Despite being a slightly slower reading month for me, June had some pretty stellar books and ones that I anticipate will be firm favourites in my top reads of the entire year. Take a look at what I thought of the six books I read this month and have a sneak peek of some of the (very) exciting proofs and book mail I received.
Through the Woods and When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll
After falling in love with the Paper Girls series last month, I really wanted to pick up another graphic novel so I decided to re-read two absolute favourites. I adore Emily Carroll’s art and stories. They’re so perfectly creepy and weird and her drawings are bold, gothic and beautiful. Through the Woods is probably my favourite graphic novel ever, but I would highly recommend both.
Through the Woods is a collection of five mysterious and thrilling stories based on journeys into the woods and beyond. Each one is gripping and has you on the edge of your seat. When I Arrived at the Castle follows our protagonist as they venture out to a castle with an aim to kill the Countess who lives there. Think queer horror fairy tale.
Chouette by Claire Oshetsky
I absolutely LOVED this book. As soon as I read the premise, it immediately shot to the top of my TBR wish list and I was so lucky to get my hands on a proof copy thanks to Virago.
Chouette tells the story of a mother who becomes pregnant with an owl-baby and has to learn to live with and love her new child. The concept is so up my street and it did not disappoint at all. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Chouette is so weird and disconcerting and reads like a vicious, stark and yet strangely poetic fever dream. The book is due out in November 2021 so add it to your TBR ready!
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how stunning the cover is?
Yes Yes More More by Anna Wood
If you’re missing travelling, sitting in the sun with a drink and people-watching or generally just want to feel a bit of escapism, then Yes Yes More More should be your next read. It is a stunning collection of stories that move through the decades of a woman’s life and gives snapshots of a moment in time.
It’s so warm, full of life and of little spectacular flashes of nothing in particular. It felt like an experience to read this book.
Under the Blue by Oana Aristide
Another book that was high up on my wish list! My eye was initially caught by the gorgeous cover but the story sounded just as intriguing. Under the Blue is told in two parts, one follows a man who is forced to leave his home and travel across a post-pandemic Europe with two sisters to try and find safety, and the other is the conversations between two computer scientists, in a remote location, and the AI program they have been working on.
Under the Blue is full of suspense, fiercely intelligent and such a prescient read. It’s so beautifully written, atmospheric and you feel like you’re in a safe pair of hands with Oana. I ripped through this book, I just couldn’t put it down. I’m already looking forward to reading it again.
The Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick
I am always on the hunt for a quiet horror/ghost/haunted house story so when I stumbled upon The Ghost Notebooks, I knew I had to give it a go. This book is about a couple, Nick and Hannah, who move from New York to the small town of Hibernia when Hannah accepts a job as a live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth-century philosopher.
At first, life in their new house is exciting but soon Hannah begins having trouble sleeping and starts behaving strangely, then one day she disappears. I really enjoyed the writing in this book, it was super readable and I loved the tension that flowed throughout. I just find quietly creepy books so comforting to read, so if you have any recommendations please let me know!
Exciting book post in June
Here’s a peek at some of the exciting proofs, competition winnings and book post that I was very lucky to receive this month. You might want to add some of these to your TBR list!
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
My current read and a book I am SO excited about. A massive thanks to the team at Harvill Secker for this proof copy of Nightbitch, one of my highly-anticipated releases of 2021. Out in late July, Nightbitch is a tale about an ambitious mother who puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son but things take a strange turn when she becomes convinced that she’s turning into a dog.
Fault Lines by Emily Itami
I won a copy of Fault Lines in a Twitter giveaway thanks to Isabel Costello and Phoenix Books. It sounds like it’s going to be a beautiful and atmospheric read as Fault Lines is about “marriage, motherhood, love, self and the vibrant, surprising city that is modern Tokyo”.
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
I was sent this gorgeous parcel from Tinder Press and Headline Books to celebrate the release of the bright and bold paperback edition of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones – and the fact that this incredible book has been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize!
I was lucky enough to read a proof copy of this book last year and I could tell that it was destined to be an absolute winner. I can’t recommend getting your hands on a copy enough! How the One-Armed Sister…. is a gripping, harrowing read that tells of “three marriages, and of a beautiful island paradise where, beyond the white sand beaches and the wealthy tourists, lies poverty, menacing violence and the story of the sacrifices some women make to survive”.
The Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd
An exciting proof from Transworld Books, The Rising Tide sounds like it’s going to be a thrilling read.
The story is about Lucy, a woman who has everything she could wish for. But one day tragedy strikes, and when the family yacht is recovered, abandoned far out at sea and Lucy’s husband is nowhere to be found, she finds herself in a nightmare more shocking than she could have ever imagined.
What was your favourite read this month?
I’d love to hear about the book you most enjoyed in June, or if you’re planning to read any of the books that I’ve mentioned in this post. Comment below or let me know over on Twitter!