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:
- The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
- Graceland, by Bethan Roberts
- Longbourn, by Jo Baker
- So You Want to Be a Wizard, by Diane Duane
Graceland is an interesting book. It’s historical fiction about the relationship between Elvis and his mother, Gladys. It starts when Elvis is a young boy and ends with Gladys’ death in 1958. I have never been a fan of Elvis and I wouldn’t have read this if it hadn’t been the Sykes & Savidge Book Club pick for June, but I actually enjoyed reading it. Elvis and his mother had a VERY unhealthy relationship, and it was interesting to read about in the context of an historical fiction novel. There were things I didn’t know about Elvis that were included in Graceland, like the fact that Elvis was a twin (his brother was stillborn) and maybe the circumstances surrounding his birth and his brother’s stillbirth were the basis for Gladys’ unhealthy love for and treatment of Elvis. Graceland also deals with Elvis’ gross treatment of underage girls, but I was already aware of that side of him. It was his mother’s fall into depression and alcoholism when he became famous that really intrigued me. I really liked Bethan Roberts’ writing, too, and I plan on looking into her other books in the future.
Longbourn is also very good. I meant to read this back in 2013 when it was first published, but then never got around to it. Longbourn is a Pride and Prejudice story told from the viewpoint of the staff at Longbourn (the house belonging to the Bennets). But it’s not a retelling of Pride and Prejudice — it’s a standalone novel and an original story about the lives of the staff of Longbourn, and the relationship they have with the Bennets is just one part of that story. The book mainly follows Sarah, one of the housemaids, and her growing desire to see more of the world and not be held down by her circumstances. And of course there’s gossip and a love story (that isn’t cheesy at all, thank goodness). One of the things I liked most about Longbourn is Jo Baker’s frank look at personal things about the Bennet girls — body hair, menstruation, body odor, soiled clothing, etc. — and how no matter what social class we’re in, we all deal with the same issues at base level. Of course people of the Bennets’ stature don’t want to admit that they deal with all of those things and like to pretend that they’re above it all, but the staff certainly know better. I liked how that was worked into the story. I read Longbourn for Lauren and the Books Patreon book club.
You can read my reactions to the Hunger Games series by clicking the links at the beginning of this post where I list what I read in June.
I will talk a little more about the Young Wizards (So You Want to Be a Wizard) series in my July reading plans post.
I didn’t get to any of the Women’s Prize longlist books this month, but I’m hoping to get back to those in July. I have plans to read a bunch of stuff in July, though, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll talk about that in another post.
How was June for you in terms of reading? What was your favorite book in June?