June In Reading

6 months into the year and I am 46% into my Goodreads challenge of 60 Books. This month’s selection is mostly made up of review copies & one that has been on my to read list for far too long.

On a side note : I don’t know if you remember me saying in a previous post about Birthday book purchases but those are still on the shelf waiting to be picked up. Hopefully it won’t be too long before they feature in a monthly In Reading post.

Here is what I read this Month:

Negroland a memoir by Margo Jefferson ( Review Copy )

The daughter of successful paediatrician and a fashionable socialite, Margo Jefferson spent her childhood in “Negroland” a name that she gave to the society of Chicago’s black elite.

The memoir records critical historical moments such as the civil rights movement & the dawn of feminism alongside notes on pop culture and fashion. Jefferson effortlessly tells a tale of how people create, defy & survive systems of exclusion and inclusion.

A great addition to go alongside other similar works I have.

Journeyman by Marc Bojanowski ( Review Copy )

After seeing a work colleague involved in a freak fire accident on a building site Nolan decides that maybe a career change may be on the cards, he becomes a carpenter because he believes he can get can work anywhere plus he has restored the caravan that has been his home for the last 13 years.

It’s fair to say Nolan hasn’t had it easy, he discovers that following a recent divorce his brother is incredibly fragile so he goes to support his brother in which time another unfortunate turn of events sees Nolan loose all of his possessions and is forced sleep in his brothers garage and take a job re-modelling a luxury home.

Told in post war, pre credit crunch America, Bojanowski explores human morality & identity through Nolan and reinforces not only that  isolation is a very lonely place but nothing should be taken for granted.


Cannibalism by Bill Schutt ( Review Copy via NetGalley )

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the publisher Via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own

Schutt a Biology professor  takes the reader on a journey into the wild and investigates such topics as why so many fish eat their own offspring & why sexual cannibalism is actually considered an evolutionary advantage for some spiders. This and all subjects are approached with both knowledge and wit which helps digest some of the information, but alongside all of this are what I considered to be unnecessary illustrations. It maybe the author wanted to give the reader a feeling of in field illustration but I felt that this took away slightly from the academia.

Overall a well written book but would have like some concise illustrations to complement the writing.

Fen by Daisy Johnson ( Review Copy )

I devoured this in one sitting. Fen is a land where myth & magic still linger – a land where something as bizarre as a house falling in love with a woman is considered normal and where animals and people fuse. Throughout the collection of surreal short stories that blend so well together I came across my favourite entitled “Language” the story of Harrow Williams and his short life…

English folklore with a contemporary dark edge Daisy Johnson is someone to look out for preferably in a dark candlelit room.

The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland

This has been have been tucked away in my to read list since 2015 – I have a review copy of Maitland’s new book : The Plague Charmer  which is published in October to hand and recently picked up The Vanishing Witch in a local pound shop so when I saw this glaring at me in the library I felt that it should really be taken of the list

Raven’s Head is the story of Vincent an orphan who later becomes an apprentice librarian during his work he stumbles across a secret that could destroy his cruel master,but due to combination of youth and naivety he attempts to blackmail the master this attempt fails and now Vincent is not only on the run but he is in the possession of a silver raven’s head – All attempts to sell the head fails until he meets Lord Sylvan but unknown to Vincent Sylvan is a powerful Alchemist with an all consuming quest

It dark, gritty and full of magic & mayhem. This may be the first of Maitland’s books that I have read but it wont be the last.

Have you read any of these titles and what did you think of them ?

Any thoughts, comments and as ever book recommendations always welcome.

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