June is finished – some books that engaged me during the month

In June I read 24 books. This is fewer than I have been reading each month so far this year and reflects the fact that I have had no time off work this month – my foot now being completely recovered from surgery and me having taken no holiday. The total number of books I have read so far this year is 198. That seems to imply that I may read in or around 400 books by the end of the year which I feel is unlikely as I sincerely hope that I shall not require surgery again. I may achieve a higher figure than the 353 I read last year though but I must also remind myself that there are no prizes …

In June I read books which were part of a series as part of my 12 in 12 Challenge. I managed the 12 books I aimed for and enjoyed most of them. You can see the reviews on this website and there is such a variety that you may find a series for you. I love series books and I will continue to read books in series so you will see them appear on this site into the future.

For July I am going to read books concentrating on the two world wars. Not all the books will be non-fiction and not all of them will be directly about the war but the wars will be the theme for my reading. I chose this theme because I was astonished by how many books on my to-be-read pile were war related. I don’t know if there is a lot being published at the moment or if it is just that this type of book easily catches my attention. I have more than 12 put to one side for July’s reading so we will see how many I can get finished in the month.

In addition to my books for the 12 in 12 Challenge I read a number of other books during June and I would highlight three of them which I think are worth reading :

  • The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord. This is a sort of science fiction book; it is certainly set very far in the future. A world is destroyed and its survivors are searching the galaxy for others who originated on their world but who have travelled in the past. They are looking for people like them to carry on their way of life and to create new generations which hold to the same traditions. The planet of Cygnus Beta has long been one where many different peoples and races settle and form their own communities. The mission sets out, guided by Grace who is a civil servant, to visit many of these communities to assess if they can be part of the project. The book is a series of encounters with different beliefs and traditions as well as detailing a growing understanding between the mission participants. It is an interesting book, not action filled but thoughtful. I enjoyed it.
  • The Garden of Forgotten Wishes by Trisha Ashley is not yet published – I was fortunate to receive an advance copy via the NetGalley site. I love this author’s contemporary romances. This is an easy and satisfying read about Marnie who comes to a tourist area to help restore a garden but finds herself drawn into secrets of the present and the past (she finds love as well). It is a delightful book. All this author’s main women characters are strong and sensible but are much beset by problems, usually originating in their families. Marnie has a failed marriage and a difficult reputation to overcome and she also needs to find out why her mother warned her away from this village. There are a few improbabilities – I am particularly bemused by how people seem to find physical resemblances between family members when no one can possibly know that they are related. The action also culminates in a few big coincidences and this makes the final few chapters a bit hectic in comparison with the slower beginning to the book. It is, nevertheless, hugely enjoyable and I recommend it, as well as all her other previous novels.
  • The Borden Murders by Sarah Miller is a true crime book about the murder of Lizzie Borden’s family. I like a good true crime book and although I had obviously heard of the murders I knew very little about them. I was surprised, when I received the book, to find that this was written for teenagers rather than an adult readership. Don’t let that put you off as it turns out to be an advantage. This is a clearly written and well explained look at the family, the culture of the time, the trial and the life of Lizzie. It is full of interesting social history and is obviously factually based. The author gives no opinion about the identity of the murderer and if you want some speculation about that you may have to turn to other books on the subject. I did find this a fascinating account.

I shall now start immersing myself in books about wars – I shall also need a few lighter novels to lighten my mood, I think.

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