June Wrap Up & July TBR

2021 is going scarily fast, and I’m really shocked that I’m having to write my June Wrap Up already. I have to confess, this Wrap Up is the worst one I’ve had thus far, thanks to being overwhelmed with non-bookish stuff that meant a big dip in my reading. Let’s quickly gloss over the stats…

June TBR: 6
Books read in June: 5
Books left on the TBR: 3

Oops! I’ve carried over one of the books I meant to read last month (Futures of Black Radicalism) to this month’s TBR, and I’ve already finished The Time Machine, so that will also be included in next month’s wrap up. So, that’s what I didn’t read, how about what I did read?

  1. Cosmopolitan – Akhil Sharma. 3.5 stars.
    A Faber short story, this one was short, and semi-sweet. In this story, we meet Gopal, a man left by his wife, who develops a burning desire for romance with the lady over the road, Mrs. Shaw. I did enjoy this story, and I particularly enjoyed the sense of detachment Sharma manages to produce throughout: despite the romance, it felt distant. The desire for romance and a lover appeared to be far stronger than Gopal’s feelings towards Mrs. Shaw herself.
  2. Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne du Maurier. 4.5 stars.
    I didn’t love it as much as Rebecca, but I certainly loved it all the same! I knew from the synopsis that the Taylor Swift song “ivy” followed a similar plot line to this, but I didn’t know how much the song would be stuck in my head while reading it. I have to say, pirates and romance are usually two things I steer fairly clear of, but when it’s Daphne du Maurier writing it, I can’t stay away. Find my review here.
  3. The Last Word – Hanif Kureishi. 4 stars.
    I picked this up on a bit of a whim after enjoying My Beautiful Laundrette, a film scripted by Kureishi. The book didn’t quite live up to my enjoyment of the film, unfortunately, but it was still incredibly well-written, with interesting and rounded characters. If you’re after a book that’s pretty much jam-packed with unlikeable characters and scandal, I’ve found your next read. Read my full review here.
  4. The Word for World is Forest – Ursuala K. Le Guin. 4 stars.
    I wanted to try to read more science fiction this year, and there are few better at science fiction than Le Guin. This was another book I picked up knowing very little about beyond the author’s reputation, but I am glad that I selected this one. It’s a quick read, but offers an interesting allegory for colonialism, through the oppression of an alien race by human loggers. The allegory may not be the most subtle, and the message wasn’t as interesting as I might have hoped, but it was still a great introduction to Le Guin, and she’s an author I’ll be keeping an eye out for. Find my review here.
  5. The Forester’s Daughter – Claire Keegan. 3.5 stars.
    Another Faber short so as you can see, while I managed 5 books this month, two of them were short stories and a third (the Le Guin) was also pretty short. Still, this was a nice little read, with some more horribly unlikeable characters. In this story, a little girl ends up devastated after the dog her father found and gifted to her is taken back by his original owner. Keegan’s writing absolutely flew by, and I read this in no time, so I will definitely put Keegan’s name on a list to keep an eye out for.

July TBR

As I mentioned, I’ve already read the first book on this TBR, so I’m off to a flying start, I suppose. I have one more week of work left, so I’m hopeful that my reading will pick up, and my selections reflect this.

  1. The Time Machine – HG Wells.
  2. Futures of Black Radicalism – Gaye Theresa Johnson.
  3. The Heart of the Race – Beverley Bryan.
  4. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell.
  5. The Discomfort of Evening – Marieke Lucas Rjineveld.
  6. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen.

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