Thursday, July 6, 2023

June Reading Wrap-Up+

Oh boy, I can't believe we are already well into summer. We just had a very busy long weekend (hence the delay getting this out) which is great but also exhausting. I was going to say it's also been a stressful month and honestly, yes, it was that, but also it's been stressful for a while so I can't entirely blame that (work stuff! house stuff! big things that are stressful on their own and very rude to combine together)

Since I'm already late with this, why not just jump right in to those stats

Total books read
World War Z by Max Brooks
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
A Libertarian Walked Into a Bear by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling
Is It Hot In Here? by Zach Zimmerman
Unmentionable by Therese Oneill
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

World War Z by Max Brooks
I mean, come on. What is there to say at this point? Per my own tracking, this is roughly the 9th or 10th time I've read this since I first came across it, over 10 years ago. And let's be real, this isn't the last time I'm going to read it either. Or listen. This is one of the books that is that much better (IMO) as an audiobook.
Rating: 5 stars

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
How much do we know our parents? What were they like before we came along? What did they have to endure to get to the point where we knew them? These are all questions that come up as siblings Benny and Byron grapple with after their mother dies, leaving them a piece of their mother's famous black cake and a long voice recording. The story slows a bit when it deals with the kids current lives (especially Byron's) but comes together when hearing the mother's story. 
Rating: 4.5 stars

A Libertarian Walked Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling
"A tiny American town's plans for radical self-government overlooked one hairy detail: no one told the bears."
What happens when a group of libertarians decides to move en masse to a small New Hampshire town in an effort to create a libertarian utopia and hopefully spread the message of small government. Except sometimes those rules and regulations the government tries to impose have an actual reason. Like having bear proof garbage cans or fines for feeding the bears, so the bears don't, you know, associate people with food and then think of people AS food. The book is entertaining with a number of colorful characters. The story started as a magazine article and TBH, the article gets you all of the key points while the book felt a bit padded without adding too much.
Rating: 3 stars

Is It Hot In Here (Or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth)? by Zach Zimmerman
A collection of essays by a comedian who grew up in a conservative Southern household before becoming a queer, liberal New Yorker. His essays are (for the most part) very funny, particularly the chapter dealing with a very drunk twink and a date gone wrong. There were touching moments as well as he thinks about his relationship with his family or revisiting a relationship through their trips to Paris (and how those changed over time). 
Rating: 3.75 stars

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
Picture this: you're somehow sent back in time to the Victorian era. Sure, you may know about this time from the books you read, but do you know all of the ins and outs to the more delicate bits of day to day life for an upper-middle-class lady in either the US or Western Europe? This book hopes to address all of this. Sometimes the tone was a bit...much. But overall the book was funny and informative, which made up for some of the bits that made me eye roll a bit.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Queenie, a Jamaican-British mid-20 year old living in London is going through a rough time. She and her boyfriend are taking a break and things are spiraling a bit for her as she tries to find somewhere to live, keep her focus on her job and figure out what is it she wants to be. Queenie is constantly making choices that make me want to throw the book across the room but not in a way that frustrated me with the story. Instead it felt like a real person looking for comfort and validation in all the wrong places. Despite the frustrations with her, I wanted to know what she was doing and how she was going to find the strength to hopefully pull herself up
Rating: 4.25 stars

Total pages read


Female authors

BIPOC authors

US authors

Book format
audiobook: 83%
ebook: 17%

Where'd I get the book
gift: 17%
Kindle/Audible: 17%
library: 67%


Book club

Decade published
2000s: 17%
2010s: 33%
2020s: 50%

Resolution books
Black Cake is by a Black author
Queenie is by a Black and UK author