The Book Nook: What I Read In June

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The fact that June is almost over is blowing my mind. This year is going so fast and I am shook. But as I set what felt like an impossible goal of reading 150 books in one year- I realized that my goal isn’t so impossible and I’m not that far off from actually hitting my goal. I’m proud of myself for that. I hope at the half way mark of the year you’re hitting your book goals. So without further adieu here is what I read this month!

The Blood of Olympus By Rick Riordan: This series has not been my favorite by a long shot. The Heroes of Olympus was such a challenge for me, but I definitely think Rick Riordan saved the best for last. I really liked this book a lot. It was the perfect capstone to the big battle between Greeks and Romans, and Gia. I have to say even though I didn’t always love the books, I have a much better understanding of Greek AND Roman Mythology. I’m excited to move on to another R. R. series I’ve heard Magnus Chase is great! Overall I’d give it a 4/5 stars :)

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Craft A Life You Love By Amy Tangerine: I read a lot of self help/self discovery/productivity books and this has to be the cutest one I’ve read in a while. It is focused on honing in on creative practices that make your life awesome. I’ll be honest I didn’t know who Amy Tangerine was before I picked up the book but I watched a few of her youtube videos and she is like the crafter of my dreams. Okay not really but her craft room is life and I love it. Overall this was a fun twist on some other tips I’ve read. I really liked that there were journal tasks at the end of most of the chapters. I like when books like this give you actual action steps-that’s really handy. Overall I enjoyed this. 3.75 out 5 only because it’s not super spectacular but it does have really solid tips in it.

A Darker Shade of Magic By V.E. Schwab: This book was WILD. I'm not 100% I can tell you what it's about, but I know there is a stone, dark magic and like 900 Londons in lots of different colors haha. I actually really enjoyed the book, I couldn't stop reading it even though I was a little confused. I also know that it is a series so I'm curious about the next book-which I have to read as well. I'm pumped. It wasn't a perfect book but I think it's a solid start to a trilogy that's gonna be crazy interesting!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo By Taylor Jenkins Reid: I do not say this lightly, but this might be the best book I’ve read in 2019. I have no doubts that this book will be in my top 3 reads for the year. I loved this book. I loved it so much. The story of Evelyn Hugo-her rise to fame, and her life with 7 different husbands is PHENOMENAL. I just omg. This book is amazing. One day I hope to write a book and I want it to be this captivating. The characters are so complex and so engaging. You find yourself rooting for them and hating them all at the same time. This book was a page turner. I am going to purchase it immediately. I just can’t say enough (without spoilers) about it. 20/5 stars.

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The Lovely War By Julie Berry: I LOVED this book! What a cool concept to have a love story told by greek gods. This happens to be two love stories set in WWI/2. It took a little bit to get into but that is largely because the perspectives kept changing and I got a little confused. But once the transitions were more seamless it was an epic love story. I really enjoyed reading it from the sides of the humans and the gods because their views of how things were going were so drastically different, but also...somewhat the same. The story was so captivating I really had a hard time putting it down. It was an excellent read-definitely recommend it if you're looking for something fun and a little bit different to read. 4/5 stars.

The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah: What a rollercoaster of emotions!! I thought the story overall was a beautifully tragic tale set in WWII. You got a real sense of the terrible things that happened to people during the war. But it also gave some insight into the trauma sustained post war from returning soldiers to families ripped apart...only to be separated again. There is a romance in the book to and that was fine, but it felt secondary to me to the rest of the story. I was sad or angry for most of the time I was reading this which I think is as it should be while reading a World War 2 book. Overall I liked it, it's not perfect...but I liked it.

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After I Do By Taylor Jenkins Reid: On my quest to read all of TJR’s books, I picked up After I Do. This book is so different from the other books I’ve read by her, but I love it so much. What a beautiful story about the complicated realities of marriage. This book follows a couple that has hit the ultimate challenge in the marriage and how they cope with it. The story might sound simple, but it’s a beautifully complicated story of love, family, and the work it takes to make a marriage work. Another fine example of what a gifted writer Taylor Jenkins Reid is. 5/5

Forever, Interrupted By Taylor Jenkins Reid: Yes another Taylor Jenkins Reid book, don’t judge me I love her. I’m reading her books out of order is kind of cool because I’m legitimately seeing how much she’s grown as a writer. Forever, Interrupted is sad. It’s really sad and it explores grief, family, and everything in between. This is not the greatest book I’ve ever read, I’m not going to rush out and buy it. But I did enjoy this story. It was such an interesting book. It was fascinating to see how grief impacts a family. TJR is an extraordinary writer and honestly she’s only gotten better with time.

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The Year of Less By Cait Flanders: If you've been following me, then you know I've been on a minimalism journey largely motivated by my desire to save money. I'm not failing but I'm not making as big of changes as I want. This book is a game changer for me. This book follows Cait Flanders year long shopping ban. I'm mind blown that she was able to complete but even more mind blown that she came away from the experience not only with financial gain- but also with new insights into mindfulness. I'm going to buy this book- counterintuitive I know- but I think with 6 months left in 2019 I can take a lot of the tips I learned from this book and maybe prepare for my own year long shopping ban.

Maybe In Another Life By Taylor Jenkins Reid: What a ride this book was! The concept is really interesting- it's basically the multi-verse theory in words- think like multiple marvel comics with the same characters. The difference between this and marvel is that generally speaking you're not reading two stories in different universes simultaneously. I loved the concept of the book- but it was a little hard to follow. I have said before- that reading all of Taylor Jenkins Reid's books out of order has allowed me to see how she has grown as a writer. She has always been extraordinary but now she's really hit her stride!

The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin: I'm almost ashamed to say this is my first James Baldwin book, and now I know I must read them all. What a beautiful book. It tells the honest truth of life as a black person in America and the struggles one goes through. It also addresses the challenges of the church, military respect like WHEW CHILAY! I loved this. I will purchase this book and take so many notes in it for a second reading. I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to dive into some more Baldwin. What a gifted writer my gosh!

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda By Becky Albertalli: On the whole I really enjoyed this book. The story was so good, and I think true to the experience of some teens, especially teens that are stepping into the identities. On the other hand- this book was a true reminder of how truly awful teenagers can be to each other. Of all the characters in the book the only ones I really liked were Simon and Bram. Everyone else was just kind of okay...and LEAH AND MARTIN... really and truly had me ready to throw hands. Mostly Martin...it really took him 303 entire pages to understand the literal definition of blackmail and it's impa...let me stop. I don't want to spoil it. But that's what I mean about this book- it evoked a real STRONG emotionally response from me and for that I have to give it's due. I might not purchase this book- but it is a story that will stay with me for a very long time <3

Maid By Stephanie Land: The reviews on goodreads for this book are so mixed. Some regard the author as a once privileged person that squandered her funds to a woman that lived a harrowing experience through poverty and was able to fight her way out. More than anything I see the writer as a woman that experienced some serious childhood trauma and that trauma determined her life’s path. Her actions honestly are ACES 101 and to that I say she needed some sort of mental health care- which she couldn’t afford (I hope she is seeing someone now). What troubles me about this book is that people judge all persons in poverty by these stories. So often you hear the phrase “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”- but here’s the thing— Stephanie Land’s situation allowed her to do that. Was it hard- ABSOLUTELY—but she was able to do it and know is a successful author. Other’s are not in the position to do this. This book is a reminder that equity should be the goal not equality because some people are starting 17 steps behind rather than 5 steps behind. The content of the book was interesting, Stephanie Land’s story is interesting…but to me it was more a reminder that some people…even if they are having a hard time…are still leaps and bounds ahead of others and don’t realize that.

I finished my book goal by the hairs of my chin, but I did it! I’m almost at the 100 book mark-I’ll hit that next month. I’m pumped for my July reads I have chosen some good ones AND some of my favorite writers are dropping books next month that I’ll get to read! What did you read in the June?!