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June 2017 Reading Round-Up

This month has been about finishing books. I started only a couple of new books, keeping with my expectations – I read new books when I’d finished a couple of longer-term reads and during times in the month I knew I’d likely be able to finish the new books in. The middle of the month, for example. I haven’t finished all my long-term reads; there were 6 and I’ve finished 3.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Anthony Cartwright: The Cut – The story of Cairo’s life in Dudley and Grace’s hope to create a film about leavers and remainers. A story about the divide in Britain in regards to Brexit, this was specially commissioned by Peirene Press after the vote and it’s a subtle, mindful look at the issues involved.

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F Scott Fitzgerald: Tender Is The Night – A young filmstar meets an older American couple and becomes infatuated with the husband, which further exposes the problems in the marriage. A mess.

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Joanna Hickson: The Agincourt Bride – A story of Catherine de Valois, looking at her early years to the start of her marriage to Henry V. A well-researched and constructed book about a lesser-known queen.

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Marie-Sabine Roger: Get Well Soon – In hospital after an accident that’s a bit of a mystery, Jean-Pierre must deal with staff who won’t close his door, bad food, a rescuer in trouble, and a girl who wants to steal his laptop. An enjoyable enough story, just lacking in conflict and progression.

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Sally O’Reilly: Dark Aemilia – Having married her kin after falling pregnant with Shakespeare’s child, Aemilia Lanyer attempts to become a published poet in an age where women stayed in the home and most certainly didn’t enlist the help of reputed witches. An interesting book with a particular concept, the backdrop of theatre behind every chapter.

This month was a lot of fun where reading was concerned. The books were pretty good but in addition there was that happy productive satisfaction of striking books off my reading list and being able to look at my main list of the year’s books knowing it’s becoming more of a true reflection of how much I’ve read rather than a list of numbers that up until now haven’t stood for much. I definitely had a book I didn’t like – Tender Is The Night. It’s been a long time since I’ve given a book such a low rating and when I went to log the finish date I saw I’ve been reading it for much longer than the 7 or so months I’d thought – it’s been 18 months. I’m glad I’ve read it because I think I would have always wondered about it, but I’m glad to have done with it. No book stands out as a favourite. The genres were so varied, the subjects too, but on an appreciation level, all but the Fitzgerald would win joint first prize. Cartwright did a good job of explaining a delicate subject in an interesting way; Hickson’s use and care of research is excellent; Roger’s technique is great; O’Reilly’s concept full of literary merit. It was a month full of literary appreciation and good craft.

Quotation Report

In Get Well Soon an older man wishes people would just get on with the idea of accepting people as they are. And in The Cut, Cairo reminds us that whilst the media talks a lot about a divide and makes it seem all-pervading, most often people just get on with their lives.

I’m finishing up a book I started in June and then moving back to a tome… or two. In terms of finishing books I started long ago there are a few 500+ pages still on the list. As is becoming the norm here, my plan is just to read as much as possible.

How is your summer going, or your winter if you live in the Southern hemisphere?



July 3, 2017, 9:15 pm

I didn’t like Tender is the Night either and have decided Fitzgerald just isn’t my sort of author. The Agincourt Bride and Dark Aemilia were both interesting books, though. I’m glad you enjoyed most of your reading in June!


July 4, 2017, 10:11 pm

I agree with Helen, I don’t think Fitzgerald is for me either, although I did slightly prefer Tender is the Night to the utterly dismal The Beautiful and the Damned! Otherwise though I am really pleased to hear you enjoyed your reading so much in June – I also really enjoyed my reading in June. This included Joanna Hickson’s newest novel First of the Tudors, which I loved! As for July, I am looking forward to continuing with my 10 Books of Summer reading :-) Happy reading!


July 5, 2017, 9:41 pm

I love F. Scott Fitzgerald! Happy July!


July 9, 2017, 8:48 pm

Glad you’e had – with the exception of Fitzgerald – a wonderful reading month and feel like you’re not looking at stats but actual reading achievements :D



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