Are we a week into July? Yes we are. Is it too late for a preview of July? Nope. Sure isn’t.
June! Overall a pretty good month except for the two and a half week heatwave that started out the month (seriously. Memorial Day weekend was cool, cloudy, and rainy. Then we hit June and immediately got hot and dry. It doesn’t usually do that overnight). But thanks to a new air conditioning unit (gigantic thanks to my building’s handyman for saving me on the hottest day of the year so far!), I’ve been able to take shelter from the heat and not suffer heatstroke while sitting on my couch.
July is looking pretty laid back so far. The weather is hopping up and down from a relatively cool (for summer around here) 80°F up to a less fun 100°F and occasionally acts like it’s going to rain before it decides not to rain at all. I anticipate the rest of the month doing the exact same thing.
In life news, we have a big weekend coming up at work, but as long as we don’t have the crazy computer problems that have given us trouble in the past, it shouldn’t be too frustrating. My friends and I are slowly starting to get back together for dinners and whatnot (though that still feels weird after a year and more of not seeing them), so life is happening and it’s great.
What I Read in June:
Thanks to the Shelf Space Discord server’s Olympics Readathon, I read twenty-two books in June, for a total of 6,822 pages according to The StoryGraph. That was a lot of pages. I don’t think I’ve ever read that many in a single month.
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, audiobook narrated by Jesse Martin
- The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano
- Beyond (The Founding of Valdemar #1) by Mercedes Lackey, ARC provided by NetGalley
- Neverwhere (Author’s Preferred Text) by Neil Gaiman
- On Time and Water by Andri Snær Magnason, translated from the Icelandic by Lytton Smith
- The Assassins of Thasalon by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
- Mira’s Last Dance (Penric and Desdemona #4) by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
- The Ice Lion (The Rewilding Reports #1) by Kathleen O’Neal Gear (ARC provided by NetGalley)
- Closer to Home (The Herald Spy #1) by Mercedes Lackey
- Books Promiscuously Read: Reading as a Way of Life by Heather Cass White, ARC provided by NetGalley
- Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Uncrowned King (The Sun Sword #2) by Michelle West
- Metamorphoses by Ovid, translated from the Latin by David Raeburn
- Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, translated from the Spanish Natasha Wimmer, audiobook narrated by Robert Fass
- The Leper of Saints Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #5) by Ellis Peters, audiobook narrated by Patrick Tull
- The Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden
- Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
- The History and Topography of Ireland by Gerald of Wales
- The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene, audiobook narrated by Erik Davies
- The Witness for the Dead (The Goblin Emperor #2) by Katherine Addison
- 59.1% of what I read was written by women while 40.9% was written by men
- 54.5% of the authors I read were American, 13.6% were English, and 4.5% each were written by authors of the following nationalities: Icelandic, Northern Irish, Canadian, Roman, Mexican, and Welsh. One book, The Dream Hunters was co-created by an English author (Neil Gaiman) and a Japanese illustrator (Yoshitaka Amano)
- 81.8% of what I read was written in English, while 18.2% was in translation, with the original languages being Spanish, Latin, and Icelandic.
- 45.5% of the books I read were physical copies, 36.4% were ebooks, and 18.2% were audiobooks
- 45.5% of what I read was fantasy, 27.3% was nonfiction, 9.1% each were historical fiction or science fiction, and 4.5% each were poetry or mystery
- 45.5% of what I read was from my own shelves, 36.4% was from the library, and 18.2% was from NetGalley
- Publication years ran from 8 CE (Ovid’s Metamorphoses) to 2021
Overall I had a great month in books, with only a few titles I didn’t care for and plenty of titles I enjoyed all the way through. My favorite new-to-me books of June were Mercedes Lackey’s Beyond, Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Assassins of Thasalon, Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, and Katherine Addison’s The Witness for the Dead.
My least favorite book of June (and for 2021, so far) was Laura Sebastian’s muddled Arthurian tale, Half Sick of Shadows.
What’s On For July:
I usually have a big stack of books set aside at the beginning of the month, but this time around I’ve decided- except for a few books meant for yearlong projects- that I’m just going to read whatever catches my fancy on the day, with a limit. I pulled a bunch of my unread books and put them on a single shelf in the living room where I will see them everyday and so remember they’re there. I always want to read more of the unread books I already own, but I don’t always recall what I have as they’re on disparate shelves.
As of today, I have 83 owned and unread books, which is down from the 96 or so I had at the beginning of the year– and the 83 is counting all the books I’ve received since then (but doesn’t count my unread ARCs, because my brain doesn’t count them as books I own, for some reason). I’ve been doing a pretty good job of reading new releases right away, but when it comes to titles that have been out for a while, I’ve let a lot of them slide.
Now that they’re front and center, it’s hard to overlook them. It’s also easy to just grab another new-to-me book off the shelf whenever I finish one.
And that is why I don’t really have a July TBR. I’m going to be a bit of a mood reader and see how many of my unread books I can get through the rest of the year.
It helps that my desire to buy new books has been rather down this year (especially as compared to last year. It seems that I buy books when I’m stressed out…), so I’m not acquiring a lot of new titles every month and driving the numbers back up.
As for the books I plan to read for my yearlong projects, they are as follows:
- The Treason of Isengard (The History of Middle-earth #7) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- The War of the Ring (The History of Middle-earth #8) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- The Elder Edda: A Collection of Viking Lore by Anonymous, translated from the Icelandic by Andy Orchard
- The Shining Court (The Sun Sword #3) by Michelle West
I think the rest of July is going to be a good month. I have plenty of books and crafts to look forward to, I’m seeing more of my friends and family, and another few vacation awaiting me after the busy work weekend. As long as the inevitable problems don’t make a major hassle of themselves, July is going to be great!