Good morning my loves
I hope you are doing well on this dull summer’s day. Today’s post is my reading wrap-up for the month of June.
Time is moving in a weird way at the moment, for all of us I’m sure. I feel like we’re still in March but that March has stretched on forever. We have this global pandemic to thank for that. At the beginning of COVID-19, my reading took a bit of a swan dive. I struggled to concentrate and barely read anything at all. Thankfully last month I found my reading stride again and that has continued into June, where I managed to read 12 books. So let’s get into the books I read during the month of June.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
The Tox has hit and the Raxton School for Girls has been quarantined (fitting, I know). But all is not as it seems. Will Hetty and Byatt survive? I borrowed this book from my lovely friend Amy who has been it on my wishlist and lent me her copy. I was really excited to read it because the premise had echos of other female dominant dystopias that I had read and loved. 4/5 stars.
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas **
Come to Catherine House, forget all that you were before, devote your entire being to the school, and you could become great. The instant that I saw this on NetGalley, I knew I needed to read it. I am instantly drawn to books that are set at university and particularly those with a deeply dark undercurrent. I had incredibly high expectations for Catherine House and maybe that is why, when I read it, I found it a little lacking. 3/5 stars
The Foundling by Stacey Halls
What lengths would you go to to get back your stolen child? I received a proof copy of The Foundling from my lovely friend Ashley for my birthday and I couldn’t have been more excited. I had read The Familiars by Stacey Halls last year and loved it so much that I knew I would read anything that Stacey published in the future. With the same gothic feel, The Foundling was a completely gripping page turner that I would recommend to fans of Bridget Collins and Laura Purcell. 4/5 stars.
I Think You’ll Find it’s a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre
A collection of many of the articles that Ben Goldacre has previously published in his column in The Guardian. This is the third book that I’ve read by Ben this year and he has quickly become my favourite non-fiction author. While this one is not my favourite by him, it is still brilliant and I would highly recommend it. I have just one more book left to read now until I can say I have read all of his published books. 4/5 stars.
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
A powerful graphic memoir about what it’s like living as a first generation American and raising a mixed-raced son in the age of Trump. While the art style wasn’t particularly my style, the story, Mira’s story, was both compelling and heartwarming, an incredible feat when discussing such a heartbreaking topic. 4/5 stars.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
“Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.” The most powerful and conformatable book I’ve read in a long time. While I didn’t complete the activities this time, I want to go back and read it again soon, when my own mental health is in a better place, and complete the workbook. 4/5 stars.
The Truants by Kate Weinberg
A coming of age (thriller?) novel set partly at a university campus that has been compared to The Secret History. Now, I am always wary of book that have been compared to The Secret History – which is my favourite book of all time – as they never usually live up to my expectations. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was dark and compelling, with great characters. 4/5 stars.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
First published in the 1960s, The Bell Jar is a shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. This was a re-read for me, after reading it for the first time when I was in school. I thoroughly enjoyed it this time around, maybe even more than I did the first time as some of the themes were more accessible due to my age. 4/5 stars.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Beginning in Barcelona in 1945, we meet Daniel, the son of an antiquarian bookseller, intent on finding more books by author Julian Carax. But what he finds is far more sinister than he is expecting. Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I first read this book probably about 10 years ago, and feel head over heels in love with the series. Finding myself in a bit of reading slump towards the end of the month, I picked up this old favourite. Sadly, just two days later, it was announced that the author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon had passed away. A fantastic author and incredible series. 5/5 stars.
The Harpy by Megan Hunter **
Jake and Lucy have settled into the routine, working and looking after their children. But when Lucy discovers Jake has been having an affair, the game of crime and punishment begins. Lucy transforms before our eyes from stay at home mother, to something altogether more sinister. A great worker of literary fiction with hints inspired by fairytales and gothic fiction. 4/5 stars.
The Radleys by Matt Haig
How would you feel if you find out you were a vampire and your parents had hidden it from you your whole life? That is until the day you murder a classmate and drink their blood? An adult vampire novel, that initially I wasn’t sure about reading, but being as it was by Matt Haig, I gave it a go. I actually enjoyed this one far more than I expected to, which is a testament to Matt Haig’s writing (I don’t really like vampire stories). 4/5 stars.
I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite
A superb memoir by such inspirational woman, telling with humor and brutal honesty, what it is like to be a Black mother of Black children in Britain. I have followed Candice on Instagram for some time now and the minute I knew she had a book coming out, I knew I had to read it. While I do not see myself reflected in the pages of this book, I believe wholeheartedly that it is so fundamentally important for people like me, to read books exactly like this one. I could never truly understand what it is like being a black mother to back children, but this wonder of a book has helped me to at least begin to try to understand the utter fucktrumpet of a society that we still live in, despite how much those in power try to convince us is so much better now that it used to be. This is without a doubt my favourite book of the year so far, and it’ll take something special to beat it. 5/5 stars.
And there we have it, a quick round up of the books that I read during the month of June. A pretty good reading month, I think you would agree! What did you read during June and what was your favourite book of the month? I’d love to know so let’s chat in the comments!
Peace and pages