Books

What I Read in June

It’s time for another round up of what I read! I did read quite a bit in June. It’s notoriously a slow month for me, pandemic or not, so I try to just relish the slower days.

THE KNOCKOUT QUEEN: 5/5 Stars

This one surprised me. It’s about two teenage neighbors who become unlikely close friends– one boy who is gay and an athletic, very tall girl.  People were raving about it, so I picked it up and went for it. Wow, the writing was phenomenal– especially the character development.

I’M STILL HERE BLACK DIGNITY IN A WORLD MADE FOR WHITENESS: 4.5/5 Stars

Reese Witherspoon added Austin Channing Brown’s book this month for her book club selection. I downloaded the Kindle version and read it in one weekend. I thought it was pretty moving and have since recommended it to a bunch of friends. I think a good chunk of it is best served for women involved with churches, but I still found the read to be incredibly valuable. My ONLY issue with it is that I wish it had been longer and gone more in depth– it only just begins to scratch the surface. With that said, Austin Channing Brown was on Brene Brown’s podcast and I thought her interview was amazing. Truly one of the best things I consumed about anti-racism in the month of June.

A WOMAN IS NO MAN: 4.25/5 Stars

really liked this book. It’s brilliantly written by an Arab-American woman Etaf Rum about what it’s like to be a Muslim woman. Spanning across generations, it tells the story of a women from one family as they enter into marriages. It’s… intense and often depressing. Honestly I found it hard to read because the circumstances seemed so bleak. Powerful and emotional.

THE VANISHING HALF: 5/5

Best. Book. I’ve. Read. This. Year. READ IT and then come back to me so we can discuss. I felt a little iffy about the book in the beginning and then found myself completely sucked in. It’s about Black, but light skinned, twins who runaway from their family home in Louisiana. The two twins end up leaving completely different lives: one marries the darkest man she can find in DC and the other passes as white. I thought it was genius.

A BURNING: 4/5 

A Burning is one of the more unique books I’ve read. I found it super confusing at the beginning, like I couldn’t figure out what I was reading, but by page 100 everything clicks into place and it ends up being a very compelling story. Again though, this one is a heavy read. It follows various characters in India following a terrorist attack and exposes India’s classes, corruption, and political system. If you’re looking for a light summer read, skip this, but if you’re looking for something unique and powerful, give it a try.

PATSY: 4.5/5

Patsy was really, really good. It is told from two perspectives: mother and child. The mother, Patsy, leaves her daughter and life behind in Jamaica to live in America with her best friend. Tru, her daughter, was a small child when her mother left. Tru continues to grow up with her father and step mother in Jamaica while she defines her own gender and sexual identities and Patsy goes on her own journey of love while trying to “make it” in America. You really get swept into the characters’ worlds.

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18 Comments

Julie

Just ordered The Vanishing Half! Can’t wait to read it! Right after I finish Little Fires Everywhere and A Good Neighborhood. The stack is ever growing.

Thank you for sharing your book recommendations! I always find new favorites.

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Sharri J. Lane

Good Morning,
Thank you for the book recommendations. While I have not read The Vanishing Half, the plot sounds like a retelling of Passing by Nella Larsen. I’d be interested in your thoughts comparing the two.
Smiles,
Sharri
(Sharri not Sherri)

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Charlotte

You should try books by the author Alyson Richman. She mostly does historical fiction, and they are really fascinating. The Lost Wife was my favorite.

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Mimi

I’m reading the vanishing half now and I really really want to read every single book in this post!

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Libby

I finished the Vanishing Half a few days ago and OMG, I agree that it is the best book I have read in a long time. What in interesting perspective on race and racism, too. I feel like she could write a sequel with the way it ended!! Gah I loved it so much 🙂

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Lauren

I have The Vanishing Half on my bookshelf to read! Have you read The Mothers by her? One of my all time favorite books! Also if you haven’t read them I would recommend
-The Invention of Wings
-Traveling with Pomegranates
They are both by Sue Monk Kidd ( who wrote The Secret Life of Bees). One is fiction and one is a memoir about mother/daughter relationships. Congrats on the engagement Carly! 🙂

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Jules Buono - book blogger

Totally agree Vanishing Half was the best of the year so far. I loved it so much I couldn’t contain my thoughts and wrote an entire tribute / guide blog post to it. Also read A Burning and agree with your analysis. All the others are on my TBR so I am looking forward to them!

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Mo

Refuge by Dina Nayeri was a great book I read this month, if you’re looking for any reccs!

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Floyd Smith

Excellent Post! Thank you for sharing this interesting reading list with us. In this pandemic time, we should make a reading habit to enhance our mental health. Reading habits can also boost your knowledge and learning power. I am a final year student of English literature, I love reading and writing, Sometimes I took some writing support from this https://edubirdie.com/college-essay-tutor academic writing services platform. My passion is being a professional novel writer that’s why I always love to read for learning new things. So I really like this interesting reading list. Appreciated the Author!

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KatieRoot

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Guest

I’m the only person who was disappointed in The Vanishing Half…I liked the main plot about Stella and Desiree, but the Reese subplot felt very anachronistic to me (a 2020 take on the concept despite the fact that it was set in 1978, just felt shoehorned in), and I thought the character development was poor in general.

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