June Summary and Plans for July

I read 11 books in June. The month seemed to fly by and I am quite pleased that I still managed to read so many books when I had such a packed schedule.

Book of the month

The Prestige – Christopher Priest 

I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb 

Red April – Santiago Roncagliolo 

Marcelo in the Real World – Francisco Stork  

Our Tragic Universe – Scarlett Thomas 

Songs from the Other Side of the Wall – Dan Holloway 

The Russian Countess – Edith Sollohub 

Good to a Fault – Marina Endicott 

Bequest – A.K. Shevchenko 

The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner 

Beatrice and Virgil – Yann Martel 

The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver  (DNF)

Plans for July 

I love the list of books that I have lined up for July. It includes a lot of prize winners and so I am hoping that the quality will be far better than my June reads. I know I won’t be able to read them all, but I don’t like to limit myself too much.

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

A Life Apart – Neel Murkherjee

The Piano Teacher – Elfriede Jelinek

Palace Walk – Naguib Mahfouz

How Late it Was, How Late – James Kelman

Before the Fact – Frances Iles

The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

Luke and Jon – Robert Williams

The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill

Tinkers – Paul Harding

Bad Karma – David Safier

Young Hitler – Claus Hant

Sweetness in the Belly – Camilla Gibb

The Republic of Trees – Sam Taylor

Which books should I ensure I read in July?

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  1. Steph says:

    Oooh, really intrigued by a lot of your July choices. I’ve been contemplating reading Palace Walk for a little while now, and also think I may try something by John Wyndham soon. Dorian Gray is fantastic, and while I haven’t read that Maggie O’Farrell novel, I loved her latest novel when I read it!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, I started Palace Walk yesterday. It is very slow (took me 3 minutes to read a page and book is 500 pages long, so will take a long time to finish!) but I am really enjoying it so far. I really want to read a Wyndham so am going to do my very best to read one soon.

      1. Kinna says:

        I was going to recommend Palace Walk but you’ve started it. Enjoy. Mahfouz is one of my favorite writers as well. His other novels, Midaq Alley and Children of the Alley are also good.

        1. Jackie says:

          Kinna, I don’t think I’ve seen much mention of Mahfouz in the blogging world. I have no idea why that is and I hope that will all change very soon :-) He deserves much more recognition than he is currently getting.

  2. Amy says:

    Congrats on your reading, you read some great books! You have some great ones lined up too, Iris and I recently read Palace Walk so I’m interested to see what you think. We both liked different parts, so we’ll see who you are more like ;)

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, It is interesting to learn that you both enjoyed different parts. I’m loving the first 20 pages if that helps at all!! I look forward to comparing notes :-)

      1. Iris says:

        I’m looking forward to comparing notes as well.. Amy and I still have to do so.. All my fault of course, I haven’t been a good blogger these last 2 months.

  3. I’m planning to read Tinkers in July, so I hope you find time to fit it in so we can discuss it! I’m also planning to start on the Orange longlist, and I’m looking forward to that too!

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, Lots of bloggers that share my taste in books love Tinkers, so I have high hopes for it. Let’s hope that we both love it.

  4. Jessica says:

    I have the The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox on my shelf so would be interested to see what you thought. My husband is also going to read enders games at some point, he hasnt has the best luck with sci fi at the moment so hes hoping ppl recommend that one for a reason.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jessica, I have been wanting to read a Maggie Farrell for ages. I am really hoping that she becomes one of my favourite authors – I think there is a real possibility – fingers crossed!

  5. gavin says:

    Oh, what a great list. The Book of Negros and Tinkers because I would love to see what you think of them, and The Picture of Dorian Grayjust because.

    1. Jackie says:

      gavin, I really hope that I’ll be ble to fit those 3 in, but if I don’t manage it then they will just have to get squeezed into August – either way it won’t be too long until you see my thoughts.

  6. Melissa says:

    Yay for Ender’s Game. It’s such a a fantastic book.

    1. Jackie says:

      Melissa, I have a feeling I’ll love it!

  7. Stujallen says:

    some interesting books for july jackie ,all the best stu

  8. JoAnn says:

    Palace Walk was one of my favorites the year I read it (along with the other two books of the trilogy) – what an experience! It’s not a fast read, but well worth the time. I loved it! Would love to hear what you think of The Picture of Dorian Gray. I really need to read Oscar Wilde.

    1. Jackie says:

      JoAnn, I don’t know when I’ll be able to read the rest of the trilogy – I didn’t realise what a massive commitment it would be when I started. I’m sure it will be worth it though.

  9. Bina says:

    Congrats, you read a lot of awesome books! Definitely read The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, please. I´m one review away from buying this book :D

    1. Jackie says:

      Bina, Hopefully I’ll be the person to tip you over the edge. I predict you’ll have a copy by the end of the month ;-)

  10. Jenny says:

    Out of loyalty to Oscar Wilde, I would say read Dorian Gray, but I have a suspicion that you won’t care for it. I support The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, however! It is excellent!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I’ve nearly finished Dorian Gray now (I’m getting a bit behind with my reviews so my sidebars aren’t quite right atm.) and I am actually enjoying it. I had a suspicion that I wouldn’t like it, but have been pleasantly surprised :-)

  11. Such exciting plans for July! Of course I’m interested in what you think of Sweetness in the Belly and The Day of the Triffids, both favourites of mine.

    I quite liked Dorian Gray when I read it years ago, I seem to recall.

    Intrigued in a number of the others; I look forward to your thoughts.

    I read a dozen books in June, which was better than a quiet May; some of the books were lighter reads but I seem to be back in my groove and have an exciting July planned (loosely).

    P.S. Do you have my copy of Fall on Your Knees still? No issues if you do, just querying a gap on my shelves ;)

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, I’m pleased to hear that you’re back in your groove.

      I thought I’d given Fall on Your Knees back to you. I’m not at home at the moment, but I’ll check for you next week and let you know.

      1. Apologies, Jackie, but you did. I put it back in wrong place (and it usually stands beside Sweetness in the Belly), hence the gap on my shelf that I couldn’t understand.

        1. Jackie says:

          Claire, I’m pleased that you’ve found it :-)

  12. Sandy says:

    A friend of mine read The Piano Teacher (she loved it) then passed it along to me. At my rate, I’ll get to it in a year, that is unless you convince me otherwise!

    1. Dan Holloway says:

      Sandy, The Piano Teacher is one of the most extraordinary books you will ever read. It is utterly unlike anything else, and also a book that really needs to be read in summer, because it’s just a litt;e too darka nd intense for the long nights of winter

      1. Jackie says:

        Dan, I like the advice of reading it in the sun :-)

        Sandy, Some of my reading priorities will probably take me a year to get to, so don’t worry about it!!

  13. Karen says:

    The only book from your July list that I have read is The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox which I loved. Maggie O’Farrell is one of my favourite authors and I devour anything and everything she writes. I hope you enjoy!

    1. Jackie says:

      Karen, I think I’ll love Maggie O’Farrell. I’m looking forward to finding out what she’s like.

  14. Teresa says:

    I’m going to vote for Before the Fact because I think more people should read that book, and I’m happy to see that you got it. I’m really curious to hear what you think of it!

    The other books on your list that I’ve read are good ones: Day of the Triffids, Enders Game, and Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox.

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, I had to order a copy from the library as soon as I saw your comments about it – I know that I’d have forgotten about it otherwise. I’m really looking forward to discovering why you love it so much.

  15. Andi says:

    I’m really supportively and sweetly envious of your great reading month. You had some great ratings, and I see quite a few books I want to add to my own stacks. I wish I could say I read so many!

    1. Jackie says:

      Andi, I hope that you enjoy any that you decide to add to your stacks. I’m lucky that I am able to read so much nd I hope that one day you’ll be able to read as much as you’d like :-)

  16. Tricia says:

    I always am intrigued by the books you read. Palace Walk is on my shelf – I’ll get to that one someday soon. I read Sweetness in the Belly and liked it, as I recall. I would like to read what you think of The Book of Negroes – I haven’t read it yet!

    1. Jackie says:

      Tricia, I think that I’ll love The Book of Negroes. It is a long one so I may end up finishing it in August, but I have managed to do a lot of reading this weekend – I have high hopes for a bumper reading month :-)

  17. Megan says:

    Eager to hear what you think of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox. I’ve read two of O’Farrell’s books now, and have this one lurking on Mount TBR. I loved both the other two, and I hope Esme Lennox is similarly great!

    1. Jackie says:

      Megan, This will be my first Maggie O’Farrell book, but I have another two lurking in the TBR pile. They all looked so good that I couldn’t decide which to read first :-)

  18. Dan Holloway says:

    Ooh, the two there I’m really looking forward to hearing your take on are the Kelman (the year of that particular Booker was the first time it ever came hone to me that writing could be really controversial – I remember really well how it was pillloried and villified in the mainstream media) and, of course, the Jelinek!

    1. Jackie says:

      Dan, I wasn’t following the Booker when Kelman won so I am unaware of the controversy – I look forward to finding out what provoked it :-)

      After failing to fit it in last month, I’ll ensure I read the Jelinek this month. It does look great.

  19. Verity says:

    What a wide list you have lined up for June. Out of your list I most want to read the Maggie O’Farrell – still waiting for it from the library!

    1. Jackie says:

      Verity, I hope that your library produces a copy soon so that we can compare notes.

  20. Every time I see “Ender’s Game” on one of your lists I’m reminded that I want to read it! And then I forget.
    Looking forward to seeing what you think of it, anyway!

    1. Jackie says:

      Lija, Enders Game has been on far too many of my lists recently – I really do need to read it instead of just puting it on my lists :-)

  21. Good list for this month! Hope you enjoy ‘Vanishing Act’ as much as I did, and I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on ‘How Late’ as that’s on my TBR….

    1. Jackie says:

      Novel Insights, It is good to know that you enjoyed Vanishing Acts. I haven’t heard a word against it yet!

  22. diane says:

    You have a great reading month, and lots of books that you really seemed to enjoy as well. I don’t think I’d enjoy literary science fiction, as SF and fantasy and not genres I enjoy. Have a great July Jackie.

    1. Jackie says:

      diane, I think you just have to find the right SF book. I’m sure it is out there somewhere and I hope that you’ll find it soon. Perhaps I’ll be the person to find it for you ;-)

  23. David H says:

    Yay, The Prestige! :-)

    The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a very good book; I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Jackie says:

      David, I hope I’ve persuaded a few people to try The Prestige. I look forward to reading all his other books – I own three more already :-)

  24. Beth F says:

    Looks like you had a great June! I’ll just sit back and see what you read in July.

  25. Jenners says:

    You did great with your June reading … especially because the Lamb book was so long!!!

    And I’m so excited to see what you think of Ender’s Game.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenners, The Lamb book was very long which explains why my total is a few books down from normal. I hope I love Ender’s Game as much as everyone else does :-)

  26. Mome Rath says:

    I’m glad you’re reading Palace Walk — Mahfouz is a great author! I really enjoyed the family dynamics and the descriptions of British-occupied Cairo. Lots of other interesting books you have on the list, too. I’ve read Dorian Grey before, so I look forward to your thoughts on the book; I’m also curious to see your reviews on Ender’s Game and A Life Apart. Have a great month reading!

    1. Jackie says:

      Mome Rath, I’m 100 pages into Palace Walk and loving it. It is really interesting to learn about their attitudes to their relationships. I can’t believe he divorced her, just to teach her a little lesson!!

  27. Amy says:

    Wow, I am envious that you have been able to read so much and the plans you have for July. I’ve been on the run so much these past few months that I am now listening to books on CD while in the car. It is about the only way I can “read” a book these days. I still have one I carry in my bag to read when I have down time though.

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, I seem to have the oppsosite problem. I’d love to listen to an audio book, but can’t find the time any more – my boys are always too distracting for me to listen when they are around. I’m benn listening to one for about 3 months now and am still only on disc 4 :-(

  28. Rebecca says:

    Wow – 11 books in a month! You have some great ones lined up for July too, by the look of things!

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, Thanks! I hope that I enjoy them as much as I think I will!

  29. Not sure if I’m the right person to recommend to you but from your list, I most connected with How Late it Was, How Late, a favourite, but then it’s not your typical fare (nor anyone’s, for that matter, it’s so.. different).

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, Our reading tastes don’t always match, but sometimes we love the same books. I do love originality. I look forward to finding out what makes it special.

  30. You should definitely read the O’ Farrell, you don’t know what you’re missing… I have not one but two beautiful looking copies of the Lacuna on my shelves (don’t ask!) but I think they might stay there for the moment. ;-)

    I must read The Book of Negroes too as it’s been on my TBR pile much too long now.

    Happy reading. Tx

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, I’m getting more and more excited about Vanishing Acts as time goes one. I hope it lives up to all this hype :-)

  31. stacybuckeye says:

    I LOVED Ender’s Game!

    1. Jackie says:

      stacybuckeye, I started it yesterday. The first 20 pages are v. good. I can see why people love it!

  32. Jeanne says:

    I’d be interested to hear what you think of the two classic science fiction titles on your list–Ender’s Game and The Day of the Triffids– especially if you don’t actually spend any money acquiring Ender’s Game, because as has been discussed ad nauseum, the author supports some really creepy political causes that a lot of folks, including me, don’t want to help fund.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jeanne, I bought Ender’s Game second hand – so only the charity shop benefitted from my purchase :-) I got The Day of the Triffids from the library today. It is longer than I expected (all his other books that I own are tiny!) but I’m looking forward to finding out why these books are classics.

  33. I’m glad to see the Wally Lamb on there with 4.5 stars, as I’m planning on reading it soon.

    Enjoy Ender’s Game. I absolutely loved it. Also, looking forward to your thoughts on Day of the Triffids as it’s on my tbr, and of course, as I recently read my first Wyndham and thought it was fantastic.

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