I read a lot in June (not quite as much in July) thanks to travel and a brand new Kindle! I’ll write more soon about my Kindle experience–but for now, the short of it is: still prefer paper, but I liked it better than I thought I would. This isn’t a comprehensive list of the books that I read in June and July–unfortunately some of them weren’t worth writing about–but it’s a good cross section.
The Crossover – Kwame Alexander | I adored this middle grade verse novel so much. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to give a copy to every kid I’ve ever taught. Highly reccomended for kids and adults who aren’t snobby about reading things technically “written for children.”
Ghettoside – Jill Leovy | This book has changed the way I view the criminal justice system (other books that did this same thing: Just Mercy, The New Jim Crow). Fascinating and convicting… equal parts reflection on a system, journalistic facts, and compelling, tragic personal accounts. Highly reccomend.
If You Find This Letter – Hannah Brencher | I enjoyed a lot of parts of this book, but I generally feel like anyone under 30 who writes a memoir (unless they’ve like survived cancer or won Olympic gold) has to stretch the material pretty thin. I still identified with lots of parts of this story. I wouldn’t reccomend it blanketly to memoir lovers, but if you’re really interested in finding yourself stories, snail mail, or New York, give it a try.
Keep Me Posted – Lisa Beazley | This was just a really fun novel. I love snail mail and I adore my sisters, so one look at the book jacket told me I wanted to read this. The plot was a touch far fetched, but the character development was good enough to make me forgive the rest. If you look at the jacket and this looks interesting to you, you’ll probably love it. If it looks meh to you, skip it.
The Nest – Cynthia Sweeney | I wanted to love this book, but it kind of just made me sad. A bunch of siblings arguing over money. Parts were clever, but it wasn’t nearly as clever as Liane Moriarty, etc. and it was way more depressing to me. Entertaining, but wasn’t happy I read it when it was over.
Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld | I don’t normally love Sittenfeld’s work (I think she’s a great writer, but something about her stuff just leaves me feeling bummed out), but I liked this better than anything else I’d read by her. I would definitely not reccomend it based on a love for Jane Austen–if you’re a purist, the book will probably horrify you. Much like the original, many of the characters are truely annoying, so keep that in mind.
Still Life With Bread Crumbs – Anna Quindlen | Slower than other Anna Quindlen books I’ve read, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve found recently that I’ve loved reading some books with older (late middle aged and up) protagonists–it’s interesting to think about a part of life that I’m still a ways from experiencing. Reccomend.
All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven | A bit darker than the YA I usually read, but I really appreciated the way it handled mental health issues, without glossing over them and/or romanticizing them. Good read for high schoolers, a little disturbing for some middle schoolers.
The Book of Unknown Americans – Christina Henriquez | This book broke my heart. I loved the way the story was told–centering around a family of immigrants, but touching on the lives of other immigrants they came in contact with. It was sad and hard and really human–highly reccomend.
One in a Million Boy – Monica Wood | This book reminded me a bit of A Man Called Ove (still sitting pretty as my favorite novel of 2016)… it was sad and good, celebrating, above all else, the incredible beauty of human connection, even (maybe especially?) in the face of tragedy. Reccomend.
…and last but not least, check out this lovely beach library.