Rearview Mirror // June 2019

Halfway through the year?!  I am so not ready for life to be going this fast!  July 1 is always kind of a mini New Year’s for me, a chance to assess how the year has been going and see what I would like to change for the second half.  This will probably come as a surprise to everyone, but I’m still not doing so great on the exercising front.  :-D

This was a weird reading month because I have just been super busy with household and garden projects.  I haven’t really felt like reading anything particularly serious, so a bunch of my reading involved what were honestly kind of trash Kindle Unlimited reads that I didn’t even bother reviewing haha  It’s basically been like eating a bunch of Skittles, so now that I’m a little nauseous, I think I’m ready to get back to a more regular reading schedule!

However, I do have to say that the gardening work is paying off, thanks to an incredibly rainy month.  June was rather cool and damp, but this past week we switched over to summer in a big way, and it looks like the hot, humid weather is sticking around for a while!

The garden is looking SUPER magical!

Favorite June Read:

I am going with Swallows and Amazons for this one.  This book was just an absolutely delight in every way, and I can hardly wait to get to the sequel.

Most Disappointing June Read:

Probably Dreamology by Lucy Keating.  It was a book that felt like it had a lot of potential, but didn’t know where it wanted to go.  And it’s never good when you hardcore prefer the “wrong” guy to the “right” one!

By the Numbers…

In June:

  • I finished 27 books for a total of 8554 pages, which is my highest page count yet this year.  However, I ended up reading several large print books, thanks to my library’s unwillingness to stock non-LP versions of the 87th Precinct books. Plus, although I always use the page count from Goodreads for Kindle books, I’m never super confident about how accurate they are.
  • This month’s average star rating was 3.7, the first month that it’s gone down instead of up.  That’s what I get for reading goofy KU romances instead of books I think I’ll genuinely like!
  • This is also the first month that I read more Kindle books than physical books – only 11 physical books, which is super weird for me.
  • Swallows and Amazons won the oldest book slot by quite a lot, once again thanks to the huge pile of KU reads.  It was published in 1930.  The next closest were the 87th Precinct books from 1960.
  • Being Alpha was the longest book at 412 pages, while the shortest was Alpha Unleashed at 221.  Both are by Aileen Erin and are part of the Alpha Girl series.

June DNFs:

I had three books I didn’t finish this month, two of which were originally on my #20BooksofSummer list, so they’ve been replaced by different titles (more on that later).

  • Made to Kill by Adam Christopher was a book I got in a book box a while back.  It’s supposed to kind of be a riff on the classic Raymond Chandler novels, which I read and enjoyed last year, so I thought I would give this one a go.  However, it wasn’t particularly interesting, and really lacked the gently snarky humor that kept me reading Chandler’s works.
  • A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay was on the 20 Books of Summer list, but I definitely had some reservations about it as I’ve had rather meh experiences with Reay’s writing in the past, despite the fact that all of her books sound like stories I should love.  I just wasn’t connected with the main character in this book at all, and the first few chapters felt really choppy.  I’ll probably still give Lizzy and Jane a go eventually, as I got it as a free Kindle book a while back, but unless that one is amazing, I don’t really see myself seeking out any more of Reay’s books.
  • The other 20 Books of Summer read that I gave a pass to was Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike, which I mostly picked up because it claimed to be a sort of retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  However, I was honestly just bored out of my mind, plus found the one main character, who is a literal ghost, to be suuuuper annoying.  It was definitely one of those YA books that just made me feel like I’m too old to read YA.


Speaking of 20 Books of Summer, I’ve only knocked five books off the list so far.  After eliminating the two DNFs above, I added The Lady Vanished by Gretta Mulrooney and Three Fates by Nora Roberts.  We’ll see what happens!

TBR Update:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:

  • Standalones:  428 (up four)
  • Nonfiction:  90 (up one)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  664 (holding steady)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  234 (holding steady – the purge still hasn’t happened here!)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 114 (down one)

Awaiting Review:

The main review I have left to write is for the next five books in the 87th Precinct series.  I actually really enjoyed this set of five – it feels like McBain is seriously getting into his groove.  More on that to come soon!

Currently Reading:

Just staring Patricia Wrede’s Shadow Magic, which is the first in her Lyra series.  I’ve been meaning to read these for quite some time, so I’m excited to see what they are all about.  I’ve heard that they aren’t as strong as Wrede’s later books, many of which I’ve enjoyed, so I’m trying to keep my expectations reasonable.  I’d also really like to continue reading my Vietnam book, which has been on hold for like three months.

The Probable Next Five(ish) Reads:

Hopefully I’ll get back on track now that I’m feeling all funned out on KU reads!!

  • Shadow Magic and it’s four sequels, as long as they aren’t terrible.
  • The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Judgment Calls by Alafair Burke, and it’s two sequels
  • The Haunted Fountain by Margaret Sutton
  • The Reluctant Witness by Kathleen Tailer