bookish posts monthly book list reviews

June 2016 round up

Well, that was…a month. Also, just so everyone knows, I’m going to be mostly taking July off here. I’ll probably do a weeklyish round up, but I’ll be spending the time in planning, reading, and writing ahead.

Books I’ve talked about already
A Coalition of Lions by Elizabeth Wein
The Sunbird by Elizabeth Wein
The Lion Hunter by Elizabeth Wein
The Empty Kingdom by Elizabeth Wein (coming tomorrow)
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
Chocolate Heart by Laura Florand
Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis (read last month)

Other books
Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff: This is a fairly enjoyable historical fantasy graphic novel. I remember hearing there were some issues of accuracy or representation after reading the first one; I’m not really qualified to comment on that. I did notice a fair amount of “not like the other girls” in this one, and yet I do also like reading them.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire LeGrand: I loved, loved, loved this book. I wanted to talk about it in more detail, but ran out of time. It’s a wonderful mix of families, secrets, the stories we tell ourselves, and magical forests. It’s also a great way to show the realistic experience of a child with anxiety, who also gets to be the hero. More, please.

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh: I’ve read some Balogh before, but I wanted to go through an actual series. I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, based on a number of friends’ enthusiastic responses.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro: Modern-day take on Holmes and Watson which engages a lot with the implications of being descendants of the most famous Holmes and Watson. I appreciated it without necessarily loving it.

The New Guy and Other Senior Year Distractions by Amy Spalding: I enjoy Amy Spalding’s books a lot and this was an fun premise. The plot was a little all over the place, but the characters were great.

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi: This was my first Oyeyemi and I LOVED it. It’s an immersive book, full of gorgeous language and unusual but not overly mannered. It’s also about a lot of my favorite themes and things. I will definitely be reading more Oyeyemi.

Chase Me by Laura Florand: Florand’s latest; I liked the characters and their dilemma a lot. The background was less specifically my thing than her other books, as I’m not generally invested in military stories (probably a result of being raised by two former anti-war protestors), but Chase and Violette were enough to get me through the story.

Mind Your Manors by Lucy Lethbridge: An interesting mix of historical detail about middle-class Victorian/Edwardian housekeeping, and practical tips for cleaning today. It was a little heavier on the historical detail than I was anticipating from the description, but it was certainly well-researched and engaging.

Company Town by Madeleine Ashby: I liked a LOT about this one–the world, the voice, the characters. There’s a lot to think about in terms of the implications and themes. I especially liked the fact that although it’s a brutal world, and horrifying things happen, Hwa herself is definitely a competent person who’s trying her best. It’s not necessarily perfect in all regards–there were a couple of moments that seemed a little tone-deaf–but overall this was a well-done futuristic story that’s gritty without being grim.

Other posts
Links 6-29
Ten favorite 2016 releases to date
Ten anticipated releases in the rest of 2016
Books for lazy days
What I’m reading 6-7

TV & movies
Grantchester: I’ve watched most of this series now and I like it a lot. I have reservations about the Amanda storyline which seems lazy and cliche’ but overall it’s pretty fun.

Rosemary & Thyme: I’ve now finished Rosemary and Thyme, which is a little sad. The mysteries are pretty predictable–I think I correctly identified both killer and motive for 7/8 of the episodes in the last series–but Rosemary and Laura are why I kept watching.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: It had been too long since I delighted in Phryne and Dot, and Jack and Hugh, and Jane, and Mac, and I just love this show, okay.

Finding Dory: I went to see this primarily to hang out with a friend, and I ended up liking it more than I expected. Like most Pixar/Disney films, much of it seems geared at adults vs. actual children–the Sigourney Weaver bit is hilarious but kids don’t care. I actually think I would have found it terrifying as a kid, since getting lost/separated from my parents was a big anxiety of mine. However, as an adult it’s pretty fun.

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

9 replies on “June 2016 round up”

Yay! You liked Some Kind of Happiness. We definitely need more books like that.

I keep meaning to try Balogh but somehow haven’t gotten around to it. (Have you read Joanna Bourne’s books? I recently read my first of hers. It was the third in the series, but first chronologically and I LOVED it. Lots of spying and adventuring in Revolutionary France.)

My library still doesn’t have a copy of Spalding’s new book and I’m not sure I want to buy it. Hmmmm…

I wasn’t as invested in Chase Me either. As the daughter of a military man who worked with Special Ops guys, I know Chase’s type too well. (My dad is not the type, but good grief some of the guys he worked with over the years.) Anyway it made me skeptical about the whole happily ever after.

I have read Joanna Bourne although I think I missed one or two—I should double check.I really liked those.

I think it’s interesting that we had similar reactions to CHase Me coming from very different backgrounds

Some Kind of Happiness looks really interesting based on what you said. I enjoyed reading Chase Me, I thought it was a lot of fun. But I didn’t love it as much as I loved Laura Florand’s other novels.

Yes, same!

I bet you’d like Some kind of Happiness—it’s quiet and intense but really good.

In which Jenny learns that Maureen enjoyed White Is for Witching and legitimately bounces up and down in her comfy rocking chair. HUZZAH I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT. I love and cherish Helen Oyeyemi, but I will say that there are disclaimers to go along with her other books. The first two are gorgeous but young, Mr. Fox is fab but confusing, and Boy Snow Bird is beautiful and brilliantly put together and then has a hella transphobic ending. I have not read her short story collection a sufficient number of times to report back on it, but it is good and the titles are incredible. Oh God I love Helen Oyeyemi so much, I am so pleased you like her DO NOT STOP LIKING HER PLS.

😀 I will definitely be reading more Oyeyemi–I have Mr. Fox on hold right now. And I kind of love brilliant and confusing books so, good choice me.

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