July Reading List: Algeria, Magical Murals, and Worm Bins

What books are on tap for July?

June made me realize that I read mostly via audiobook and if I load up my monthly reading with paper books, I probably won’t get to everything. Since I’m prepping for #PitchWars in August, July’s reading will be even lighter than what I actually completed in June.

I’m still reading The Palace of Dreams but next on my list for reading books from around the world is…

Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade algerian fantasia

In this stunning novel, Assia Djebar intertwines the history of her native Algeria with episodes from the life of a young girl in a story stretching from the French conquest in 1830 to the War of Liberation of the 1950s. The girl, growing up in the old Roman coastal town of Cherchel, sees her life in contrast to that of a neighboring French family, and yearns for more than law and tradition allow her to experience. Headstrong and passionate, she escapes from the cloistered life of her family to join her brother in the maquis’ fight against French domination.

Djebar’s exceptional descriptive powers bring to life the experiences of girls and women caught up in the dual struggle for independence – both their own and Algeria’s.

This isn’t actually on the original “A Year of Reading Around the World” list, although another of the author’s books is. I found the Amazon blurb for Assia Djebar interesting enough that I had to check out this book. As Djebar was also history teacher, I can’t wait to see what exciting richness she brings to this novel.


I’m also still working on the Diverse YA Book Club June pick, Ash by Malindo Lo but up next in July for this group is…

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.

Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of  making art and hanging out with her friends. But then 22295304a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.

Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaperintroduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.

This. Looks. AWESOME. Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean? Magic paintings, anthropologist(s), spirits, and a mystery? Sign me UP. I found this book recently so it cut ahead of a couple other books in my list but I couldn’t wait. Urban fantasy, ownvoices, and it’s been highly praised by critics? And I’m in love with the cover? And the magic system looks like something I’ve never read before? I’m there. I’m so there.

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Save the world.

And, finally, the last book on my July reading list is:

Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof51o593QxzdL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_

This is a nonfiction book that walks you through the basics of vermicomposting. Why do I have it? Because I have a worm bin and I refuse to care about judgey people’s judgments. Besides, worms are awesome (on top of composting, they make things my plants like and they are things my fish like, too)

Vermicomposting is something a coworker got me into but I’m thinking it might be useful in a future story. 😉

Author: V. Kane

I write YA fantasy, blog about it, and then take my dog out for therapy. My current manuscript is ANATHEMA, a story of two sisters caught up in a war between the gods. Find me on Twitter at @ValkyrieWriting or Instagram at books_and_dogs

3 thoughts

    1. Ha, I’m not but I can totally see how I wrote it that way. I’m a data analyst but the other of the Fantasia is a history teacher so I’m hoping she can add some cool details. I will fix my post. XD

      Liked by 1 person

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