July was not my best reading month. And although I do have quite a few books to talk about, the first two or three weeks of the month were spent only with one book (although I finished a non-fiction book on the first three days of the month), and then did most of the reading in the last week.

Also, I only read one fiction book last month (and started many others), but I loved it so that’s what matters more for me these days. I guess we all have months like this, so without further ado let’s jump into the books!

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Absolute favourite of the month is the only fiction book finished last month: Spinning Silk by T. Cook. I know what you are going to say, “but Andreea, this is not the first time you mention this book” and that is correct, but that’s only because it was awesome! I reviewed it here(5/5 stars)

Another great book read in the beginning of this month is Women Design by Libby Sellers which talks about female artists and designers. I felt quite bad for only knowing two or three names in the book. This shows once again why books like this one are important. Plus it’s really well made compared to other “books about women” (I talked about this trend before), this one presents you short biographies of the artists but in a compelling way and it doesn’t feel forced, it is genuinely trying to bring more attention to these great designers. (4/5 stars)

I also read Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different by Ben Brooks, which could be part of the trend above, only about boys – and do not jump with judgement like there are enough stories about boys. I think this book is quite important for showcasing real humans that became successful not by being manly or athletic. I think that in concept it does a great job erasing toxic notions on masculinity, but it’s also nothing more than a short biography and an illustration. (3/5 stars)

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Last month I also got two read three books from the Know-It-All series, which presents 50 important ideas or concepts from a certain subject – the physics book I read a few years ago that finally helped me understand quantum mechanics was based on a similar format. I think this is a great way to get people interested in a subject and they have the option to pursue it further. I gave all three of them 3/5 stars.

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I also read a lot of art books – whenever I am really busy and do not have to read fiction or hard non-fiction, I turn to art books because I love reviewing them but they are also easy to read.

My two favourite from the bunch are Modern Drawing by Chelsea Ward (4/5 stars) because awesome tips and it simply just made me want to go out and draw, and Beginning Color Mixing by Kimberly Adams (4/5 stars) which goes really into detail when it comes to color in art and color mixing, two things I avoid in my own art. This book is great to get you started, it presents you the rules, how to mix colors, offers tips and tricks, but more importantly it tells you that rules are meant to be broken!

The Art of Map Illustration (3/5 stars) was fine… It is really interesting when you think of the idea of personal maps and presenting things from your perspective, not real cartography, but it’s four artists showing their different styles, yet really repeating themselves because it is a book about map illustration. This book could be turned into a great article on a blog or art magazine, it does not have to be a book. And my biggest disappointment was Pocket Art: Portrait Drawing by Joanna Henly (2/5 stars)because the illustrations inside it are absolutely gorgeous, but what it offers the reader in terms of technique and tips could also be presented in a blog form.

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July was a weird busy month in general and you can see that from my reading. Hopefully August will be better, although I am not going anywhere this month but I am really dreaming of a beach vacation!

How was your July? What did you read? 

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