WHAT I READ IN JUNE

This year I set myself the challenge of reading 24 books in 2017. I wanted to read 2 books a month, and honestly I thought that task in itself was going to be a bit of a struggle. Last year, after finishing my degree in English, I managed to read about 3 books. For someone who loved reading, I was heartbroken that I'd somehow fallen out of love with it. But here we are, at the end of June 2017, and my list of books which I've read over the last month is at my highest so far! I read 7 glorious books over the last 30 days. I dove into a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, picture books, YA and classics. It was a varied month and I couldn't be happier that I've fallen head over heels for paper backs again. In order, here's what I read in June!

The Descent of Man - Grayson Perry
I already posted a full review of The Descent of Man earlier in the month which you can find right here, so I'll attempt to keep this brief. Perry's new book discusses masculinity and the way that it may be hindering men in our society, and holding them back from achieving happier and more fulfilled lives. It was a really interesting perspective on gender which I definitely don't know enough about and I'm so glad I read it. I've always been aware of the struggles which women face due to the expectations of their gender, but this book opened my eyes to the ways that men are suffering too. I definitely recommend this book to both women and men, but especially men.

The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria -Janine Di Giovanni
This book broke me. I felt so unbelievably small and helpless after reading it, but it needs to be read. It's a really small volume and I read it in just a couple of days. The Morning They Came for Us is written by Janine Di Giovanni, a war journalist living and working in Syria to share stories of individuals affected by the war destroying their country. It talks of young girls who joined the rebellion and were subject to years of torture because of it. Of children living in houses surrounded by rubble, who no longer flinch when bombs explode. Of doctors working 48 hour shifts in makeshift hospitals. Of the rich who were able to flee the country and the poor who were forced to stay. It's sad, painful and eye opening and it'll make you want to do more.


Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe - Yuki Sakugawa
This book has been sitting on my book shelf for months now and I've flicked through it a few times, but I've never sat down and read the entire thing. It took me about 20 minutes to read in full (so I guess I'm kind of cheating in putting this on my list of books read in 2017, but picture books ARE still books!) and after reading it for the first time, I flicked back through and read all of my favourite sections again. The Illustrated Guide is predominantly a picture book and Sakugawa's illustrations are magical and breathtaking. Her drawing style is so interesting and calming and it made the book feel really special. The premise of the book is on meditation and how to ground yourself more and build up a connection with the world around you. It was really lovely and I can definitely see myself dipping into it again over future months!

Saga Vol 3 - Brian K. Vaughan
As predicted in my list of books read in May, where i read the first two volumes of Saga, the series has popped up again this month. If you didn't read last months post, I'll summarise: "Saga is a wild space fantasy telling the story of two lovers from long-warring races, both on the run from the authorities and a galactic war." Volume 3 definitely didn't disappoint and I found it just as enjoyable as the first two comics. The art is fantastic, it's full of so much humour and I find myself feeling connected to every new character that gets introduced. I desperately need to get my hands on the rest of the series!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Without a doubt, this was my favourite book I read this month. When I first picked it up, I'd heard a few reviews of it popping up here and there, but I'd never really noticed anybody raving about it that much. But I loved it an unbelievable amount. It's a beautifully written YA novel which reads more like beautiful poetry. Aristotle and Dante now have a firm place in my heart where they will stay forever. I want to read this book over and over. It tells the story of two young boys who strike up an unlikely friendship with one another. It's a coming of age adventure where they discover not necessarily the secrets of the universe, but the secrets of their own universes. Of what it's like to be a young boy growing up in America and experiencing life and all of it's ups and downs. I can't even explain how wonderful this book was without spoiling the entire plot, so I'll leave it at that. But you should read this book.

The Keeper of Lost Things - Ruth Hogan
It took me a little while to get into The Keeper of Lost Things and after getting 50 pages in, I was so close to putting it down and not finishing it. I forced myself to persist a little longer though, and I'm glad that I did. The characters who I had at first felt no connection to, I started to warm to a little more. The keeper of Lost Things is a split narrative and predominantly tells the story of a man who keeps a collection of all of the lost items which he finds out in the world, locked away in a neatly labelled collection in his house, hoping that one day he'll be able to return them to their rightful owners. It's a really sweet concept and the story was just as lovely. It's slow paced, but its a nice, light, happy read for when you need something bright in your life.

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The final book I read in June was Lolita - my first classic of the year! I often find classics quite inaccessible and difficult to read, but after picking Lolita up at a charity shop I decided I'd try it out. Lolita tells the story of a perverted middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with a 12 year old girl named Dolores, or - Lolita. It's a difficult read, mainly because you're invited into the brain of this unreliable narrator who tries his best to make his readers see his perverse actions from his own perspective. It's such a jarring novel in that so many awful acts are being described through, often very beautiful, poetic prose. I definitely preferred the first half of the book to the second and found myself getting so irritated with the narrator that I just wanted the book to end. But in hindsight, I suppose that's how the book is meant to make you feel.

So that's what I read in June! Have you read any of the books I've mentioned? Let me know what you thought!

6 comments :

  1. Your photography is so beautiful! I'm really slacking with my reading challenge this year, but I think it's cause I'm kind of in-between genres at the moment and I'm not sure what I'm interested in. The illustrated guide by Yuki Sakugawa looks beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much Lauren, that's sweet of you! Good luck with your reading challenge, I'm sure you'll get back into the swing of it!x

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  2. please make a post on what you use to take such AMAZING photos! Adding all these books to my own TBR pile

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    1. Oh thank you! Honestly most of these are just lucky iPhone shots, edited in Afterlight!xx

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  3. Gosh, I'm doing terrible with my reading - I've really fallen off the wagon with it over the last year or so. I'm dying to get back into it properly. Some of these books look so lovely though, I'm so desperate to pick up Aristotle and Dante!

    With love, Vee x

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    1. I've just got back into reading this year and have fallen in love with it again! Ari and Dante is fantastic - you'll love it!x

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