Books I Read in June

June was another great reading month! Here’s a quick look at the books I finished, with some brief thoughts about them.

    Book Club Selections

  1. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
    LOVE LOVE LOVE. I took to finish this, because I was savoring it. I read much of it terrified that Towles was going to break my heart at some point, and I am so happy to report that my heart stayed intact. Not that it’s emotionless; it’s not at all. The writing is beautiful, and the setting magnificent. Go and read this!
  2. True Grit by Charles Portis
    Much better than I was expecting, and I’m glad I read it. I might even try to watch the movie. It’s a quick read, so if you’re on the fence about trying it, the reading commitment is minimal.
  3. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
    I wanted to love this, but if it wasn’t a book club pick for October I would have abandoned it.
    Instead, I slogged through it, wondering all the while just what it was that everyone who raved over it was seeing in it. The premise is entertaining, but the execution left me so bored (especially the second half of the book). It’ll be interesting to hear what everyone else thinks of it.
  4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
    I listened to the audio, and also read a detailed plot summary, which is good because otherwise I’d have been completely lost through most of the audiobook. My book club is supposed to go and watch a performance of it next month, so I’m looking forward to that.
  5. Mysteries

  6. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear
    The problem with this title is that I’ve finished it and I’m all caught up on the Maisie Dobbs series. Big sigh.
  7. A Question of Honor by Charles Todd
    Love the Bess Crawford series, because I love Bess, and some of the other supporting characters,
    but WOW did this particular book rely waaaay too much on coincidences. Don’t start with this title, or you will be wondering what on earth I can possibly see in this series.
  8. A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch
    A quick little teaser of a story (go & grab it from Audible if you haven’t already – it’s a free download!) that just makes me look forward to more with Peter Grant. I would also love to see that librarian take a more prominent role in a future novel.
  9. A Long Shadow by Charles Todd
    Probably my least favorite of the Rutledge series: it’s getting really repetitive in some aspects, and there was one huge improbable plot line in this one that seemed so unnecessary. I’ll keep reading the series because I like the character, but I’m hoping Todd gets out of the plotting rut they seem to be in.
  10. Death of a Dyer by Eleanor Kuhns
    I read the first in this series ages ago, and had forgotten about it until I was looking for an audiobook immediately available from my library. I like the unusual time period, and if my library ever gets the third book in the series I’ll read it (or listen to).
  11. Nonfiction

  12. Word by Word by Kory Stamper
    Loved this book, and it reminded me so much of The Professor and the Madman (just a modern look at dictionaries, not a historical one). It’s much more personal than the Winchester title, and I enjoyed how Stamper structured it as a combo memoir/look at lexicography.
  13. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White
    Highly recommend this one, for the kind of person who needs it (I need it). I liked her approach,
    and it’s very encouraging.
  14. Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently by Caroline L. Arnold
    Paired really well with White’s book, which seemed to put into practice much of what Arnold suggests. I like her suggestions and advice, and it all makes a lot of sense3.
  15. Veganize It!: Easy DIY Recipes for a Plant-Based Kitchen by Robin Robertson
    I’m not vegan, so this is mostly wasted on me, but I think it’d be a great choice for anyone who is trying to go vegan.
  16. Children’s Literature

  17. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge
    Excellent book and a fun companion read to Dark Matter.
  18. The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence
    Pre-reading it to decide if I want to read it to my kids this year, or if I want to have my son read it for himself. It was good on audio, and I’ll keep it on the list for the kids in the future.
  19. Philomena by Kate Seredy
    Reading it to decide if it’s one I want to read to my kids this year. I don’t think my son will especially like it, so I’ll probably hold it for my girls when they get older.
  20. Fen Gold by Joan Lennon
    Cute story, and a very quick listen.
  21. Re-Reads

  22. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
    One of my favorite series, and I was thrilled to find they’re being released via Audible.
  23. Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
    Continuing the series – the narrator is excellent!
  24. A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson
    I had been caught up on this series but then had children and never read any of the ones published since 2009. I wanted to re-introduce myself to the characters, and since my library has them all on audio they’re an easy listen.
  25. A Necessary End by Peter Robinson
    Continuing the series.
  26. The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry
    Not my favorite of hers, but I’m catching up on the William Monk series. I skimmed a large chunk of the middle, to just get enough of the action to remind me of what happened.
  27. Didn’t Work for Me

  28. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
    I expected to love this – time traveling historians! It’s a five-star premise, for sure. I gave it my best try, even pausing for several months before continuing with it in case it was just a case of bad timing initially. The second time was no better though, and i all but forced myself to finish it, simply to know what happened with. The book is so fast-paced as things careen from one disaster to another, perhaps because if you stop and think about any of it, none of it makes sense. I want to buy what an author is selling, but they have to at least attempt to make things believable. It felt like a poor rip-off of Connie Willis’ time travel books, which are *so* much better.
  29. Out of the Dawn Light by Alys Clare
    Historical mystery that included some supernatural elements, and while I can enjoy that combo in some books, this time it felt like a cop-out for resolving plot issues. The writing and dialogue also did not seem remotely historically accurate: I’m not a complete stickler, but at least attempt to get me into the right time period, rather than seeming like a modern character plunked down in the Middle Ages.

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  1. You get through an impressive number of books in a month! I’ve got Word by Word on my TBR list, but I think I’ll bump it up the queue. It sounds so good!

  2. I am on the last 50 pages of A Gentleman in Moscow and it has taken me about a month to get there, wonderful book though.

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