June Bookend Wrap-Up

Is it just me, or did June basically not exist? The time period that is typically occupied by June each year seems to have been put down, flipped and reversed because it was basically just a long ass weekend. I am almost surprised that I accomplished anything in the month of June outside of hanging curtains, spending long hours at the crack of dawn laboring over what accent pillows to buy, and dreading my first mortgage payment (first time homeowner life is … LIT). But, I did actually do *things* in the month of June, including read some books. I will admit that I cheated a bit and read several shorter novels in an effort to stick with my book-a-week goal. But I mean, I never gave y’all no page limit, so whatevs. And I am undertaking the herculean task currently of reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in just a week, so I think I deserve all the slack a sistah can get! Anyway, this was my June:

  • Sula – Toni Morrison || ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ
    • This was a classic that somehow fell off of my radar, despite my deeply rooted love for Mama Toni. Her writing is so alive, it’s no wonder that she occupies a revered place in America’s heart. The story is one you’ve heard, at least mostly, before, of Black women going through life in the mid 20th century. But you will never read writing like Toni’s.
  • American Street – Ibi Zoboi || ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿพ
    • I tried to love this book so much, especially when a random stranger who saw me reading it on the street started ranting about how great it was (at that point, I was only 50 pages in). Unfortunately, I just did not love this novel which follows a young Haitian woman who comes alone to live with her aunt and cousins who have grown up in America after her mother is detained and deported back to Haiti. The story is engaging and the characters are interestingโ€”the ruination for me was the writing. It read more like a project in a writer’s workshop than a full-fledged novel.
  • Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan || ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ
    • I fully review this book here, but suffice it to say that by the time I finished this, I had already ordered the next two books in the trilogy! This novel following the American-Chinese girlfriend of a Singaporean heir to riches is not “deep” reading, but is perfect for a light summer reading list.
  • What We Lose – Zinzi Clemmons || ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ
    • This novel is grief. When Thandi’s mother dies, you see it, hear it, feel it, and understand it. The novel captures the grief of the young (but not so young that it’s tragic) woman who loses her mother very well. Some of the other stuff isn’t as on point, though โ€” I especially bristled at many descriptions of race and life as a light skinned girl, many of which I felt read like an amalgamation of oft-cited light-skinned-people-problems from the Twitterverse.
  • When the Emperor Was Divine – Julie Otsuka || ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ
    • This novel, while very short, was certainly evocative. It follows a family, whose names we never learn, from their preparation to live in the WWII Japanese Internment Camps through to their return and reunification (if it can be called that). Some things can never be made whole again, and this novel is essentially an ode to what’s lost.

-Dij

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