What I read in July


Sharing the books I read in July and if I’d recommend adding them to your list!

Hi friends! How are ya? Hope you’re enjoying the morning so far! We’re back from a super quick trip to San Diego to celebrate Max’s Bar Mitzvah. I wish we could have stayed longer (!), but we managed to do as many San Diego adventures (and eat as much as much amazing food) as possible. I’ll share some more pics and adventures in this week’s Friday Faves.

For today’s post, I’m sharing the books I read last month! I’ve been slacking a little bit on IHP studying, but managed to read five books in July. Sharing the goods (and not-so-good…) below! If there’s anything I need to add to my list this fall, please lmk!

(Suit is here. One of my faves!)

What I Read in July

The Alchemist

The Alchemist seemed to me like one of those books that “everyone has to read.” It’s received overwhelming positive reviews, is frequently recommended in my online book groups, and I appreciated it was rejected by various publishing houses before becoming a worldwide sensation. It reminds me of a fable, and is very short and easy to read. It’s based on the story of a shepard named Santiago who seeks out to find treasure and various characters and situations he encounters on the way. Despite obstacles during his journey, he remains dedicated to achieving his “Personal Legend.”

The Alchemist demonstrates that the journey can sometimes be more important that the destination, the importance of staying committed to our goals, and that our desired destination sometimes isn’t what we truly need or expect.  While I did enjoy the message behind the book, it’s not in my top five favorite books. I felt like I could have read the Cliff’s Notes synopsis and been completely satisfied. My rating: 6/10

From Amazon:

 Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is art eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

The Obesity Code

I’ve heard Dr. Jason Fung speak on a few podcasts and really appreciate his perspective and knowledge, so I was excited to read his book, The Obesity Code. Just a heads up, if you order this, make sure you receive the correct version! I ordered a copy from this page, and received a book that was actually written by Dr. Jason K. FUNG, aka a bot based out of another country. I’ll share some of the text on IG stories, but the Pilot refused to let me return it because we were cackling with laughter reading it.

Sooooo once you have the correct version, I highly recommend. He explores the tie between insulin resistance and many of the common health issues we face today as a society, as well as an action plan for how to maintain more stable blood sugar and improve insulin response. He also dives into obesity and why weight loss can be so difficult to maintain, as it diminishes your metabolic baseline. It was a valuable and enjoyable read, but some portions were redundant, so I give it a 9/10.

From Amazon:

Everything you believe about how to lose weight is wrong. Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones – in everyone – and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.

In this highly listenable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps – a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels – Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight – for good.

It Ends with Us

My first Colleen Hoover book and I was excited to see if it lived up to the hype! I read the entire book in one sitting (on our flight to Hawaii), and was locked in the entire time. Even though the plot is very good (trigger warning: contains domestic abuse), I found her writing to be lackluster. Don’t throw anything at me, but after reading so much vivid and descriptive storytelling over the past couple of years, it felt like there was so much untapped potential. Even so, I’ll absolutely be reading more of her books. 7/10

From Amazon:

 Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

One Italian Summer

This was probably my second favorite read of the summer (next to Book Lovers). I also read this book in one sitting (the flight home from Hawaii) and it was magical. I LOVED that it was set in the Amalfi Coast (I’m drying to go back) and I really love this author’s style of writing. She also wrote In Five Years, which I highly recommend. 10/10 if you’re looking for a breezy and enjoyable read.

From Amazon:

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: to Positano, the magical town where Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone.

But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life.

And then Carol appears—in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how—all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.

Rebecca Serle’s next great love story is here, and this time it’s between a mother and a daughter. With her signature “heartbreaking, redemptive, and authentic” (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Serle has crafted a transcendent novel about how we move on after loss, and how the people we love never truly leave us.

The Bodyguard

This was a Book of the Month find, and while I wasn’t super excited about the plot, I figured I’d give it a whirl. I LOVED this book. The writing was witty, the storyline was sweet and unexpected, and the whole book was a lighthearted treat. If you’re looking for a light cupcake of a book, definitely check this one out. 10/10

From Amazon:

She’s got his back.

Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

He’s got her heart.

Jack Stapleton’s a household name―captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

They’ve got a secret.

When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah―against her will and her better judgment―finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.

What could possibly go wrong???

Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.

I’m still using Book of the Month, but I’ve skipped it for a few months because I haven’t been intrigued by their latest selections. Crossing my fingers that they’ll offer more this fall that I want to read!

So, tell me, friends: what’s the best book you read lately?

What’s on your list right now?

xoxo

Gina

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