196. The Month of June in Reading

The Month of June in Reading

June has felt like a year in a month. It has been that long and it doesn’t even have 31 days.

While for the most of June I have been a ball of anxious waiting and feeling stuck in limbo, as I’m waiting every day to know when my seats to go back to Pakistan are booked, I’ve also been interviewing. A lot of interviewing!

I didn’t realize how much I hate giving job interviews. They make me feel so anxious with my stomach doing flips right when an interview is about to begin. I sometimes fear that my mind will just give up mid-sentence and I’ll be like ummmmmmmmmmm I don’t know words.

Unluckily I’m still giving interviews with no end date in sight regarding when I’ll find my one and only job, but in the meantime I have been reading like there is no tomorrow, so I don’t go down the rabbit hole of “what ifs”.

We hate that rabbit hole! We don’t want to go there and play out a gazillion what if scenarios and ruin our mood.

So I did what any rational person would do. I read and ignored all my responsibilities. And let me tell you, it has been quite a feat.

In total, I read 7 books this month. 6 e-books and 1 paperback, and in no particular order, I’ll just write a few sentences on each:

  1. Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

I just posted an in-depth review on Mornings in Jenin, click on the title to read it or here. I can never forget this book, it wrecked me into a 1000 pieces, and as a work of fiction it echoes too much of reality. Read this book at least once in your life. Ironically and tragically, it is the best read of the year for me that highlights the Palestinian Cause.

Mornings in jenin by Susan Abulhawa

Here is my reading guide for Palestinian Literature and Non-fictions too. Click here.

  1. Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

This is another book that I already reviewed here, click the title or here to read it if you’re interested. A lot of trigger warnings should come with this book as it is weird on another level. Earthlings contains themes of incest, sexual assault, cannibalism, and bizarre-ness I’ve never come across.

The end left physically sick (mildly) that’s all I’ve got to say. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is better to read.

  1. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

Vengeful is the sequel to Vicious(already reviewed) which is part of the Villains Duology by V.E. Schwab. While I really enjoyed Vicious, this one didn’t live up to its predecessor. I don’t know what it was, maybe there were too many new characters, the plot constantly moving back and forth with different POVs, or reading character backgrounds right when you reached a considerable space.

But I just couldn’t feel that eerie, nail biting suspense while reading Vicious. It kind of felt all over the place. However, I’m glad I finished this series, but most probably won’t be reading it again.

  1. One Night Only by Catherine Walsh

Even though I’ve promised a few people to make a post on chicklit/romance novels to read this summer, I’ll still talk a bit about One Night Only here. This was a very witty, funny, romance that was occurred between New York and Ireland. The main characters have a one night stand in NYC, only to find themselves in a wedding in a village in Ireland, where the guy is the Groom’s brother, and the girl is the Bride’s maid of honor.

one night only by catherine walsh

One Night Only will give you a lot to look forward to if you want a chill, funny, a bit dramatic, and very “Will they? Won’t they?” romance. I got the ebook of this through NetGalley.

  1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Full Disclosure: I read The Hating Game because the movie adaptation stars Lucy Hale and I love watching her act. As filming has been completed, I thought I’d read the book to know the story before it streamed on any of the many platforms. The Hating Game had good office banter and the enemies turned lovers troupe.

The Hating Game cover

However, I thought the main character Lucinda was too obsessed with Joshua’s body and impeccable gym routine. Both work at a publishing house that underwent a merger, and act as assistants to the co-CEOs – who thankfully remain enemies throughout the book.

the hating game movie

There is a position for Chief Operating Officer (COO) which both Lucinda and Joshua compete for till you get what happens. It was alright, but I honestly got Cannibalism vibes from Lucinda sometimes. Guess it is the after effect of reading Earthlings.

  1. Death and Croissants by Ian Moore

This is another ebook that I requested from NetGalley to read. I was so intrigued by the cover and title, I knew it would be quirky. The summary read that is was a murder mystery in the Loire Valley in France, and it reminded me of the Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Another awesome book and thankfully it will become a series with the second book coming this year.

death and croissants ian moore

Coming back to Death and Croissants, it was funny, the main characters were just a bit bleak. I wrote a Goodreads review as well, link here. There were some 50-60s Hollywood movie references out of which I only got 2 (one of them was The Godfather). But overall, it is a good summer read.

It was witty in the British dry humor way.

  1. The Master by Colm Toibin

Henry James is one of those classic authors that I’ve recently discovered. And I have become obsessed with this style of writing and inquisitive nature into the human mind and condition. I started with The Portrait of a Lady (already reviewed) and Washington Square (yet to review). And in the meantime I’ve picked up two more of this books: The Golden Bowl and The Ambassadors.

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

So when I came across The Masters I was confused after reading the summary. I thought the author was inspired by Henry James and took it into his novel. But, this novel is sort of a fictional biography of Henry James with actual people and conversations mentioned, that have been taken from his letters and conversations with other notable literary people and family from the 19th century.

The Master by Colm Toibin was an amazing insight to the life of Henry James. I am fascinated by the way James writes about women and their ambition in the 19th century, and I knew it was too real to be fiction. From this novel I’ve come to know that his fictional characters are often inspired by the people he meets, including himself, his sister Alice and more.

I ended the month of June reading this book, and I am so glad that I did. This book left me feeling warm and whole, I don’t know how or why. If you like Henry James’s novels, then you will love this novel as well.

And that is all.

Hope you enjoyed this post with short reviews. Let me know if you’d like me to do more of these, I had fun writing these.

Till next time,

-Sarah

 

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