July 2021 Wrap Up – Challenge Made

Happy August book friends! It’s so weird to me that it’s already August. In a little more than two weeks I’ll be back in the Netherlands for a whole year! It simultaneously feels longer and shorter than that. Weirdly enough though, I preferred going through lockdown in the U.S…

Anyway, let’s talk about some books and other things. I read 7 books this month, which compared to my other months this year is not a whole lot, but certainly not bad either. I read a mix of old books and new-to-me books, and also switched genres a bit.july 2021 wrap up july 2021 wrap up july 2021 wrap up

Life-wise I have a few updates, too, most of them exciting. Unfortunately, the weather is still complete shit. It’s rainy, windy, but also weirdly warm, so I’m perpetually confused about what to wear…

July Wrap Up: Reading


By Susan Dennard

At the end of June I started my Witchlands reread so I could dive into Bloodwitch (which I still hadn’t read) and Witchshadow with all the events fresh in my mind. Truthwitch I finished in June, so next up was Windwitch! To be honest, this one is my least favorite of all the Witchlands novels out so far. I felt like it dragged the first time, and my opinion is unchanged. Though I had forgotten about a lot of things that happen in this book, so ultimately I’m glad I reread it.


By Susan Dennard

Sightwitch is the novella that comes between Windwitch and Bloodwitch, and yes you need to read it before reading Bloodwitch. I hardly ever read novellas unless they’re necessary to the plot, but I enjoyed this one. It had a non-traditional set up, and actually deepened the plot of the main series. It’s not long by any means, so I sped through it in a couple of hours, but I enjoyed the experience.


By Susan Dennard

After Sightwitch I finally started reading Bloodwitch. I actually bought this when it came out and never read it (story of my life with a lot of books, actually). Anyway with this book I could really start to tell how deep the plot went. The world of the Witchlands is so vast and well thought out. I loved rereading the first books and finding out that details mentioned then proved to be important later. By now I have also finished Witchshadow, but I can’t include it in this wrap up because I finished it in August… But safe to say that I loved that book, too.

The Jungle

By Clive Cussler

And here is where I suddenly switched genres. I hardly ever read thrillers/adventure novels but every now and then it’s all I want to read. I’ve owned this book since 2014, so it really was high time that I read it. It was also the 50th book of the year for me! All the books I’ve read by Clive Cussler (which, granted are not a whole lot) I really enjoyed, so I’m hoping to read more in the future.


By Brandon Sanderson

I’d been meaning to reread the Mistborn series for a while, and finally felt like it not too long ago. Although I’m not binge rereading like I did with other series this year. As of yet, I have not picked up The Well of Ascension. I’m planning to buddy read it with a friend of mine, but I first have to stop being distracted by other books. Yeah… You can probably guess that’s gonna take a while lol. Anyway, my second read of Mistborn/The Final Empire was just as enjoyable as the first.

Winter’s Orbit

By Everina Maxwell

Switched genres again and settles on a sci-fi. I’ve been meaning to read more sci-fi this year, and I’m only half succeeding. I could definitely read more, but eh. I’m not gonna stress about it. Anyway, this book was very different in that the MCs tried to resolve the conflict through bureaucracy, instead of through full-on rebellion, which is something I’m not used to at all. It was simultaneously confusing and refreshing. Loved the characters, though, and I think in the end this story is slightly more character driven than plot driven. You can read my full review of it here!

Ashes of the Sun

By Django Wexler

My last book of July was Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler. This was a book I randomly added on The Story Graph and coincidentally found at my favorite bookstore. I decided to actually read it within a normal time frame, and found I loved it! It was entirely different from what I expected, which I elaborate on further in my review, but I mean that in a good way. The sequel comes out early October, and I already can’t wait.

July Wrap Up: Life Stuff

So, first things first: I got a job at H&M. I had been looking for a temporary job forever, while I search for something in my field. Unfortunately, not a single store I interviewed at hired me. I have my suspicions it’s because 1: I am older and thus more expensive compared to the average employee who just wants vacation work, and 2: I have a masters and they know I’m gonna leave anyway. Thankfully, at H&M they cared nothing about that and I got hired. My coworkers are all great, though, so so far I’m having a good time. I do hope to find something in my field soon, though. There’s plenty of jobs, but there’s also plenty of competition.

Other than that there’s not a lot going on. My best friend in the US is looking at going to law school here in the Netherlands because it’s a lot cheaper and easier to get into. It would be great if she came here because that would be the second friend I’ve convinced to move. My power is great. I low key also want to get an LLM in International Law. But, I’ll probably contemplate that more once I’ve had a few years of professional experience.

I also went to a library for the first time here. My dad got a library card (they cost money here) so we went to a library the next city over. It’s located in an old train repair building, so it looks super industrial. I posted some pics on Twitter and my Instagram stories, but here they are again!

And that’s it for my July 2021 wrap up! I hope to keep reading and stay active. Even though work can be exhausting, I find myself energized by having a somewhat normal routine again. When I have an interview for a more permanent job, y’all will be the first to know.

How many books did you read this month? Which was one your favorite?


  1. August 3, 2021 / 8:17 pm

    Congrats on finding a job, even if it isn’t in the field you want yet. And that library is so cool looking!

    Sounds like you had a busy reading month, and I hope you continue reading up a storm!

    • simonevanheijst
      August 4, 2021 / 9:51 am

      Thank you!! I’m at least having fun at my job, even though it’s not meant to be permanent ?

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