June Round-Up

I read 11 books in June: 8 Fiction and 3 Non-fiction.

The Blue Zones: Lessons on Living Longer from the People Who Live the Longest by Dan Buettner. Blue Zones are geographic areas where people have a longer than average live expectancy – commonly living active lives past the age of 100. Being interest in living a long, healthy, active life, I was interested in what Buettner would have found in his studies of these areas. Some common themes were a having a sense of purpose, diets with little meat, and frequent low to moderate level exercise (ie, walking).

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This was our book club book at the Ethical Society this month, and it was a good, if hard, read. The authors definitely weren’t neutral and expressed some strong opinions, some of which I questioned, but it was good to be reminded of the challenges that women around the world face.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave. This was an amazing book, and very interesting to read after Half the Sky – it addresses some of the same issues, but in a beautiful, heart-wrenching fictional form. Highly recommended.

Passage by Connie Willis.

Something to Declare by Julia Alvarez. This was a book of essays about writing, home, and other topics. I was excited to read it, loving as I do In the Time of Butterflies, but I found it to be just okay. Interesting to see how a writer thinks, but nothing to enthralling.

Dead in the Water by Carola Dunn. Book 6 of the Daisy Dalrymple series – this one set at some boat races on the Thames. This series continues to be a fun, light read. Perfect beach read, even when not at the beach!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. We read this for our other book club (which has the best discussions).  I realized about 50 pages in to it that I had read it before, in high school I think.  It was sadder than I remembered, but also hopeful. It’s an easy read.

Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale. Back to the graphic novels, watch my book counts soar! Calamity Jack is the sequel to Rapunzel’s Revenge, both fractured fairy tales. I don’t like Jack quite as much as I enjoyed Rapunzel, but still a good read that I really looked forward too.

Resistance: Book One by Carla Jablonski. This graphic novel covers the Resistance movement in France during World War II from the perspective of a few village children. It was good – well illustrated and intriguing. I am looking forward to future installments.

Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures by J. Torres. This book, was really three separate comic adventures: Alison Dare & the Arabian Nights, Alison Dare & the Secret of the Blue Scarab, and Alison Dare & the Mummy Child. Miss Dare is the 12-year-old daughter of (separated) archeologists and she doesn’t want for action. I really enjoyed that Alison being a girl was simply a fact of the story with no further comment. It’s nice to see a female protagonist taking full part in traditional comic book adventures.

The Outlander by Gil Adamson. My second “highly recommended” book of the month. The Outlander is Adamson’s first book and it follows a young widow who we learn early on has killed her husband as she escapes West, trying to avoid capture by the dead husband’s brothers. The story of what happened to the widow evolves over the course of the story of her escape and it is a truly engaging read.

June Round-Up

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