Hey there! Earlier this month I ran a twitter poll to see if anyone would be interested in me doing book reviews on my blog. Most people seemed interested in a monthly review post, so here is the first post in the “Monthly Book Review” series. I’ll be reviewing the books I read each month that I think are worth sharing, and including a list at the end of books I plan to read in the coming month!
During the month of June, I read seven books. Two of them are history books for a course I’m taking this summer, so I won’t include them. Two of them I have read before, and three were completely new to me. I finally had some time off of school, so I’ve been enjoying having the chance to read more, and getting closer to my goal of 50 books for 2017!
*Each book has a link to amazon. These are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through a link, or on the image of the book and end up buying it, I receive a small fee. All opinions about these books are honest and my own*
- Lady Midnight* and Lord of Shadows*. (4.5 out of 5 stars) These are both part of the Dark Artifices series written by Cassandra Clare. Lady Midnight came out last spring, and Lord of Shadows came out at the end of May. I re-read the first in order to remind myself of all the details and get ready for the arrival of Lord of Shadows. These books are large – 700 pages large – but I read them each in one night. The plot is fascinating and constantly moving, and at the end I wished the books were longer. This series is connected to the Mortal Instruments* series, which most people have probably heard of. All of her books are amazing, and I get lost in the Shadowhunter World, which Clare is always building on. You can totally read these books without reading the Mortal Instruments, but I highly recommend reading her other series first in order to understand everything. Every time Clare releases a book, I fall more in love with the world she has created!
- When Breath Becomes Air*. (3.5 out of 5 stars) This book is small, but packs a lot of thought into its pages. I hesitate to say anything negative about the writing, considering the author passed away in the process of writing the book. At times it was overly verbose, and a bit over my head, but I enjoyed most of it. My favorite parts were the last few chapters written by him, and the epilogue, which is written by his wife after his passing. What I loved about it was that religion was not the focus. Most books of this variety, when discussing life and death, veer towards religion to answer the questions presented. I loved how he explored the idea of a meaningful life, without focusing on religion. This book made me examine my life, and think about where I am wasting time and energy. When any day could be your last, it’s important to know what is truly important to you. I didn’t love this book as much as I wanted to, but it was still a very thought-provoking read.
- Hunger*. (4.75 out of 5 stars) To say that Roxane Gay is one of my favorite contemporary authors is not an overstatement. A talented novelist and essayist, each book she releases pulls me more firmly into her fan club. This book is a memoir that chronicles her life, including a devastating attack in her childhood that led her to try to destroy her body through overeating. As someone who has always struggled with weight, each chapter (written in short essay format) resonated with me. Roxane is a powerful writer, and this gritty, honest memoir will make you think a lot about the way our society works, and how it could be better. My only critique is that a few of the chapters/essays felt a little repetitive. Overall, however, this book is the best book I read in the month of June. I highly recommend it to anyone who has struggled with body image, self-destruction, or just living in a society that has unrealistic expectations for everyone. If you prefer novels to essay collections, I highly recommend her novel, An Untamed State*. Curious about Roxane Gay? You can search for her short stories on the internet as well!
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.* (4 out of 5 stars) The first time I read this book, I was in 8th grade. After waiting for quite a while to re-read, I decided to pick it up again this month. I actually just finished a few minutes ago so I could include it in this post! This book is the memoir of Maya Angelou, and her amazing storytelling ability takes readers from the small town of Stamps, Arkansas to San Francisco, California. Her story is intense, but her determination, strength, and power shine throughout the memoir. Angelou is an amazing writer, and her words will stay with you long after finishing the book. Even in 8th grade, I understood the power of this book, and something took me back to it after all these years. Her words and her story will fascinate you.
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou (continuation of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
- The Handmaid’s Tale
I will likely read more than just these three, but I’m leaving myself open to whatever I feel like reading! (I’ve been feeling a Harry Potter re-read recently). Also, if you want to stay up to date with what I am reading, you can follow me on Goodreads! I’m always looking for more friends to follow!
Have you read any of the books I listed among my June books? What did you think? Are you adding any of these to your reading list? Do you have a recommendation for what I should read in July? Let me know in the comments!
*Just a reminder that the links/photos to books on this post are affiliate links! If you purchase anything from this post, I will receive a small affiliate fee!*