I picked up a couple of books in June, I also put a lot of them down. I’ve gotten to a point where, if the book doesn’t appeal to me in the opening chapters, I put it back down to revisit at a later time. I don’t give up on them, I’ve just realised that if I want to get through a big portion of my TBR, I’ll have to choose what I read more wisely.
Books I picked up but didn’t finish this month include:
The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
I think the hype around this book got to me. Everyone who’s read it seems to adore it. I absolutely loved the opening page, it was so beautifully written, but then the main story began and I slowly but surely lost interest. Sensing a reading slump creeping up on me, I quickly put it down and picked up something else.
Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan
To be honest, I barely made it through the first chapter. I took it with me when we went away on a weekend with friends. I know, it wasn’t my brightest idea. I thought I’d get at least a couple of hours of reading time but I was too busy having fun… All the starts and stops meant I didn’t get into the story at all. Plus someone requested it at the library so I had to take it back. I’ll get back to it later.
Books I did end up finishing in June:
Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
The fun thing about this book is that the chapters are short and, because they each tell a myth, they each have an end of sorts. I read the first half of this book in bits and pieces and the second half all in one go.
Full review here.
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
Next I wanted to reread something and I had just seen Layla (@readable_life) tweet about rereading Carry On soooooo… didn’t have to think too long about that one… This is such a wonderful book. I just went and reread my original review and I guess I’ve changed my mind a little? I still think it’s too much like Harry Potter to get full marks and of course the story isn’t “complete” because we only get the last book in a (fake) series. But the truth is… I don’t care 🙂 It’s a fast and easy read, it makes me feel good and even though I thought it would stick with me, it obviously has. (so maybe an update or edit of my original review is in order)
The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood
Margaret and I don’t get along… we just don’t. I read the Handmaid’s Tale and it didn’t win me over like it did the rest of the world. (I still haven’t watched the series) Now, I’ve read The Penelopiad, which (once again) everyone seems to love. I should have known, Margaret Atwood continues to let me down. Not that there’s anything wrong with this book. I mean, if so many people like it… it must be a classic case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.
I loved rereading The Song of Achilles in January and I loved discovering Circe‘s story later on this year. So naturally, I’m on the lookout for more Greek retellings. The Penelopiad fits that description perfectly, or so I thought. I missed the details, the beautiful writing. This book was too dry for me. It was so short, there really wasn’t a lot more she could do in those pages.
So no more Margaret Atwood for me. I went to pick up Brave New World from my bookshelf the other day and saw there was an introduction by none other than our dear Margaret. Needless to say, I put the book back on the shelf and picked up something else. I’m not over my disappointment yet…
Book I’m currently reading (+ am taking with me on holiday):
I started reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet last night and I think this could be just what I needed (as long as David Mitchell sticks to the historical fiction). I didn’t like Cloud Atlas, it was too much for me. Too strange, too all over the place, too confusing. I also think I didn’t read it at the right time in my life… This one has a lot of characters in the first couple of chapters but I’m liking the story. We’ll see what happens…
Other books I’m taking with me are book two and three in the A discovery of witches trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Since seeing the trailer for the tv series, I’m curious to see what happens after book one. If they’re anything like the first book, they’ll be the perfect holiday read: fast, easy with a world that will keep me entertained.
My husband, who only read when he’s on holiday, asked me to pick some books for him so I’m giving him The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and Norse Mythology to read. I’m pretty sure he’ll like them.
What are you reading over the summer?