Which books are worth the read and which should you skip? Find out what books I’ve been reading lately and whether I recommend them.
I’m one month into summer and I feel like I’ve spent most of it working on my backyard.
Two years ago, I ripped out my massive backyard deck with plans to give my backyard a much-needed overhaul. Since then, my yard has been a continual construction zone as my husband and I have stumbled through learning how to do everything ourselves. Thank goodness for DIY bloggers and YouTube.
With all the work on my backyard, my reading has been much slower than normal for me. Yet, I was still able to make my way through several recent and upcoming releases – some that I couldn’t put down and some that I regret reading. Add in a couple of Ann Patchett books, and I’ll say it was a pretty decent reading month.
Scroll down to hear my thoughts and, as always, be sure to let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading lately!
June 2023 Reading List
The Stockton family of Brooklyn Heights has lived off their connections and old money for generations, firmly placing them amongst New York’s one-percenters. Darley, the eldest daughter, traded her job for motherhood but has lost herself in the process. Meanwhile, Georgiana, the youngest, finds herself facing forbidden love, forcing her to choose what she really wants. And Sasha, the daughter-in-law, feels like an outsider after marrying into wealth that she could never have comprehended. Pineapple Street follows all three women, giving a witty look at modern life.
I’d heard mixed reviews about GMA’s March Book Club pick, but I loved this family drama about how wealth and class affect people. Each woman’s story added a new perspective, showcasing how conflicts arise when communication is lacking. A character study of the top 1%, Pineapple Street highlights the differences in how money is perceived by different classes.
House sitter Emma Carpenter lives in a secluded life at a beach house on the Washington coast. After leaving a one-star review on a poorly-written horror novel, Emma finds herself in an online argument with the author. When strange things begin to happen at night, Emma begins to suspect that the author might be stalking her.
Adams’s thriller novel is pure adrenaline in the vein of the best horror/slasher movies. Quickly, the novel moves from “Is it the psycho author?” to “How am I going to survive?” Honestly, I loved every minute. With a winning premise and non-stop twists and turns, The Last Word is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that is just pure fun to read.
In a well-off neighborhood, four families gather together for a pleasant summer barbecue but are thrown when Whitney, the perfect hostess, explodes at her son Xavier. Months later, Xavier falls out a bedroom window in the middle of the night. While he lies critically injured in the hospital, Whitney refuses to speak and the other women begin to wonder what really happened that night, knowing they all have secrets to hide.
The Whispers was a page-turning family drama that I could not put down, reading it in one evening. Each account of motherhood was different but contained such power, showing the strain that comes from the choices each woman makes. Unafraid to tackle hard subjects, Audrain tackles the dark side of motherhood in this intense suburban thriller.
In a sequel to The Night Swim, podcaster Rachel Krall returns to assist the FBI in investigating a case. Popular true crime podcaster Maddison Logan interviewed soon-to-be released serial killer Terence Bailey in prison and then disappeared. But Maddison Logan seems to only exist online. Going undercover at a popular influencer convention, Rachel discovers a fierce world of competitors and suspects that Bailey might have an accomplice on the outside.
While I loved The Night Swim, I didn’t feel like it needed a sequel. And I was wrong. Switching the series from a legal thriller to more of a detective mystery, Dark Corners can easily be read as a standalone novel. Early on, Goldin dedicates chapters to the serial killer’s perspective, so you already know he’s guilty. Instead, you are left trying to figure out how it all connects and hoping Rachel and Special Agent Martinez will solve it before it’s too late. Given the electricity between Rachel and the hot FBI Agent, I could easily see more Rachel Krall books coming in the future.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Although her life isn’t fully together, Abby is excited to be newly engaged to her childhood best friend Mark, who she met at a weight-loss camp her mother forced her to attend. Yet, Abby still can’t seem to shake the memories of Sebastian, a one-night stand from years ago. When Abby leads a group bike ride from New York City to Niagara Falls, she is shocked when both her mom and Sebastian are participants. Now Abby must navigate the group while avoiding Sebastian and dealing with her years of body insecurities which she blames on her mother.
If you want to read about shallow characters talked about in depth, The Breakaway is the book for you. Meet plus-size cyclist Abby who cheats on her perfectly nice boyfriend with the hot ladies’ man Sebastian, who has slept his way through Brooklyn. All while she decides whether she should move in with that perfectly nice boyfriend who loves her. Add in the hot-topic issue of abortion rights for your side characters, for no other reason than Weiner wanted to make a statement, and you have a hot mess of a summer read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
From the Backlist
In South America, famous opera singer Roxane Cross entertains the crowd gathered at the Vice President’s home to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Until terrorists storm the party taking everyone hostage. What begins as a terrifying ordeal morphs into something poignant as individuals from different backgrounds begin to bond together.
While the premise of terrorists seizing hostages at a diplomatic party sounds thrilling, in reality, it’s not. Bel Canto is a slow literary piece that took me quite a long time to get into. However, once I did, I was hooked by the characters and their increasing disconnection from reality. After months of their stalemate situation, the hostages and terrorists find transcendence in their own little Stockholm syndrome utopia, forgetting that things could not remain like that forever.
I visited Ann Patchett’s gorgeous bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville, Tennessee, and couldn’t resist purchasing a signed copy of one of her books. Since I had just purchased Bel Canto at a thrift store a few weeks before, I settled on her memoir, a Reese Witherspoon book club book.
In a series of essays, Patchett writes about what is most important and the moments throughout her life that have shaped her. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a collection of Patchett’s previous writings, a hodge-podge of her best works that didn’t exactly mesh together into one coherent piece. While some of the articles, such as the title essay, were excellent, other selections were merely mediocre.
I always seem to have multiple books going at once. Here’s a peek at what I’m currently reading.
My To-Read List
What’s up next for me? Before I let you go, here are a few of the titles I’m hoping to get through this upcoming month.
Be sure to come back next month to see which ones I read.
Which Books Did You Read in June?
What books did you love this month? Which books can you not wait to read? As always, let me know in the comments!
More Book List to Enjoy: