What I read in June 2020

Another 15 books down, and yet my TBR never seems to get any smaller. And another eight reviews. July is looking a bit uneven, with two weeks where I have two posts going out, and a couple where I don’t have any pencilled in at all (come on, publishers, respond to my Netgalley requests!).

The Exphoria Code, Scenes of a Graphic Nature, The Age of Light, The Murder on the Links, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth

The Exphoria Code, by Antony Johnston - 4.5*

Scenes of a Graphic Nature, by Caroline O’Donoghue - 4*

The Age of Light, by Whitney Scharer - I’m really into faction (I know, I know) about artists at the moment, and this was absorbing, even intoxicating at times - 5*

The Murder on the Links, by Agatha Christie - 4*

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, by Matson Taylor - 4.5*

Expiry Date, A House Through Time, Poirot Investigates, The Golden Notebook, A Cosmology of Monsters

Expiry Date, by Rachel Ward - 3.5*

A House Through Time, by David Olusoga & Melanie Backe-Hansen - 4*

Poirot Investigates, by Agatha Christie - 5*

The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing. God, but this was a struggle. I liked the bits in Africa, and when Anna worked for the magazine and the communist publisher. But she is exhaustingly self-absorbed, seems to hate most other women, and constantly palms her kid off on other people so she can gad about. Virtually everyone in the book is awful, and I don’t know if it’s because a) Anna attracts arseholes, b) Anna sees the worst in everyone, or c) they are just terrible - 3*

A Cosmology of Monsters, by Shaun Hamill - 4.5*

The Dutch House, The Collector, Mostly Dead Things, A Biography of Loneliness, Daughters of Fire

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett - 4*

The Collector, by John Maher - review coming soon! 4*

Mostly Dead Things, by Kristen Arnett - 4*

A Biography of Loneliness, by Fay Bound Alberti - 4*

Daughters of Fire, by Barbara Erskine. Published in 2006 and it already feels like completely a different time because the historians in the story are so resistant to involving their own emotions in their writing. Alas, I don’t think a barney at a history book launch ever did, or ever will, make the papers, or that we’ll get a weekly hour-long TV show where three historians are interviewed about their latest work (if we did, though, it would have to have a better name than History Discussion Night…) - 4*

Looking ahead…

The Narrow Land, A Dark Matter, An American Marriage, Blood & Sugar, Tennis Lessons

Hoping to use my two (currently) review-free weeks in July to read some books I’ve been meaning to get to for a while but not had time for. I’ve had Blood and Sugar on my Kindle since the beginning of lockdown, and I received An American Marriage in last month’s Books That Matter box.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about A Dark Matter, while The Narrow Land was recently brought to my attention by its Walter Scott Prize win. Tennis Lessons just looks right up my street. I’ll be reviewing that one for sure as I got it from Netgalley.

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About Alice Violett

Reader of books, editor of web content, haver of PhD

Colchester, UK https://www.draliceviolett.com