Hello friends and welcome to today’s monthly wrap-up post for June! Overall, it has been a very good month of reading. All the books I completed were five star reads. One blip I had in the month resulted in a book going on hold. It’s not so much that there is anything wrong with the book. However, I just found that trying to read it when I did wasn’t the right time. I’ll explain more about that later.
In my June TBR, I set myself an ambitious goal. I didn’t get around to one of the books at all, but that’s okay. It will still be waiting for me whenever I am ready to pick it up!
Shall we dive into this monthly wrap-up and take a look at what I read in the month of June?
A Clash of Kings
I started off with a re-read of a favourite book. As I mentioned in a few other posts on my blog this year, there are rumblings about the next book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, (a.k.a. Game of Thrones), coming out in the near future. With that in mind, I wanted to start a re-read of the series this year, so I can pick this next instalment up whenever it comes out.
I really enjoyed going back to this second book in the series. Whilst I’ve read the first book more times than I have continued with the series, that’s not to say that they are any less good. I ended up making progress through this book in a variety of different ways. I predominantly read this book using my paperback copy, however, there were occasions where I dipped into my kindle version, and also the audiobook copy I have.
It’s rare that I will read a book like this. However, given the size of the book, and the effective time constraint I had set myself to read it (so I could get to the rest of my books in June), this ended up being a good way of helping me progress at times when I couldn’t physically pick the book up.
The Lost Metal
The next book I picked up in the month was the final instalment in the Mistborn second era, The Lost Metal. This book came out in November last year. Being a reasonably recent publication, getting copies of this book isn’t exactly the cheapest right now. Fortunately for me, my library had a copy. So, I decided to borrow this one.
Reading and finishing this book was a bittersweet experience. I absolutely love the book, the storyline, and all the characters we’ve come to know and love over this four-part series. The ending was great, even though it made me very mad. No spoilers, but the ending was incredibly clever, high-stakes and heartbreaking! Me being me, I ended up finishing this book quite late on one night as I couldn’t possibly put it down with just 50 pages left. It took me a long time to get to sleep that night as I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
I really hope Brandon Sanderson comes back to this series and writes a third era. Personally, I loved how he built upon his already established world. He created the brilliant first era trilogy, and then advanced upon it for the second era. If he can do the same thing again, then I’m excited to see what he comes up with.
The Midnight Library
Next, I decided to pick up a relatively short read. At just under 300 pages, this has to be one of the shortest books I’ve picked up in the year so far. It was no less impactful despite its size. The Midnight Library is a book that puts a strong lens on mental health and gives us readers a chance to explore what it might be like to feel as if you have nothing left to live for.
I would definitely recommend it to anybody to read at some point in their lifetime. Through this short narrative, we explore ideas of what it would be like to live different lives. How would our lives be different if we made a different decision at a given time? I went into this book knowing this was the concept and with some ideas of themes the book would explore. In reality, it ends up doing a lot more than that. When I purchased my copy of this book, the bookseller told me that it had changed his outlook on life. I would also agree.
Although the narrative follows of one character and her vast exploration of alternative lives she could have lived, and what she learns about herself in the process, I found myself thinking about myself in that same way. In a way, this book taught me about my fundamental beliefs. It taught me what was important to me, the things I would never change about myself, even if I had the chance. It taught me that I should, and can, appreciate even the smallest things… because they can make all the difference.
This was the first time I had ever read a book written by Matt Haig, and it definitely won’t be the last!
The House in the Cerulean Sea
The last book I picked up in the month was The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. Much like The Midnight Library, the author of this book was a new one to me. It is an author I had also heard great things about, so I went into the book wondering if I could live up to the hype. It definitely did!
I had initially started this book after recognising that Children of Dune wasn’t really working for me. I ended up starting the first couple of chapters, and then putting it down to try and push through Children of Dune, before ultimately coming back to it. Whereas that book wasn’t working for me because it is a very serious, political science-fiction narrative, The House in the Cerulean Sea is quite the opposite. It is lighthearted and fantastical.
In this narrative, we experience the life of Linus Baker, a caseworker who was sent on a special assignment to a classified orphanage way outside of his normal life. The orphanage is classified because it is home to potentially dangerous magical children… and one of the residents in particular makes the governing body nervous.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is really a heartwarming read. It also ended up being an apt book to pick up in June (albeit I finished the book in July), as it contains a number of queer characters. I really enjoyed the relationships that built up throughout the narrative. Although that’s not something I actively seek out in a book, it ended up working really well in this narrative. It wasn’t forced or shoehorned in for the sake of inclusion. Rather, it felt very natural.
Based on my experience of this book, I will definitely be reading more of T.J. Klune.
DNF / Hold
Children of Dune
As I briefly mentioned above, I attempted to pick up and read Children of Dune this month. In the end, I only made it to around 150 pages before I decided that this particular read isn’t working for me right now.
The Dune series is a very serious and dense political science-fiction. It’s not the type of book that I can or will pick up every day. Whilst I have enjoyed the series so far, and to an extent, I did still enjoy what I read this month, I just didn’t have the mental stamina for it. The 150 pages I did read was done over the course of a week. As far as my reading speed goes, that’s terrible! I was also finding that I wanted to read, but I wasn’t reading very much of this book at a time (and that’s if I did my persuade myself to pick it up – there are plenty of times I distracted myself with other things deliberately).
In the end, I decided to own up to the fact that it wasn’t working, and I have put this book on hold for now.
I may not have gotten to all the books I intended to pick up in June, and although I have one book that I put on hold, I’ve had a good reading month otherwise. It’s rare to have read so many books that have been so highly rated and made such a profound effect on me. I’ve also discovered two new authors this month that I want to read more from in the future!
So, here concludes my monthly wrap-up post for June 2023! Have you read any of the books I picked up in the month of June? Are any of them on your reading list?
Check in on my blog later this week, as I will be sharing the books I intend to pick up throughout July. I hope you can join me for that!