June 2017 Summary

Yes, I know I always say it, so you can join in. Altogether now! ‘Where has June gone?’

It is always my favourite month, a birthday month for me, my younger son and several of my closest friends. But with the heat, the work, the travel, it somehow just sped by… I do, however, have some good books to show for it.

I’ve read 12 books this month, of which: 5 crime fiction, 1 poetry, 4 feel-good books and 2 not-so-feel-good books. 5 were from the library, 4 were review copies and 3 I bought myself (an unusual proportion this time round, I feel, but something to keep track of in the future). 9 were by women writers, 2 by men, and one was an anthology. Uh-oh only 2 books in translation (or the original)! I’ve not reviewed all of these, but have included links where reviews are available.

Crime fiction:

Karen Dionne: The Marsh King’s Daughter – a surprise hit with me, although the subject matter very nearly made me give up on it from the outset

Busted! Arresting Stories from the Beat – eclectic collection of short stories featuring largely US law enforcement professionals

Nicky Wells: Dead Hope – Nicky is a friend of mine in real life and has previously written romance novels featuring rock stars. This is her first thriller, although it does contain a good dose of romantic elements.

Annemarie Neary: The Orphans – a story of dysfunctional families and obsession set in London

Pierre Lemaitre: Three Days and a Life – study of youthful anger and guilt in a small French village

Feel-good:

Elizabeth von Arnim: The Enchanted April

Elizabeth von Arnim: Elizabeth and Her German Garden

Alison Lurie: Real People

Elizabeth Jane Howard: Marking Time (Cazalet 2)

Raymond Antrobus: To Sweeten Bitter – because poetry always makes me feel good, even if it is sad

Other (aka not recommended if you are suffering from depression):

Sarah Pinborough: The Language of Dying  – Slow-building sense of claustrophobia, gradual reveal about a family stretched to breaking point and … the unfairness, the pain, the poignancy of grieving yet with economy of detail. Succint, subtle and devastatingly effective.

Nelly Arcan author photo.

Nelly Arcan: Folle – I wanted to like this one so badly, but, although I appreciated the candour and insight into a troubled mind, I expected it to be much more frenzied and lyrical. It was instead a factual, often cold analysis of unsuitable passion, very frank about sex, but ultimately about a self-centred guy who was definitely not worth the narrator’s time and passion!

And you know what is most shocking? She was younger than me – and, despite her chaotic life and messed-up mental health, wrote 5 novels and has now been dead for 8 years.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “June 2017 Summary”

  1. No, I don’t know where it’s gone either…. An interesting mix you’ve read and I think the mood I’m in I’d be going for the comfort books. Nelly Arcan sounds a bit too much for me at the moment.

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