My June 2016 Reads


I was slooooow to get started reading this month, but I'm feeling solid about how things ended up! I'm 24 books ahead of schedule for my Goodreads 2016 challenge (I already bumped it up once, from 80 to 100...) which actually takes the pressure off a bit! I FINALLY finished Jane Eyre (started several months ago, it just took me forever) and started making progress on the books I want to read this summer as well as adding some fun new library books into the mix... June ended up being a solid month for reading!

Here are my reviews:


somethingtofoodabout by Questlove

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: The cover of this one is truly SOMETHING. It will grab your attention, that's for sure! I was so curious about this one from the moment I saw it. The cover says "exploring creativity with innovative chefs" and I knew I would find it fascinating, and I did. It's an awesome collection of the most interesting and unique conversations with chefs, accompanied by really cool (and sometimes gross if you're a meat-averse vegan!) food photography. This will be one I'll keep on my coffeetable as a conversation starter for sure. I loved the behind the scenes look into the food and restaurant industry, and Questlove's perspective as a "drummer, producer, musical director, culinary entrepreneur, and New York Times bestselling author" gives it a really fresh feel. These conversations were so cool to me-- the art and science and creativity behind food is exhibited here in a truly engaging and mindblowing way. If you are interested in foodie culture at all, definitely grab this one! It's a work of art in and of itself.

IN ADDITION: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

MY RATING: 2/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I couldn't do it, people. It might be me and audiobooks, I really don't know, but I could not stay engaged in this one. Tell me: was the paper book better?


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: Okay, this one took me FOREVER to get through. Every time I was reading it, I enjoyed it, but I struggled to want to open it up again. I don't know why. Perhaps the size was daunting? Anyway. I really did enjoy this story and am so glad I finally got through this one. I can absolutely see why it's such a classic, although I can't say it's one I'll ever want to read again or anything. Once I got used to the slower pace of this one compared to modern fiction, I enjoyed it a lot more. The ending definitely surprised me, although I was really rooting for Jane to have a happy ending throughout this book. Worth reading if you never did in school!


The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together by Twyla Tharp

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I first read The Creative Habit by Tharp back in November (read the review here!) and enjoyed it, but this one didn't impress me as much. It just wasn't as strong to me, but it's still a quick read that had some helpful nuggets and interesting anecdotes from the world of dance that I know very little about! Nothing amazing to report here.


Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters--and How to Talk About It by Krista Tippett

MY RATING: 5/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: I have recently fallen in love with all things Krista Tippett does (mainly her On Being and Becoming Wise podcasts-- must listens!) so when I saw this on Audible, I jumped on it. I will confess, I am NOT a auditory learner and really not a fan of audiobooks (I have since canceled my subscription to Audible, ha) but her voice and her thoughts are lovely to listen to. I instantly added this book to my Amazon cart, because it's definitely one I want to revisit and highlight the heck out of. She talks about faith and our lives in a way that is so thought-provoking (but in a gentle, inviting way) and brilliant. She is a masterful interviewer and just wonderfully captivating. I loved this one, everything about it.

IN ADDITION: Becoming Wise (Tippett's newest book) is on my list for my summer reading! Stay tuned!


Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: This one was hailed as a twist on Jane Eyre, and since I just read that one, it seemed right. It wasn't what I expected at all. The character Jane Steele does have many parallels to Jane Eyre, and funnily enough, she references Eyre throughout the book (not what I anticipated!). This Jane, though, has a murderous past, which definitely changes the tone of the book. It's not a intense murder story really (like, I wasn't grossed out necessarily or rapidly flipping pages because of the suspense or anything)... imagine the rough plot of Jane Eyre, but with more murders and vengeance and different character/background twists. I didn't really relate to the character or want to root for her, but I did want to keep reading to see how the Jane Eyre similarities would result... so for that alone, it was interesting and a pretty fun read!


The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

MY RATING: 3/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: This book has been EVERYWHERE on the Internet (or maybe that's just for me because I follow all the book things...) and it definitely had gotten a ton of hype. I would never have purchased this one, but grabbing it from the library worked. Honestly, I wasn't super impressed? It dealt with a family that seemed mostly super entitled and superficial to me, and I was frustrated by a lot of their actions. It was an easy read and I finished it, so it kept me interested enough to read 400ish pages, but it wasn't anything really special in my opinion. I like my fiction with more compelling, engaging characters than any I found in this one.


Spinster: Making a Life of One'sOwn by Kate Bolick

MY RATING: 4/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS:  "Whom to marry, and when will it happen— these two questions define every woman’s existence.”

Those are the opening words of the first chapter, and HOW RIGHT IS SHE. Here's the thing: I'm single. I love it. And I have a lot of thoughts about it. So, the premise of this one (making a life of one's own) totally grabbed me, especially because this cover is awesome and it's a NY Times Bestseller (always a good thing). 

I have highlighted and underlined and written "YES!" in the columns a LOT throughout this one. It's informative but in a storytelling kind of way, it's an honest journey of Kate's life through 5 influential and trailblazing women throughout history (whose lives all coincide with hers in such serendipitous ways), and it's just a great read.

It doesn't glamorize either singleness or coupledom, but really shares what the back cover calls "the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single." It honestly had me feeling like finally, a book that gets it and gets me. It's refreshing. It's beautifully written. It's fascinating. It's intelligently written and not superficial at all. It's intimate and honest and just really, truly good.

A must read, especially if you're single, ever wanted to be single, or wonder about what it's like to be single.

IN ADDITION: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review!

The Roommate Book: Sharing Lives and Slapping Fives by Becky Simpson

MY RATING: 5/5 stars

MY THOUGHTS: My roommate's birthday is today (shout out to Sydney! Love ya!) and I bought both her and I copies of this one-- it is SO cute and fun and just an adorable and very, very real little book! I first heard about Becky Simpson through Instagram and then again on Branden Harvey's podcast -- she's super talented, quirky, hilarious, and just a lot of fun. If you have a roommate, this makes for a GREAT gift! (She also has a really cool shop now open here!)

One year ago on the blog: #COLLABOREADS: A NYTimes Bestseller

Two years ago on the blog: Confessions of a Failed New June