I’ve been reading, 190 books so far this year. For these first 11 days in June I watched one movie based on a book I read in February (The Sun Is Also A Star) and read 17 books, 8 of them picture books by or about the celebrated illustrator Jerry Pinkney. I also read 4 fiction/thrillers, 1 play, 1 chapbook about aliens, 1 non-fiction, 1 YA fiction, and 1 kids fiction. I’ve really needed the fiction escape it seems!
The first 5 on this list (I’m counting all of the Pinkney books as a whole) I would heartily recommend.
Anna is agoraphobic, which began after a trauma the year before. She’s separated her family, has one therapist/frend, and access lots of alcohol and medication. She also has a camera and likes to keep an eye on her neighborhood. When new neighbors arrive at her doorstep, Anna’s carefully crafted (sad) life begins to unravel.
A fast-paced thriller perfect for summer. I really liked it. She’s an old movie buff, which I loved, and I need to go back and make a list of all the movies she mentioned so I can watch them (without a bottle of wine and pills).
Two women on opposite coasts are both in dangerous situations. They switch identities and flights and hope to evade the men sure to come looking for them. But one of the flights crashes.
Two compelling women with two compelling stories. I liked the back and forth and the switch between then and now. I was even surprised at the end (but probably shouldn’t have been).
I had a fun time with this one.
I picked up John Boyne’s young adult historical and breezed right through it. He has the rare talent of writing unlikeable characters and still putting together a compelling story. A Ladder of Years is my favorite, but others will remember The Boy in the Striped Pajamas best.
In this short (260 pages) book, 7 year old Pierrot loses both parents, his best friend, and his home city of Paris as he sent to an orphanage. His aunt finds him and brings him to Berghof, where she is head housekeeper. Of course, this is also Hitler’s home in the Bavarian Alps. Hitler takes a special interest in the boy and Pierrot’s fate is sealed.
Can he recover from the things he did while so young? A good book about how any child’s future is shaped by their circumstances as well as their spirit. A tragic story but not one without hope.
I will read anything he writes.
I loved this one! A teen who had no support, a man who needed her for a kidnapping scheme, death, stolen babies, changed identities and a lifetime of guilt. What’s not to love? And I really love the cover ❤️
Philadelphia born artist Pinkney has won numerous awards for his illustrations of children’s books, novels, magazines, and even a series of postage stamps starting in 1977. He’s still sharing his passion with the world at 81.
The Talking Eggs was my favorite. A sister is abused by her mother and sister, but is rewarded with her pure heart. It was a little more detailed than the other retellings of this Creole folktale and I loved it.
My other favorite was the classic John Henry, also different than other versions I’ve read, but I’m always up for a story about the legendary man. The song I learned as a kid still goes through my mind every time. Anyone else?
They’re all good. A Place To Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation is his most recent work (2019) and the first time he used collage. And The Lion and the Mouse (2009) is a wordless book that tells one of Aesop’s fables. And I always love reading the African tales about that wily Spider 🕷
I Survived The Joplin Tornado, 2011 was our before bed book for the week. I thought it was scarier than the last one we read about the Chicago Fire. At the end of a few of the chapters I wasn’t sure he’d make it – then I reminded myself the book I series is called I Survived 😆
The writing is simple and the books have a few pictures for interest and that makes them something Gage enjoys. So, for that I am grateful. Finding books that he is interested in reading continues to be a bit of a struggle and this series is a safe bet.
Tornadoes scare me. Have you ever experienced one firsthand?
I both listened a read and much preferred the audio. I liked that it was different, but I can’t say I loved the book.
Harriet, 79, is a recent widow with a shaky relationship with her kids. Her marriage was meh and she’s stuck in a rut. Enter the Alaskan cruise her late husband had won and his visits from beyond the grave and you have the start of an interesting story. I just didn’t care for the this-is-your-life way the story moved from one time to the next.
Strange Land from Poet’s Haven Digest, 2017 is a chapbook given to me by a friend at the library who just happen to write the very first poem, #greenlivesmatter. There were poems and stories all with a different take on our alien friends and their feelings on us Earthlings. Made more interesting by the government’s recent acknowledgment of UFOs 👽 It was a fun, fast read perfect for the unofficial start of summer.
I was hoping that this would provide insight into the classic movie, which I don’t like at all. Unfortunately, I ended up disliking the characters even more 😂
Blanche comes to live with her sister Stella and Stella’s husband Stanley. The three of them bump into and around each other in a small apartment until damage is done. Unlikeable characters in a sad tragedy of a story. But, hey, it’s a classic for a reason, so what do I know?
The book, while tongue in cheek, isn’t quite funny enough for satire. It does its best to lower expectations at work, at home, in relationships, but, unfortunately, I couldn’t let go of my hope for more.
What’s been your favorite June read so far? Anything I need add to my reading list? Extra points if it’s on the shorter side 🙂
9 thoughts on “June is for reading :)”
Sorry that you did not like Streetcar Named Desire. I have seen several productions of this show, The characters are memorable but not always likeable. I belief that I read somewhere that the stage directions for Stanley are play the character like an animal or beast. Blanche is a creature who can not face up to her age and her world of lies. The viewer knows that Stanley and Blanche are destined to clash. Sad and powerful at the same time. Just saying.
Amazing Stacy, so awesome what you and Gage have accomplished. I loved The Last Flight, she may have something new coming out as well.
The only Boyne novel I’ve read is The Heart’s Invisible Furies (last year) and I really liked it. I watched The Woman in the Window on Netflix last month and thought it was just okay. Thanks for the rec of the Chamberlain book. I’ve enjoyed a few of hers so will check it out!
You and Gage are doing an awesome job of reading!
“I will read anything he writes” That’s a powerful statement! Now I’m going to check out his books to see what I think I’d like
Love the books you are getting in and sharing with all of us and Gage’s reading journey too! What a fantastic thing to do this year. I watched the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and bawled for like three days straight and knew I couldn’t also read the book knowing what was coming…
I’ve always been perplexed by A Streetcar Names Desire as well. I read the play in high school and watched like two versions of the movie…Stanley yelling Stella is about all I can say for it after all this time.
I had forgotten The Sun Is Also a Star was made into a movie. If it ever makes it to Netflix streaming or Hulu, I will have to watch it. I loved the book. I really liked The Woman in the Window as well. I’ve heard such great things about The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and am glad you liked it. I will have to give it a try too. Looks like you’ve read some great books so far this month. I hope you have a great week, Stacy!
I’ve just finished posting about the Jetsettters, a novel about a seventy-year-old widow who takes a European cruise with her three adult children, hoping to bring them all closer together. Itr was pretty good and brought tears in part. I might give This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance a try.
Sounds like some good books. I may have to pick up The Woman in the Window, although I’m a bit tired of books whose titles start with The Woman or The Girl.