Reading Through June

So it’s that time again, as another month comes to an end (where does the time go?) I once again find myself musing over the wonderful books I discovered this month and the ones that I hope to read in July.

I have to say I feel I did rather well in my reading choices this June, off all the books I chose I loved each and every one. I started of reading Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, this book was selected as part of my book group which is probably just as well, as despite having it on my book shelf for years I’ve never felt inclined to actually pick it up. More fool me really because I soon found myself immersed in the story and touched by the beautiful way Adichie wrote it.

Next up was the wonderful One Day, which if you have read my review you will know I loved. I found the book a pleasure to read, honest, frank and definitely a thought-provoking read. I felt a distinct sense of loss when I finished it, a reluctance to leave Dexter and Emma. I can’t wait to read another of David Nicholls books. Can anyone recommend any? I’ve been told Starter For Ten is a winner.


Next up I read The Novel in the Viola which I’m yet to review so will refrain from saying too much just yet. Needless to say within the first few pages I was spell-bound by Natasha Solomon’s storytelling and it’s a book I’m excited to review. I haven’t met anyone yet who hasn’t been bowled over by this book, it looks set to be hot on everyone’s lips this summer.

And lastly I took a bit of a break from novels and dipped into a few short stories. Years a go I bought Paulo Coelho’s short story collection Like The Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections, and although I’ve never felt inclined to read through the whole thing I have, as and when it took my fancy, dipped into some of the short stories. Anyone familiar with Coelho will know his stories are deep and philosophical, giving you plenty to think about, I’ve willed away a few nights this month picking my way through his short stories and musing through the subject matter.

I’ve decided not to set myself any reading targets for July, I never manage to read them anyway. instead I have an alluring pile of books waiting for me at home, desperate to be read, so this month I intend to work through that pile as and when I fell like it, depending on whatever it is I fancy. On the list is;

The poison Tree by Erin Kelly

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

Catherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn

The Resurrectionist by James Bradley

The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha

The Boy in the stripped pajamas by John Boyne

In the Country of men by Hisham Matar

So that’s my TBR list and hopefully I’ll get through a fair few of them. Are there any you would strongly recommend? I will definitely be reading The God of small Things as part of a Book Group, has anyone read this? do you have any thoughts on this book?

So what are you reading this month and what brilliant reads did you discover in June? I’d love to hear your thoughts as always.


19 thoughts on “Reading Through June

  1. I read Portnoys complaint by Philip Roth and thought it was pants, I’ve just read half of the Finkler Question, Booker Prize Winner, equally pants, Purple hibiscus, like you, I enjoyed it. Also like you I read a short story collection – Amy Bloom ‘A blind man can see how much I love you’ which was nice.’ Did I finish The L Shaped room in June? that was amazing. For July I’ve got Arundati Roy’s novel. I’ve also got One Day on my book shelf, also Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan, and South of the Border West of the sun by Haruki Murakami, who I love. If you liked Purple Hibiscus Louise you should read Things Fall Apart, and Oranges are not the only fruit, both really short, you’ll read them both within a week!

    • Hi Dave, sounds like you had some disappointing reads which is always frustrating, although I’ve heard good things about the L shaped room so glad to see you enjoyed it. One to add to my TBR list I think. I loved One Day and think you’ll enjoy it too, let me know how you get on if you do decide to read it. I’ve also read South of the border which wasn’t my favourite Murakami book but I did really enjoy it.

      I’ll definitely try and get my hands on both Things Fall Apart and Oranges are not the only fruit as I’ve heard great things about them. Would you say they were better than Purple Hibiscus?

  2. I read One Day in June (my roundup post is now on my blog).

    I look forward to your review on The Novel in the Viola which is on my shelf to read.

    The only book that I have read on your TBR list is The Ressurrectionist which I was not that keen on.

    • Hi Jo, I really enjoyed your One Day review, it seems we both waited a while to read it but both really enjoyed it.

      I think you’ll really like The Novel in the Viola, I haven’t met anyone yet that hasn’t.

      I have to admit I hadn’t heard anything about The Ressurrectionist, I just liked the cover, hopefully I’ll enjoy it, although I haven’t a clue what it’s about. Happy Reading in July 🙂

  3. I’m currently reading Paul Gascoigne’s second autobiography. I’m not remotely interested in the lives of footballers, in fact I’m not a fan of autobiographies in general but this one is different. Rather than focussing on his career (or even on his private life for that matter) this book focuses on his compulsions, addictions and obsessions.

    It follows him through one year of therapy and he writes as though he is speaking to his therapist. There are also sections that his therapist has written to comment on what he is saying – to point out his denial, to explain why he can push some things but not others. You can see through his excuses and can emphasise with what he is going through. Gazza was (is?) clearly a very fragile man at this point.

    The fact he was a famous footballer is irrelevant – this is just the real-life journal of a man trying to face his demons. For once I’m actually enjoying an autobiography.

    Other than finishing that, on my TBR list this month I have The God of Small Things, a chick-lit book that I’m too ashamed to mention and A Town Called Alice. I don’t really plan ahead. I prefer to pick my next book as and when I finish one.

  4. Hi Sam,
    I don’t normally bother too much with autobiographies either, a few years back though I read Scar Tissue, an autobiography about Anthony Kedis from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It sounds like it was quite similar, it was all about his struggle with substance abuse, why he was the way he was etc, perhaps you’d enjoy that as well? I also really enjoyed A Million Tiny Pieces, have you read that? It caused a bit of a stir because it was told like a story but it was meant to be a true account of one man’s addiction, however since it’s publication people have claimed it to be fictitious and exaggerated. Either way it’s again an interesting story about addiction.

    I think I’d quite like the Paul Gascoigne one and will keep my eyes out for it. Don’t be ashamed of chick lit  to be honest I’ve been thinking of indulging in some myself recently which is unlike me. Fingers crossed with The God Of Small Things, I need to start it too.

    • I won a pile of autobiographies a few years ago and I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m never going to read them. I book-crossed the rest and was about to book-cross Paul Gascoignes but decided to give it a try at the last minute.

      I haven’t read A Million Tiny Pieces – I’ll look out for it. I remember reading Go Ask Alice when I was a teenager and I remember being affected by it. Have you read that?

      I don’t like autobiographies but I’m on my 3rd this year. I quite fancy reading Russell Brands ‘My Booky Wook’. I’m not a fan but I watched his interview with Piers Morgan earlier this year and it changed my mind about him.

      • I haven’t read Go Ask Alice, is it something similar to these books? I’ll keep an eye out for it. Yeah I think you’d like A Million Tiny Pieces, and it’s also really interesting with all the debate surrounding it.

        Oo I loved Booky Wook, especially the very last page, if you do read it then please let me know what you think. I wasn’t too sure about him but after reading it I realised he’s actually very clever and intelligent.

        Are you reading anything good right now?

      • I’m between books at the moment. I need to start The God of Small Things.

        From what I remember, Go Ask Alice is the real life diary of a girl who ran away (I think) and then got messed up with drugs. The author is unknown / anonymous. After this young girl died her diary was discovered and returned to her family (I think), who were so affected by what they read that they published it as a warning to others.

        There are sections in there where she’s describing some amazing experiences under the influence of drugs, but then without realising she gets pulled in deeper and deeper and the experiences turn to nightmares.

        I was only a young teenager when I read it but I remember some horrific things happening to this poor girl when she was too under the influence to protect herself or even to acknowledge how bad her life had become.

        It might not have the same impact on me now but at the time it had a huge influence on my opinions about drugs. It’s worth looking out for.

      • Speaking of biographies – Have you seen today’s ‘Booking Through Thursday’ question?

        “There are so many crappy biographies … would you rather read a poorly-written biography of a fascinating life, OR an exquisitely well-written, wonderful read of one of a not-so-interesting life?”

    • I’m worried I’m not going to enjoy it as much as I’d expected it as well after reading the first few pages, fingers crossed I’ll get into it more!

      Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out now, heard great things about this book and feel like something undemanding so hopefully this one will be a winner.

    • Thanks Sam, I’ll add the button now. I’ve notcied some great blogs on there already that I wasn’t previously aware of.

      I haven’t read it yet, it’s on my TBR pile, apparently it’s a lot better than Purple Hibiscus so my expectations are high, would you agree it’s better?

  5. I recently read Striped Pajamas and found it to be a wonderful children’s book.

    I saw you were listed in the literary blog directory, and I thought I’d share with you a blog hop I find fun, the Literary Blog Hop. This week’s prompt is to tell about your favorite literary device. Here’s my attempt to pick my favorite literary device.

    Also, I’d like to invite you to throw your name into the hat for a $25 Amazon gift certificate in Readerbuzz’s July Giveaway! It’s international!

  6. I’ve heard wonderful things about it so fingers crossed I’ll like it.

    O thanks that sounds great, I’ll check it out and I’ll have a look at your pick. I think I’m going to have to say my e book for convenience.

    That’s great, how do I enter the giveaway? Thanks for the new links : )

  7. Hi Sam the books sounds amazing and I’m definitely going to try it out, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll let you know how I get on.

    I did see today’s question, I’m working on a post for it soon thanks to all of this talk of autobiography’s I’ve got plenty of thoughts : )

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