I’m back from my unreasonable hiatus to bring you my Good Reads from July! I know that August is almost over, but I’ve been meaning to post this forever. You’ll just get these book posts really close together! Here’s what was on the menu for July:

July Reads

A yummy selection, if I do say so myself.

July Reads

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883) by Howard Pyle

(Read it free here)
What you need to know: This has nothing to do with any film adaptation you have ever seen.

Which makes me wonder if any of the many novel versions of the myth do. There is no Maid Marian (okay, he mentions that he likes her twice but you never get to meet her). That being said, this book is still worth reading. It is pretty much chronicles of the merry men tricking the rich, getting new men to join the band, and humiliating the Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin Hood is pretty dang clever. But I must admit that I was disapointed that my favorite mythical hero didn’t do a little more stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. This is probably the only instance in the history of me reading that I prefer the Disney version over the book.

But I also love foxes, so there you go. I should also mentioned that I LOVED the most recent adaptation.

July Reads

Scott Pilgram vs. the Universe (5) (2009) and Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (2010) by Bryan Lee O’Malley

What you need to know:
Most awesome Western manga ever. PG-15.

I loved the way that this series finished up! I read the first four last month and fell in love with them. Mostly because they are literally laugh out loud funny. Btw, the movie totally did the books justice.

July Reads

Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding

What you need to know:
You must read this in your lifetime. Preferably tomorrow.

I wish that I had read this in school so that I could dissect it properly. I didn’t know anything about this book before I started reading it. A group of children crash-land on an island and try to make a semblance of government for survival. Like Lost without all of the smoke monster ridiculousness. This novel really made me think about human nature and challenged the way I view the world.

July Reads

Sin City: That Yellow B*****d (1996) and Sin City: Family Matters (1997) by Frank Miller

What you need to know: Beautiful in a gritty way. NC-17 rated.

I love that the art is all black and white (with a few minor exceptions, such as the selective use of yellow in That Yellow B*****D). These are written like old pulp detective novels and are very pulp noir. These might be too grotesque for some of you, but I love them.

July Reads

The Exorcist (1971) by William Peter Blatty

What you need to know: Even scarier than the movie.

Man, I forgot how racy The Exorcist is. Maybe I saw the edited-for-cable version. It had me believing while I was reading. If I was a single girl, I would have needed a slumber party in order to successfully slumber.

July Reads

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Predators and Pray (Season 8: Vol. 5) (2009) by Jane Espenson, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Z. Greenbert, Jim Krueger, and Doug Petrie

What you need to know: Not as good as the other Season 8 volumes.

I still liked it, but more out of my innate Buffy geekdom than out of appreciation for the story arcs in these comics. These were mostly side-stories that didn’t advance the overall story-line at all. I did love the first comic in this volume (Harmony gets famous- LOL). Necessary for Buffy geeks, but that’s it.

July Reads

The Giver (1993), Gathering Blue (2000), and Messenger (2004) by Lois Lowry

What you need to know: The Giver is my all-time favorite young adult novel.

The next two books in the trilogy are now right up there with it. I read the Giver in 8th grade and have read it at least once a year since. I love Orwellian fiction, and this is about the most heartfelt futuristic novel ever. I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that there are companion books! Not only were they almost equally amazing, but they proved that the Giver doesn’t have the sad ending that I thought it did.

July Reads

Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte

What you need to know: Probably the most original romantic relationship in literature; but not really a romance.

This book is super sad. The characters are despicable. However, they are so interesting that it doesn’t matter. You empathize with them anyway. I’m really glad that I had this addition; the footnotes were helpful. I would have been lost a few times without a deeper understanding of the time’s version of progenitor laws. Can’t wait to read some Charlotte next.

July Reads

Little Women (1832–1888) by Louisa May Alcott

What you need to know: This is as much a manual for good parenting as it is a story of how four sisters grow together and overcome their character flaws. It will also make you cry.

Or maybe it’s just the pregnancy hormones. I had to watch the Friends episode (The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends, Season 3) where Joey reads Little Women. If you’ve seen it, you know it’s a spoiler to the end of the book but is super funny.

July Reads

Welcome to the Monkey House (1968) by Kurt Vonnegut

What you should know: This is one of the best collections of short stories ever published. Seriously underrated.

Kurt Vonnegut is probably my favorite author, though serious literature buffs always look at me as if I am young and naive when I say so. Who else can make science fiction and pure silliness into amazing literature? I feel like old Kurt just sat around asking himself rhetorical “What if?” questions and then turned them into fantastic stories. My favorites in this book include a high stakes game of life-threatening chess played with real people and a futuristic over-populated society in which euthanasia is encouraged and sex is all but prohibited (but in a funny way, if you can believe that to be possible). Brilliant.

July Reads

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Short Stories (1819) by Washington Irving

What you need to know: Ichabad Crane is a jerk.
And the headless horseman isn’t real. The locals just make him up to get rid of Crane because, once again, Ichabad is a jerk. This is a collection of mostly stories that are meant to be spooky stories with rational explanations. Rip Van Winkle, another of Irving’s famous stories, is also included. Rip Van Winkle takes a walk in the woods, falls asleep, and wakes up. Twenty years have passed. The early Dutch-American folklore gives an interesting glimpse into this ethnic group.

July Reads

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson

What you need to know: Not all it’s hyped up to be.

Since the premise of the story has seeped into modern culture, this book holds no surprises. The insight into existence of evil and good within man is worth pondering, and the story is told from an interesting perspective (the lawyer acts like a detective almost), but it really wasn’t as good as I expected.

July Reads

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What are you reading right now?