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Monthly Reads: June 2013

These are the books I finished reading in June and whether I recommend them.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  Recommended?  Totally.  I have fallen in love with the author Maggie Stiefvater.  She’s a wonderful writer.  But start with The Raven Boys that was extraordinarily wonderful.

shiver

The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater.  I both figured out why I bought this book and the author’s name.  Cause I”m clever like that.  This was the book I chose to read this month “because I couldn’t remember why I bought it.” (I might have a few of those.)  Turns it this one came from Powell’s books (a magical place) in Portland; it was hardcover; it was cheap, and it came with a GLOWING review from Neil Gaiman.  So, Neil Gaiman recommends it.  I wish I could say the same.  But meh.

The Girl in the Boat by P.G. Wodehouse.  Recommended?  Yes, always for Wodehouse.  As usual several laugh-out-loud moments.  But it’s really a middling Wodehouse; which means, it’s very funny.  (But Jeeves is always a better choice.)

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs.  Recommended?  For me, no.  It is intended for a younger YA audience I think.  Which is fine, but not what I prefer.

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The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo.  Recommended?  Sure.  It just adds layers to the universe of the Grisha trilogy.  Fun, but not earth shattering.  I enjoyed it.  Just a short, btw, so will only take a few minutes.

Doll Bones by Holly Black.  Recommended?  Yes!  Another book likely to make my books of the year.  Loved it.  Delightfully creepy, totally wonderful.

DollBones

Deathless by Catherynne Valente.  Recommended?  Maybe…   I didn’t finish, but my bag of choice has characters that I love.  And that wasn’t happening here for me.  But Catherynne Valente has awe-inducing writing skills and those are fully flexed here.  So, it depends on what you like.

The Tailor by Leigh Bardugo.  Recommended?  Sure, another short that adds dimension to the Grisha universe, but it’s certainly not necessary for the overall story line.  Then again, it’s like 17 pages and takes minutes to read.

The Gates by John Connolly.  Recommended?  Yeah.  It was fun.  Very British.  I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series.

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines.  Recommend?  No, I don’t think so.  I was so SURE I’d love this book.  It still surprises me that I didn’t.  It’s not terrible or anything, but again, another book that just didn’t call to me.

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I just love this cover.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Recommended?  Absolutely, yes.  I expect this one may hit my book of the year list too.  It’s just a lovely book.

Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi.  Recommended.  No.  Let me follow that up by saying I’ll probably read the sequel.  Take that as you will.  🙂

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.  Recommended?  Yes.  With hesitation.  The book itself was fun, but I did not care for the sexy parts.

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And this one.  Just lovely.

The 13th Reality by James Dashner.  Recommended?  No.  Not my bag.  There were a few flaws I thought, but this author is certainly well-loved and respected.  People love his Maze Runner series.  I still plan to read that trilogy myself, but didn’t really like this one.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  Recommended?  Um… Please.  Obviously.  And shut up and all that.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  Recommended?  If you read this blog regularly, you already know I do.  I have been blessed by a great number of lovely books recently.  This one is in the top 3 of the year.  I am actually looking forward to reviewing the list of books I’ve read this year and seeing which one makes me most achy to read it again.  That will be my number one regardless of whether others were “better” in you know… other literary ways.

gaiman ocean images

Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll.  Recommended?  Pshaw.  And of course! Also I prefer this one to the first.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  Recommended?  Yes.  Though I really preferred The Raven Boys.  But I dreamed about this book after reading it; I’ve thought about it a fair amount since then, and I have only increased my admiration of Maggie Stiefvater.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.  Recommended?  Yes.  This is one of those dystopian/ post-apocalyptic pieces.  I started reading it on my phone while walking the dogs and read every spare second until it was done–the very same day.  The story takes hold of you and does’t let you go.  The premise is clever; the author sells the telling of it.  It felt unique in my head, and when the giant jerk-hole of a cliff-hanger occurred, I didn’t hesitate in purchasing the next one.  I followed up by buying the third before second even arrived.  After all, I remembered too clearly the cliff-hanger at the end of book one and decided that next time, I’d be immediately following it up with cracking open book three.  So there, cliff-hanger.  So there.

The_Knife_of_Never_Letting_Go_by_Patrick_Ness

The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  Recommended?  I don’t know why I keep trying to like Dickens.  He’s bipolar.  The first halves of his book are so boring it’s painful.  The second halves are beautiful and exciting.   Even when you like it later, you’ve just plowed through an epic pile of meh to get to the payoff.  I’m not sure I can convince myself to trod one of his roads again even though I actually enjoyed the last few pages of this one.  🙂

The Book of Mormon.  Obviously, as a Mormon I recommend this book.  No other book provides greater comfort.  When my life is falling apart, should I not be shaking my fist at the heavens, I’m curled around this book letting it sooth my soul.  Do with that what you will. 🙂

I also started Moby Dick, Scarlet, Siege and Storm, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Breadcrumbs, and Rapunzel’s Revenge.  If you’ll notice Siege and Storm and Scarlet, as well as the short by Leigh Bardugo called The Too-Clever Fox, were all failures on my To Be Read list this month.  I also played wtih reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and I didn’t.  Oh, well.  Hardly the end of the world and all that.

~Amanda

 

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