June was an interesting month for me.

  1. American Gods. Neil Gaiman’s books are just freaking amazing. I’ve made a whole post about him before, and he deserves it, by golly.
  2. Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart is a memoir about working at Tiffany’s in New York in 1945. Marjorie and Marty were the first female pages at the company, meaning they were the first women to work on the floor at the famous jewelry store. The memoir recounts both their experiences in the store and their happiness at being in the big city for a summer between semesters at the University of Iowa. This book was a really great read because it was historically as well as personally interesting. It allowed me to step into the daily life of someone close to my age at the end of World War II. 
  3. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys explores the perspective of Bertha from Jane Eyre and her life before marriage. I liked how the novel sounded. There’s something slightly off about the writing, which matches perfectly with the characters who are also slightly off. Coherency fades in and out, just like madness.
  4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Some book. Terrific.
  5. The Art of War by Sun Tzu. For some reason, I thought this treatise was much longer than it actually is, but I read it in a couple of hours. It was a unique perspective, and I understand why it is still so famous and frequently read today.
  6. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl jumped out at me from the library shelf. The library copy I read has a plain red cover with bold lettering on the sign indicating the title. How could I just walk past that? Then I opened it, read the word satire, and threw it in my pile to bring downstairs. In short, ad agencies run the whole planet, and hilarity ensues.
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. WHY DIDN’T I READ TOLSTOY SOONER?! This book is everything. I wish my copy weren’t so ugly because I just want it near me forever. I loved the dual protagonists, and I didn’t realize until about halfway through that he was making them do the same thing: look for love to fulfill themselves because society doesn’t. Levin and Anna are so well constructed as is the entire novel. Balance, gender, society rules, and love are central themes in the novel, and they intersect in unexpected ways repeatedly.  I was floored by Tolstoy’s talent and still am. I’m including an image because this scene was one of my favorites from both the book and the movie. I love how they transferred Tolstoy’s description to the screen. Plus, my goodness, that dress.Anna Karenina
  8. Star-Crossed by Linda Collison was loaned to me by a friend. It’s about an orphaned bastard girl who must find a way across the ocean in order to claim the plantation promised her in a letter by her dead father. It’s a fun story with some girl power and unexpected turns. I enjoyed it a lot and plan to locate the second one soon.

With 8 books, June also seems like it was a short month for me. I might expect too much from myself. In any case, I enjoyed what I read, found some new authors, and experienced some of the great classics.