June 2021 Reads

I’m on track to read more than the 52 books I’ve set out to read in the year.

Fiction

Loveless (Alice Oseman)
Set at a UK college, we follow Georgia Warr, who is sorting out her sexuality while rooming with a sexually free girl her best friend Pip is crushing on. This was a wonderful book with a great message about asexuality, finding who you are, navigating relationships and the fact that platonic love can be as important as any other kind of love. The UK setting and university environment was great, and I loved all of the characters.

Moxie (Jennifer Mathieu)
Viv creates an anonymous feminist zine at her football crazed Texas high school to fight back against sexism and a multitude of unfair practices. Despite being set in present day, this book manages to bring back so much nostalgia for me of the early to mid 90s. Viv’s mom was a Riot Grrrl and Viv takes her inspiration from old zines from the 90s her mom has kept. I loved this book, and I can’t wait for Mathieu’s next one, a feminist reimagining of The Outsiders, due out in October. Moxie was made into a Netflix movie, and I thought it was a good adaptation, despite a few changes that were made.

Non Fiction

The Mammoth Book of Jack The Ripper (Edited by Maxim Jakubowski and Nathan Braund)
This is a really dense book. Small print and close to 500 pages. It gives an overview of the facts of the case, then many, many takes from other authors and “Ripperologists”. In the end … I honestly don’t care who Jack the Ripper was and it seems pointless to conjecture, so I was bored getting through this.

How to Write a Series (Sara Rosett)
A guide about writing series novels. I picked this up in hopes I could sort out future projects and how the structure of different types of series might fit what I’m planning. I learned a few things I didn’t know about different series types, and some general questions to get me started about planning future series.

Romance Your Brand: Building a Marketable Genre Series (Zoe York)
This was a great overview of putting together a lasting series. The information applies to a series of any genre, but there is a definite lean towards romance. There are lots of exercises to get you thinking about what type of series you want to write, how to maintain it and what will carry you through. As an added bonus, York is Canadian, which appealed to me as a Canadian writer.

Twins Talk: What Twins Tell Us About Person, Self, and Society (Dona Lee Davis)
I had high hopes for this book assuming it was going to be an interview/spotlight on sets of twins and hearing from them how they feel about identity etc. It’s more of an academic paper, and unfortunately the author spent more time talking about other studies and how their study would actually talk to twins, but there was actually very little from the twin sets they interviewed, which was really disappointing. I would rather have had full on interviews and that’s in. 70% of the book is analysis that was really hard to get through.

Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 200 Stitches (Lucinda Ganderton)
This book was a Christmas gift so I could learn a bit about embroidery. I cross stitch and I’ve done crewel embroidery. It showed a ton of stitches, but I realized after reading and trying that I really, really can’t learn from photos. I need video to get the exact motion, because my brain loses something if it can’t see every step.

The Life of Twins: Insights From Over 120 Twins, Friends and Family (K&E Twinning Store)
I was a bit reluctant to read this, only because the authors’ seemed to want to hide their identity behind a business, which felt weird to me, especially since they feature so many named twins inside the book. But, this book did have a lot more of the personal story vibe I was going for in the previous twin book I read, I just wish it was more in depth than a one or two line quote here and there.

Above the Clouds: The Diaries of a High Altitude Mountaineer (Anatoli Boukreev)
Boukreev wrote journals after his various climbs – Everest, Makalu, K2 and more. All of those diaries are preserved here. The book was completed after his death in 1997, and translated from Russian. Because he wrote it in his native language, his personality and beliefs really shine through in a way that helps to expand other books (focusing on the 1996 Everest disaster). The world lost a great mountaineer when he died. I really enjoyed this. The Sovietness of his upbringing and the change the collapse had on him really informed so much of his outlook on the mountains and climbing.

Current Progress:

36/52 – I’m ahead of schedule in my reading. According to Goodreads I’ve read just over 10,000 pages so far this year. Last year my page count was 18K but over 96 books (many of them plays).

Published by Jennifer

Author of the crime saga Sin City series, the comedy/suspense horror Billie and Diana series and the bestselling Self Publishing for Canadians. Current WIP is a 7 book YA coming of age series.

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