Happy July everyone!
I wish this summer would slow down! Since the end of the school year, I’ve actually been able to read quite a bit! I still ended up reading less than usual (and less than I need to to keep up with my goal), but that’s only because I normally read more audiobooks. However, I decided to listen to The Count of Monte Cristo this month, and that audiobook is over 50 hours long! So it’s going to take me a while to finish it.
In June, my goal was to read more for Pride Month. And I really enjoyed what I read! There were, of course, more books that I wanted to get to that I just didn’t have time for, but I really enjoyed what I was able to read this month! And I’ll definitely be reading LGBTQ+ stories year-round, so I’ll still get to the books I missed this month! (The ones higher up on my list that I didn’t get to were Felix Ever After, All Boys Aren’t Blue, and Less.)
In my last wrap-up post, I had said my goal for audiobooks was to listen to more nonfiction. However, I changed my mind about that. I noticed recently just how many books I had in my Audible library that I haven’t listened to yet, and I realized that I really need to stop my membership for a while in order to get through them (and not have more credits continuing to pile up at the same time). I usually pause it over the summer anyway, but I don’t think that will be enough time to get caught up. Luckily, anything I’ve purchased I should still have access to even if I take a break from my membership. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the audiobooks I’ve downloaded for free from the Plus catalogue. Therefore, my new audiobook goal is to listen to as many of the audiobooks that I’ve gotten for free before quitting my membership for a while.
Going into July, I’ll of course keep working on getting through The Count of Monte Cristo (which is really good so far!), but as far as physical books, I don’t have a solid plan! I want to read Turn Right at Machu Picchu before I go to Peru this month, but otherwise I’ll just be reading whatever I feel like.
Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in June:
To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.
Stats and Overall Thoughts:
Books read: 5
Physical books: 3
(Books that I physically own: 3)
(Historical fiction: 2)
Average monthly rating: 4.4
Top Book of June: Gender Queer
*To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Classic, Children’s, Audiobook)
- I absolutely adored this. I read The Secret Garden earlier this year, and they were both wonderful. What’s funny is that I loved both movie adaptations when I was a kid, but when it came to the movies I always slightly preferred A Little Princess. But now that I’ve read both books, I actually slightly preferred The Secret Garden when it comes to the books! Regardless, both books and both movies are great. What I loved about this book is similar to what I loved about The Secret Garden. I just think Frances Hodgson Burnett does such an amazing job of capturing the imaginations of children. It just feels so whimsical and magical, and I just love that! There were a couple little things that I didn’t love as far as pacing and characters go, but that mostly comes down to when the book was written and what was typical for the time. Therefore, it’s not anything that bothered me too much. This book is a classic for a reason, and I’d highly recommend it to adults and children alike! It would be a great one for families to read/listen to together.
- Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe (Graphic Memoir, Paperback)
- I was a little nervous going into this one because I’m not the biggest fan of graphic novels, but it sounded so interesting and I really wanted to try it. Fortunately, I ended up absolutely loving this. I found it so eye-opening and informative, while also being completely engaging throughout. I read it in pretty much one sitting. Also, the illustrations are beautiful and really add something to the story. After having read this, I feel like I understand so much more about the nuances of gender identity and sexuality, and I think having read this will make me an even better ally and educator. This is the first book I’ve read in a while that I wanted to immediately pick up and read again. I would highly recommend this one!
- Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (YA Historical Fiction, Paperback)
- I absolutely loved this one. I was initially a little unsure of it since the first half is pretty slow-paced, but it really picks up in the second half and it was worth it to have spent the time to develop the characters and historical context. This book does a beautiful job of describing the story of a queer, Asian-American girl in 1950s San Francisco. The historical parts of the story are well-researched and described seamlessly in the story. It never felt like a chore to learn the necessary history to understand the story; it was so naturally incorporated. There are so few stories (and few history classes) that represent both Asian-American and queer communities from this time period, and Lo did a fantastic job of balancing all of the delicate and important parts of this story. If anything, I thought the pacing at the end was a little off, but the writing and love story were beautiful. Review coming soon!
- Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (YA Historical Fiction, E-book)
- This book was such a pleasant surprise for me! I started reading this one on my Kindle since I traveled a little bit this month (and a Kindle is easier to pack than a book), but because of the pandemic I haven’t traveled in a while and therefore haven’t used my Kindle in a long time. What I’m getting at is that I downloaded this quite a while ago and didn’t remember much about the premise, but it’s a beautiful cover and it fit with my Pride Month theme, so I decided to go for it! This is the first book I’ve read in a long time that’s actually made me cry (which I tried my best to hide since I was on a plane while reading it, but oh well!). It’s set in New York City in the 80s during the AIDS crisis, which is a part of history that I don’t know much about. Also, I haven’t read much historical fiction that’s set in the 80s, so that was fun! I loved the fashion and pop culture references. I also loved the three POVs and how they intertwined and gave a complete picture of the historical context of the time. My biggest issue was the romance, which I felt was underdeveloped. However, it wasn’t the most important part of the story, so I can mostly look past it. I also thought the ending was a little clunky, but overall it’s just such a moving and beautiful story. I’m really glad that I read it. Review coming soon!
- Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson (YA Fiction, Hardcover)
- I really wanted to love this one since I loved You Should See Me in a Crown so much, but unfortunately it just didn’t come together for me. My favorite part was the two main characters; I feel like they were realistic and that a lot of teenagers would be able to relate to them. I, for one, saw a lot of myself in Toni, and this was meaningful for me because when I was younger I rarely felt like I saw myself in the characters that I read (as far as personality goes). However, I had some issues with the writing style and pacing that affected my enjoyment of the story. Overall, I liked it, but I didn’t love it and didn’t find it very memorable. You can find my review HERE!
How did your reading go in June? Any stand-out books to recommend?
Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!