June Reads 2015

A mixed bunch for June; a couple I loved, a couple I wasn’t fussed by, and a couple of good comics.

fanFan by Danny Rhodes (novel)

I really enjoyed this. It’s a grim and raw book, with so much unhappiness, and one in which you are not always going to like the central character. But it’s also gripping, beautifully written, and feels emotionally true (the author was also a Forest fan at Hillsborough that day). Highly recommended. Full review here.

the miniaturistThe Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (novel)

A good debut but I didn’t love it. I found the first half better than the second, which is perhaps because the first half was more about character development and the second more about lots of predictable plot twists and I’m more interested in the character stuff, though I also thought the writing was better in the first half. Even though this wasn’t for me, I do think Burton is an interesting writer, so if the premise of her next appealed I would definitely pick it up.

n.p.N.P. by Banana Yoshimoto translated from Japanese by Ann Sherif (novel)

This was completely different from what I was expecting from the synopsis. It’s an odd book and I’m not sure what I think about it. It took me a while to get into because it’s mostly written in short sentences which felt a bit staccato (I’m not sure if this is Yoshimoto’s style or the translation), and it felt a bit disjointed at times. I have another of hers (Kitchen) on my shelf to read which I’m told is a lot better so I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

no more worlds to conquerNo More Worlds to Conquer by Chris Wright (non-fiction)

I really enjoyed this book about what people did after their life-defining achievement/event – the ‘what next’ after the ‘happily ever after’. I wanted a bit more diversity from it, and I’m really hoping there’ll be a second volume. Full review here.

alex and adaAlex and Ada vol. 1 by Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn (comics – fiction)

I shouldn’t have enjoyed this, but I did. It’s a human / A.I. story that doesn’t do anything particularly new or different, and I didn’t like the art style, but I just really enjoyed reading it. They’ve just published the final issue, so there will be three volumes in total, which I will probably pick up with a confused look on my face.

wytchesWytches vol. 1 by Scott Snyder & Jock (comics – fiction)

Though it can make the pages a bit too dark at times, Matt Hollingsworth’s colour work really makes this comic for me. He splatters watercolour over the top of the paints which gives the panels an obscured and other-worldly look. Interestingly, as the wytches enter the family’s lives more, the family’s panels, which start with more traditional colouring, gradually become more splattered. I like their concept of wytches as actual horrible things in the forest, but the story itself is a little predictable and not as properly scary as the quotes on the back will have you believe. I did enjoy Snyder’s letters in the back matter, about how Wytches relates to anxiety and parenting and fear. I will definitely pick up volume 2.

Currently reading: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Also on the blog in June:

My literary tattoos

How to read with a chronic illness

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