July Wrap-Up

Happy August everyone!

While July was a great month for me overall, it was probably my worst month for reading yet – I literally only read one book. Oh well! I was busy traveling (finally going on my honeymoon, yay!), and just didn’t have a lot of time to read. But that’s okay! It’s important to make time for other things that bring us joy too.

The first half of July was spent preparing for our trip to Peru, and then the second half was spent, well, enjoying our time in Peru! I did manage to read one book before we left. It was about the “discovery” of Machu Picchu in the 20th century, and I was really glad I was able to finish this one before visiting because I learned a lot about the history of the ruins, the Incas, and Peru in general.

I also discovered a game called Spiritfarer this month, and I spent quite a bit of time playing it on my Switch! If you like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, then this is a game you’d probably enjoy as well. I just found it so relaxing and it had a really unique concept.

Now that it’s August I’m already feeling anxious about going back to the classroom, but my goal is just to try to enjoy the time I have left and read things that make me happy! I’m definitely behind on my goal for the year, but I don’t mind. I’m just going to keep reading the things that I want regardless of how long they are or how long they take me to get through.

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in July:

To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

Stats and Overall Thoughts:

Books read: 1
Physical books: 1
(Books that I physically own: 1)
Audiobooks: 0

Fiction: 0
(Historical fiction: 0)
Nonfiction: 1

Average monthly rating: 4.0
Top Book of July: Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

*To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

4-star books:

  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams (Nonfiction, Paperback)
    • I generally read nonfiction at a slower pace, so that combined with traveling is probably the reason why this is the only book I read this month. But it was a great book to represent my experiences this month! I was lucky enough to actually get to visit Machu Picchu in July, and this book really helped me get more out of my visit. While at times I felt a little lost with the way some of the information was presented, and some of it felt a little repetitive, I enjoyed the way the factual information was presented in three intertwining narratives. One narrative was historical information about Peru: the Incas as well as the arrival and aftermath of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. The second narrative was about the explorer that “discovered” Machu Picchu: Hiram Bingham. It detailed his expeditions (this is where I got a little lost as he made several). And the third narrative describes the author’s experiences as he attempts to follow in Bingham’s footsteps and recreate his original expedition that led to his discovery of the famous lost city. The author is definitely not a hardcore adventurer, so I really enjoyed reading about his experiences because, as someone who is not super outdoorsy myself, it was fun to try to picture myself in his shoes. The narrative style kept me engaged, and I felt like I learned a lot. My biggest takeaway is that, while Bingham doesn’t deserve credit for legitimately discovering Machu Picchu (several people living in the area knew about it, there were actually a few families living at the site at the time, and there’s even evidence that another explorer may have “discovered” it before Bingham), what he does deserve credit for is making it known to the world. Its popularity and fame worldwide has helped people learn about this history and ancient civilization, it has brought more tourism to Peru, and its popularity has also increased preservation efforts (before Bingham made it famous, it was overgrown with jungle plants). If you have any interest in Machu Picchu, exploration, Peru, or ancient civilizations, this would probably be something worth checking out!

How did your reading go in July? Any stand-out books to recommend?

Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!

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