My Month-Recap for June

It was a busy month for many reasons, but I’m happy to say that it didn’t seem to alter my mood too much. In previous months I was really feeling every day, each one bogging me down and pushing my head under water. June wasn’t without its shitty moments. Large things happened that weren’t exactly fun to go through, but I endured it, and didn’t take it too personally. I’m counting myself the winner over depression for the month. I’m not sure what changed inside me, but I felt a sense of clarity within myself, which has been a rarity for several years.

I finished a total of books in June!! This is a little beyond what my goal was, so I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I had to put down Dragonfly in Amber in preference for some library books that were due back, but all-in-all, I’m happy with the unfaltering voracity I’ve pursued with the books I read.

The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life, by Laurie Notaro

This woman is uproariously funny. She was recommended to me by a coworker, because we share a higher education institution in common. Her stories are hard not to love. She tells them as a flawed human, a person unable to pretend to be anything more or less than she has become. I found this quite a difference between Chelsea Handler’s book, which I also read this month.

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,  by Chelsea Handler

Maybe it’s because Chelsea is so famous, or maybe it’s the style of her delivery of her funny situations, but I found myself cringing more than laughing with this book. This is not to say that Chelsea isn’t funny. I think I am an anomaly when it comes to my overall impression of her as a comedian. Whether she intended to or not, she helped to shape the climate for women stand-up comics, by showing society that women can be more than an assistant. She openly admits to being a story-teller, with embellished plots, and many drunken endings, which I respect immensely. I think the part I can’t understand is how extroverted she is. This is coming from a person who thinks that reading books is a wild way to spend a whole weekend (I embrace me!). She and I have really different personalities, and when a person’s whole celebrity existence is based on her loud and proud opinions, it can be a challenge for introverts to relate. The stories were good, but I couldn’t relate to the situations much (ie, I’ve never quite been a woman who jumps for her type of fun).

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

Halfway through this novel, I was a little surprised that I didn’t feel very connected to any of the characters of this novel. I typically LOVE WWII literature. Half of my bookshelves are set within the time period, and I didn’t suspect that I’d have a hard time loving this story either. By the end of the book, I had warmed up to the book enough to enjoy it. I’ll say that there is something a part of the story that seems detached from the rest of the book. Maybe the author did this on purpose (and this is strictly my opinion), but I didn’t find that person’s story necessary. I think this is because the ties this character had with the others was not developed over time. The rest of the story was gut-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. I definitely had a book hangover after I returned it to the library.

Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters

This was a standard mystery series book. I’ve been looking for a good “brain-candy” series to help pull me out of living so seriously. It’s a habit of mine to get very focused on aspects of my life that I feel are lacking, and sometimes heavy books can keep me too pensive. I’ll usually try to break that time up with a fun read, one that doesn’t take too much focus to know the characters and the plot. This book took me a while to finish. I picked it up alongside other books, and would pick it up whenever I felt the urge. It was cute. The main character, Amelia, is witty, funny, and brilliant. The author was a little dry at times, but I noticed that the book was written in 1975, which makes the style typical of the period. What I mean is, that there were probably dozens more hilarious parts that I may not have picked up on. Overall though, it wasn’t difficult to finish, and I didn’t hate it. I don’t know if I will continue the series, but I won’t rule it out at this time.

Dear Mr. You, by Mary Louise Parker

I loved this book. It details encounters she’s had with various men in her life. Some were sexual relationships, but the majority were about the people who played roles through her life so far. Some of the stories bruised my heart, as I thought about similar relationships I have had. It was a quick read also. I gobbled up these stories in about two days, and her words felt carefully collected and thought over.

The Passengerby Lisa Lutz

I did not enjoy this book. I almost abandoned this book, but with my compulsion to take it all in before I make an assessment, I struggled through. The premise for the book was interesting. Retrospectively, it was a book that acted as an attempt at a story about a person like Megan in The Girl on the Train. However, the characters were underdeveloped, the plot had several holes, and there were some typos in the text. A nagging feeling kept me thinking that what I was reading was a first draft, not yet fine tuned. The book was a fast read, but one that felt short of my admittedly high expectations.

Coming up Next Month

I’ve already read a few books for July, and I’m currently reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. I’ve got a few more that I have in mind, but I’ll have to see if the library has them in stock before I can commit. Stay tuned!

Catch up on last month’s books.

Have you read any of the above books, or have any book suggestions for me? Comment below!

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