For some reason I had it in my head that Sunday was the last day of June and I was hoping to finish my current book by then to include it in this months round up. But it wasn’t and I didn’t. So here we are, a day late with the books that I have been reading in June. Better late than never, right? It has just been one of those weeks.
Anyway first up we have This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell which I have been dying to read for ages. I have only discovered O’Farrell in quite recent years and have been slowly working my way through all of her books. I absolutely love her writing and I think this is without doubt my favourite of hers yet. It took me a good hundred pages to get into the book as it skips quite a lot not only between characters but also over the years but by the end, this became one of the things that I loved about the book so I’d stay stick with it if you are feeling a bit lost to start with, it will all make sense by the end. This is without a doubt one of the best books I have read this year. The characters got under my skin quite like nothing else I have read for a very long time. It is one of those books that I am still thinking about weeks after finishing it. An absolute must read.
Next was The Girls by Emma Cline which came highly recommended but I have to say that I was left in two minds. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Parts of it were absolutely fantastic and Cline is a brilliant writer, I can’t believe this is her first novel. It’s a heart wrenching coming of age tale and without giving too much away, a young teenager falls into a cult back in the sixties and from early on, we know that something life changing happens but we don’t know what. The story is told from back in the sixties and in the modern day as an adult. At times it felt positively claustrophobic; you could feel the heat of that summer coming off the page. Seriously atmospheric writing. But for me there was something lacking from the story. As dark as it was (and it really was very dark at times) I don’t think it quite delved far enough into how the cult came about and also what happened in the time between the end of that summer and the present day. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. I think it took so long to find out what actually happened that instead of building tension, it made me quite impatient to the point of really not caring when I did find out. That said, I am still glad I read it and would definitely recommend it.
Then we had Holding by Graham Norton – yes, that Graham Norton! It was hard to read this without hearing his voice but that is no bad thing of course. Holding is his first novel and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. A body is found in a sleepy Irish village and as the guards come looking for answers, gossip and speculation are rife. Think Ballykissangel rather than The Fall, it is very much a gentle crime mystery not a hard hitting thriller but very cleverly plotted all the same. Actually what really stood out for me in this book was the delicate characterisation. It was really quite an understated book but completely relatable and that is what I loved most about it. Well worth a read.
And finally we have Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur which I bought for my teen and basically wanted to have a nosey for myself to see what all the fuss was about. Oh my godfathers I loved it. It is a book of poetry so I intended to pick it up to read as and when but I ended up reading the whole thing in one day. I could not put it down. I can see why my teenager is borderline obsessed with it. It is so raw and full of emotion. I have never read anything quite like it. It is a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finding sweetness in them. It is split into four chapters and each serves a different purpose dealing with a different pain or healing a different heartache. When I finished it I sat and sobbed my heart out. It won’t be the last time I read it that’s for sure.
So that was me, albeit a day late! What have you been reading this month? Any good summer reads you can recommend? As always you can leave me a comment here or find me talking all things books over on Instagram using #mostlyreading