02 July 2011

Last Month in Review: June 2011

Thanks largely to my summer vacation, I was able to get a LOT of books read in June.  Although I didn't quite average one book per day of vacation, I still managed quite a bit:

1. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.  Remarkable little work of non-fiction.  Review here

2. We the Animals by Justin Torres.  What an extraordinary debut--puts me in mind of Junot Diaz, with its peculiarly harsh but beautiful prose and its edginess.  Review is possibly forthcoming.

3. These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan.  Another re-read, but Aidan is the best writer of Jane Austen fanfiction there is.

4. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.  Audio, and another re-read.  Review here (sort of).

5. The Submission by Amy Waldman.  Another good debut novel.  Review here

6. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green.  Very good.  Review here

7. The Sweetness of Tears by Nafisa Haji.  Another winner.  Review here. Probably my favorite book this month.

8-10. The Three Weissmanns of Westport, The Bee-Loud Glade, The Imperfectionists, reviewed together here

11. Ladies and Gentlemen by Adam Ross.  Short story collection.  Pretty good.  Review here.

12. The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant.  Excellent.  Tough.  McCarthy-esque.  Review here

13. The Paris Wife by Paula McClain.  Pretty good, an easy read, mostly reinforcing my opinion that Hemingway was a real piece of shit.  I will not be reviewing it.

14. The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan.  Third book, concluding her  YA trilogy.  I loved it but I probably won't review it--I left my copy of the book behind to donate to the local library since it was a hardcover, and it's difficult for me to review a book without a copy in hand. 

15.  Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost.  Review forthcoming.  Another funny and thought-provoking travelogue.  Sorry, but I don't think I'll be planning a trip there any time soon. (Edited to add: review is here. )

16. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.  His forthcoming novel this fall is a strange suburban tale of the Rapture Great Disappearance.  Review to come.

17. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.  Fairly engrossing tale of women during World War II on both sides of the Atlantic.  Probably won't review it, though. 

18-A and 18-B are a couple of also-rans: there are two books that I read about half of but just couldn't bring myself to finish, so I figure together they count as one book.  One of them is Graham Greene's The Comedians, which I bought because it's set in Haiti but I'm afraid his writing style wasn't enough to hold my attention, even though it's hard to imagine anything set in Haiti as boring.  The other is Chuck Palahniuk's book, Damned, coming out this fall.  Who wouldn't want to read about a 13 year old in Hell who begins all of her diary entires, "Are you there Satan? It's me, Madison," and who remakes the cast of The Breakfast Club in the underworld.  Well, apparently I wouldn't.  A little too self-aware and self-referential for me to finish reading it, but I may go back to it one day.

With Greene I apparently prefer the film versions of his books.  With Palahniuk I apparently like the idea of reading his books more than I actually like reading them. 


  1. Since I commented before, I will again: just to say glad you enjoyed. ;)

  2. It makes me more pleased than I can say that you stopped by again to leave a comment, and the only reason I probably wasn't going to write a review is because I left my copy of the book back in Anguilla to donate to their library. I've been thinking a lot about our brief dialogue of the fanfiction vs. original fiction and I think I've come around to your view. Maybe.

    Any chance you'll be in the northeast US next spring when Holly and Cassie come back to my bookstore? Perhaps I could tempt you to join them for a 3-ring circus author event.

  3. "mostly reinforcing my opinion that Hemingway was a real piece of shit."

    Ahahahaha Excellent.

    And I'm totally going to read that snail book.

  4. It is crazy how much you accomplished last month. The Three Weissmanns of Westport and The Imperfectionists are two books I have wanted to read so will go check out those reviews.


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)