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June was a very light reading month for me. We were busier on the weekends with things starting to open up, work has been busy (I can’t wait to share a fun project with you guys!!), and Finn had been sick the last two weeks, which really threw a wrench in things. The good news is that I was still able to squeeze in three books and I achieved my reading goal of the year, which was to read 25 books. Since I accomplished that, I’ve adjusted my goal to now read 40! I’m sure that I’ll hit it sooner rather than later and can’t wait to be able to update it again.
EDUCATED BY TARA WESTOVER
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.
My Review: I can’t believe it took me so long to read this one! This coming-of-age story highlights a family dynamic that had me gasping at every page turn. At times, it’s hard to read and hard to fathom that these extreme ways of living are more common than we think and it really makes you realize how much your upbringing shapes you as an adult. If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend it and promise you won’t be able to put it down!
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
THE BOYFRIEND PROJECT BY FARRAH ROCHON
Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status…
For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?
My Review: After being duped by the same man, Samiah befriends the two other girls her boyfriend was dating and they are the friends you need after a breakup. And can we talk about finally having a strong, Black, female lead?! Praise Farrah Rochon! This book had me laughing, rooting Samiah on at work, and hoping her and Daniel fall in love (and waiting for him to tell her his feelings already!). Fingers crossed for a sequel 🤞🏻
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
WRITERS & LOVERS BY LILY KING
Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey–a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist–in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
My Review: I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this one, so I wasn’t really in a rush to read it but ended up enjoying it so, so much. Based in Boston and Cambridge, you follow Casey’s story of being a poor writer, waiting tables and navigating her love life. It’s real, it’s raw, and it definitely doesn’t romanticize the writing process like so many books do and the conversations around emotions had me saying YES!!! over and over again.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What did you read in June?