Which books are worth the read and which should you skip? Find out what books I’ve been reading lately and whether I recommend them.
What a reading month June has been for me!
Earlier this year, I made a list of my five-star reads, and I realized I can be quite stingy about handing out my highest praise.
For a book to be five stars, it has to speak to me on a deeper level. The writing, the editing, the themes, the emotions. All the elements must combine to create a masterpiece.
It’s not like I’m asking for much.
To my delight, I added three more five star reads in my June reading list! Add in several excellent four-star books and a couple more interesting reads, and June has been a great reading month for me.
June Reading List
New York Times #1 Bestseller Growing up in a Southern black community obsessed with skin color, the Vignes sisters run away at age sixteen. Though identical twins, their lives end in completely different paths. One returns to live in their hometown while the other secretly passes as white. A fascinating story from beginning to end, Bennett explores more than race, as she contemplates how the past affects future generations when their daughters’ lives intersect. Nuanced and complicated, this thought-provoking book is just what you want out of literary fiction.
A Book You Saw Someone Reading Without warning, Le Cirque de Rêves arrives in town, a circus that only operates at night. Within its walls are two competing magicians, Celia and Marco, bound together in a high stakes challenge. When they fall in love, a love so magical it affects the world around them, their dangerous game becomes even more precarious.
Could a book that has been on my to-read list for 7 years and been raved about by all my close reading friends live up to its hype? Why yes, it could. From the first page to the last, Morgenstern had me captivated with her seductive and mysterious prose. I love how she slowly draws the reader in, charming them with gorgeous descriptions that stay with you long after you have read them. If I were to write fiction, I would want to write as she does.
Caroline Criado Perez
An Audiobook In an eye-opening book, Caroline Criado Perez shows that we live in a world designed for men that systemically discriminates against women. With overwhelming statistics, Perez exposes the prevalent gender-data gap in countless fields, including medicine, technology, and urban planning. The staggering evidence will blow your mind and make you rethink everything you thought you knew. If you have a chance, Perez’s audiobook narration is spectacular, catching every hint of sarcasm, disbelief, and anger in the author’s voice.
Walking home one night, Jason Dessen is kidnapped and forced into an alternate reality. He’s been thrust into the multiverse, a world where instead of marrying his wife when she got pregnant with their child, he single-mindedly persevered on with his research. Although the middle was a bit slow, Crouch’s premise will boggle your mind and the story concludes with a thrilling finale.
2019 Goodreads Awards Winner. In the vein of The Fault in Our Stars comes a love story of two teens with Cystic Fibrosis. Living in and out of the hospitals their whole lives, Stella and Will develop a close bond while dealing with the same disease. Because they have Cystic Fibrosis, they must stay six feet apart at all times or risk infecting each other and jeopardizing their chances of a lung transplant. But when your a teen in love, six feet apart seems like an impossible feat. I found this star-crossed teen love story touching and emotional.
Just after Margaret Jacobsen gets engaged to the man of her dreams, their plane crashes due to his pilot error. Chip walks away without a scratch while Margaret suffers severe burns and a broken back. As Margaret tries to recover, she finds love and inspiration in unlikely places – an estranged sister and a strict physical therapist. I’d been craving a sweet love story and Katherine Center delivered. While the story tends toward cheesy, I admired the line Center walked with Margaret’s recovery, showing the moments of joy yet making you understand that you can’t just smile away the pain and hurt and depression.
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Looking back at his childhood in rural Yamhill, Oregon, Nicholas Kristof realized that over half of his classmates ended up dead from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or recklessness. Husband and wife team Kristof and WuDunn set out to detail the damage poor government policies have inflected on working-class American families.I was surprised to see this among the Book of the Month January 2020 selections, but I thought I’d give it a chance. I’m not particularly happy I did. While I think this topic is extremely important, there has got to be a better treatment on the subject. Organizationally, the book was a mess, jumping topics without notice.
One of my biggest complaints about the book was the rose-colored glasses they seem to wear. The authors identify early childhood programs for disadvantaged children as one of the key issues. Yet, they skim over the fact that the parents of disadvantaged children are the least likely to use such programs even when offered.
Always looking for books to help improve my blog, I bought this highly recommended book on content marketing. Pulizzi shows you how to become an expert content marketer, positioning yourself as an informational expert in your chosen field. With advice on social media, search engine optimization, growing a business, and, of course, content marketing, Pulizzi promises to give you the strategies you need to build a multi-million dollar media company. Pulizzi clearly knows what he’s talking about. His book is extremely well-written, clearly laying out the concepts of content marketing. A year ago, this book would have blown my mind. Now, I already knew much of the material, though I could do better about implementing it. Since I don’t plan to grow Booklist Queen into a media empire, many of the advanced strategies don’t apply to me.
Founder of B-school and Marie TV, Marie Forleo has a new book all about empowering female entrepreneurs. Forleo tackles all the topics that tend to hold you back from reaching your dreams: imposter syndrome, handling criticism, recovering from failure, the need for perfection. The book started with a manifest your dreams mindset style but successfully transitioned into a more practical guide to goal-setting. If you are struggling with motivation, Forleo’s book might be just the kick in the pants you need to push forward.
One of the best perks of being a book blogger is receiving advance review copies (ARCs) of upcoming book releases from publishers.
At the beginning of each month, I cover all the new book releases coming out, and the July 2020 book releases are right around the corner. Here’s a peek at the July releases I’ve already read.
My To-Read List
What’s up next for me? Before I let you go, here are a few of the titles I’m hoping to get through this upcoming month.
Be sure to come back in July to see which ones I read.
What books did you read in June?