Worth the Read? June Reading Roundup

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Which books are worth the read and which should you skip? Find out what books we’ve been reading lately and whether we recommend them.

Have you ever looked at a bestselling book and wandered if it’s worth the read? We’ve all picked up that hot new release only to discover it can’t truly deliver what the book jacket promises.

Every year, I compile my Read This Not That list of bestsellers worth the hype. But my list only contains 7 books worth reading and 7 that are not. Considering how many books I read a year, so many excellent books, and some not so great reads, don’t make the list. 

I asked myself: Why not give monthly book recommendations?

Welcome to my monthly reading roundup, Worth the Read. Each month, I write up short reviews of all the books I read that month. Find out which books I recommend and which to skip.

I know the month isn’t exactly over, but let’s take a look at my June Reading Roundup by the numbers:

  • 2019 Releases: 7 New Releases including 3 ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) and 2 DNF (Did Not Finish)
  • Genre: 4 Nonfiction, 7 Fiction
  • Authors: 9 Female Authors, 2 Male
  • Format: 3 Audiobooks, 3 E-books, 5 Print Copies
  • Total Page Count: 3,879

But I didn’t write this post to show off my reading. I wrote it so you can hear my thoughts on the books I read this month. Plus, take a sneak peak at some of what’s coming soon on the book blog.

← May Reading Roundup   •   July Reading Roundup →

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase anything, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission. For more information, read our Disclosures.

Book cover for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient
by Alex Michaelides

Among the February 2019 book releases was Alex Michaelides’ debut psychological thriller. One night, famous painter Alicia Berenson shoots her husband in the face 5 times, and then never utters another word again. Now criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber is determined to get the truth from this silent patient while his own life is falling apart. I was hoping this thriller would be one of those gripping books that keep you up all night. Overall, I struggled connecting with this thriller, maybe because I really disliked Theo’s character. Despite that, the twist at the end was extremely well done, and I can see why this book got lots of attention this year.

Verdict: Worth the read … if you like thrillers

 

book cover Mommy Burnout by Sheryl Ziegler

Mommy Burnout
by Dr. Sheryl Ziegler

In the modern age of self help books for stay at home moms, therapist Dr. Sheryl Ziegler’s book provides an interesting take on a condition she describes as “Mommy Burnout.” After treating a number of children in her practice, Dr. Ziegler began to notice that oftentimes the mothers themselves were overwhelmed, exhausted and pushed to the breaking point. Thus, Dr. Ziegler discusses the causes of Mommy Burnout, and suggests ways to help modern mothers overcome the overwhelm. While most of the examples she gives show extreme cases of burnout, I felt like I learned a lot about the desperate need for connection among moms, and how to identify signs of burnout in myself and women around me.

Verdict: Worth the read … if you are a mom 

 

Book cover for The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger
by Yangsze Choo

Probably my favorite read of this month, I regret not selecting this January release for my Book of the Month pick. Eleven year old Ren is given one final task when his master dies: to find his master’s severed finger and return it, in the next 49 days, or his master’s soul will be doomed to wander the earth. From there, his story will mingle with dance hall girl Ji Lin who has found the finger, all while a tiger stalks the town. Mixing Chinese folklore and superstition with historical fiction, Choo brings the time period to life in this beautifully written and imaginative story. I felt completely swept away into the slight mysticism of the story.

Verdict: Worth the read … if you like historical fiction

 

book cover Blended by Sharon M. Draper

 

Blended
by Sharon M. Draper

One week at her mom’s. One week at her dad’s. Not only is Isabella’s life split in half by her parents’ divorce, but also she feels as if her own identity is divided in two. Half-white and half-black, Isabella’s split custody parallels her split racial identity. Sharon M. Draper’s middle grade bestseller explores Isabella’s need to figure out how a blended girl bridges the gap in a world full of duality. Not nearly as light-hearted as the pink striped color suggests, Blended is a more serious discussion on important topics for kids today – divorce, racial profiling, and blended families. A great explanation of Black Lives Matter for middle schoolers.

Verdict: Worth the read … great middle school book

 

book cover Year of No Clutter by Eve O. Schaub

Year of No Clutter
by Eve O. Schaub

Wait, another book on minimalism! Haven’t I already read a million? Why, yes I have. But this one is different. It’s a memoir of Schaub’s attempt to live clean up her house. See, Eve is a hoarder. Not quite at the newspaper stacks to the ceiling level. Actually, you would just think she’s messy, until you enter the “Hell Room,” packed full of anything and everything Eve deems of value – like a dead mouse. Although Schaub is a good writer and she explains the thought process of a hoarder pretty well, I didn’t particularly like the book. I read too many cringe-worthy moments – like that dead mouse – where I just wanted to say, “Oh, honey! No.”

Verdict: Skip … unless you really like hoarders

 

book cover Gmorning, Gnight by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Gmorning, Gnight!
by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Capitalizing on his Hamilton fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda has a new book out full of daily pep talks. Apparently, for the last few years, Miranda has been sharing little aphorisms every morning and night on his Twitter account. Compiling together the best pairs of tweets and adding fun illustrations by Jonny Sun, Gmorning, Gnight aims to inspire readers to conquer their daily lives. In my opinion, without the illustrations, this little book would be dead in the water. With the illustrations, it was … okay. Nothing I would ever purchase. Maybe save yourself some time and just scroll through his Twitter feed instead.

Verdict: Skip … unless you really like aphorisms

 

book cover Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Heavy
by Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon’s memoir Heavy spent plenty of time on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2018. Despite having six overdue books and a stack of checkouts, when I saw Heavy highlighted at my local library, I knew I had to check it out. I can’t say that I’m glad I did. One chapter: that’s how far I got. Reading it, I was expecting a memoir similar to Roxane Gay’s Hunger, about obesity in America. Instead, Laymon starts you of right away with strong language and descriptions of sexual assault and abuse. Maybe the book is worth all the attention it’s gotten, but the subject matter ended up being way too heavy for me.

Verdict: I reserve judgement since I only read one chapter

 

Book cover for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith

A classic coming-of-age story that has enchanted readers for decades, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn chronicles young teen Francie Nolan as she grows up in the slums of Brooklyn. Covering poverty and the American dream, Betty Smith’s masterpiece points out the struggles of the poor families of the early 20th century. Yet, the enduring message of this classic book is one of hope for the future. I quickly fell in love with Smith’s endearing novel and loved learning about life in Brooklyn was like a century ago. A 5-Star Read for me. Read more →

Verdict: Worth the read … a fascinating classic

 

Book cover for Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Gingerbread
by Helen Oyeyemi

In the first half of the year, I’ve seen this March 2019 book release listed by a number of publications among the best new books to read. The premise certainly sounds imaginative. Perdita Lee and her mother Harriet may seem like your average Londoners, but if you look closely something is amiss. In reality, they are famous for their gingerbread, a secret family recipe that is popular in Druhástrana, a far away fairy tale land of Harriet’s childhood. I was intrigued to see if Oyeyemi’s imagination could draw me in since I’m not huge into fantasy.

Even though the book wasn’t long, I could only force my way through half of it. The premise didn’t bother me at all; it was the story telling itself I couldn’t fathom. For the life of me, I had an almost impossible time following the plot. Almost every chapter, I had to pause and puzzle out what exactly was happening. The events of the story felt more random than designed, and the dialogue (which used italics instead of quotation marks) left me confused as to who was speaking to whom. Sorry, but I have a million other things to read, so I wasn’t going to waste my time trying to decipher Gingerbread.

Verdict: Skip … very confusing plot

 

Upcoming Releases

One of the best perks of being a book blogger is receiving advance review copies (ARCs) of upcoming book releases from publishers.

At the beginning of each month, we cover all the new book releases coming out, and next week will be our list of July 2019 new releases. So as not to ruin all the good stuff from next week’s list, here’s a peek at the July releases I’ve already read.

book cover Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
book cover The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
book cover Wilder Girls by Rory Power

 

My To-Read List

What’s up next for me? Before I let you go, here are a few of the titles I’m hoping to get through this month. If you noticed, I didn’t get through all the books in my featured image this month. Be sure to come back at the end of July to see which ones I read and what I thought.

Book cover for Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
book cover The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
Book cover Recursion by Blake Crouch

Have you read any of these? Let us know what you think!

June Reading Roundup. Mini reviews just for you.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Maggie at The Books Across June 24, 2019 at 3:42 am

    I hope you’ll enjoy Miracle Creek! I started listening to the audiobook while driving and I had to pick up the eBook because I wanted to keep reading it also when at home (I can’t listen to audiobooks at home lol)!
    Waiting for the review then!

    Maggie

  • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart June 24, 2019 at 11:15 am

    That’s too bad about Gingerbread. The premise intrigrues me, but if you had such problems following the plot, I’m sure I won’t be any different. I’ve heard good things about this author’s first book, but not so much about this newest one, so if I give the author a try, perhaps I’ll go with the first one. Thanks for the info!

  • Reply Jennifer Brown June 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    I really did not like The Last Romantics! I found the style of her writing really annoying—could be just me—very poetic style of writing. I also had a hard time liking the characters.

    • Reply Rachael July 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      To me, I enjoyed it, but it just fell a bit short of being great. I just wanted a little more from the characters, and was not impressed with how they all turned out.

  • Reply Lucy Tate July 1, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I DNF’d Gingerbread too because I had no idea what was going on! I really enjoyed Boy, Snow, Bird so I was quite disappointed but on to the next!

    • Reply Rachael July 6, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      I’m so glad it’s not just me! The plot just seemed to jump way too much.

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