I guess it’s June now? I honestly have no idea. The one big side effect of this whole pandemic thing is that my sense of time has gotten really messed up. I swear it was March last week. I was talking to one of my friends, and she agreed with my conclusion that my body has aged about three extra years during the past year, but my brain was basically on pause. My memories feel kind of just smushed together and my body seems to be trying to deny that time is passing. Even though it cannot hide the thirty extra grey hairs on my head (nice try).
But, according to my calendar, it is somehow June already. So we’re going with it. And if it really is June, that also means it is Pride Month! So happy Pride to all my LGBTQ+ readers! It is also the month where we celebrate Juneteenth (look it up if you don’t know what that is, and don’t feel bad if you don’t because I literally have a college degree in history and had never heard of it until years later). So I tried to put together a reading list that celebrates both pride and the end of slavery in the US. And I’m really happy with what I was able to put together.
Of course, these are not the only books on this list. I am working on a fun (I hope) reading experiment this month. It’s kind of a weird one, but I’m excited to share it, whenever I manage to finish the five books for that. But here are some other books on my reading list for this month:
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
I am so very excited to read this! I have known about this book for two full years, and it seems kind of unreal that I finally got my hands on it. Basically, this is a lesbian Kate & Leopold, but the time traveler is from the 1970s instead of the 1870s, and can’t leave the subway. I am in desperate need of a purely fun read, and this one is absolutely perfect for Pride Month. The only reason I haven’t read this yet is because I am using it as a reward for finishing some of the more challenging books I’m reading for this month’s experiment.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Back in February, I read seven romance novels in seven days and swore I would never do it again. But it has been four months, and I’m ready to dip my toe back in. I also really need some lighter reads this month, because not only is is going to be a very stressful month (both at work and in my personal life), I have some pretty heavy books on my reading list. Clearly I did not plan well. Either way, I am excited to read this one. I don’t think and of the characters are LGBTQ+, but the author is pansexual, so I think it still counts for pride month reading. More importantly, though, this is a interracial romance and I’m pretty sure both love interests are on the spectrum. Talia Hibbert writes some amazing romances, so I’m very excited.
The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker
One of my most anticipated releases of 2021 comes out in FIVE DAYS. This is not a drill. The Golem and the Jinni is one of my all-time favorite books. So I will be rereading that one very soon and jumping right into The Hidden Palace. I loved the audiobook of the first one, so I think I might go with the audiobook for this one as well. George Guidall does such a great job with The Golden & the Jinni, I have a feeling I’m going to want to just keep listening. I honestly cannot wait for this!
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
If you know me, I’m sure you saw this one coming. I just had to add a massive nonfiction book to this month’s list. I don’t think this is specifically about slavery and the impact of slavery in the US, but it’s not hard to imagine how slavery impacted the unspoken caste system that exists here. While the lines hierarchy and social status aren’t exactly drawn across race lines, they’re not too far off. I am hoping this is a good addition to my anti-racism reading this year. But even if it’s not, I’m sure I will still learn something valuable.
The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
I wasn’t originally planning on reading this in June, but I couldn’t resist. This is the perfect book for the month in which we celebrate both Pride and Juneteenth. It is about two enslaved men living on a Southern plantation. They become friends and eventually fall in love. But when one of the older men on the plantation tries to gain favor by teaching the master’s gospel (which says romantic relationships between men are sinful)… it causes problems. I just love the idea of this book. I really think it’s important to have more diversity in historical fiction, and this one seems really great. It’s gotten kind of mediocre reviews, but I’m curious to see what I think. Hopefully I have time to actually get too it this month.
Alright, that’s it for June! I decided to keep this kind of short, because I’m a little worried about this month’s reading experiment. Also the insane one I’m doing for August that is going to take me all summer. Keep your fingers crossed. But, for now, I’m going to go finish a classic(ish) book I’m pretty sure I don’t like.
What is on your reading list for June? Any new releases you’re excited about?