June Reads

My first month of summer break was a success in many ways- we've been super busy with seeing friends and going to places we haven't been in awhile, and I've also read nine books.

Four of the books were nonfiction, one being a guide for the course I teach, which I won't bore anyone with the details about. Alison Bechdel's The Secret to Superhuman Strength was a graphic memoir that examined her lifelong experiences with intense exercise. She ties it to many historical figures, which, frankly, I could have done without, but still appreciated. The Science of Yoga is a super in-depth, practical guide at the anatomy that connects to the most important asanas, plus a lot of extra information about yoga's connections to your health. I am try to improve my practice this summer and also use it as a way to deal with hip pain, so it was very helpful. World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatahil was a collection of essays that tied her experiences to the natural world, along with some illustrations. Her writing was absolutely beautiful and she was incredible poignant, but sometimes her links between her life and plants/animals seemed a little far-fetched. It did make me think about what a cool creative writing assignment this would be for my students, though!

On the fiction front, this month was rock solid. I reread Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which I read back in high school. I don't always love books from this time period, but this one I definitely look back at fondly. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell surpassed the hype, with stellar writing, character development, and plot. I am not typically a big fan of historical fiction, so I went into this anticipating appreciating it but maybe not liking it, but I was wrong. Dawne Walton's The Final Revival of Opal & Nev was a more topical, better written version of Daisy Jones, which I know a lot of people would like to come at me for saying. I wrote a bit about Lisa Taddeo's Animal last week, and while I had some issues with some of her choices, I thought it was definitely a read I'd label as "an experience." She's such a unique writer and I can't wait to see what she does next. I finished The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich most recently, for book club, and it was a great combination of solid literature with historical implications. 

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