Books I Read in June

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
A melancholy, hypnotic and lovely family saga. Full review here.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Yes, I am a sucker for a multigenerational family saga, and Pachinko delivers. I was immediately drawn to the characters and felt so invested in their fates. Lee's writing is full of detail and sense of place. Being on this journey with Sunja, from her birth until old age, will stay with me for a long time. Learning about the plight of Koreans in Japan leading up to, and after, WWII was equally saddening and enlightening. The subject matter feels so relevant today, with the plight of immigrants trying to give their families a better life. What is home? Your ancestors country you've never set foot in? Where you were born? As with the game of Pachinko, the theme of how our lives are shaped by chance is a brilliantly executed.

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
True crime is not a go-to genre for me, but I couldn't resist the hype surrounding McNamara's posthumous book about the Golden State Killer. I listened to this on audio, and maybe I should have sat down to read it, but I felt kind of glazed over by the umpteenth description of another horrifying murder. To her credit, it was not gratuitous in the gory details, it was more nuanced in trying to figure out the patterns and mindset of the killer. What I found compelling was Michelle talking about her own life, how she became interested in true crime and the fascinating beginnings of DNA testing and prosecuting criminals. 

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
My kids and I adore Telgemeier's books, and somehow I hadn't got 'round to reading Drama. My daughter has been enjoying her graphic novels of The Baby-Sitters Club , so I got her Drama and promptly stole it after she was done. It's another adorable, relatable coming of age story with an LGBTQ character and it was done really well, even if it felt a little predictable.

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
Talk about a page turner! I burned through this in two days, staying up into the wee hours because I HAD to know how this crazy story story would end. The setup, a story of a teenage girl on a reality tv show with her holier than thou conservative religious family gets pregnant, reeled me in with delicious schadenfreude. Full disclosure, I am not a religious person. (I can see how it can be a force for good, but seems to do more of the opposite.) To quote one of the characters:
"They've infected the country with a special brand of intolerance that masquerades as religion."
This book absolutely addresses the current hypocrisy of some christian religions head on and I found it a very satisfying read, one that makes you think about consumerism, race, misogyny, and religious freedom. Essie and Liberty are heroes you will root for until the bitter end. It was pretty easy to guess Essie's terrible secret, and it ended pretty much how I thought it would. But it was a fun ride and I highly recommend it for an un-put-downable summer read!

How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran
Absolutely loved this, even more than How to Build a Girl. Full review here.

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy’s Quick Lit! Check out all the book reviews here: https://modernmrsdarcy.com/quick-lit-july-2018/


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