June Monthly Recap
Time for our June recap! Find out which books were favorites and which were duds. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out in July and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading next month. Make sure you read about our summer reading challenge and sign up before July 10 to play in a fun team challenge with a chance to win prizes.
Jen: Last month we mentioned an informal challenge to “read different.” You can read about that challenge here. Hopefully more of you join us! I didn’t do too badly for my #readdifferent challenge. I read 11 books this month. Seven were books written by women, only one was written by a person of color, 2 featured LGBTQ characters, 4 were set in either the U.K or U.S. the others were set in China, Paris, Iran, Germany, & Ghana. Only two authors I read were born outside the U.K. or U.S., and all books were originally written in English. One book was filled with Christian themes (definitely not a genre a typically enjoy) and one included islamic religious themes. One book was a graphic novel, one was fantasy, one YA, and the rest literary fiction. None featured disabled characters.
Favorite book read in June: My favorite book this month was Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Honorable mention goes to Persepolis by Satrapi for being one of the few graphic novels I have ever enjoyed.
Least favorite book read in June: My least favorite book was Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. I was the minority in my group in disliking this book but with a month filled with serious literary themes and complex plots with rich themes, Pym’s work was like weak tea.
Future Goals: I am officially drowning in TBR books so I hope to clear out my shelf. I will be reading Midnight’s Children, starting Anna Karenina, and a few other books I need to read for upcoming deadlines. My primary TBR has now overtaken a bookshelf (and yes, I have other tiers elsewhere in the house) and is threatening to burst out of my bookshelf. As long as I can balance them on top of other books, I will consider them to be part of the bookshelf. Below is a photo of my tier 1 TBR. I also have about 20 signed books that are in tier one of my TBR but in a different place downstairs. What should I read next)?
Favorite book read in June: My favourite June book was also my read different for Pride month, The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez. Honorable mentions go to All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (review to come soon).
Least favorite book read in June: Like Jen my least favourite book was Excellent Women by Barbara Pym.
Future Goals: Once again I failed in my challenge to clear the TBR however, I did manage to read 2 books of the 4 I was aiming for. I also failed to complete volume 3 of The Story of the Stone although I have started it. For July I will be aiming to read Season of Migration to the North by Tayleb Salih, July’s People by Nadine Gordimer and Christ Stopped at Eboli y Carlo Levi. I will also be aiming to reduce the TBR by lets say 3 books this time.
What can you look forward to on our blog in July? Look for our usual posts including: Love it or Hate it post (A Little Life by Yanagihara), Read Around the World, Featured Author, Reader-Book Match, Terrible Reviews of Great Books, Kid’s Corner, book reviews and more.
We will also be starting our summer reading challenge, a fun team challenge based on the 2016 Olympics. Make sure you sign up to join the challenge and read more about it here. The game will be played in teams but points for prizes will be awarded on an individual basis so teams are more about meeting others and brainstorming book options.
Finally, July brings the Man Booker 2016 nominations. This year, we have put together a panel of judges to bring your our ratings and reviews for every nominated long list book. The long list comes out July 27 and we will be posting our first round of predictions a few days prior to July 27.
July 2016 book releases: Truth be told, I’m not overly excited by any of the July release but I am looking forward to the l0nglist announcement. Here are just a few book selections and events. Which ones do you plan on reading?
I am No One by Patrick Flanery. Release Date: July 5
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy. Release date: July 12
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers. Release Date: July 26
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Release Date: July 26
Man Booker 2016 Longlist Announcement. July 27
We want to hear from you. So what are your plans for July? Which books were your favorites and least favorites in June? Those participating in the Read Different Challenge – What books did you read this month and how did they represent your read different goals?
I did reach my diversity goal: 14 of the 17 books I read this month were from diverse authors or with diverse characters. I had lots of favorites: 1Q84 by Murakami, Go Tell it on the Mountain by Baldwin, Homegoing by Gyasi, Here’s to You, Jesusa by Poniatowska, and Labyrinths by Borges. My least favorite was Quartet by Rhys, and though I did like Excellent Women, I didn’t love it enough to go looking for more of Pym’s work.
The funny thing to me is how similar our shelves are, Jen! Other than the ARCs, that is.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wow, I am very impressed! We do have eerily similar shelves and I love it! I was probably a little harsh on Pym. Maybe I was in a bad mood that week. I think you, Book Worm, and Patrick have very similar (almost identical tastes) but I probably share the most books in common with you.
I had a great month. 9 of my 11 books read were by women. I read 2 that counted towards my diversity target, and one that unexpectedly had an incidental LGBT storyline. I took 2 off my TBR but then found 3 lurking on my Kindle that I hadn’t added. I also read my book of the year. It will be very hard for anything to surpass The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I just read the description for The Natural Way of Things- and bought it. The TBR gets a bit bigger, but it looks like this one is worth it!
LikeLiked by 2 people
It is very worth it Tracy. I promise.
I enjoyed browsing your TBR shelf. How fun! I would like you to read Purity and Nora Roberts because those are ones I want to read, but haven’t yet. And The Dinner (which I will read with you).
If you like Skippy Dies or Ready Player One, I’ll be surprised. Although I think I’m maybe the only person I know who didn’t really like Ready Player One, so I could be wrong there.
Of course I want you to read Tess because I loved it. But it is very dark/depressing, so you have to be in the right mindset.
LikeLiked by 1 person
You mean Nora Webster? I almost had a heart attack thinking I had a Nora Roberts on there. I love Franzen so will probably get to Purity relatively soon. Skippy dies is probably one I will not like but you never know (it came in a book riot box about 8 months ago). And I love all things Hardy so will probably love Tess. I made it through Jude the Obscure so dark/depressing is okay.
Reading the dinner with you would be fun. I’ll let you know when I get to it: likewise, if you start it let me know and I will make room for it!