Hi everyone, on the first day of what I’m hoping will be a beautifully warm July! I hope everyone is enjoying the summer, both here in the UK and further afield.
So, I only read 17 books in June, which is strange as it feels like I haven’t even gotten through that many, though when I compare it to books I read last spring/summer I have noticed a bit of a trend emerging. When the weather turns nice I seem to abandon reading in favour of other pursuits, fickle person that I am. I’ve spent a lot of time in our veg garden at weekends when the weather has been nice and also in the evenings; I’ve read chunkier books than I normally would too, so maybe that’s the reason why I haven’t gotten through as many as usual. I’ve also been a lot busier at work recently and when I’ve got home on an evening have wanted to switch my brain off, favouring old episodes of Buffy or trashy documentaries.
I’ve also not had as many review books this month, which has actually been nice as it means I can plough through some of my own to be read stacks or books that my friends have lent me. There’s a pile teetering on my desk at work which I’m slowly making inroads into. The habit of picking up books that have been on my shelves for ages is another trend that I would like to continue with as I’ve veered more towards reading some of the classic novels there, many of which I’m trying to get through as part of the Guardian’s ‘1000 Books to Read…’ list.
My favourite books in June were undoubtedly Shift by Hugh Howey and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which I was sent for review and absolutely loved. The review for Burial Rites will follow on here, once the link goes up on Lovereading. It was an incredibly atmospheric and haunting novel, set in 19th Century Iceland and I just devoured it. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
In terms of non-fiction, I’ve read a couple: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, which was a fantastically moving read, and Cat Sense... by John Bradshaw, which even for a cat lover like me was pretty dull, to be honest. Still, I do feel like it has helped me understand some of my two cats’ quirky behaviour a bit better! I also started reading Bess of Hardwick by Mary S. Lovell, which is a bit of a doorstop read that I’m saving for bedtimes only, though is a really interesting biography of a fascinating woman. I’m expecting reading of this book to take a while, well into the end of July at least.
I finally finished Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness too, which is the second book in the All Soul’s trilogy. After a fairly slow start, I ended up liking this novel a lot more than I had anticipated, and it was certainly stronger than book one- A Discovery of Witches. I did find it to be focused more on scene setting and description than much plot though, which took so much getting used to after some of the other books I have read lately.
The most disappointing book for me this month was The Ingredients of Love by Nicolas Barreau, which I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t even finish. It was just too dull for words; the most redeeming quality about it its beautiful cover, which I’m sad to confess, tricked me into its purchase in the first place. Needless to say, it’s been placed into the charity shop bag, though I do feel a bit guilty for inflicting its contents on some other poor soul.
In other bookish news, I entered an exciting ‘Guess the Mystery Author’ competition via Lovereading in the month too. I received a book for review from them, not knowing either the author’s name or the title of the book. Very mysterious! Needless to say, the prize in this competition is a year’s supply of Penguin books. How fabulous! Winners for this amazing price will be announced by Lovereading in July, so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I’m in with a chance. To be honest, I’d be satisfied in just knowing I’ve guessed the name of the author correctly, but that’s purely the book geek in me rising to the surface…
I hope everyone has a great July!