Serious vacation prep was happening in June (both professionally and personally) so I barely read anything that month… but then we went on vacation the first week of July and I finished 2 books in a week (which is rare for me!).


I have 3 books listed for this link-up.

I rate the books, explain what they are about & why I read them, & then give my thoughts. Erin’s book challenge kicked off July 1st so I included an update at the end of this post, too.

Ok… on to the books!

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt | ★★★★/5
Summary: The Sisters brothers are famous for killing. As hired assassins on The Commodore’s payroll, Eli and Charlie Sister set out for gold-rush-crazy Sacramento to kill Hermann Kermit Warm. | Why I Read It: Erin read it and then offered it up. I thought it sounded good so she sent it my way 🙂 | What I Thought: I just really loved this story. (Plus that cover is ALL the heart-eye emojis.) I rarely read books that pick up at one point in a person’s life, tell a story, and end at another point in their life. Usually the book starts at birth or at a pivotal moment and ends at death or something similar. It was a comfortable, well-paced, sad yet funny, familiar but untold story. I used to watch old western movies with my dad and this took me right back. It was a little violent, but nothing I couldn’t handle (and I’m a wimp!).
You should read it because… you enjoy historical fiction and western movies… you like characters that aren’t 100% good or bad… you’re obsessed with the cover art like I am.

*Who wants it next? I’m passing this story on now, too! I’ll send it to ya for free!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie | ★★★★/5
Summary: Ten strangers collected on an island, all haunted to a degree by past transgressions. Will they make it off the desolate rock alive? And if not, who’s killing them off one by one? | Why I Read It: A friend recommended it because she thought I’d enjoy it. | What I Thought: She was right- I did enjoy it! This book was first published in 1939 but it didn’t read like an “old” book. I loved the mix of characters and the mystery of the island. I liked how certain stories came to light at different times in the plot- not just all at once. I absolutely had NO idea who’d done it by the end of the book. It was kind of strange to have it all summed up the way it was in the last 30 pages or so, but I was very satisfied with the ending and the intricate murders!
You should read it because… you enjoy murder mysteries and you like the game/movie Clue and you want to pay some respect to the OG of mysteries. Ha.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein | ★★★★★/5
Summary: Enzo the dog looks back on his life with the Swift family. | Why I Read It: I hate reading books about animals, but this one had such high praise, plus the dog’s name is Enzo ❤︎ | What I Thought: This book killed me… I was sobbing on the beach last week because of all the highs and lows wrapped up in these +300 pages. (We also lost our family dog to old age last week while we vacation- that didn’t help my emotional explosion.) Enzo is a sweet and intelligent soul that devotes his life to loving, protecting, and understanding the humans in his life. He provides insight and lessons that sound so natural coming from a dog’s mind. Amongst illnesses and births and triumphs and loss, Enzo is a sturdy rock for the family and he doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. Even the staunchest dog hater would fall head over heels for Enzo. (I also love that book-Enzo and my Enzo are presumably named after the same thing/person.)
You should read it because… it’s amazing. Even if you’re not a dog lover, you will absolutely fall in love with Enzo and his humans. This was a wonderful book & I’m so glad I broke my rule and read it.

So here’s where I’m at with the challenge, just over 2 weeks in:

|5 points| Freebie: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
|10 points| Starts w/ “B”: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
|10 points| Yellow cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
|15 points| An animal on the cover: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Published in 2017: The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| Compass/cardinal direction in title: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
|25 points| A most commonly banned book in America: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
|30 points| About mental illness: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
|30 points| Non-human main character: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
|35 points| A Disney movie /book/ based on a Disney movie: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

I will take 35 points to kick this off, thank you very much!

I loved spending my whole vacation reading by the beach 🙂 I’ll recap the other stuff we did on Thursday! Until then, tell me what YOU read this month!

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!!

Life According to Steph

40 thoughts on “What I Read… vol. 7

    1. I sobbed. And I always avoid books and TV shows that I think will make me lose my shit… but this book just had so many high praises. And honestly, it was just THAT good!


  1. The Sisters Brothers sounds so different but intriguing. It brings to mind the character of Sharon Stone in that one western – cant think of the name… Leo was in it.

    I just cant… nope… any book that involves dogs… I run FAR AWAYYY


    1. Just looked it up- The Quick and the Dead 😉 Never seen it!

      I knoooow. I’m the same way. And I won’t be picking up another animal book for a long time. But I really am so glad I read this one!


  2. I’ve probably said it before but I love Racing in the Rain so I’m glad you did too! How cool that your dog is named after the same Enzo (race car driver I presume)?! The end of the book with the little boy Enzo… Slays me every time! I love the moment of redemption after years of struggle.


    1. Yep! A race car driver/car manufacturer AND it’s the name of a car model- Enzo Ferrari.
      There were so many moments… Eve’s first night at her parents when she begs Enzo to stay with her and protect her. I’m starting to cry right now thinking about it.


    1. I’m glad I read it… but I swear I’m still recovering from it. Even thinking about certain chapters makes me tear up. It was so, so beautiful/hard/touching/amazing/heartwarming/heartbreaking!


  3. I love, love the cover to Sisters Brothers too. It’s on my TBR and hopefully I will get to it somewhat relatively soon. I always think I’ll get to something this month and nope! 😀 I don’t think … know … I couldn’t read The Art of Dancing in the Rain. While I am a crazy cat lady (although I like doggies too!), I still feel very raw over the loss of my beloved Emeril (5 years ago – this is why I’m a crazy cat lady) and it would wreck me for days.


    1. I’m the same way. I have a whole stack of books at home on my table… but then there’s another mental stack that I’d really like to get to, too. Lol
      I think you’d love the book. Honestly, because of your bond and relationship with Max, I think you’d lose yourself in the pages. You’d definitely bawl, though. Lord knows I did……


    1. I was a mess. I read it on vacation and both my parents interrupted me at different points to make sure I was ok because tears were streaming down my face… lol. #WorthIt though!! 😉


    1. There were just so many moments…. When Denny got furious at Enzo and Eve stepped in. Eve’s first night at her parents’ house. The car accident. THE END OF THE BOOK. Damn; it killed me.


    1. I’m glad the recommendation made its way across blog-land! Both books were awesome. I don’t think The Sisters Brothers would’ve come across my radar without Erin (and you)!


  4. Way to go on Erin’s Challenge so far! I haven’t started a book yet because I’m trying to get through some library books, so hopefully I’ll read at least one book next week! I seriously can’t read dog books because they just gut me, but I know that everybody loves The Art Of Racing In The Wind.


  5. I really want to read The Sisters Brothers after reading your review! it sounds so good. I was just tihnking the other day that I want to re-read And Then There Were None. I was looking for it at the bookstore, but I couldn’t find it. I think I read it during my freshman year of high school and I loved it so much. I’m back on a mystery/thriller kick lately so that book popped into my head. Right now I’m reading Into the Water, and I’m liking it so much!


    1. You should hunt down The Sisters Brothers!
      I love mystery, though I’m not a huge fan of thriller. You should look into the Amory Ames series. It’s by Ashley Weaver. She’s releasing the 4th book this September and they’re all set in 1930s Europe. I looooove them!


  6. Your reviews for each of these were absolutely perfect! And, my heart is happy that you will pass along the book for free.


  7. I love And Then There Were None. I think it’s one of my favourite Agatha Christie books. Except the version I read was Ten Little Indians (renamed from the original “Ten Little Niggers” – it was later renamed again because even Ten Little Indians wasn’t exactly PC).


    1. Whoaaaa… I knew it was previously Ten Little Indians. Didn’t know about the original title! Wow! It’s kind of odd that the book doesn’t read like it’s over 50 years old… I kept having to remind myself at different points! I’m excited to read more from Christie now!


  8. I still don’t have all my books figured out for Erin’s challenge but I’m getting there. I’m reading the freebie pick right now. I’m glad you liked And Then There Were None; I love that book. I really like Christie – I recommend The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.



  9. The Sisters Brothers has been on my list for ages, so good to hear you liked it! if no-one else wants it, i’ll take it!
    i have not read the art of racing in the rain. whenever i read books about animals, i cry the entire time. even when they aren’t sad, i just love how much people love their animals.


    1. Yeah, girl! All yours!! Email me your address! (
      This book was so special because it was opposite of most animal books- you saw how much the dog loved his humans and how devoted he was. Still totally cry-worthy. Hahaha!


    1. I want to read Murder on the Orient Express but I know it’s like the 10th book in the series… and I feel like I should read the other 9 first. Lol. (But I need to read it before the movie comes out!)
      With the exception of vacation, I’ve read nothing this month either. Life got verrrrry busy. Ha.


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