My June Reading Wrap-up

June was a tough month. My father is dealing with a lot of health issues, and we had to cancel the vacation we’d been planning for months. But there are always positives even when times are challenging — my job has been really supportive as I’ve needed a lot of unexpected time off, my sisters have been great, and I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with my dad than I have in the last few years.

I was in the car a lot this month so I mostly read audiobooks. Here’s what I read in June:

  • Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro (ARC)
  • We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (audio)
  • The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova (audio)
  • Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First by Laura Tremaine
  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui (graphic memoir)
  • Always Only You by Chloe Liese (audio)
  • The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (audio)
  • The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams (audio)
  • The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule (ARC)

My favorite reads: 

Orquidea Divina and Space Between Worlds were both great (I shared more about those two boks in my last post).

The Book of Hope is a perfect book for right now, and an even better audiobook. Jane Goodall is such an inspiring person, with a beautiful voice, and if we need anything right now it’s hope. Well, that and to stop killing our environment. But at least, as she keeps telling us, there are things each of us can do to make a difference.

I’d heard how good Gabrielle Union’s books are, and I wasn’t disappointed by We’re Going to Need More Wine. I didn’t know much about her acting career, but she writes thoughtfully and honestly about racial issues, sexual assault, divorce, cancer, and many other topics (it sounds like a heavy read but she keeps it balanced). The acting aspect of it was probably the least interesting part for me, but anyone who likes reading celebrity memoirs should check out this book or her more recent one.

The Scent of Burnt Flowers was a fascinating historical novel about a couple on the run who are seeking refuge from the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. I’ll be reviewing that soon.

Disappointing reads:

Share Your Stuff had a nice concept, but it could have been a good magazine article rather than a book. At first it really got me thinking about pivotal moments in my life and hearing about other people’s life-changing moments. But most of the book was the author sharing lots of random stories about her life, and it didn’t hold my interest.

On the blog:

I didn’t have much time for posting this month, so I posted one review and one update on my 20 Books of Summer.

Books for challenges:

  • TBR Pile/Backlist Reader: The Best We Could Do
  • Nonfiction: The Book of Hope (climate)
  • Nature/Environment: The Book of Hope
  • Historical: The Scent of Burnt Flowers
  • Reading All Around the World: Inheritance of Orquidea Divina (Ecuador)

What I’m reading now:

I’m listening to Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty. Finley Donovan is Killing It looks like a fun read and might be what I need right now.

What’s coming up:

You can see my 20 Books of Summer list here. This month I have an ARC I’m excited about, Haven by Emma Donoghue.

Added to my TBR: 

I saw a lot of books that looked really good in this Washington Post list of 21 books to read this summer, including one I’m reading right now.

In July, I’m hoping to get back in the blogging habit, and I’m also working on taking better care of myself with more regular exercise and managing my stress. My sisters chipped in on a spa day for me as a birthday gift, how nice is that? I also got this stash of cookbooks from my sister, my sister-in-law, and Mr. CG. My cookbook collection is getting kind of ridiculous but I love them.

I hope your summer is going well and you’re reading something good!

  4 comments for “My June Reading Wrap-up

  1. July 3, 2022 at 11:53 am

    I can relate to your situation with your dad’s health, both my parents having had health issues in the last couple of months. It can be very draining trying to provide that support – doing that while working must be so difficult for you

    • July 3, 2022 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks Karen! I’m sorry to hear that about your parents. Working has definitely been part of the challenge. I’ve had great support from my boss but I’ve been working about half time and some days I feel like I’m pulled in so many directions I’m not doing anything well enough. I’m hopeful that some of the challenges will be resolved soon, at least in the short term, and then I’ll have a little time to plan longer term.

  2. July 3, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Sorry to hear your dad’s health has been troubling; we have been going through some difficult times with my father-in-law and my poor husband is distraught and drained. Thank goodness for audio books, to be honest – he finds solace in his pre-work walks with his.

    • July 3, 2022 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you Liz! Distraught and drained sounds like a perfect description. It’s been a lot of difficult decisions to make, tons of research, and trying to be there for my dad to keep up his morale. I’ve gotten better at asking for help, and trying to make some time for myself. My husband has also been great about reminding me I can’t fix everything, no matter how hard I try. I hope you and your husband are both doing okay.

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