July 2023 Bookish Bingo 🦋

What will you read in July? Work on your reading goals this month with a new round of Bookish Bingo!

If you share a completed bingo in the comments below before August 1, you’ll receive 20 bonus points!

Click here to read the rules and download your Bookish bingo card below. Make sure you share your progress with us by using #BookishBingo on social media. Let us know what books you’re reading for each prompt below! When you get a bingo, shout it out here.

BF '23 Bingo Board Forum

Have an idea for a future board? Share it here.

July Bookish Bingo prompts: Published in July, White cover, Romance audiobook, Birthday celebrated, Bisexual protagonist, Animal in the title, Theme of friendship, STEM protagonist, Title begins with Y, Author uses a pseudonym, Visit a new bookstore, Bookish protagonist, Free space, Paranormal, Two characters on the cover, Set in North Carolina, Summer in the title, Buddy read, Go somewhere to read, Mystery or thriller, Middle of a series, Set in the jungle, Reread a favorite, Fireworks on the cover, Ask for a rec in the forum


Any book recs for this month?

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What are your genres, abergen? I’d be happy to post some recs.

I enjoy most genres. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary fiction, mystery-thrillers, historical fiction, and contemporary rom-coms. Anyone have any recs for me?


Do you like fiction with magical realism?

I’ll take a rec for a book in fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, or mystery / thriller / suspense. Thanks!

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Anyone have recs for Christmas in July?

I keep a running list of my favorite books to recommend people. I’m going to copy the entire thing below to give people some options!!

If you like contemporary fiction…

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (with some fantasy/historical fiction elements)
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (also a movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can’t compare. The book is almost always better, though!)
  • The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin (with adventure/survivalism)
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (especially if you like dogs. It is from a dog’s POV. The book is so much better than the movie)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (a little bit of historical fiction to it… other stuff by this author is also great)
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (historical in that it involves early-days-video-game designers)
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (with some magical realism)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (a love story with time travel. I feel like most people have heard of this book at least in passing… if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! It was a movie and is now a TV show as well. The book is the best, of course!)

If you like romance…

  • The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (or anything by Emily Henry)
  • The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
  • November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (or anything by Colleen Hoover!)
  • The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood (or anything by Ali Hazelwood)
  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren (a great romance to read at Christmastime)

If you like mysteries/thrillers…

  • The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • The Push by Ashley Audrain
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Mechaelides
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham
  • The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (yes- by the same author who wrote Twilight. People always focus on the fact that Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight and they don’t realize that she wrote other stuff! I love her other books)

If you like historical fiction…

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (1960’s marshes of North Carolina. This is also a mystery. But only if you have not seen the movie- they actually did a good job making it into a movie.)
  • America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter)
  • The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustain (1920s Mississippi… also a bit of a mystery)
  • Moloka’i by Alan Brennert (Hawaiian Leper colony)
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (dual timeline… WWI female spy ring and immediately post WWII missing cousin mystery)
  • Circe by Madeline Miller (this is a retelling of several Greek myths, mainly The Odyssey, through the eyes of the sorceress Circe. If you have any interest in Greek mythology, read this. If you don’t really care about/know the basics of some of the Greek myths, I’ve been told it is not as enjoyable. I love mythology so I thought it was amazing)

If you like Fantasy/Dystopian/Magic/Sci-Fi etc…

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (post illness-apocalypse. Not just a pure survival story, which I liked)
  • The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey (pure space opera sci-fi and absolutely amazing. If you are even slightly willing to take a chance on a full blown sci-fi space opera, I cannot recommend this book enough. Also a TV show. Book is better, obviously, but what I’ve seen of the show is not bad)
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (not pure sci-fi… involves a futuristic virtual reality. It’s also a movie, but the book is way better than the movie. I don’t recommend the movie)
  • The Unwind series by Neal Shusterman (dystopian. The concept sounds extreme and crazy… they “unwind” poorly behaved and unwanted teenagers and use their organs/body parts to help others how organ donors are used today… but it is SO good. It is one of my favorite series of all times. Technically YA but it is so good)
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer (This would be YA sci-fi by the same author who wrote Twilight. Like I said before, people always focus on the fact that Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight and they don’t realize that she wrote other stuff. I love her other books. This is also a movie and it does a good job. But the book is better!)
  • Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert (mystery and modern witches. The modern witch story that I wished Practical Magic was when I read that)

If you like Nonfiction…

  • The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth (post-war 1950s London midwives. inspired the TV show Call The Midwife)
  • Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker (family with an extreme number of Schizophrenics, helped doctors understand schizophrenia)
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy (from the shows iCarly and Sam & Cat… even if you don’t care about her as an actress, her story is crazy. I recommend the audiobook)
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons From The Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (Morbid, I know. But it is very good. And as weird as it may sound, this book has the perfect blend of seriousness, humor, and thoughtfulness)
  • Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat by Caroline Burau (if you were ever curious about how the 911 dispatch industry works… seems a bit random, I know, but I really enjoyed it!)
  • Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (the guy from the Daily Show)

Magical realism is hit or miss for me. I’ve read some that I thought was great and others that I didn’t care for at all. I’d give it a try though.

Thanks! I’ve read a few of those and also loved them. That’s a great list to choose from!

Depending on how much romance you enjoy, I really liked The Mistletoe Promise and The Santa Suit was cute. For less romance, I’d recommend The Christmas Club or the classic, A Christmas Carol.

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Great list!! Definitely second Circe and The Host. :wink:

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Have you read anything by Heather Webber? I love her books with magical realism. I don’t feel it’s over the top. Her books definitely tug the heartstrings though. I’d recommend Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. It’s about family, loss and greief, and uncovered secrets.

I did see you like historical fiction as well, so here are a few recs:

  • Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (take place during the Renaissance period, main character is a woman who practices the art of autopsy and is tasked to solve a mystery) - first in a series of 4
  • The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato (a young woman steals the conceptual design of Botticelli’s new painting only to discover it holds a secret beginning a race against time to solve it) -standalone
  • Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (dual timelines, follows Alice in present day as a volunteer at a dig in France and Alais in France 800 yrs prior as she is given a secret to safeguard by her father) first in a trilogy
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (follows a young woman grieving the loss of her grandmother as she follows clues to her family’s past) - standalone
  • The Innocent by Posie Graeme-Evans (follows a young woman during the war of the roses as she learns dangerous secrets and falls in love with a king) - first in a trilogy
  • The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips (dual timeline, follows Claire, a graduate student writting her thesis, as she races to uncover proof that a courtesan of 17th century Venice truly was a hero, not a villian) - first of a duology
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For anyone else looking for a good sci-fi rec, I highly recommend Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I did listen to the audiobook, which had an amazing narrator, but I hear the same praise from those that read the book. :wink:

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Does anyone have a rec for "author uses a pseudonym "?

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I have read Midnight at the Blackbird Café and thought it was great. :slight_smile: I added South of the Buttonwood Tree to my to-read list after reading it. I also have The Forgotten Garden on my to-read list. Thanks for the great recommendations!

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Thanks so much! I loved The Mistletoe Promise. I think I’ve heard about The Santa Suit, but I wasn’t too sure about it. I will definitely have to check it out, along with The Christmas Club.

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Stephen King (Richard Bachman), Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb), and JK Rowling (Robert Galbraith) all use pseudonyms. Also, some classic authors used pseudonyms, such as Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott) and Louisa May Alcott (Flora Fairfield).

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I’ve read South of the Buttonwood Tree. You will love it. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


If you like Sci-fi/Fantasy and older books, try Andre Norton (really Alice Norton).

Also Joe Hill is a pseudonym. He’s the son of Stephen King and didn’t want his father’s fame to influence his career.