A Look Back at My June Reading

It’s raining again and I’ve a bit of a cold – it’s turning out to be a pretty grim weekend!  But it is the end of June, and so a good (or logical, anyway) time to look at what I’ve read this month.

I read 22 books this month, which is a lot for me – the second-highest number of books read per month this year so far.  January was the only month when I read more, and that was due to the Christmas/New Year holidays and err… the fact that I wasn’t doing much at work because I was about to move on!  This time around, I’m not quite sure where I found the time.  I think I spent less time online because of the on-off broadband connection of mine (which, fingers crossed, seems to be working properly now)…

Historical romance:  I read a lot of Eloisa James – five books plus her new release “Desperate Duchesses”.  It has been an EJ glom for me – I think I’m now completely caught up on her backlist.  I also read Amanda Quick‘s “Second Sight” – a book I picked up only because it was half-price.  It’s been on my TBR pile for a while, mainly because it was part of her Arcane Society series and I’m just not keen on her paranormals.  I actually quite enjoyed it, but it still wasn’t vintage Quick – a quick and easy read, though.

Mystery:  Eight books in total here, obviously including Jacqueline Winspear‘s “Maisie Dobbs” books, a couple of Jill Churchill‘s cosy mysteries (a few more have just arrived today in my Amazon delivery) and more Elizabeth Peters – both Vicky Bliss and stand-alones.  “The Love Talker” is my favourite stand-alone EP so far, I think it’s a bit more gothic than the others I’ve read to date, with a very subtle romance. 

Hmm… actually nine books if you count Janet Evanovich‘s “Lean Mean Thirteen” as Mystery.  I was actually a bit disappointed in this one.  It was definitely a Plum book – all the usual suspects making an appearance with the trademark slapstick comedy and let’s see… Stephanie destroying her cars, Stephanie trying to apprehend her FTAs (can’t remember but I think she lost her handcuffs as well), etc, etc.  So, yes, classic Plum, but – and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this – it’s starting to feel like a paint-by-numbers book.  Nothing much happens in the overall story arc, I didn’t have any laugh-out-loud moments… and I actually didn’t finish the book in one sitting.  Maybe I just have too high expectations for a Plum book?

SF/F (including urban fantasy):  About six books, I think – not really dominated by a single author.  Let’s see, Dave Duncan, Laurell K Hamilton, John Scalzi, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, and PC Cast/Kristin Cast.  The books by the first four were continuations of various series, while the latter two books started off series (and were by new-to-me authors).  Actually, is there a plural for the word “series” or is it a plural in itself – it doesn’t seem to sound right somehow? 

Anyway, hard to compare these six books (and probably completely illogical – as they are mostly in completely different genres, or subgenres), but I will stick with the first four authors (yes, even Anita Blake, as I’m still too heavily invested in these characters now) and not the last two, as their books/worlds just didn’t stand out from the rest of the pack. 

And I’m still after the following books – I know they’re out, but for the life of me, I can’t find them anywhere…

  • Julia Quinn’s “The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever”
  • Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Justice”
  • Lois McMaster Bujold’s “The Sharing Knife: Legacy”

10 thoughts on “A Look Back at My June Reading

  1. 22 books! Wow, I’m doing good if I can get through 10 a month. But then, I think I’m a pretty slow reader compared to some. 😉

    Sad about Lean Mean 13. I have to say that all her books run completely together in my mind—because like you say, they are all really the same. I’m hoping I can just keep enjoying the same jokes over and over. Maybe with only one book a year it won’t get old for me. :shrug:

    Lol about series. You do kind of want to say series-es, but surely that’s not right! It’s those pesky nouns that don’t have a singular form that trip us up. 🙂

  2. Agreed on the Amanda Quick: enjoyable, but not as good as I know she can write.

    As for Elizabeth Peters’ stand-alones, my own favourite is Summer of the Dragon, but if you liked the gothic atmosphere of this one, maybe you should try her Barbara Michaels titles. Have you read any of those yet?

  3. Jennie – I’m not quite sure where I found the time actually 🙂 I think if I stop expecting something major to happen in Stephanie’s life, I’ll start enjoying the Plum books a bit more!

    Rosario – No, I haven’t yet read a BM book, but have one on order at Amazon (Be Buried in the Rain, I think). I haven’t read Summer of the Dragon yet (in fact, I haven’t read that many of her stand-alones, I don’t think) so thanks for the rec!

  4. On the Cast book – I think the problem is that there are too many YA vampire books out now, and to me, this book doesn’t stand out from the pack. I preferred Stephenie Meyer and Rachel Caine’s Morganville books to the Cast world.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you think of “Magic Bites” – I just couldn’t get into it. And I’m really liking the Scalzi books – if you like his blog, you’ll probably like his books as well, they’re very readable 🙂 I preferred “Old Man’s War” to “The Ghost Brigades” – I posted more thoughts on OMW previously:

  5. I’ve not read that many YA vamp books, I don’t think…oh wait, I have!

    You’ll hear from me about Magic Bites. I adore Ilona.

    Stephenie Meyer I adored…but I’ve not wanted to get the second book for some reason. I adore Rachel Caine, but I don’t like Morganville. Scott Westerfeld’s Peeps is good and so is Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Blood.

    Scalzi’s been on my wish list forever. Just one of those books I don’t get to quick enough, I think.

    Help me out and tell me where should I start with Elizabeth Moon?

  6. I’ve never read Scott Westerfeld and haven’t even heard of the second – so thanks for the recs, will look out for them the next time I go to the bookstore!

    I’ll be honest and say that I’ll find it hard to wholeheartedly rec Elizabeth Moon, but probably a good place to start is with her Vatta’s War series – Trading in Danger is the first book. By far, my favourite SF series is Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books, probably followed by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden series. Though Catherine Asaro (SF only!) would probably feature in there somewhere… hmmm – I may have to think about this properly!

  7. I read ‘The Love Talker’ this week. Very good. I’m a huge fan of Barbara Michaels, this was my first Peters. I just won five more from the Amelia Peabody series on Ebay for a great price, so more to come I hope.

  8. So I definitely have to read a Barbara Michaels now 😀

    I *love* the Amelia Peabody series – the first books are okay, and then they get really really good! I now actually have an interest in Egyptian archaeology because of them.

  9. Most authors with such extensive backlists can rarely come wholly recommended.

    I’ve read Bujold, but it was not the Vorkosigan books–another series I keep meaning to get to. I’ve read the first Liaden book, and plan to get the second. I loooove Asaro.

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