My Month in Books: What I Read in June 2019

I am so glad that lately I got back into a couple things that used to bring me so much joy: reading books and writing. For a while I didn’t do either of those things. Which was weird because they were part of me for so long. But now books – reading others and writing my own – have found its rightful place back into my life and it feels so RIGHT. Thus, I’d like to share what books I read in June of 2019. I will only include books I finished this month. The books are in the order that I read them.

Don’t worry, this list won’t contain any spoilers!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Amazing books can be turned into amazing shows

The Hulu series is one of my favorite shows ever. I broke the rule though of watching the adaptation before reading the book. So I challenged myself at the start of the month to finish this book before the season 3 began. I already knew the show changed some things, such as the ages of two of the main antagonists (which I think was a brilliant decision).

But it was also great to see the other changes the show made.. I think I prefer the show, but I do appreciate the source material. During my Portugal trip in April I had a layover in Amsterdam and saw a BEAUTIFUL cover of this book. It was black with red sprayed pages. I am still kicking myself for not buying it.

Cry Wolf by Tami Hoag

Cry Wolf by Tami Hoag was unfortunately one of my least favorite books

This was the second book I read in June 2019 and unfortunately my least favorite. I really enjoyed Tami Hoag’s writing style, that was a plus. But what I disliked about this book was I found the characters to be quite flat, unrealistic, annoying or just gross.

The love interest in this story was unbearable. Plus the hyper-sexualization of women felt like a classic case of r/menwritingwomen. But unfortunately, it wasn’t as Tami Hoag is a female author. I got this book for free at a street fair a year ago so I’m not upset about this one being a dud.

1984 by George Orwell

George Orwell's "1984" is a classic book that I finally checked off my TBR list.

This book is a classic that I’m really glad to have in my “read” folder on Goodreads. Technically I listened to the audiobook, but in my opinion that still counts as reading. Anyways, I feel most people have a vague idea of what this book is about.

This book took me back to my dystopian loving days. I really enjoyed the message and premise of this book. It was chilling and it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite shows, Black Mirror. I didn’t like the main character, I found him to be a creep to be honest. But in the end I still think the book was well done.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Perhaps I'll give this book, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, a second chance in the future

DNF’d or “Did Not Finish”

I was in a classics and audiobook mood after 1984. So I tried listening to the audiobook for the adored Pride and Prejudice. Unlike most of the world, I never saw the movie and had no clue what it was about. I heard the name thrown around a bunch but never looked into it.

I’m sad to say I did not like what I did get through. It felt slow and confusing and too many seemingly useless characters. From browsing through the Goodreads reviews for this book, fans rip to shreds and insult anyone who says anything bad about this book.

Perhaps I’ll give it another chance it the future, with a different audiobook actor or reading it physically.

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

The only non-fiction book I read this month. I started this book a while ago. I read it a lot during my trip to Portugal. With self-help books, instead of reading them straight through, I tend to pick them up periodically when I’m in a lull and need some motivation.

But long story short I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and easy to read with lots of great points. It can be hard to find self-help books that don’t all sound the same but I like what Chris Guillebeau did with his book.

Want a recommendation for another self-help book? Check out my review of “You Are a Bad*ss” by Jen Sincero

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a fabulously written book

My favorite book I read in June 2019. Or perhaps second favorite? I listened to the audiobook which was fantastic. Although I’m not a huge re-reader of books, I want a physical copy to read on my own. Plus, look at the beautiful cover? More than that, the writing in this book was fantastic. From the opening scene Erin Morgenstern got me captivated into the world she created. Her writing is so descriptive without being “too much” if you know what I mean.

I’m realizing more and more romances don’t do it for me most of the time. Which is one thing I just didn’t care for in this book. But I appreciated that the romance didn’t take over the story itself.

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff. For those who enjoy historical fiction books, I'm sure you'll enjoy this

This book is a historical fiction set during World War II. I could definitely tell that Pam Jenoff did her research for this book. The historical aspects of this book were so interesting to me. This book is told in multiple perspectives so readers can see the setting from different vantage points.

I ended up giving this story a 3 out of 5 stars though, which isn’t bad. But I felt this would be a 3.5 or 4 star read if the romances didn’t feel so forced to me. Again, I’m not a huge fan of romances so that’s something to take into account. But one relationship in particular felt so underdeveloped that their actions made no sense and were frustrating.

I’d still recommend this book to historical fiction lovers though.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is definitely a thriller. Books like this inspire me to write more.

This book is the one giving The Night Circus a run for its money for my favorite book I read this month. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was such a wild ride. Definitely one worthy of a re-read in the future.

This story is basically a puzzle, masterly pieced together by Stuart Turton. I can’t even imagine how much work went into keeping all the narratives straight when planning this. It’s a murder mystery novel meets a Black Mirror episode. In reminds me of a particular Black Mirror episode. I won’t say which because that’ll give the twist away.

But basically it was engaging and no boring romance, so I loved it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I fully expected Evelyn Hardcastle to be my last read of the month. But I finished the audiobook for this book quite quickly. This is a YA romance-fantasy novel. Although I’m not too into YA these days or romance, I thought I’d give this a try. I wanted to read more fantasy (for something I’m working on) and get a peek into some of Laini Taylor’s books.

It was a cute book. Again, romances aren’t my thing so again I didn’t care for the one in this book. But I really enjoyed the world and wish we got to see more of it than the romance. Perhaps I’ll listen to the second audiobook.

Check out my June reading wrap-up video!

That’s All!

Books are an amazing escape

Overall, this was a really successful month for me. I got back into reading consistently and found two books in particular I loved (The Night Circus and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle). I’m excited for the books I’ll discover next month and hopefully will read a few more 4 or 5 star worthy books. What’s on your reading list for July? Here are a couple books I’d love read. I don’t have any of these yet, so this may be completely off from what I actually will read:

  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli
  4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
  5. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

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