The 8 Books I Read in June 2023 and what I thought about them

Being a book blogger (and a general fan of reading) I read a fair amount of books a month. Therefore, I like to write an article each month stating the books I’ve read so if you, like me, are a book blogger or a general fan of reading, you can pick up some reading ideas.

The 8 Books I Read in June 2023. Question of the month: Which was the last book you read that lived up to the hype?

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In June, I managed to pack in eight books. I’m not sure how I had such a productive reading month and still manage to squeeze in three fantasy books (a genre which ie renowned for having long books) but it just seems I was putting in my AirPods and listening to audiobooks a lot more than usual. Plus it was quite sunny this month so I’ve been outside reading far more often on the weekends instead of siting inside and reading.

According to my StoryGraph, I’m actually 10 books ahead of my reading goal and over 5,000 pages ahead too, so that’s good!

2023 reading goal is 52 books. I am 69% of the way through my reading goal with 36 books. It says ‘Brilliant, you are ahead by ten books’.

So what are the eight books that I’ve managed to finish throughout the month of June?

Well, as always, I’ve listed them below in the order that I read them as well as including the summary of the review I wrote and the links to read the full review or purchase the book on Amazon if it sounds up your street.

So let’s get into the list then:

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

“I feel like the sequel to The Blade Itself could go on to be one of my favourite fantasy books of all time. If Abercrombie can take the incredible characters and the world he’s built here and throw it into a grander scale with a better plot, he’s got the recipe for an absolute winner. 

The Blade Itself is brilliant though. Its grimdark nature and wonderfully dark sense of humour make this fantasy book feel so down-to-earth and enjoyable! Glokta is our standout anti-hero as the funny but obviously dark main protagonist and possibly one of my favourite characters in any book I’ve ever read.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation is a book that suffers a little from being a collection of three short stories as it doesn’t feel like one complete novel at times, however, Asimov’s wonderful imagination and the captivating world he builds here will keep you reading. Almost effortlessly, Asimov has also written in some very defined characters that tie together a great science fiction novel. Its lack of real overarching story has knocked it down a few marks for me but I have very high hopes for the rest of the series and will definitely be picking up the sequel.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill

Of Blood and Fire is a brand new fantasy series that has shot right to the top of my priorities over the coming year. The characters Cahill has written in, the world he is beginning to build and his incredibly approachable writing style have made this one of the most fun reading experiences I’ve had in the fantasy genre in a very long time. As quickly as possible, I will be picking up the sequel and jumping straight into what could become one of the best fantasy series of the modern generation.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

Atomic Habits by James Clear

“I’ve noted a few times in this review that I am a huge sceptic when it comes to any of these books that claim to change your life, however, I came out of reading Atomic Habits not feeling like I’d read a load of wishy-washy nonsense about how I should change my mindset but with real tangible applications. Also, my favourite lesson to come out of this book is that you don’t have to start off big – in fact starting off very small and consistently doing something very small is the best way to start as it promotes what you want to be being very easy. If you’re looking to become a millionaire in the next six months, this may not be the book for you, but if you’re trying to consistently take up running or lose a little weight or something tangible like this, then Atomic Habits may offer you some great steps to help build up those habits.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

The Assassin of Malcoze by Bryan Asher

“The greatest compliment I can give to The Assassin of Malcoze is that it leaves you wanting more. Its shortness and squeezing in of a few storylines means that you never really feel like you’ve read a complete book by the end. However, its genuinely likeable characters, interesting storylines, great worldbuilding and easy style of writing mean that you’ll likely find yourself coming out of this book with a positive feeling. I know it’s made me want to read more in this world!”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

The Sanctuary by Andrew Hunter Murray

The Sanctuary had a plot that will likely keep you gripped until the very last page, only if it’s to essentially leave you feeling a little underwhelmed. The fantastic writing, epic ending and intriguing twist at the end do make up for generally a very slow-paced first 2/3 of the book. The characters aren’t that worth getting excited about either but the villain is fairly interesting and may be my favourite character just because he brought in some actual personality to an otherwise fairly uninteresting cast.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher

“I don’t want to sound like I’m completely poo-pooing The Way It Is Now but it just didn’t tick any of the boxes that I require from a good book. It wasn’t particularly exciting, nothing really ever happened in the plot, it wasn’t some work of art in literature and the characters weren’t that engaging to read about. I have seen some positive reviews for this with fans of Disher stating it’s a great book. It just really wasn’t for me I’m afraid and won’t be a book I’ll likely remember for very long.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

Still Life by Sarah Winman

Still Life is one of the best books I’ve read all year. I’ve given it this rating because it is one of the most beautifully written, down-to-earth, encapsulating books I’ve read in a long time. The characters will keep you wholly invested and their interactions and relationships will make you yearn for more. You’re not going to be blown away by the plot and I’ve heard criticisms from people that not a lot actually happens drama-wise – but when a book has a big thick tick through so many other boxes, you can’t help but appreciate it for the art-like state it reaches.”

Read my full review | Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon

In summary

So there are all of the books I’ve read this month. Eight is a great number for me and one that means I’m way ahead of my yearly reading goal according to StoryGraph.

I’d have to say my favourite book from the month was Still Life but I was also a big fan of The Blade Itself, Of Blood and Fire and Atomic Habits which were all brilliant books that I won’t be forgetting quickly, the two former of which I am hoping to continue reading the series of (I’ve started Before They Are Hanged Already, the sequel to The Blade Itself already).

Have you read any of the books above? Did you like them? Did you not like them? Let me know what books you read this month!

As always, you can have a look at my previous monthly round-ups below:

Have a look at all of my monthly round-ups

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