June absolutely flew by, didn’t it? How very rude. I’m underwhelmed by my books read count this month, but I have to remind myself that I was traveling a lot, and also that I started several long books that aren’t finished yet. Let’s take a look at what I did finish.
Books Read: 8
- The Shore by Sara Taylor
- Sit Like a Buddha by Lodro Rinzler
- The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
I was traveling during the most of the #BlumeALong, but I wanted to participate informally by re-reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I adored this book growing up, and had already re-read it as an adult several years ago. I love this book so much, and I think it’s a really great book for pre-teen girls. I have no idea if they still read it or not. But if it crosses your path at the right age it can be such a positive experience, helping girls understand the awkward changes that happen as they become a teenager. I also love the treatment of Margaret’s spiritual search, and the honest and graceful portrayal of a young girl trying to figure things out on her own and only coming up with more questions, but realizing that’s ok. Judy Blume is just ridiculously awesome. Re-reading this made me want to re-read Summer Sisters too, which I’ve only read once, ages ago. I’d like to read her new novel, In the Unlikely Event, but one of my biggest fears is planes falling out of the sky and onto my house, so I’m not really sure if I should read it or not – I don’t want that to be on my mind more than it already is.
I also read Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead, and I’ll post a review close to the August 4th publication date.
The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer. This short little book is part of the TED Book Series, and is based off of Pico Iyer’s TED Talk. It’s a meditative book that reflects on the art of doing nothing – taking time out from our busy lives to just let ourselves be. An internet-free, plan-free, worry-free time to be still. It’s not an earth-shaking concept, it’s something that’s been written about in Buddhism for hundreds / thousands of years and something that’s becoming a trend topic in recent years as we struggle with being overwhelmed and constantly ‘on’ due to technology. But what makes this one great is Pico Iyer’s beautiful way of approaching this subject. Reading it feels reflective and calming. And it helps keep the important quest for stillness and time away from technology front of mind. I originally checked this book out from the library, but then ended up buying my own copy at Strand so that I can re-read it often. (If you’d like to get a sense of the book you can watch Pico Iyer’s TED Talk. I watched it after I read the book, and while I liked it, I think the book is better and more inspiring.)
I re-read (via audiobook) I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. I mainly picked this up because I wanted something light on audiobook at the time, some conversational essays. This was one of the first essay collections I ever read, and I also wanted to see how they held up after 7 years of reading dozens of other collections. I definitely was not as enchanted as I was 7 years ago. Part of that is probably changing tastes that happen as you change and evolve as a reader, and part of it is probably that I’m not an early 20-something who just moved to NYC anymore, like both Sloane Crosley and I were back then. The second time through I still enjoyed her writing, but found the essays less relatable, and therefore a bit dull. I am curious about her fiction debut this fall, The Clasp. (October 6)
And finally, I listened to the rest of an audiobook I started months ago, Animal Wise by Virginia Morell. For a long time most scientists stayed away from researching the thoughts and emotions of animals because it wasn’t taken seriously in the academic community. That stigma is slowly beginning to change, and in Animal Wise Virginia Morell takes us on a tour of dozens of incredible studies taking place around the world that are researching the minds of birds, fish, monkeys, elephants, rats, dogs, ants, and more. If you love animals, this is a great read.
After being so good for so many months in a row, I went a bit nuts book shopping this month. Mainly during my 10 days on the road, and almost entirely in Boston. 14 of these 17 books were significantly discounted, ranging from $4 to $8, so the haul didn’t leave as big of a dent in my wallet as it appears it could have. I’m so excited about all of these, but now feel even more overwhelmed with all of the incredible titles on my TBR list. The only one that I had already read is Hyperbole and a Half. I read an ebook of it while traveling last year, but loved it so much that I knew I would need it in print someday. Now that I own it I’m itching to re-read it, so even that one is still adding to my pile of books to read! :)
So that’s the month in books! Here’s hoping that in July the books read and books purchased numbers will be reversed. How did your June reading turn out?