June Wrap Up – I Hated a Book That’s Been on my TBR for Years

It’s the end of June, which means we’re halfway through 2019! It also means we’re well into the summer reading season. And I guess I went pretty hard on the summer reading this month, because I did not realize I read TWENTY-TWO books this month. Which is kind of crazy. The most books I’ve ever read in a single month is twenty-four, so I came pretty close. But I did beat my record for most pages in a month with 6,950 pages! Don’t ask me how I did it (other than that it was a very slow month at work). But, since we have twenty-two books to talk about, I’ll just jump right in.

What I Read:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien – ★★★★★. I finally read this one! And I loved it! I kind of sort of read/skimmed The Lord of the Rings when I was in middle school, but I wasn’t ready to appreciated it. I’m glad I got to it this year, and am planning on finishing the trilogy soon.

Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald – ★★☆☆☆. This book sounded really great, but I just didn’t connect to it at all. I wasn’t a fan of the characters, and it ended up being just okay.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling – ★★★★★. I’ve been rereading the Harry Potter series this year. I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s really nostalgic. I’m leaving my rating at a five for that reason. It’s just a challenge to be critical of it because it influenced my life so much.

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall – ★★★☆☆. This was a fun Sherlock Holmes retelling with a female “Sherlock” character, and quite a bit of diversity. It reminded me a lot of Jackaby by William Ritter, so if you liked that book, check out this one.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson – ★★★☆☆. I finally read Lumberjanes! And I really liked it. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series.

The Killer Across the Table by John Douglas – ★★★★☆. I really liked Mindhunter (the Netflix series, I haven’t read the book yet), so I thought I’d check out John Douglas’s new book, which, of course is about serial killers. I found it really interesting, and particularly liked the audiobook, read by Jonathan Groff.

The Porpoise by Mark Haddon – ★★★☆☆. This was definitely the weirdest book I read all month, and probably all year. I loved the beginning, but I still don’t know what is really going on in the second half of the book.

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock – ★★★★☆. I went to a romance bookstore this month (more on that later), and realized I kind of do like romance. I picked this one up on a whim, and really enjoyed it. It deals with some health issues, and I thought that was important to include in a fun romance, since it is an issue people deal with in real life. Just maybe not the same way as they do in this book.

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire – ★★★★★. I really loved this one. This series is one of my all-time favorites, and I don’t know why it takes me so long to get around to reading them.

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler – ★☆☆☆☆. I kind of hated this book. I won’t go into a full rant (because I can). But I really, really didn’t like this one. I didn’t enjoy reading it at all.

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris – ★★★★☆. This was so much fun! I listened to the audiobook, which, of course, is read by Neil Patrick Harris. It was just so entertaining, and I loved it.

The Last Leonardo by Ben Lewis – ★★★★☆. You’ve probably seen how much I’ve talked about the da Vinci biography by Walter Issacson. I needed to read more about him, and picked up this one, which is about the Salvator Mundi, the world’s most expensive painting. It sold in 2017 for $450 million (you read that right) and hasn’t been seen since.

Troublemaker by Leah Remini – ★★★★☆. Last year, I binged Leah Remini’s series about scientology. I’m not about to become a scientologist, but I’m fascinated by everything about it. I’ve been meaning to read her memoir about her experience with scientology (and leaving it), and finally got around to it. It was really great, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re interested.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – ★★★★☆. Like I said, I’ve been on a bit of a romance kick lately, and everyone has been talking about this one. So I read it, and it was really good. I think my issue with romance is how predictable it is, but I’m learning to accept that’s just the nature of the genre. It can still be really fun, and sometimes, that’s all I want.

Warhead by Jeff Henigson – ★★★★★. This is a memoir about a teen in the 80s who was diagnosed with brain cancer. His Starlight Children’s Foundation wish was to meet Gorbachev and stop nuclear war. This book was heartwarming and funny. I loved it.

Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir – ★★★★★. This is a new graphic novel by Andy Weir (yes, the author of The Martian) about some of our favorite storybook characters – Dorothy, Alice, and Wendy. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up loving it. I will have a review up soon, and Cheshire Crossing will be available July 9!

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace – ★★★★☆. Another book I should have read sooner, and finally got around to. I really adore this series. I didn’t think I would be so excited to read poetry, but Amanda Lovelace changed that. This series just makes me feel seen, and I’m glad to have them on my shelves to read over and over.

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang – ★★★☆☆. I loved Lydia Kang’s most recent novel, The Impossible Girl, when I read it last year. So I thought I’d pick up another one of her books. I didn’t like this one quite as much, but I still enjoyed it. It’s a murder mystery set in the 1910s, which is really fun, I just didn’t connect to all of the characters, which is a shame. Would still recommend.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – ★★★★☆. I don’t know that I’ve ever identified with a character the way I identify with Nina Hill. Just ask any of my friends/coworkers: my brain is chock-full of completely mostly useless facts. I really enjoyed this one. I’ll have a review up on Friday, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson – ★★★☆☆. This is one of those books I’ve been seeing around for a while, and picked up on a whim. And I think this kind of messed me up. It’s about a really horrific serial killer who tattoos women into butterflies to keep in his garden. The writing wasn’t the greatest, but it was definitely hard to put down. I read it in a single day.

American War by Omar El Akkad – ★★★☆☆. Here’s another book that’s been sitting on my TBR for ages. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, and I still have kind of mixed feelings about it. I think the story is great, but I had a little trouble connecting to the characters. That might just be me, and I can see why people would love this one.

Man-Eater by Ryan Green – ★★★☆☆. This is a true crime book about Katherine Knight, the first woman in Australia to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. I’m still wrapping my mind around the things she did, and the things she got away with. If you’re curious, look her up. But not if you have a weak stomach. Trust me.

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Yes, I’m still reading this. I kind of when through a phase this month where I just wanted shorter binge-able books. But I’m hoping to finish it in July, because I am really enjoying it so far.

What I Watched:

Always Be My Maybe. If you haven’t watched this Netflix rom com, please do. I’ve seen it three times already, and I LOVE it.

Good Omens. Because Neil Gaiman. Obviously. Also, the cast is unbelievable. Highly recommend.

What I Did:

Met Taylor Jenkins Reid and Casey McQuiston! I know. I’m still screaming. These two are so amazing and nice and friendly. I had the absolute best time meeting them. One of the best signings I’ve ever been to. I went to the event at The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles, the only purely romance bookstore in the world (or so I’m told), which I also highly recommend. I loved it there.

That’s it for June! What was your favorite book this month?

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