Books I Read June 2020

by - Wednesday, July 08, 2020

As the warm weather rolled around in June and I was able to get outside more and even start to see a couple other humans, my reading levels definitely dropped from the huge volume of books I'd finished in the last two months.

Books June 2020

Still, I finished 7 books in June. Half way through the calendar year, I've read 65 books, which puts me on track to read more than 100 books this year. That would be a first for me since I started regularly tracking my reading on Goodreads.

Five Stars

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris
After meeting Cilka in the Tattooist of Auschwitz, I was curious to learn more about her life. She survived Auschwitz only to be convicted as a Nazi conspirator by the Soviets and sent to a gulag in Siberia. While this story is fictional, the author's note at the end makes it very clear where she took liberties with the story and where she drew on facts in her research. This book was heart-wrenching and yet somehow still hopeful. I loved following Cilka's story and learning more about this tragic history.

Four Stars

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
This felt like reading a Grey's Anatomy plot line in book form. You've got the drama of two best friends, one keeping an age-old secret. You've got the ex-boyfriend moving back to town and re-entering the picture, and you've got medical drama with some of the very well off families in town. This was a fast read that I couldn't put down and I'm excited to read Martin's next book.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
The entire time I was reading this book, I found myself admiring the author for her constant determination to figure out the next step for her and her daughter, while she fought to make ends meet. I thought the author told her own story in a way that was able to create empathy while highlighting the flaws and gaps in many of our government benefits programs.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub
I loved this story that closely examined shifting family dynamics -- a matriarch rethinking her sexuality, a set of parents re-thinking their involvement in their daughter's life and a son constantly searching for approval and a daughter forging her own path. This was a super fast, perfect for summer read.

Camino Island by John Grisham
I haven't picked up a John Grisham book in years, but after talking with a friend about how excited she was for the newest Grisham book to come out, I snagged this audio book from the library. It's about the theft of rare manuscripts from Princeton University and the teacher that gets sucked into cracking the case. I really enjoyed the story and it made for a compelling audio book.

Three Stars

Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I thought this book started super preachy, and I wasn't really feeling it. But then at some point I felt the tone changed a bit, and I got more into it. I especially liked and related to some of the parts where she talked about not caving to societal pressures and expectations of women. I also appreciated her honesty and willingness to talk about leaving her husband to marry a woman and how that changed, and in many ways, enhanced certain elements of her family's dynamics.

Two Stars

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
I had such high expectations for this book after reading Station Eleven, but I was pretty let down. It took me forever to get through, and while I did think the general storyline was interesting, I also felt like at any point I could walk away and wouldn't feel bad about it.

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