This month really did not go as planned. It has been slump city over here, and I hate it. I know part of it is just because June has been crazy busy in my life in general. But I have also been picking up books, generally enjoying them, and then not being motivated to pick them up at all. Which means I did not finish nearly as many books as I’d like. Which happens, it’s fine. Maybe I just needed a bit of a break. But keep your fingers crossed that the break is over soon!
Either way, this is going to be a very short wrap up. I don’t have too much to talk about, and I’m also really tired. It’s just been a long day.
What I Read
The first five books on this list were read for this month’s reading experiment, in which I read five of Drew Barrymore’e favorite classics. I’ll keep my thoughts here brief, but click the link if you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts
Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
I kind of hated this book. I get the impression it’s like The Catcher in the Rye of the 80s (I counted this as a modern classic). It was that era’s quirky read for misanthropes. But today, it just belongs on the “Men Writing Women” Twitter page.
Franny & Zooey by J. D. Salinger
I also didn’t like this one, but mostly because the characters annoyed me. This book is basically The Catcher in the Rye, but geared towards girls. No thanks.
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It was fun and full of drama. Not my favorite book ever, but definitely a favorite of this experiment.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
This was really interesting. Half psychology essay and half nonfiction about the experiences of Nazi death camp survivors. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I liked it.
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
I was looking forward to this one, because I really enjoyed a Hemingway story I read in grad school. And I do like Hemingway’s writing. I just didn’t love this particular story. I don’t think I’m a huge fan of war stories in general. I also felt this book was almost unnecessarily depressing. Not for me, but I am looking forward to reading some more Hemingway. Just not anytime soon.
How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
I started this last month, and actually really enjoyed slowly making my way through the stories in this collection. Some were better than others, but I did really enjoy all of them. I think this was just a really great snapshot of the Asian immigrant experience. It was also heartwarming and just a really lovely read.
Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia
I had such high hopes for this book! It is a debut novel (and the first in a series) about a young black woman who, in 1920s Harlem, begins to look into the murders of other women like her. I wanted to like this so much. But I knew from the first chapter it wasn’t going to do it for me. I just felt like it could have benefited from another round of editing. It didn’t seem quite finished. It could have been good, but it didn’t quite get there.
Jack by Marilynne Robinson
Full disclosure: I read this for an upcoming blog post. I tried to read the entire series, but didn’t care for Gilead, so I decided to skip straight to Jack. I think if I had liked Gilead more, I might have appreciated this book more than I did. I will say that I enjoyed this more than the first book. For me, it was a better story. Still didn’t love it, but it was fine.
What I’m Currently Reading
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
I am enjoying this book so much! And I still couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Soon, though, definitely soon. I just don’t want to force myself to read it because then I won’t enjoy it as much.
The Golem & the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Not even a reread of one of my favorite books of all time could save this month. Maybe I do need to just give myself a break from reading for a few days, instead of trying to force it.
What I Watched
Raya and the Last Dragon
This was really good. I thought it was just a great story, and really fun. Now that it is finally free on Disney+ (I refuse to pay the extra thirty dollars), I have been recommending it to all my friends, especially those with kids.
In the Heights
As much as I love Hamilton, I had never seen or listened to In the Heights. But this was so good! Highly recommend!
What I Did
Got a cat!
Absolutely not planned, but I have a kitten now. His name is Loki and he has a lot of extra toe beans. He has also made writing this post take absolutely forever because he is either jumping on my keyboard or climbing me (with a million tiny claws) so I’m going to wrap this up.
This was a fun experiment! Not what I was expecting, but I had fun doing it. Being a book blogger is weird, because I read a lot of books I wasn’t interested in and have more fun writing posts when I hate them. What is it like to just pick up a book you want to read when you want to read it? I’ve forgotten.
And that’s it for this month! Hopefully next month is better, reading-wise. I just have to figure out how to get a kitten to stay off of my books when I’m trying to read. I have a feeling it’s not going to go well…