June 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

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June was an amazing reading month! Almost every book I read I truly enjoyed and gleaned some valubale information from. I hope you had a great reading month as well!

June By the Numbers:

  • Total Books Read: 12
  • Audiobooks: 0
  • Five Star Reads: 5
  • Unread Shelf: 8 (0 DNFs)
  • Books Aquired: 
  • By Women Authors: 10 
  • Nonfiction Reads: 3
  • Published in 2020: 5

Favorite Book of June: Saving Ruby King

Hands down…it’s my favorite book of the year so far!! I loved it so much!

But here are some honorable mentions, which were also strong contenders and five-star reads:

  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Majesty (American Royals, #2) by Katherine McGee

Here is a look at the TBR I set:

    • A Backlist Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1) by V.E. Schwab
      • Didn’t get to it
    • A BOTM Title: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
      • Sadly the themes of this book are quite relevant to current events that are happening right now. Having said that though, it was such a great way to immerse myself into a fictional narrative that accurately depicted real life at the same time. I think Angie Thomas is a brillant writer and I can’t wait to read what she writes next! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • A Nonfiction Title: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
      • Didn’t get to it. (And apparently NOT non-fiction 🤦🏼‍♀️)
    • A NetGalley/Edelweiss Title – Not Like the Movies (Waiting for Tom Hanks, #2) by Kerry Winfrey
      • I didn’t read the one listed above; instead, I read Majesty, the second book in the American Royals series and I loved it. Dare I say I liked it more than the first one?! I appreciated the deeper development of all the characters – especially the secondary characters – and I’m curious where Winfrey will take in the next book!
    • A Memoir: Stray by Stephanie Danler
      • Didn’t get to it.
    • At least 2 physical ARCs: The Switch by Beth O’Leary and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
      • I read The Vanishing Half and absolute LOVED it. Again, many of the issues in the book are extremely relevant right now, and that totally adds to my reading experience. I love a book with strong family dynamics and this one certainly delivers on that front. I’m sure many of you have seen this book floating around the internet; everybody seems to be reading it right now. I’m only slightly jealous of the people that haven’t read it yet because that means they get to read it for the first time…and that was such a treat! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
      • I didn’t get to The Switch.

I also read the following books:

    • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
      • The perfect jumping off point to learn about white privilege and to identify where my personal blind spots are. I thought this book laid out the issues brilliantly and I really started to learn how I can be a better ally with my Black friends. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Real Life by Brandon Taylor
      • There are many things I loved about this book: the writing is absolutely incredible!, I adored Wallace and wanted so much more for him (he still pulls at my heartstrings when I think about this book), and the timeliness of reading it right now. I was frustrated at times because I think a lot of the characters lacked development and would have liked to see them grow instead of staying stagnant. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    • My Time Among the Whites by Jennine Capó Crucet
      • This is a short story collection about being a first generation college student as a Latinx woman. Crucet brilliantly compares the “American Dream” to the reality of making it in this country as an immigrant. I really enjoyed each of the essays in this collection, but the Disneyland on definitely stood out for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner
      • This one just didn’t do much for me. It’s about the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. While we are currently living the same scenario out in real life, this narrative just felt very flat to me. There was an overabundance of the book dedicated to the mortuary and the job of being an undertaker that seemed to just drag on and on. It almost made me DNF the book! I personally just found this one a little on the boring side. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Conjure Women by Afia Atakora
      • This seems to be a book that really fell under the radar. I’m surprised it hasn’t taken off, especially with its themes of racism, enslaved people, and the Deep South setting. Miss Mae Belle and her daughter, Rue, are the healers of their community. But when a sickness overtakes the children, many of the people turn on Rue, believing she is casting spells on the babies. The writing was rich in this one and Atakora delivered such a beautifully written story. I would love to see more people reading this one, because as I said, it’s definely been overlooked. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
      • Such an ambitious novel…but so well done! It’s about twelve different women – mostly Black British woman – and the complexities of their individual lives. The chapters actually feel more like individual short stories, but at the same time, they’re intrically connected in such a profound way. I wish it had been just a little bit shorter and the huge cast of characters was hard to keep track of at times, but it’s still absolutely worth the read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
      • I’ve had this one on my shelf for at least six months and I was finally compelled to pick it up in light of current events. I wish I would have read it sooner because it’s an incredible book – nonfiction, but also a touch of memoir – that has started a new line of changed thinking in my life. My copy is highlighted and underlined, starred and circled…I will be returning to it over and over and I continue on my own personal antiracist journey. This absolutely should be required reading for everyone and should be taught in all high school and college curriculums! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
      • As mentioned above, this is my favorite book of the year so far! It’s a debut novel and I was blown away. The writing is lyrical…I read this book so slowly because I truly wanted to savor West’s beautiful writing. I can’t say enough good things about this book…I was deeply touched by the depth of each of the characters, how lies and secrets continually shook up these two families and affected several generations, and the life-changing strength a loyal friend can be for someone. Get this book immediately and read it!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    • Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
      • I finally got to this book that’s been on my TBR for awhile now and I’m mad I waited so long! Jackson created a story that grabbed me from the first page. It totally reminded me of Darling Rose Gold, but Allegedly is SO MUCH BETTER! Another book that’s great to add to your Black authors/current events list, I will have a soft spot for Mary for a long time to come! (Also, Jackson has a new book, Grown, coming out later this year on September 15, 2020…get yours pre-ordered now!) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Unread Shelf Update:

I acquired 22 books in June.

I donated/unloaded 13 books!

The new total of books on my bookshelves is 424! 😭😭😭

I’m still loving this challenge though I do feel like I lost sight of it due to everything else going on in my life. If you’d like to participate, head over to Whitney’s blog for more information!

There you have it! What was your favorite read from your June TBR?

(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)

8 thoughts on “June 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

  1. my fav read of last month was Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda (translated by Polly Barton) – its a delightful collection of interconnected short stories based on Japanese myth and folklore!! and i cant wait to get to Girl Woman Other, i loved Evaristo’s writing in her other novel, Mr. Loverman💖

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