I added another 24 books to my Read shelf last month, bringing my YTD total to 93 (Goodreads link) – whoa – I think I hit the trifecta of the pace of summer reading, a nice balance of ears and eyes, and some compulsively readable books!
Here are a few more stats from June’s book journal summary page:
- nearly two-thirds (15/24) were words on a page.
- 80%(!!!! 19/24)) – were borrowed, one I owned, and four were purchased (three of them “new”, and one of them “used”).
- 20% were non-fiction – and three of those were memoir.
My Reading Intentions were a little more balanced than last month, and every single one of those 24 titles was a Delight!
Connection – 19
Growth – 5
Diversity – 10 (yay!)
Delight – 24
Three books checked all four boxes:
- The House of the Spirits (Novel Pairings May bookclub selection)
- Sparks like Stars (Modern Mrs. Darcy June bookclub selection)
- In the Dream House (recommended by Sara Hildreth @FictionMatters as her favorite memoir and a favorite of daughter Katie from earlier this year)
Checking boxes does not necessarily lead to stars – only one of those three received five of those!
Other ♥ notes from my journal:
♥ Maggie O’Farrell. Claire Fuller. Memoir.
♥ audio works great when I have words on the page too, especially for books that I know I want to take notes about and/or share about here. I listened to In the Dream House and then checked out a paper copy from the library (ditto Nobody Will Tell You This But Me and We Run the Tides). I borrowed both the audio and kindle versions of The Margot Affair and Crying in HMart and read both in tandem – that was fun!) I owned Intimations but saw that Zadie Smith narrated the audio, and it was available, so I listened, and then went back to a few of the essays to take notes.
♥ the library! (although I am now thinking I might need a little break from that … and wish I could just put my library card in the freezer 😉 )
♥ buddy reads (always looking for Connection!)
This month’s Sleeper Recommendation is In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads link).
I had no idea what to expect and I was blown away. Here’s an excerpt from the jacket copy:
Prismatic, engrossing, and wildly innovative, In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s account of a relationship gone bad and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. … Each chapter in this inventive memoir is driven by its own narrative trope – the haunted house, erotica, the Bildungsroman – through which Machado holds her story up to the light and examines it from different angles. She considers her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.
I found it all of that, and more. Honestly, I was hooked from the epigraph(s)
You pile up associations the way you pile up bricks. Memory itself is a form of architecture. ~Louise Bourgeois
If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it. ~Zora Neale Hurston
Your mind indeed is tired. Your mind is so tired that it can no longer work at all. You do not think. You dream. Dream all day long. Dream everything. Dream maliciously and incessantly. Don’t you know that by now? ~Patrick Hamilton, Angel Street
And then I was five-stars in love because of the writing. It’s beautiful, smart, packs a punch, and it’s fun (and sometimes harrowing) to follow the narrative tropes. Here a few of the chapter titles: Dream House as Noir, Dream House as Idiom, Dream House as Exercise in Style, Dream House as Mrs. Dalloway (you get the idea).
This checked the Growth box for me because of the exploration into abuse in queer relationships. Granted, as a cis-gendered, heterosexual white woman, I have lots to learn about a lot of this! And based on Machado’s Afterward, there hasn’t been a lot written about it:
I can’t think of a more apt metaphor [“written on sand”] for the process of writing this book, which relied on finding sets that talked about queer people and domestic abouse; tow tips that have, historically, been hidden away, or rarely talked about. ~p.245
If you do pick this up, please let me know … I’m always looking for Connections!
And finally – a quick update on my Bingo card.I still have four squares to fill and all four books are on my July “really really want to read” shelf (Instagram’d here). By the time I finish all four I should have plenty of candidates for that Any Book free square, so we’ll see!
And that’s a wrap! Did you have a favorite book from June? please share!