Monthly Wrap Ups

Monthly Wrap Up: June 2020

It’s been a few months since I’ve done a wrap-up mostly because it’s been hard to keep track of the days during lockdown. By the time it dawns on me that we’re in a new month, we’re already nearly through it so it seems kind of pointless to do the previous month’s wrap up.

This time, however, I remembered! Well, I remembered before the end of July, anyway. đŸ˜›

June was a really busy period for me, but I still managed to get a lot of books read. I’m a little surprised at how many I read given I’m working a lot at the moment, but I also haven’t been sleeping well most nights. I usually end up giving up on sleep in the early hours of the morning and grab a book or three to keep me and my insomnia company. Guess it paid off book-wise! (Not so much sleep-wise.)

  • Johnny Hunter by Richard L. DuMont: I started Johnny Hunter back in November when I was sent a copy, but once I learned the author wasn’t indigenous I kind of lost interest. A few weeks ago I decided to give it another go and while I’m still not thrilled a white dude wrote this, it was a nice story. I’d recommend it for younger readers as long as they’re made aware it wasn’t written by a Cheyenne, but written by an author who describes himself as “having a fascination with Native American culture.”
  • Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Letham: This was a great introduction to an author I have been meaning to read for years. It was a modern take on the detective noir of old. I’d recommend reading this as an audiobook because the narrator was amazing at the verbal tics, adding an intensity I don’t think I would have gotten from just reading it in print.
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: THIS IS THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER WRITTEN AND YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND. It also had some brilliant ancient military action going on. Ancient near eastern military history and Troy/Mycenae were the focus of my undergrad studies so The Song of Achilles felt like it was written just for me.
  • The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich: She is an author I have also been meaning to read for years and again I think this novel was a wonderful introduction. Masterfully weaving fact with fiction, I ended up learning so much about the Turtle Mountain tribe while reading this moving tale.
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch: What a bizarre, but ultimately fun story Rivers of London was. It’s the first in a series so I’m more than likely going to be reading more books if for nothing other than loving the fact that there are wizards within the London police.
  • The Bone Jar by S.W. Kane: A chilling and unique mystery set within an abandoned asylum. Read my review here!
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix: I was in no way prepared for what this odd little book was actually about. Here I was thinking it would be about housewives moonlighting as vampire hunters when in reality it was more of a story about women coping with their lives in a Stepford-esque suburb that just happened to have a vampire in it.
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: Another book where I wasn’t quite prepared for what I was reading. I hadn’t been inclined to read anything of Flynn’s before, but I love Patricia Clarkson and Amy Adams and wanted to finish the book before watching the mini-series adaptation starring them. It was quite grotesque and visceral at times and had a near relentless focus on the bodily functions of the characters. I enjoyed it, but it was definitely not what I was expecting.
  • They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery: This should be required reading for every single person on the planet. Insightful, infuriating, and devastating, if you ever wanted to know why people are rioting in the streets, this is the place to start. What’s all the more impressive is how young the journalist who wrote it is.
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown: What a cheerful book! These days it’s important to get some light-hearted books in with your reading. It can’t all be doom and gloom, not when so much of the world at the moment seems to be doom and gloom. I listened to the audiobook of The Wild Robot and even though it was an engaging experience, I feel like I missed out on the illustrations that are in the print version. So I’ve bought a hard copy of it and its sequel!
  • In the Role of Brie Hutchens by Nicole Melleby: Melleby has written another profound middle-grade book that broaches subjects often not explored within this genre. Read my review here!
  • Watson on the Orient Express by Anna Elliott and Charles Veley: Even though this is the 17th book in the series, this was my first foray into it. Luckily it features some pretty well known literary characters! Full review to come soon.
  • Never Ever Tell by Kirsty Ferguson: Some books just need to find the right audience. I was not the right audience for Never Ever Tell. None of the characters’ actions, dialogues, or motivations made sense to me. I felt as if I were reading the script for an overly dramatic soap opera. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but it was too outlandish for me to take it very seriously. Other readers seem to love it, though, so clearly it works for the right readers!

What were your books of June? Have you read any of mine? Let me know in the comments!

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