Happy summer, readers!
June marked the beginning of my summer, expect that nobody seemed to have told Mother Earth that it was time to crank up those temperatures. Oh well, the dreary and rainy days definitely gave me enough encouragement to read and the month was filled with many amazing books. Oh man, the books. Lately I had been reading a lot of OK-but-not-really-amazing-nor-mindblowing books and, aside from a few glimmers of brilliance, I felt a bit underwhelmed with my reading. I guess it was all down to picking the right book – and especially the beginning of June introduced MANY that were beyond amazing.
In total, I read 11 books in June (with the exception of Dracula which I finished this morning) and signed up for two reading challenges: Books on the Nightstand Summer Bingo and 20 Books of Summer (see below). 11 books is a lot to me, and I do not expect to achieve that again – mainly because July will be a busier month and I have some real chunksters on my TBR. In July I will take a break from my dear local library and focus on tackling the books on my shelves. I have formed a bad habit of taking out too many books from the library and then prioritizing them over my own books, which is why I feel that I should probably take a little break and show some love to my personal collection. And as I’m once again heading to Berlin, I expect a slight (hopefully very small) growth in the collection.
Books read in June:
- Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
- Mr Darwin’s Gardener by Kristina Carlson
- Just Kids by Patti Smith
- The Beggar and the Hare by Tuomas Kyrö
- Saving Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith
- A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
- Tähtikirkas, lumivalkea by Joel Haahtela (Finnish)
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- The Sandman, volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman & co.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (illustrated by Becky Cloonan)
I do plan on writing full reviews for most of these books, but Saving Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith isn’t one of them. Mainly because it really wasn’t my cup of tea and I don’t have much to say about it – or should I say, I have more problems with this book than positives. The story follows a young 17-year-old girl in an Australian small town who wants to get away as soon as possible. She and her best friend have been planning on this trip for a long time when a handsome visitor enters the town. The book is a first in the series, and with all its instalove and woe-is-me-life-is-unfair, I can see some people really enjoying it. Unfortunately I am not one of them. For me it was more of an exercise in eye-rolling. If it hadn’t been my dear friend pushing me to read it, I probably would have stopped after the first two chapters. It is by far not the worst of its genre, but the story needs more work and the writing more showing, not telling. For what it’s worth, it was a quick read for a 300+ paged book. 2/5
TBR for July & August: 20 books of summer
This summer Cathy from 764 Books is hosting a reading challenge called 20 Books of Summer in which the challenge is to pick 20 books that you hope to read during the summer months. Since I am already doing the BONTS Summer Bingo challenge, I decided to pick books that would also fit to the bingo squares as well as books that have been on my TBR for some time now. The end result can be seen below. Since I posted this picture on the 10th of June, I’ve already read 6 of the 20 books, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read all of the rest in July alone. So I think it’s more appropriate to call this my combined July & August TBR. The only thing missing from the picture and the list is the complete collection of poetry and aforisms by Edith Södergran which I’ve been reading since March (I think). With poetry I feel that it serves the experience to take your time and read only a few pages at a time. I could easily rush through the rest of the collection, but I probably wouldn’t remember anything of what I was reading after a while.
20 Books of Summer 2015 (from bottom to top):
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (illustrations by Becky Cloonan) ✓
- The Egyptian by Mika Waltari ✓
- Just Kids by Patti Smith ✓
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath ✓
- A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride ✓
- Atonement by Ian McEwan ✓
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens ✓
- Hägring 38 by Kjell Westö
- Kiinalainen puutarha by Markus Nummi ✓
- The Beggar and the Hare by Tuomas Kyrö ✓
- Tähtikirkas, lumivalkea by Joel Haahtela ✓
- A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell ✓
- The Tenant of Wilderfell Hall by Anne Brontë
- The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh ✓
- Quiet by Susan Cain (on Kindle) ✓
- Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (on Kindle) ✓
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman (on Kindle) ✓
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer (on Kindle) ✓
- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (on Kindle) ✓
A lot of reviews and a progress report on my 2015 reading challenges are waiting to be written, so this shall be all for now. Happy reading and lots of sunny days wherever you are!