I had quite the good reading month in June and finished 9 books
Kaleb Cooper – The World According To Kaleb
I am honestly not sure what the point of this book was. Other than to make money.
Like most fans of Clarkson’s Farm, I utterly adored Kaleb but this book was… well, it was exactly what you’d expect of a sheltered young man who’s never left the village he’s grown up in or experienced any kind of life outside of his circle.
There were a couple of points that were really interesting, and the bits of the book where he was talking about farming, the tone totally changed and you could feel his love. But as an overall reading experience, it fell flat
A 1.25 star read
Andrea Penrose – Murder at Half Moon Gate (Wrexford & Sloane #2)
The second of the Wrexford & Sloane regency mysteries and another excellent read. All the characters felt more fleshed out and real, even the secondary ones, and I’m not even hating the flirting between Wrexford & and Sloane, which I normally HATE. The mystery kept me guessing, and the story kept the pages turning
Now to wait ~patiently for the next 15 weeks for the next one to be available at my library
A 4 star read
Tim Marshall – Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics
Not my usual topic of choice when reading non-fiction, but it had been on my radar as something I thought I’d like to read for years. Goodreads kept recommending it, and I’ve picked it up in the bookshop a couple of times but it never made it home. I spotted it on the Libby app and it was checked straight out. Annoyingly, neither of the library services I’m a member of have the rest of the series electronically, but Devon libraries does have them physically.
The book was absolutely fascinating and very information. I swear I learned more about the conflicts in the Middle East in 1o pages than I’ve ever learned in my entire life. I’ve also never been more ashamed to be a white British person – like, I knew colonialism caused a whole bunch of shit and we were responsible for it, but not quite to this extent.
I was also blissfully unaware of quite how close the world is to devolving into entire chaos, and how many different countries either Russia or China have a hand in. It now feels like the slightest hair-trigger could cause what now feels like the entire world to spiral into war – because no matter where it happens, either China, Russia or the US is involved and then India or Japan or the UK would get involved
It actually started to trigger my main agoraphobia symptoms – the one I’ve spent the last two years working on of ‘the world outside isn’t safe – so I had to put it down for a while, which is why it’s lost a half point.
I will, however, still be picking up and reading the next book – but with the proviso it’s going to be alternating read with something a little light and fluffy for the sake of my mental health
A 3.5 star read
Ransom Riggs – Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)
I’m really liking the mythology Riggs is building and weaving into the world of Peculiardom he’s created, but the stories themselves are getting repetitive. And I found the ending of this one to be particularly unsatisfying.
A 3.75 star read
Neil Gaiman – The Ocean At The End Of the Lane
My first reaction was ‘well that was bloody weird’, but it’s Neil Gaiman, so you kind of expect it. I’m not usually a fan of Gaiman’s style, which is a shame because I think he’s a fantastic storyteller and this was a wonderful, whimsical, fantastical tale which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think magical realism might have to be a genre I investigate a little more!
A 4.25 star read
Peter Ackroyd – Foundation (History Of England #1)
I have taken my time savouring this book because it is utterly fantastic! Also, hi, special interest, anyone? It covers everything from the neolithic through to the Wars Of The Roses and the death of Henry VII. I was filled with complete and utter glee for most of the reading and loved that even though he covered a HUGE amount of info, he didn’t get bogged down in the details. Straight-forward, to the point and a really good overview of the history of England. Ackroyd has this ability to bring the past to life in his narrative and I loved reading about the bits I didn’t know – and falling back in love with the Plantagenets and the Wars all over again (which, y’know, I always do!)
A 4.25 star read
Wendy Jago – How to Manage Your Mammoth: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done and Bringing Ambitions to Life
I picked this up from the library purely based on the title because it kind of intrigued me – I’m a terrible procrastinator, although how much of that is ADHD I don’t know. Also the cover made me laugh. I found a few useful pointers about figuring out what kind of worker you are, and how to use it to your advantage, and it didn’t feel particularly like it was talking down on me so it was definitely worth picking up
A 3 star read
Susan Cooper – Over Sea Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising #1)
Even though I’ve never read it before, this books reminded me of my childhood. I grew up in the West County, and played a lot of make believe/mystery-solving games, based a lot on Enid Blyton, and this had those same vibes. I also adore Arthurian mythology and the Grail.. so it was a no brainer really. I’m really glad Li recommended the series to me
A 3 star read
Alexis Caught – Queer Up: An Uplifting Guide to LGBTQ+ Love, Life and Mental Health
With the world rapidly turning back against not-straight and not-cis people like myself, it’s nice to actually read a really positive, uplifting, book about being queer. While it was definitely aimed at a younger audience, it’s a book that teen me would have been over the rainbow to read so I indulged. I couldn’t not pick it up from the library, I mean really!
A 3 star read
Looking more at the stats side of things:
9 books, 2608 pages – 56% between 300 & 499 pages long, 44% <300 pages
The main moods were mysterious & informative
78% medium paced, 22% face paced
56% non-fiction, 44% fiction
My most read genres were fantasy, young adult, and history
My average rating was 3.33