June was kind of a weird month. I thought I was going to get a ton of reading done, but then I had to finish up school stuff and we reopened the library to the public, so I had less time to read than I thought I was going to.
I was able to finish seven books in June, which is still fantastic:
I know it’s not the end of the month yet, but I don’t think I’ll be starting or finishing anything between now and June 4. It’s the end of the semester for me, and I’m too busy writing papers and doing other school work. I’m still reading The Path of Daggers (Robert Jordan) for my bedtime book, and there is a *chance* that I’ll finish that before the 31st, but other than that, I’m not starting anything new for the rest of the month.
I read (or finished) nine books in June, and all but one fit into the following categories…
Asian Readathon (May 1-31)
How We Disappeared, by Jing-Jing Lee (★★★★)
The Dragon Republic, by R.F. Kuang (also read for Tome Topple) (★★★★)
Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng (★★★★)
Tome Topple (May 9-22)
Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith (★★★★)
Sykes & Savidge Book Club
The Hunting Party, by Lucy Foley (★★★)
Lauren’s Patreon book club
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (★★★★)
Women’s Prize Longlist
Actress, by Anne Enright (★★★)
Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson (★★★★★)
I also read Dopesick (Beth Macy) for my Drugs & Human Behavior class, which is what one of my final papers will be based on.
There were other books I wanted to get to, but May turned out to be busier than I expected with work and school. I’m still happy with how much I read and *what* I read, so I’m calling May a good month. I’m looking forward to having the summer off from school so I can just read for pleasure outside of work. That’ll be so nice. I’M SO CLOSE.
How did your reading go for the month of May? What was your favorite book of the month?
Go Ahead in the Rain, Hanif Abdurraqib (This book is so, so good. Oh, the beautiful writing and the nostalgia…)
Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams
On the Come Up, Angie Thomas
Go Ahead in the Rain is quotable from beginning to end, so I’m going to share just a couple of my favorite passages here…
“But I suppose none of us truly know, Tip. Which is why the sample is a joy, isn’t it? The wind blows a memory of someone into a room through sounds, and the architect captures that memory with their bare hands and puts it on wax. Is this, too, the low end? The feeling of something familiar that sits so deep in your chest that you have to hum it out? The James Brown on ‘Show Business’ or the Sly Stone sample on ‘Jazz.’ There are cookouts and Soul Train lines on this album. There are hot rooms and hot card games. I imagine the low end to be anything you could touch once but is now just a fading dream. I imagine the low end to be a bassline that rattles your teeth, too. But I also consider the low end to be the smell of someone you once loved coming back to you. Someone who sang along to Aretha, or Minnie, or Otis. Someone who loved you once and then loved nothing.” (Hanif Abdurraqib, Go Ahead in the Rain)
“But this makes me wonder, what did it feel like not to know what that was? To be the titans roaming the landscape, if for just a short while. Maybe you don’t give a shit about basslines or sound frequencies or how low the human ear can hear. Maybe you don’t care about the way a good bass kick can briefly stop the heart before it starts again, refreshed. The right speaker makes the body a quick ghost before kicking it back to life, and I find that fascinating, and if you don’t, that’s fine. I guess I can’t expect you do do much but show up and do what you imagine your job is. Shaking the table. Rapping better than anyone else in the room.” (Hanif Abdurraqib, Go Ahead in the Rain)
April was still super busy. I really want to write about Hanif Abdurraqib’s ATCQ memoir, Go Ahead in the Rain, but I just don’t have the time. I could have included at least ten more quotes in this post–the entire book truly is quotable. If you’re a fan of A Tribe Called Quest, or if you’re a fan of 90’s hip hop, I highly recommend reading Abdurraqib’s book. It really is phenomenal. If I had had the time when I finished it, I would have started it over from the beginning right then. The subject matter is close to my heart, so it brought on a ton of nostalgia, but Abdurraqib’s writing is beautiful, too. Soulful. I can’t say enough good things about the book.
Early Riser, Jasper Fforde (It was SO NICE to read Jasper Fforde again. I just love his writing and his sense of humor.)
(The only book I wasn’t really impressed with this month was Sunshine. It was just meh.)
“There aren’t any new starts. All the new ones pack the old ones along with them. If we ever really started fresh, it’d mean not having a history anymore. I don’t know how to do that.” (James S.A. Corey, Nemesis Games)
“Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as the diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after.” (Annie Dillard, Abundance)
“For as long as I could remember, I had been transparent to myself, unself-conscious, learning, doing, most of every day. Now I was in my own way; I myself was a dark object I could not ignore. I couldn’t remember how to forget myself. I didn’t want to think about myself, to reckon myself in, to deal with myself every livelong minute on top of everything else–but swerve as I might, I couldn’t avoid it. I was a boulder blocking my own path. I was a dog barking between my own ears, a barking dog who wouldn’t hush.” (Annie Dillard, Abundance)
“I personally stopped blushing after I had my first lover, and discovered that absolutely the last thing I would want in a boyfriend is a permanent hard-on.” (Robin McKinley, Sunshine)
I have been SO BUSY. March was horrendous, really. We have a big project going on in the library, I was doing at least three people’s jobs, and my school work has been out of control. I’m taking an Art History course, and while it’s been very interesting, it is also taking up more of my time than any other class I’ve taken. When I had free time (ha!) in March, I read. I didn’t want to get online to do anything after spending hours online for my classes. So I have set the blog aside for two months now because I just don’t have time for it. This post and my month in review for April might be the only posts I write this month. Phew!
(I didn’t dislike any of the books I read in February, but these three were my favorites.)
“Still, when one prick faces off against another, there’s a certain satisfaction to be had in the anticipation that at least one of them will suffer as a result of the encounter, and if you’re really lucky, both.” (Christopher Brookmyre, Pandaemonium)
“So, having waited nine billion years for Earth to form, then held off another four and a half billion for his chosen species to fully evolve, He blows his wad early by sending down his messiah during the Bronze Age? If he wanted us to believe in Him and to live by His Word, couldn’t He have hung on another infinitesimal couple of millennia and sent his miracle-working superhero ambassador in the age of broadcast media and other verifiable means of record, instead of staking thirteen and a half billion years’ work on the reliability of a few goat-herders in an insignificant backwater of a primitive civilisation?” (Christopher Brookmyre, Pandaemonium)
“‘You bring books up mountains?’ Cameron asks. ‘I bring books everywhere. You never know when you might get a quiet five minutes to read.’” (Christopher Brookmyre, Pandaemonium)
(I didn’t think to keep track of quotes from the other four books I read this month.)
February felt like the longest short month ever this year. Usually February doesn’t bother me, but the weather has been crap and we’re super busy at work (doing heavy lifting/moving stuff), so February wiped me out. I didn’t get as much (pleasure) reading done as I would have liked, either.
March isn’t going to be any better, as far as school and work go, but spring is almost here. It has to be. So I’ll keep looking forward to that.