June 2021 Reading Update

This blog has become nothing more than a reading journal for me, and that is fine by me for now. It’s always interesting to see where my stats end up. Last month I read almost all books by women, so I did seek out more male authors to balance myself out this month. I had a few books that had been on hold at my library come up, along with a new book I was anticipating. So far this year I have already more than I did in all of 2015 and 2018, so it’s been a great reading year for ma already!

What I read in June:

  • Shakeup by Stuart Woods – Another typical Barrington novel, where he has to find the bad guys before they shoot him up. This time he only traveled to LA and to English, but was mostly in NYC, with either Holly, the new president, or Maren, the new FBI Director.
  • Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur – I enjoyed this cute, sappy, lesbian rom-com! Darcy and Elle are total opposites, so of course they meet and hate one another, which means you know that awkward disagreements will follow as they fall for each other. Then something will cause a riff near the end, and then the ending will wrap up with a nice bow, like all rom-coms, and all Hallmark movies, do. It was a fun read!
  • Double Jeopardy by Stuart Woods – Last month I accidentally read two Woods books out of order, but I am back on track again. This was the 57th novel in the Stone Barrington series and it is like a well-oiled machine. Stone has a problem (this time his evil cousins have gotten out of jail and are on a machine to kill him), he calls in Dino and Viv for back up, they travel to one of his many homes (this time Maine), he meets a new woman, and they all end up armed and dangerous and getting the bad guys. These books are my palate-cleansers – easy books I can read in one day in between very different kinds of books.
  • Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor- I really enjoyed the deep dive into how we breathe, why breathing through our mouths is bad for every part of our body, and how breathing can impact health and wellbeing. As I read the entire book, I was so conscious of my own breathing and posture, which is a good thing! I appreciated the history, the author’s personal experiments into a wide range of breathing techniques and scientific studies, and the practice examples shared
  • Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston – I loved this YA fantasy novel! There are similaries to the Harry Potter series – Amari, a young Black girl, gets invited to a secret summer camp that is part of the super natural world. She is looking for her missing brother, who also attended camp here. Then she learns she is a magician, though in this world that is a bad thing, and her brother is a hero. As Amari and her roommate Elsie study to pass their entrance exams and pick their junior career paths, they fight evil and help save the world! This was a fun fantasy and I’m sure there is an entire series waiting to be written about this dynamic, powerful girl and her magic powers.
  • Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson – I LOVED this book! I don’t know where I heard about it, but I loved it from beginning to end. I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the end. Christine has amnesia and cannot form new memories, so each day she has to rediscover her condition and try to put the pieces of her past together. An amnesiac is by nature an unreliable narrator, so I knew to doubt the other characters and the things that were happening. While I was suspicious of everyone, it was still fun to see what Christine would think and do with the knowledge she had.
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I love this author and the creative way she tells stories that connect characters over decades of adventure and mishaps. Half of this story takes place in Nina’s house at her annual Rivas party on the beach of Malibu, a party she throws for her 3 siblings each year. The other half tells the history of the Rivas siblings, their parents, and their heartbreaks and successes. I loved how one hour of the party was interspersed with history every other chapter. I loved the Rivas: Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit. I hated their famous father and loved the way they cared for each other. This was an emotional journey and a fun story!
  • A Fateful Grace (#2) by Louise Penny – Once I read the first in the Penny series about Inspector Garmache, I knew I would continue reading the story. These are traditional police procedurals that take place in Quebec, in a sleepy, beautiful village that has more than it’s fair share of murders. I like how this second book brought in some of the original village characters (Ruth, Clara, Peter, Gabri, etc.), but also introduced some new people. I imagine with each new story, we will continue to meet more villagers as we uncover mysteries. I enjoyed this.
  • The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth – I enjoyed this book, though not as much as The Mother In Law, which I LOVED by this author last year. I liked Rose and Fern, their childhood memories and their adult interactions, as twins who are so different. I knew to expect an unreliable narrator from Hepworth, but was still surprised by the deviousness that ensued.

Fiction: 7

Nonfiction: 1

Young Adolescent: 1

Audiobooks:

Author is of or plot addresses a different race/ethnicity, orientation, religion than me: 2

Female author: 4

Male Author: 4

Nonbinary Author:

Library books: 6

Currently reading or my my TBR list soon: Tarana Burke, Nora Zelevansky, and more!

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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