is another smart true-crime book from Paul Collins. The disappearance of  a well-respected professor at the prestigious Harvard medical school in 1849 rocked the Boston area. A slew of new types of evidence for the time and this great subject matter (a case that inspired Dickens!) will engage his existing fans and should bring a legion of new readers.

Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie – Hullmetal Girls is excellent YA fiction. Skrutskie expertly combines three science fictions premises: the military sign-up, the fleet looking for a new home, and the making of a cyborg. I will go on record to say that Hullmetal Girls contains the best descriptions of cyborg integration I have ever read. The author adds complex characters, twisted conspiracies, and fun action sequences. I wish there was writing like this when I was young.

10 thoughts on “7 and 7. Seven Essential Reads for July

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  1. I have a copy of Paul French’s earlier book I’ve been meaning to get around to, I can’t remember the name but it’s a true crime also set in Shanghai. This one sounds great too. And I thought Blood & Ivy was excellent, it definitely made me a fan of the author’s. Have you read anything else by him?
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for checking out the post!
      I have Murder of the Century, but haven’t read it yet. It’s supposed to be good! I really like historical true crime.
      And French’s other one, Midnight in Peking, is also very good.


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