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June Summary and Plans for July

June was a good month for me. It was my birthday and I had a fantastic day out in London with my husband and a lovely party with friends. The warmer weather enabled me to sit in the garden and so I probably read slightly more than usual too.

Overall the quality was good and I abandoned very few books. The highlights were The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression by Andrew Solomon and My Notorious Life by Kate Manning. After writing my review I realised that Andrew Solomon is the only author I’ve given two five stars to. This makes him my new favourite author! It feels a bit strange having a non-fiction author in the top spot as I always thought I preferred fiction, but I think my tastes are slowly changing and I can see myself reading more non-fiction in the future. 

Books of the month

The Noonday DemonMy Notorious Life by Madame X

Books Reviewed in June

The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression by Andrew Solomon 

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning 

The Dinner by Herman Koch 

Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston 

The Blue Fox by Sjón 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich 

Watership Down by Richard Adams 

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer 

Up High in the Trees by Kiara Brinkman 


Plans for July

My post about 2013 being a disappointing year for fiction highlighted some fantastic books that I hadn’t read yet. I put them all to the top of my TBR pile and as a result I think I have an amazing month ahead. I’m a bit worried that I’ll leave no good books for the rest of the year, but hopefully I’ll be able to unearth more as time goes on. It can’t be possible to read too many good books in one month can it?!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

The View on the Way Down by Rebecca Wait

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

A Man In Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

Benediction by Kent Haruf

I hope you have a wonderful July!

16 replies on “June Summary and Plans for July”

Looks like you had a great month, Jackie. I think I will read ‘Americanah’ very soon too. In fact that and Philipp Meyer’s ‘The Son’ are right at the top of my TBR pile.

June was pretty good for me too, reading-wise. Two fabulous books in Kenneth Bonert’s ‘The Lion Seeker’ (currently only available in the Canadian edition with a US edition due later this year) and Tessa Hadley’s ‘Clever Girl’. It is 9 years since I last read Hadley and this new one has reminded me just how good she is and made me wonder why I haven’t read any of her more recent books.

Kate Clanchy’s ‘Meeting the English’ was a delightful book that I really enjoyed, very well-written, but it also felt a bit light and inconsequential. An ideal literary holiday read though.
Evie Wyld’s ‘All the Birds, Singing’ is really good too – very cleverly structured with chapters alternating between the present (which move forward through time) and the past (which move backwards towards the event that sets the whole story in motion). I did have a couple of quibbles, but I’m still thinking about it a week after finishing it which is a good sign.
Lauren B. Davis’s ‘The Empty Room’ disappointed me a bit after enjoying her Giller-longlisted ‘Our Daily Bread’ last year. Her narrator is an alcoholic and Davis writes from experience, so it ought to be searing heart-rending stuff, but I felt it was let down by the quality of her writing which wasn’t quite up to the material, if that makes sense.
Larry McMurtry’s 1966 novel ‘The Last Picture Show’ was a real surprise for me – a coming-of-age story set in a small town in Texas, it is vividly realised with wonderful characters, but my goodness there’s a heck of a lot of sex in it. He uses it quite well to explore character but I did occasionally wish he’d break it up with something else. Still, I liked it enough that I’d read McMurtry again – maybe ‘Lonesome Dove’.

Have a fab July – I’m looking forward to seeing what you make of ‘The Flamethrowers’ which is one I’ve been umming and ahing about getting.

David, ‘The Son’ is near the top of my TBR list, although I’ll probably not get to it until August. ‘Meeting the English’ has also been hovering near the list, but I did worry it would be a bit light. It’s nice for you to confirm that it is still enjoyable, despite its lightness.

I wasn’t a big fan of Evie Wyld’s first book so haven’t been drawn to her new one. Are they different in style?

I read ‘Lonesome Dove’ a year or two ago and did enjoy it, but it took a long time to get into it. It is one of those books that takes a lot of effort, but is worth it in the end – enjoy!

I’m looking forward to your review of Laurent Gaudé’s novel and I am curious of your opinion on ‘We Were the Mulvaneys’. Contrary to most of the readers, I have hated this book (it happens very rarely that I write this but if the copy hadn’t been the library’s I would have thrown the book!)

Flo, I’m 3/4 of the way through ‘Death of an Ancient King’ and am really enjoying it – thanks for the recommendation!

I love books that divide opinion so am looking forward to trying Mulvaneys – fingers crossed I enjoy it!

Another good month for you and lots of fun things outside books ,my July plans are to get a 800 page novel I ve been sent finshed and then I ve a couple of novellas to read ,all the best stu

I’ve been reading a lot of positive things about Benediction. I hope you enjoy it. The Son and Life after Life are two books that I’m hoping to get to along with a stack of non-fiction reads. I hope July is another goof month for you! 🙂

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