June was an excellent reading month for me. I finished 16 books, old and new, fiction, memoir and non-fiction. Here is the list:
An Unfinished Score, Elise Blackwell. This wonderful novel was one of the best all month. It was sent to me by the publisher because, you know, I have this wildly popular blog. Now I have another author to love. And it is about music, among other things.
Time of Wonder, Robert McCloskey. The Caldecott winner from 1958 is set in Maine and made me want to go there, now!
Telex From Cuba, Rachel Kushner. A novel about what it was like for Americans living in Cuba during the Cuban revolution. Excellent writing.
Becoming A Writer, Dorothea Brande. This is a classic, first published in 1934. I got some good ideas from it. For all the books I've read on writing, I should have written at least a dozen books by now.
Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak. I started reading the 1958 books for My Big Fat Reading Project in June. This one was the #1 bestseller and Pasternak also won the Nobel prize for literature that year. I had seen the movie but never read the book. It is great!
Anatomy of a Murder, Robert Traver. The #2 bestseller from 1958 is a legal/crime novel set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I learned lots about the temporary insanity plea.
The Good Son, Michael Gruber. Another new release from the spring. Great literary thriller.
Eloise at Christmastime, Kay Thompson. The third Eloise book to make the bestseller list, #6 in 1958. It was a dud in my humble opinion, especially compared to the first two which I loved.
Rifles for Watie, Harold Keith. Very fine middle grade novel about the Civil War which won the Newbery Award in 1958.
My Life in France, Julia Child. I read this for a reading group and was not expecting much. I got a lot! It is a well written memoir of an amazing person. Plus I got inspired to cook. In June!
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey. Also read for a reading group but it is of course, on my 1962 list for the reading project. I think I read it in my younger days but I forgot what a heavy book it is. Next I will see the movie.
The Room and the Chair, Lorraine Adams. Another recently published political thriller, but no where near as good as The Good Son.
Logicomix, An Epic Search for Truth, Apostolos Doxiades and Christos H Papadimitriou. Only the second graphic novel I have ever finished. It is great. The story of Bertrand Russell and his search for truth in math, logic and philosophy. I know, sounds dull. But it is not, at all.
Julie and Julia, Julie Powell. Wow. Another awesome memoir. Julie cooked every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, blogged about it, got a book deal and a movie out of it. But honestly, she is a good writer, hilariously funny and left wing and she swears a lot. Can't wait to see the movie now.
How to Read Novels Like a Professor, Thomas C Foster. Another book that sounds boring but was not. I read it to help me as a book reviewer and learned so much. I would also recommend it for people in reading groups. Not only will you sound smart at the discussions, but you just might get more out of the books.
An Experiment in Love, Hilary Mantel. One of my top favorite books in 2009 was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. Now I am reading her earlier novels. This one is maybe too sad for some readers, but she is such a good writer. It was a great book on which to end the month.
Please, please, please, I ask this every month. But no one ever comments. What did you read in June that was good or that you loved or even that you hated? I truly want to know.