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For the Love of Reading: June 2022

Checking in on the mid point of my second week of vacation to say hello! And share with you this recap of the books I read in June:

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek confirms that this series is just not for me. While the subject is interesting, the writing is repetitive, the style is sentimental, and the plot is entirely predictable. I realize I’m in the minority on this one, there is nothing new or compelling in this book to make me recommend it.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
That’s the thing about women. There’s no good way to be one. Wear your emotions on your sleeve and you’re hysterical. Keep them tucked away where your boyfriend doesn’t have to tend to them and you’re a heartless bitch.
I was charmed and delighted by this book, a take on Hallmark movies but from the perspective of the jilted girlfriend . . . the one who gets dumped when the city guy winds up in the country and decides to stay there. The characters were fresh and fun, the setting was detailed, and the story (while predictable in the way that most romances are) was entertaining. I laughed at the funny parts, cried at the sentimental parts, and cheered when things turned out just right. Recommended for a light summer read.

Trust by Hernan Diaz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I knew very little about this book before I picked it up and I was enthralled with what unfolded. While I was a bit startled when the first section ended abruptly, I easily adapted to the new narrator and enjoyed the story-within-a-story concept. This has all the components of a great novel: intriguing plot, richly drawn characters, historical setting, and precise writing. Highly recommended.

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
There are nuggets of good information in this self-help book on women’s sexuality. However, I found it to be overly long and tedious; some information is simplified too much and other information is glossed over without any real analysis. I recognize that I’m not the target audience since I didn’t pick it up hoping to have my sex life transformed, and maybe others will find the information eye-opening and life-changing, but if I asked this is not a book I would recommend.

Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As someone new to reading poetry just because I want to and not because it’s homework, I am truly enjoying Billy Collins. This collection of poems is accessible and perfect for someone who wants to read poetry that is straight forward but also moving. The New York Times has dubbed him the most popular poet in America for good reason. Highly recommended.

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a librarian, I could not help but adore this book given that one of the recurring narrators is the book itself. While that may sound strange, it’s actually a beautiful way of thinking about life . . . that we all have a book inside of us, narrating our story to us and helping us to understand the world. Part coming of age story, part magical realism, part literary fiction, I highly recommend this one.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’d give this 3.5 stars if that were possible. The author does a fine job of conjecturing on what happened to Agatha Christie when she went missing for 11 days in 1926. It’s a compelling and fast read, with some twists I did not see coming. However, the omniscient first person narrator who knows everything that everyone has done is a stretch, and I feel like there are too many stereotypes in both plot and characters. Still, it’s a fine vacation read.

The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Clever and concise, bordering on pretentious but not enough to be annoying, this is an entertaining and hilarious book about academic life in the 1950s. I’ll admit that some of this went right over my head and I had to look up a LOT Of words but I love a challenging book now and again. Highly recommended.

I read a variety of things in June, from poetry to award winners to beach reads. And my vacation reading continues, I’ve actually already finished two books in July!

Happy Reading, friends!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your reading variety (and poetry)! I have The Netanyahus on hold along with Trust so I’m anxious for them to come in. I’m sure your vacation reading would be improved if you still had a Maine view, but home is good, too!

  2. I’m on the hold list for Trust and hope it comes in soon! I love Billy Collins’ poetry and can understand why he is so popular. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  3. I lways enjoy your reviews Carole! I have Trust on my TBR list and think I will add The Netanyahus. Enjoy your second week of vacation!!

  4. I always appreciate your reviews. I’ve got Trust on hold now (you and Kym both liked it, which tells me that I will, too!), and I’ve tagged The Netanyahus to read.

  5. I love the breadth of your reading and that you are just as willing to read a 3 star book as a 5 star one … thank you for that, and for all those honest reviews! I gave Book of Form and Emptiness five stars last year and I’m delighted to have your librarian’s stamp of approval (in addition to the Women’s Prize committee 😉 Benny and his book are still with me, and I expect they’ll be with me for years to come.

  6. Dropping in from vacation to give us book reviews goes above and beyond, Carole. I hope you are having a wonderful, relaxing time.

  7. I’m eager to read The Netanyahus! (And I knew you’d love The Book of Form & Emptiness. What librarian could resist its charms. . . ) XO

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