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What did you read last month? > What I read ~~ June 2018

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments

Share with us what you read June 2018 !

Please provide:

~ A GoodReads link
~ A few sentences telling us how you felt about the book.
~ How would you rate the book


message 2: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments Too fast! I suppose it didn't help that we were gone most of June. I read only 3 books and none of them satisfied as much as i'd hoped.

The Little Book of Feminist Saints from Julia Pierpont was fine if one knew nothing about the last 40 years. However, i suppose because i've read many such lists, this one disappointed. What i liked is that the list (not one for every day, btw) included many women from nations other than the US and UK. It would be a good book for budding feminists or girls who are wondering about strong women.

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters is a collection of blogs written by Ursula K. Le Guin, well known science fiction author from Portland, Oregon. I think the essays were interesting and when she wrote about literature and some political ideas, she shined, imo. Other topics include her cats and how she found her last one, as well as its antics; visits to planned communities which aren't particularly homey; and thoughts on her aging and considerations about death. Not long after this was published last year, Le Guin died, making some chapters more poignant.

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff was written by actor Sean Penn about an older man who is a business owner and assassin. I imagine this book would be better listened to, rather than read. As it is i read the short novel (175 p or so) and was bored by his very regular reliance on alliteration. Some paragraphs were one alliteration after another and not particularly inspired, for the most part. Just to prove he could do it? Or did i miss something. It is mostly set in 2016, so Donald Trump is mentioned, as was Hillary C. but neither by name. Indeed i can't help but wonder if 50 years in the future anyone would know who was being discussed.


message 3: by Shomeret (last edited Jul 01, 2018 06:56PM) (new)

Shomeret | 229 comments Re The Little Book of Feminist Saints--I'm sorry you were disappointed. I've read a number of non-fic books in the first half of the year that I considered wonderful.

In June I read What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte which is a rebuttal to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. She says that Appalachia is not as monolithic as Vance claims either ethnically or politically. Both of these authors have particular political perspectives, but I value the fact that Catte is a historian with an extensive bibliography.

I'm editing this post to add my review which I've just written at http://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/20...


message 4: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 105 comments My June Books
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
Rating 3/5
This is the story of a writer who returns to his childhood homrtown after a long absence and after writing a best selling nove in which the characters and situations are thinly based on his coming of age in the town. There is a lot of humor and there are situations or characters that we all can relate to.
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes
Rating 4/5
A young woman inherits a house on an island in Washington and finds an embroidered silk sleeve. As she researches the history of the sleeve, she learns about the women who stitched it. However, the history brings out information about one of her revered ancestors.
The Girl in the Spider's Web byDavid Lagercrantz
Rating 4/5
This is the fourth book in The Millenium Series. The new author was able to capture the original author's tone and wwriting style


message 5: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 01, 2018 03:20PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments June Reads.

-Did not finish
I gave up on Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation about halfway in. The author literally analyzed every sentence in Kings letter and I thought it was getting repetitive. This would be a good book to read if one was assigned the letter for a college course.

The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life---Richard Russo
Non fiction essays.
Rate 3/5
The book contains 9 essays. I don't think I was the audience for some of these essays. The author goes on and on into the technical problems writers have with online booksellers (Amazon) and eBooks etc. I totally understand it's an almost impossible way to make a living. However, the essay just seem to go on too long so I started to skip parts. Perhaps if was a writer I would be interested in the minutia of book selling. Then there are essays on Twain and Dickens which seemed like part of a lecture he gave when he was a teacher. Though I am a Dickens fan the essays did not interest me. I felt them to be too pedantic. He also includes a commencement speech that he gave. Again I'm not the audience. There was one interesting essay on his lifelong friend who was in the process of gender-reassignment surgery. Another essay is on the humor he finds in a toilet that is place outside for home renovation. Like his family, I didn't find incongruous placement that humorous. The essays are all over the place without any unifying thread. I gave it a 3 rating but probably would have given it a 2 if it was anyone else besides Russo.

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership----
James Comey
Non fiction
Rate: 4/22
This is a really well written book. I took off one star because I found at times that he was a little too self righteous for me.
I especially enjoyed the first part where he explains how he grew up and the events that happened that would come to shape his career choices.

Anticancer Living: Transform Your Life and Health with the Mix of Six--Lorenzo Cohen
non fiction
Rate 4/5
This is sort of a follow up to another book with the same title by a different author. Anticancer, A New Way of Life---David Servan-Schreiber Who passed away in 2011. The book offers very good advice on diet, exercise and much more.


message 6: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments Shomeret, thanks for the Elizabeth Catte title. I am one of the few who seems to have had major issues with Vance's book and it sounds as though this one might help me figure out what else sounded off. My issue was that he felt the behaviors and culture were strictly "hillbilly" when i've known far too many who were never near those hills that exhibited the same attitudes.

Alias, your comment about Comey's righteousness sounds on target to me. I like what i heard but when i read excerpts, i was turned off a bit. Learning about his personal history would be good--i liked the few things i learned.

It's interesting that you stuck it out with the Russo book, Alias. When i read the LeGuin essays/blog, i was tempted to stop because plenty of it didn't call to me at all. However, she writes so well that i kept on until i finished. Overall it was fine but i was somewhat disappointed.

Meredith, that Estes novel idea of researching an embroidered piece. Clearly i need to check out a copy of that book. Thanks.


message 7: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 02, 2018 05:09PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments madrano wrote: "Shomeret, thanks for the Elizabeth Catte title. I am one of the few who seems to have had major issues with Vance's book and it sounds as though this one might help me figure out ..."

I wasn't a fan of Vance's book.


message 8: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments I missed that, Alias. I was thinking i was rather alone. What i think happened with his book is that reviewers were still reeling from the 2016 election & felt Vance's book answered questions. I can only think that those positive reviewers didn't know people outside their own city/profession to rave so about it.


message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments madrano wrote: "I missed that, Alias. I was thinking i was rather alone. What i think happened with his book is that reviewers were still reeling from the 2016 election & felt Vance's book answered questions. I ca..."

I see on Amazon that
"TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD"


message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3031 comments I'd like to see that movie.


message 11: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments Hmmm. Not sure that i would want to see it. I suppose it depends on how deep it goes into the mother's addiction.


message 12: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments My June reads:

Postojna Cave: Tourist Guidebook by Andrej Kranjc - Very detailed tourist guidebook of Postojna Cave done by professional speleologists. (5 stars)

The Mammoth Book of Vampires by Stephen Jones - A very good anthology of vampire fiction from authors I never heard of before and wish I had. Some stories were great, some, to me at least, average, but 629 pages give more than enough good material to give it an A rating. (5 stars)

The Croats: Fourteen Centuries of Perseverance by Anđelko Mijatović - An overview of the history of Croatia since the arrival of Croats to the area till the end of the Homeland War. (4 stars)

The Other Side of the Hedge; The Celestial Omnibus by E.M. Forster - A story of a young man who doesn't realise he is dead. Interesting! (4 stars)

Una historia de amor como otra cualquiera by Lucía Etxebarria - A collection of 15 stand-alone stories of women and the cards they were dealt in life. The topics range from child molesting, "getting out of closet", rape to family traditions and the role of women in less modernly developed societies. All of the stories are based on facts; stories told to the author by real women, which she then used to write her stories, changing the important information (names, cities, age...). (4 stars)


message 13: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments How coincidental that i am reading your June list, Samanta, just as Croatia advanced in the World Cup, against Russia? Smiling big here! ANYway, i'm intrigued by the book of vampires--as much by the idea as the actuality of it. Clever.

And i had not heard of that Forster piece. Thanks for that. I have long liked his work.

It looks as though you had a very good month of reading.


message 14: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments There's celebration all over Croatia right now. I'm not a football fan and I haven't watched a single game, but I'm glad for the victory.

The great thing about the book about vampires is that there are so many different kinds of vampires, not just the ones that suck blood, but non is good, like in the books of Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer.

Found out about the Foster story through another GR group. You can find out about many new things through GR.


message 15: by Petra (last edited Jul 07, 2018 03:13PM) (new)

Petra | 1101 comments Some good books were read in June. I've added a few to my TBR list:

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
The Other Side of the Hedge; The Celestial Omnibus


message 16: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1101 comments I didn't read as much in June. We were away for a week, going on walks & looking around town, and I was off of work for 2 weeks. Both of those things meant less reading time. We had a wonderful time off, I must say.


The Mother by Pearl S. Buck - I enjoy Pearl's writing. Her love for the people of China comes through and she tells a warm story of family life.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Notorious Nineteen and Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich - (audio) I always listen to 2 of these at once because they are so short and my commutes so long. Both of these were better than the last few episodes.
Review 19: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review 20: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

A Well-Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker - (audio) I listened to this while jogging. It's a sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. I enjoyed it a lot.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien - a look at Communist China and the lives it affected, both then and now.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 17: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments Very nice eclectic reading month, Samanta ! Thanks for sharing with the group.


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments Petra wrote:The Mother by Pearl S. Buck - I enjoy Pearl's writing. Her love for the people of China comes through and she tells a warm story of family life. "

Thanks for sharing, Petra. I'm glad you had a nice vacation.

A neighbor of mine, who is a Pearl Buck fan, always mentions liking her book
The Child Who Never Grew~~~Pearl S. Buck
A “groundbreaking” memoir about raising a special-needs daughter in an era of misinformation and prejudice—a classic that helped transform our perceptions (Publishers Weekly).

It was my child who taught me to understand so clearly that all people are equal in their humanity and that all have the same human rights.

Pearl S. Buck is known today for earning a Nobel Prize in Literature and for such New York Times–bestselling novels as The Good Earth. What many do not know is that she wrote that great work of art with the motivation of paying for a special school for her oldest daughter, Carol, who had a rare developmental disorder.

What was called “mental retardation” at the time—though some used crueler terms—was a disability that could cause great suffering and break a parent’s heart. There was little awareness of how to deal with such children, and as a result some were simply hidden away, considered a source of shame and stigma, while others were taken advantage of because of their innocence.

In this remarkable account, which helped bring the issue to light, Pearl S. Buck candidly discusses her own experience as a mother, from her struggle to accept Carol’s diagnosis to her determination to give her child as full and happy a life as possible, including a top-quality education designed around her needs and abilities. Both heartrending and inspiring, The Child Who Never Grew provides perspective on just how much progress has been made in recent decades, while also offering common sense and timeless wisdom for the challenges still faced by those who love and care for someone with special needs. It is a clear-eyed and compelling read by a woman renowned for both her literary talent and her humanitarian spirit.


message 19: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3031 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Petra wrote:The Mother by Pearl S. Buck - I enjoy Pearl's writing. Her love for the people of China comes through and she tells a warm story of family life. "

Thanks for sharing, Petra. I'm glad y..."


This looks like a very good book.


message 20: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1101 comments Alias, that is one of her books that I would like to read. It must be a touching memoir.


message 21: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments Samanta, i agree about GR. As Petra's list of books listed here that she hopes to read illustrates, reading GR boards adds to our "To Be Read" lists but it's often worth it!

Petra, that's a great idea to listen to two of Evanovich's Plum mysteries in a row. It would also help in keeping characters straight. I'll keep that in mind.

I have only read Buck's The Good Earth but read a number of articles about her life raising her child with what we today call Special Needs. Because she was such a fine writer, the daughter's life seemed to come alive on the pages.

Petra, was the Madeleine Thien book you read on audio? I ask because your review mentions music as though you were hearing it. My question is whether the author described the music as well as you described or if you were actually hearing it? Either way, it's neat, i must add.


message 22: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1101 comments Deb, I read Do Not Say We Have Nothing in boof form. The three main characters in China are musicians and music is mentioned a lot. I didn't catch on right away that the music wasn't just the life work of these 3 characters but represented Life & its confusions, loves and disharmonies. It was very well done.


message 23: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments How very interesting. I'm thinking i have never read a novel along those lines, as it seems i'd remember such a concept. Thanks, Petra.


message 25: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments Another great month for you. Now i see where some of the series you've mention in more recent monthly recaps began. The Cain series is especially interesting to me.

Your strong comments about the mayhem in Expulsion was a great idea. It sounds awful. Indeed, you do that in a number of your reviews (this was the strongest, leading to this comment) and i, for one, appreciate the time you take. Some of these sound not at all bad but for some, even the recap is jarring!

I like that you added an ending for the author Angel Gelique. Clever idea.


message 26: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2520 comments Burnt Offerings was made into a movie if you are interested in watching it. It was made in 1976 and Bette Davis was in it. It is an okay movie. Our library system still had in the system.


message 27: by Marie (new)

Marie | 229 comments Relic is also a movie that was made in 1997. The movie stayed close to the book too.


message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20369 comments Marie wrote: "Wow! This month must have been great as I have eight books that were four and five stars! :)..."

Well done, Marie !


message 29: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13222 comments Julie, i was wondering if that was the same as the book. I recall watching the film. Thanks for making the bridge for me.

Bookalodeon, i have not but my library is promoting it this week. The cover My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is interesting, imo, but the Kate Elizabeth Russell sounds relevant to today. If you decide to read it, i hope you'll share your thoughts about it with us.


message 30: by Marie (new)

Marie | 229 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Marie wrote: "Wow! This month must have been great as I have eight books that were four and five stars! :)..."

Well done, Marie !"


Thank you Alias! :)


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