What We Read in June 2024

by Joli
What We Read in June 2024

As soon as someone said something about the year being half over, I had to wonder how the heck that happened. Where did the year go?? Guess I must be having fun with the time flying by like this.

June was another great reading month for me. Somehow, I packed in 5 books between reading and listening, which is great for me! There was one book that I listened to that I really did not like at all. So very outside my genre! Read on to find out which one it was, and what other LQers read in June.

Cathy

We Need No Wings by Ann Dávila Cardinal

University Professor Teresa Sanchez finds herself broken after the death of her husband, she’s consumed by grief… Until the mysteriously starts to levitate. Teresa remembers that her family is related to a levitating mystic from Spain, Saint Teresa of Alvila, so sets off to find answers.

This book is even better than I was expecting it to be. I had expected the tone to be more down and depressing but it’s actually quite upbeat and optimistic – really fun and easy to read. I’m about halfway through now and have been enjoying getting to know Teresa (known as Tere in the book) and following her on her quest for answers. I’ll share a full review when I’m finished and it’ll be 4 stars for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads


Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Unidentifiable narrator Piranesi recounts his life inside his house. His house is no ordinary building and he is no ordinary person. His life revolves around exploring the house – more of a labyrinth really – and working with The Other to research A Great and Secret Knowledge.

Piranesi is the most surprising book I’ve read (listened to as I’m listening to the audiobook) this year. I really struggled with the first two chapters – they’re long, purposefully confusing and just didn’t grab me as much as I think they were meant to. The third chapter is where the story started to get interesting (and make a bit more sense) and it continued to pick up wind from there. I won’t share any spoilers as I think Piranesi is a story worth reading.

Shout out to Susanna Clarke’s writing style and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s narration on Audible otherwise I think Piranesi might have gone on my DNF pile.

I’ll go 3.5 stars for the book as a whole (and 4 stars for the second half and 2 stars for the first half)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads


Jess

Six Days in August: The Story of Stockholm Syndrome by David King

This book was so good. I was doing some research into Stockholm Syndrome for a work in progress of mine and became suddenly obsessed with the origin story.

As I mentioned last month, I don’t prefer historical writing, but the exposition in Six Days in August was so good that I couldn’t stop reading. Actually, I started reading, and then ended up switching to the audiobook because I was getting frustrated when I had to stop reading to drive. The author describes the events of the Bank Robbery in such good detail that I felt like I was there. I felt myself falling in love with the “bad guys” in the story and rooting for them.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes psychology and/or bank robberies. It was seriously that well written.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


Joli

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Audiobook)

This…wasn’t my favorite. Sci-fi, in the past, hasn’t been my genre at all. I just can’t seem to get into it! So, an audiobook narrated by a robot was just not my jam.

There were definitely some moments in this book that I enjoyed. Klara’s wonderings as she tries to figure out a world of human emotions were lovely at times. She uses her robot brain to contemplate human nature, which makes for some deep thought moments. The story, though, was just odd.

I will say, though, hats off to the narrator — she somehow found the right balance of robot voice vs. human enough to not make the listener crazy. Her name is Sara Siu, and I see she also narrated a portion of another audiobook on my list (The Many Daughters of Afong Moy), so I’m interested to hear the difference in her voice when I get around to that one!

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods (Audiobook)

I gave this book 4 stars at first, but after I discussed it with my book club and thought more critically about it, I changed my rating to 3. It’s definitely a fun read (or listen, in my case) but the story and characters did have a few “wait, what just happened?” moments. I thought maybe it was because I just wasn’t listening close enough, but my fellow book clubbers had those moments as well.

Overall, a good dose of dual-timeline magical realism with a healthy social commentary on women’s rights and equality, as well as family and, quite literally, roots.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible by Catherine Burns (Editor)

The Moth is such a treasure, and the books are no different. If you’ve ever listened to and enjoyed a story from the show/podcast, I highly recommend picking up the books. They really run the gamut between happy and tragic, frightening and heartwarming. I think the editors do a great job of picking stories that are going to pack as much punch in written form as in spoken.

This is the second collection I’ve read — I read All These Wonders back in 2017. I’m surprised it took me this long to realize there are two other collections to read!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Amazon | Goodreads


The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

I just knew I’d like Kate Morton. The Secret Keeper has been sitting on my shelf for years, and I finally got to it. This definitely won’t be my last of hers, that’s for sure!

The Secret Keeper is a historical fiction novel about a family living a pretty idyllic life, until one day when the eldest daughter witnesses something violent that she can’t explain. Fast forward many years as the mother is dying and old secrets rise to the surface. Another dual-timeline book, this one pulled me in and kept me guessing. Morton is a great writer!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Audiobook)

Another one that’s been on my shelf forever, The Rosie Project was a pretty quick listen. The narrator, an autistic professor of genetics, decides it’s time to find a woman to date. Since most women don’t seem to work for him, he comes up with kind of an absurd (funny) survey that he can hand out to a bunch of women to find the “right” one for him.

This story was everything it promised to be. It was funny, charming, and heartwarming.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


Molly

It was a slow reading month for me—I only made it through two books.

Road to Ruin by Hana Lee

This was a fun and fast-paced fantasy/sci-fi and a courier named Jin who delivers secret love letters between a prince and princess across a barren wasteland on her magic motorcycle. When Princess Yi-Nereen asks Jin to help her escape her impending marriage and take her to Prince Karin across the wastes, Jin can’t say no, even though she knows the perilous journey will only end in her own heartbreak.

Perfect for newer fantasy readers who don’t want to sift through a lot of heavy world building or anyone looking for a good fantasy/sci-fi crossover.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


The Fallen Fruit by Shawntelle Madison

A sweeping multigenerational tale of a family who loses a member every generation to a time travel curse. A beautiful and tragic story of fate and love. Full review to come.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


That’s our list! What did you read in June?

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