June Summary, July Preview

We’re into summer now. It is my least favorite season, as I loathe the heat and humidity it brings. It also brings me a lot of insomnia, as the shortened nights mean that my brain decides it’s time to wake up as soon as sunrise comes around and there’s not a lot I can do about it except suffer through until autumn.

I long for September.

But at least June was a decent reading month.

What I Read in June:

I read sixteen books in June, thanks to a handful of graphic novels I picked up from the library ahead of the premiere of the Netflix Sandman show in August. I also read a bit of poetry, and a couple of new releases I’d been looking forward to all year.

Statistically Speaking:

  • 56.3% of what I read was written by women, and 43.8% was written by men
  • 43.8% were written by American authors, 37.5% were by English authors, and 6.3% each were written by ancient Greek, Persian, or Cuban-American authors
  • 12.5% of what I read were works in translation
  • 75% of what I read were physical books, 18.8% were audiobooks, and 6.3% were ebooks
  • 75% of what I read were fantasy novels, 12.5% were poetry, and 6.3% each were science fiction or nonfiction
  • Half of what I read came from my own shelves, and the other half came from the library
  • Publication dates ranged from approximately 550 BCE to 2022

My favorite new-to-me books of June were Nettle & Bone, The Witch’s Heart, and The Grief of Stones. I hadn’t read anything by T. Kingfisher before, but I’m a fan now, though I haven’t read any of her other novels. That will change. The Witch’s Heart is very much based on Norse mythology and reads like several of the sagas I’ve read, which is a mark in its favor in my book (pardon the pun). The Grief of Stones is the second of the companion novels Katherin Addison has added to her Goblin Emperor universe. It follows the further investigations of Thara Celehar, whose ability to speak to the dead means he is often called upon to investigate murders and other uncanny deaths, while also navigating new relationships and trying to figure out just what he wants from life, now that he has a new lease on it. I will happily read anything Addison writes in this series, even if it’s just Celehar drinking tea or having lunch with his new friends.

I didn’t have any books I did not like. Just books that were great and books that were enjoyable while I read them, but didn’t leave a lasting impression.

I purchased more books than usual this month. Most of them were from the used bookshop downtown, a few were from Barnes and Noble, and a couple of them were from BookOutlet:

  • Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters by Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé
  • If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho, translated from the ancient Greek by Anne Carson
  • Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry– by various, edited by Joy Harjo
  • The Grief of Stones (The Goblin Emperor #2) by Katherine Addison
  • The Word for World is Forest (The Hainish Cycle #5) by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy by Hafiz, translated from the Persian by Daniel Ladinsky
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by various, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

I’ve forgotten to keep track of my StoryGraph TBR and my physical TBR from the past couple of months, so I’ll have to start over on that.

July 1:

  • StoryGraph TBR: 186
  • Physical TBR: 82

What I’ve Been Listening To:

I’ve started listening to several horror or horror-adjacent podcasts, thanks to my fixation on The Magnus Archives. Fortunately, Rusty Quill, the independent podcast and gaming company that produced The Magnus Archives has a growing collection of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy podcasts. I’ve tried several of them, and have been slowly making my way through a couple of them (as well as re-listening to parts of The Magnus Archives).

The Rusty Quill shows I’ve been listening to are The Silt Verses and I Am in Eskew. Both are horror dramas that take place in secondary worlds. The Silt Verses is a full-cast podcast, while I Am in Eskew has a single narrator.

In the first few episodes of The Silt Verses, Carpenter and Faulkner are traveling along a river in search of other followers and/or signs of The Trawler Man, the ancient river god they worship. They have to be extra cautious, as their religion has been banned and as practitioners, they are routinely hunted by the police and anyone else who takes against them.

I Am in Eskew is about a Londoner who ends up in the weird city of Eskew, where it is constantly raining and eerie things happen all the time. He is a budding journalist documenting the odd and often terrifying things that occur in Eskew. It’s a low-key, thoughtful podcast where the stories build slowly, and are almost meditative in nature.

If you feel inclined to give either one of these a try, definitely keep an eye on the content warnings. They are horror podcasts, after all, and deal with some sensitive topics.

I’ve also been listening to Welcome to Night Vale, which is more of a surreal show than horror, as it doesn’t feel as though it’s meant to be frightening. Here, inexplicable things just happen, and all the conspiracy theories happen to be true. And then everyone goes about their business. Also, Cecil, the host of the community radio station’s news program, is completely in love with Carlos the Scientist, and his excitement over their budding relationship is adorable. The show recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, and it’s still going on, so I have a lot to catch up on. I’m about 35 episodes into it and will definitely continue.

What’s on Tap for June:

I had planned to read a few big books from my shelves in June, and then that didn’t happen. So I’m going to carry them over into July. I’ve actually already started one of them, and I’m quite enjoying it so far.

Not pictured and in-progress:

  • The Widow Queen by Elżbieta Cherezińska, translated from the Polish by Maya Zakrzewska-Pim

I think I have a pretty good selection of books for July, though I’m not sure if I’ll get through all or most of the books on this list. I’m waiting for several library holds, and knowing my luck they’ll all come in at the same time. And they’re long. Regardless of the source of my books, though, I have a good feeling about July’s upcoming books.

Now we’ll see if life with let me relax, or if it’s going to be another hot and stressful month.

2 thoughts on “June Summary, July Preview

  1. It does, indeed, look like a good selection of books for July. And many (most) of them I’m unfamiliar with so I look forward to learning about them. Keeping fingers crossed the heat and humidity isn’t too bad!

  2. I’m about halfway through The Widow Queen and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s historical fiction about people living during the later Viking Age, but they’re people I don’t often hear about, so It’s fascinating to hear a version of their story.

    The past few days have been hot and gross, but the next several days are supposed to be better. I’m happy for that.

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