June Book Thoughts

book lot on table

Twelve reads this month. And I had a good balance of audio vs ebook vs paperback. I think I’m finally finding my rhythm again and can get some physical reading done. It’s been a nice change and I hope I’ll be able to get through my physical TBR now.
Let’s get into it.

The Writer’s Roadmap by Leigh Shulman
A good read and I’m sure once I work through the exercises I’ll value it even more.
Wasn’t exactly geared towards novel writers but had some nice tips on goal setting and planning. Would have probably done me a great service two years ago.

You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith
This story tore my heart out. There was so much I could relate to and I’m so glad she wrote her way out of her darkest corners.
Her poetic style really showed through I will definitely be picking up more of her work.
I’m happy to see how her life turned out and she seems like a great mother and someone I would cherish if she were my friend. A great read.

Cackle by Rachel Harrison
This was an okay read. There were a lot of elements I liked and found eterntaining, but the story as a whole was a little meh.
As usual with this author, the banter between characters was great. And Annie does some real growing as a person when she realizes her short-comings. And she works to fix them instead of ignoring them.
Not sure I liked the epilogue Annie though.
Loved the spider friend the most. He was cute.
The ‘horror’ bits were a bit on the cheesy side, but it worked with the rest of the story. It was like Gilmore Girls and witches.
Wasn’t a fan of Sophie though. For a centuries old woman, she sure acted like a moody teenager. A fun read.

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub
This book was a chore to get through. It was slow and a little repetitive. And I almost didn’t finish it.
The premise was great. The ominous tone fit perfectly. But the way the story gets told wasn’t great. We go back and forth so many times and al to get the same story told through different eyes. And I don’t even feel like we saw the whole picture in the end.
I didn’t care about any of the characters and there wasn’t a satisfying resolution. Probably won’t pick up another by this author if this is his style.

The Watchers by A.M. Shine
This book was amazing. I tore through it and wanted more.
So creepy. So well-done on the characters. The adventure of the escape was horrifying and painful.
And then that ending! *chefs kiss* I really can’t say much without giving spoilers, but oh man, this was a great book.

This Book is Full of Spiders by Jason Pargin
A wonderful sequel. Had great pacing and cliffhanger moments. Stayed up too late reading more than once.
And I love the writing style. I laughed out loud so many times. Even when teh time was serious. The epilogue especially got me.
I can’t wait to read the next book.
-A favorite quote- “I don’t know how they catch the birds. I know the Goliath Fucking Bird Eating Spider can’t fly because if it could, it would have a different name entirely. We would call it “sir” because it would be the dominant species on the planet.”

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman
What a beautiful and moving story. Such an emotional journey. I found myself fighting back tears more than once. And sometimes the tears won.
The characters were great. I loved the little girls breaking through Ove’s wall of ice around his heart.
And he was so good to everyone. Even when he didn’t want to be.
A great read.

LLC Beginners Guide 2023 by Steven Carlson
A handy overview of building a business. There are great tips and lists included. A good book to have on hand when I start to form my publishing LLC.

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower
This was a very twisted tale of grief and parenthood. The emotions were heart-wrenching. The character relationships were spot on. I only wish there’d been a little more explanation at the end.
Was it a demon? Where was her son? What did her ex-husband’s dream mean?
It was really creepy, but kind of felt like a let down at the end.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
I devoured this story.
A very creepy and disturbing retelling of an old gothic favorite.
The fungust was disgusting and the descriptions were horrifying.
The characters were wonderful and unique. I enjoyed their interactions. A great read I’ll have to revisit.

The Dirt by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Six
Very entertaining and interesting. Shows the raw side of the life of a musician in the eighties.
Kinda gross at times. They each took turns being pieces of crap. But drugs will do that to you.
Ugly cried during the last few chapters with the child cancer bit, even though I knew it was coming.
If you at all like Motley Crue, you should give it a read.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
I’m not sure how much I enjoyed this book. But I do have to admit, it was a good book. Very dark and creepy atmosphere. Strange happenings and secrets. Very well-written. But I feel like there was something more I was expecting, maybe?
The secrets and the tone around the murders was great. And that’s probably what I wanted more of. The uncle really had me going for a second when he said Merricat was dead.
Good story overall, just didn’t love it.

I’ve been slowly checking off the boxes on my various reading challenges. And I’m enjoying expanding my horizons.
Check back next week for my deep dive into my favorite read of the month, The Watchers.