Following straight on from my mid-2018 reading update, here are the books I read in June!
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I would never have picked this up myself, but I read it for book club and I’m so glad we picked it! It’s completely melodramatic, funny and trashy in the best possible way. Perfect sun-lounger material if you’re going on holiday this summer…
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
No comment needed, really. I’ll be re-reading these ’til I die, and probably after that, too.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
The eventual winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018, this was undoubtedly a very accomplished book, but I wasn’t wowed by it. Sometimes the structure felt a little forced and the relationships a little untrue, perhaps because it’s an adaptation (of Antigone). The ending was very powerful, though.
Sight by Jessie Greengrass
Also shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, Sight is a novel about becoming a parent and being a child. I found it intensely introspective, in a way that didn’t quite work for me; I really liked how the three parts of the novel interacted with the three respective scientific strands, but it didn’t all come together as a whole.
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
My second Discworld novel, The Light Fantastic follows straight on from The Colour of Magic, continuing Rincewind and Twoflower’s mad adventure as they race to save the Discworld from an apocalyptic collision with a malevolent star. A lot of fun.
Fierce by Gin Phillips
Fierce takes place over the course of three hours one evening, after Joan finds herself trapped in the zoo after closing time with her four-year-old son. Confronted with a horror she can barely let herself imagine, she must listen to all her instincts in order to keep her son alive. I read this incredibly fast – it was as close to unputdownable as I could manage whilst also, y’know, actually having to go to work, eat, sleep etc.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
Another book club read. We’re discussing this one tomorrow and I’m really intrigued to hear other people’s thoughts on it. I definitely enjoyed it, and I think Margaret Atwood is a brilliant writer, but it felt slightly rushed and perhaps even a little insubstantial to me. I thought the chorus’s parts were very strong, though.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I didn’t read this when the whole world was swept up in the hype surrounding it a few years ago because someone accidentally spoiled the ending. Not ideal for a thriller. But I enjoyed Into the Water so much, and I figured enough time had probably passed to make the details hazy… And I really enjoyed it, although probably less than I might have done had I read it with zero prior knowledge of the plot. If you’ve also been resolutely ignoring the book buzz around this one, I definitely recommend giving it a go!
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Dark, complex, a little bit fairytale-esque, funny… Basically a properly excellent crime novel and a real page-turner. Jack is eleven years old when the family car breaks down on the motorway and he is left in charge of his two younger sisters while his mum walks to find an emergency phone. Only she never comes back, and three years later her murder remains unsolved and Jack is doing whatever it takes to support his siblings. So it’s a surprise when a police investigation into a spate of burglaries starts to uncover darker secrets….
Phew! I feel like June has been a bit of a whirlwind month, but I’m always glad to squeeze in time for reading. I’m starting a new bookish job tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited (I’m also a bit nervous, but I think that’s normal!), and I’m also going on holiday this month, so will try to put some travel content together when I’m back. I’m looking for some book recommendations for my trip, so please let me know if you have any favourite summer reads!