What I’ve Been Reading Lately: June 2019

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: June 2019

Hello there! Each month I share short and sweet book reviews of what I’ve been reading lately June was a great reading month for me, I crossed 10 books off my to-read list and loved almost all of them.  

If you’re a reader, you may like my other book review posts.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

My 10 year old son (a reluctant reader) and I read this book separately and then went to lunch together to discuss it.  It was well-written, the stories were engaging and felt very real.  I felt transported into the lives of the three refugee families the book follows.  I loved how everything came together in the end.  I was in tears as I read the final pages.  It sparked some great conversations with my son, too.  

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

Loved this post-WWII novel about the embroiderers that made Princess Elizabeth’s stunning wedding dress.  We flip back and forth in time between the embroiderer’s stories and a present day mystery. The writing was so lovely it left me wanting to read more by this author.  A great book about friendship and second chances and overcoming trials.  And embroidery! Yay!

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Read this for an in-person book club as well as the #2020classics challenge.  Dickens is daunting because the books are so dang long and the set-up phase usually takes so long.  I was hooked about halfway through the book (and at 789 pages, that’s kind of a long wait) and loved it.  Nobody creates stereotypical characters better than Dickens.  The wry humor and the growth we see in David over the years is just so good.  I literally happy sighed when I finished the book.  It’s probably my favorite Dickens so far.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys

Not to be confused with a book with a similar title.  I think this one now goes by Ashes in the Snow.   I love books that personalize obscure events in history and make them come alive.  I had no idea the atrocities committed in this book ever happened.  Ruta Septys is a masterful storyteller and I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by her.

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

I’m slowly working my way through the Inspector Gamache series.  I enjoyed this book more than the first three in the series, I think because we see so much more of Reine-Marie and I love watching their sweet relationship.  It’s a cozy, not-too-graphic, perfect murder mystery.  Looking forward to the next in the series.

Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung

This is the true story of a Chinese family living in Viet Nam who become refugees in America.   A fascinating and horrifying story, remarkably well-told.  I highly recommend it.

The Impossible Climb by Mark Synnott

My husband and I listened to this together over the course of a few weeks.  Neither of us are rock climbers, but we still really enjoyed this look into the climbing life and Alex Honnold’s free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite.   The documentary based on the same climb, called Free Solo is also excellent.  (Warning: some strong language)

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

I was disappointed by this book.  I am typically a big Gretchen Rubin fan, but this felt like a departure for her.  It contains mall tips and ideas for staying more organized, but I didn’t feel like it added anything new to the conversation.  I finished, but only because it’s a short, quick read.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Science Fiction is not my typical genre, but I’ve heard this book recommended so many places that I had to give it a try.  I loved it.  Such an interesting premise:  a girl falls into a hole in the forest and is found lying in a gigantic metal hand.  Over time, other body parts are found all over the earth and a huge robotic creature is assembled.  Where did it come from? What is its purpose?  I loved that the book is constructed through diary entries and interviews, but my husband found it disctracting and unbelievable.  

Even if you don’t consider yourself a sci-fi reader, give this a try.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I absolutely adored this masterful retelling of Greek myth.  It has some “icky” parts for sure, but have you ever read Greek myths? Totally in keeping with the original , bizarre stories.  Madeline Miller did an excellent job of fleshing out the story of Circe, a relatively unknown goddess.  The audiobook is excellent, the reader was an incredible match for the story.

What have you been reading lately?