Throughout the month of June, I finished eight books (I’ve worded it like this because I started a couple of these in May). There have been some absolute corkers this month including a few classics after I started a “list of books to read before I die” (I might do a post on this at a later date.)
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I’ve decided to round all of these books up including reviews for all of them. This does mean I’ve uploaded five reviews this week instead of my usual four, but it also means I can upload this on a Sunday which is the day I like to try and upload my featured posts. Enjoy the eight books I finished in June.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
My summary of Hamnet: “Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is a fantastic book. It took me a minute to truly understand what I was reading but when I finally got the grips with it, I simply couldn’t stop. I think I read the last 100 pages in a day, I was picking up the audiobook at every gap in my day and listening so I could just involve myself with the turmoil of these characters.
If you’re looking for something with action, guns or explosions, this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for something beautifully written that could well become a modern classic, then I’d pick up Hamnet. You’ll experience poetic writing, relatable characters and the struggles that real humans face every day, no matter what time they’re from.”
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My summary of Fahrenheit 451: “I liked Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury has an excellent way of portraying speed and urgency within his text by using short sentences and lots of commas. He uses a lot of smart metaphors throughout too, some of which become confusing between metaphorical and realistic though, but not too often.
As I’ve mentioned, I think most book lovers will be able to get something out of this – though it may well be a nightmare of their bookshelves burning down in their sleep. However, for a book written almost 70 years ago, this still feels like a novel that could have been written in modern times (except they’d be burning Kindles…. Just kidding!)”
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
My summary of Lord of the Flies: “Lord of the Flies is a fascinating read that if you don’t look too deeply into it is a gripping story in its own right. But when you then start to think of what Golding has done in giving us a very respectable tale of the likely actions and turmoil that the same situation would bring in real life.
I was deciding between three or four stars for this review as it wasn’t a book I found myself instantly buzzed about after reading it as I do with a lot of my five stars. However, I can respect the diverse character personalities and the fact Golding tackles some of the darker aspects that would arise from such a situation.”
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My summary of The Thursday Murder Club: “I feared The Thursday Murder Club had been overhyped – it has very favourable reviews wherever you look, everyone who’s read it said they enjoyed it and this can create an inflated view of the book in your head before going into it. I didn’t come out of this review thinking this was one of my favourite books of all time. However, I would recommend it to absolutely anyone with a sense of humour and looking for something a bit different from everything else out on the bookshelves at the moment.
Richard Osman’s humour, wit and intelligence shine through in the characters and plot of this book and I very much look forward to reading the sequel coming out later this year.”
- Read my full review of The Thursday Murder Club here.
- Get your copy of The Thursday Murder Club here.
Jade War by Fonda Lee
My summary of Jade War: “I loved Jade City and I continued to love the Green Bone Saga with Jade War. It does exactly what every sequel should do – it introduces new characters, expands the impressively realised world and continues to acknowledge the struggles, triumphs and more that we loved from the first book.
If you love fantasy, if you love Asian-inspired culture or you’re even into gangster-style novels then I’d definitely suggest picking up Jade City and feeling comfortable knowing that Jade War is a worthy sequel.”
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
My summary of Old Man’s War: “I was surprised by how much I loved Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. It’s a science fiction novel that’s not afraid to be nerdy but funny at the same time. Scalzi clearly has a good sense of humour himself and has written a wonderfully enjoyable science fiction novel and one I’m thoroughly looking forward to exploring the rest of the series of.
It ticked all of my boxes for a science fiction novel: it was nerdy, the technology is explained well, the aliens and cultures are detailed and there’s a great dash of humour to accompany these ticks. I loved this book, far more than I thought I would. Did it die off a tad towards the latter half of the novel? Yes. Did it affect my opinion of the overall? No. If you like science fiction and you want an easy enjoyable read, get Old Man’s Ward by John Scalzi. “
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
My summary of The Man in the High Castle: “As you can tell, I was deeply disappointed by this book. However, as I said in my opening, I read this after having watched the Amazon Prime series. The TV series utilises the potential of this new realised world so much better – exploring more the politics, the danger and the scheming that would inevitably happen under Nazi rule.
Being a shorter book can sometimes be a hindrance, but I’ve read other books of equal length that I still thoroughly enjoyed, this I did not. I wouldn’t ever tell anybody not to bother with a book, but if you’ve watched the TV series of The Man In The High Castle and want to see if the book is better, it’s safe to say it isn’t. It’s simply the base from which the TV series is based.”
- Read my full review of The Man in the High Castle here.
- Get your copy of The Man in The Castle here.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
My summary of American Dirt: “I do warn you, this book features some darker themes and is a book that will humble many who read it. However, if you’re ready for that sort of thing then I couldn’t recommend this book more. It’s a powerful read and one that’ll make you really feel for the characters. And you’ll likely learn something along the way too.
I’d recommend this book to anybody that needs a good reminder of how lucky they are, to anybody who likes books that could bring a tear to their eye or to anybody who just needs a really good book to read.”
June has been a fantastic month for books and a really diverse one. I’ve read Sci-Fi, fantasy, classics and contemporary fiction this month. Have you read any of the books above? if you have let me know by commenting below or by @ing me on any of my social media channels below.