June 2023 Books – Part 2

A great month and hopefully a greater summer of reading.

“The New Yorker”

I have a small pile of New Yorker magazines which I collected from a Little Library. I started going through them in earnest the last couple of months. Since they are older range from 2020 to this year, I have being skimming more. I wouldn’t be able to get through them otherwise. I use to read 75%-90% of a paper edition of The New Yorker, but right now, it’s probably 33-60%. I usually read the fiction, the comics, most of the book reviews, but the others depend largely on topic. As usual, there are some gems, but I don’t keep them.

Here was my count this month: 4 from 2020-2021.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

This was fine. I found this in a Little Library sometime last year and wanted to see why the author is so popular. This is an ode to “When Harry Met Sally”. I am not a big fan modern romances. I really only like romance from books before 1960 or romances in genre fiction. At least this was fast and I didn’t hate the characters. I don’t think they have enough depth and the banter is never snappy enough for me. I can see why people like these novels, but they aren’t for me.

2.75/5 stars. June 16-17, 2023.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Reread through audiobook. Abridged and narrated narrated by Elizabeth from Sleepy Bookshelf podcast. This was my insomnia listen for May and early June. I consider this a perfect romance novel. It has great banter, character development, and setting. Austen seems to know how to frame the leads and their support cast with such ease. It’s why I love Austen and Georgette Heyer. I have been doing a a lot decluttering and found an old paperback copy. I decided to put it in a Little Library. One day, I’ll buy a nicer hardcover version of this book when we move into a bigger home.

5/5 stars. May-June 2023.

Ducks: Two years in the old sands by Kate Beaton.

See review here.

Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Another romance novel but a genre one! I have been wanting to read this one for awhile since it’s such a big bestseller in the YA / New Adult, Fantasy, and Romance space. I knew it was about fairies and that it was allegedly sexy. This novel employed a trope I like: reverse harem wherein there are many good looking and interesting platonic or romantic interests for the female lead. There are three good looking fairies in this one. I hope we meet more in the future novels. The novel has a slow start. It’s not particularly well written from a literary sense and the Feyre is annoying in the first third of the book. She felt thinly drawn. She reminded me a lot of Katniss from the Hunger Games. While she had character development in this book, the author’s strengths are more in the pacing and world building. There were moments of coziness in the middle of the book but the plot moves along quickly. It does feel more like a fairy tale. As for the romance(s), they were fine. I don’t ask a lot in romantic fantasy because the plot usually drives it more. This delivered. It’s a bit of trashy, silly fun. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. I will wait for it from the library as I did this one. I could find myself really quickly going through the whole series. These novels are the type that I like to read in one sitting.

3.75/5 stars. Read June 25-26, 2023.

DNF: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Did Not Finish. I have had this book for over a decade. It’s the hardbook edition with pictures given by a friend. I started reading it years ago and tried more valiantly to read it the last couple years. As much as I like Bryson, I’ve decided to throw in the towel. This book is too big and while there are some very interesting science facts in here, it became too much of a chore. It’s also very heavy and a bit out dated now since this was form 2005. I donated it to my library’s non-profit.

Gave up June 27, 2023.

All in a Day by Chihiro Takeuchi

This is a cute children’s book. I am not sure where I got the recommendation for this. I get book recommendations from all over these days. I really enjoyed reading this children’s book. It’s more skewed to younger children and toddlers. Since we decided to be child free, I won’t really have opportunities to read books to children. Reading children’s books by myself is nice though.

4/5stars. Read June 28, 2023.

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