Books I Read – June 2019

It’s another month, another wave of books. I’ve got some duds in the list and some amazing books, as always. Read on – I guarantee you’re going to find a new book to sit down with!

Books I Read - June 2019 | Poppies and Jasmine

Circe – Madeline Miller

Circe - Madeline Miller | Poppies and Jasmine

I had really high hopes for this book, as you know from my last book blog post, and when I started reading it, and at various points throughout, I thought it was going to be great! It was…fine. Certainly not the worst book I read, but chunks of it felt abrupt to me, like the author had planned out this adventure or that plotline, and then gotten either stuck or bored, and wrapped it up in the easiest way possible. This was exemplified for me in the ending, and I don’t love it. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book – while it had good points, it was mostly mediocre and there’s too many great books out there to waste time on one that’s not amazing.

The O’Hurley Triplets Series – Nora Roberts

The Last Honest Woman - Nora Roberts | Poppies and Jasmine
Dance To The Piper - Nora Roberts | Poppies and Jasmine
Skin Deep - Nora Roberts | Poppies and Jasmine
Without A Trace - Nora Roberts | Poppies and Jasmine

These four books were a re-read – probably my tenth or twentieth run-through, and they were good as always. The first book and the third are always my favorites, but all of them are good. They’re romance novels, but like Nora Roberts so often does, there’s more to the plots than just the romance, and I really appreciate that. If you’re looking for an easy beach or bathtub read, these books are for you.

Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis

Girl Wash Your Face - Rachel Hollis | Poppies and Jasmine

Don’t waste you time. This book is a personal growth book about how to draw lines in your life, basically – with yourself, with family, with friends. And in theory, that’s great and something a lot of people need to work on. However, her advice is…simplistic and obvious. The author had a very sheltered upbringing and became a naive young adult. While it’s clear she matured quickly on her own, the advice she provides in the book is for people in the same situation she was in. Let me sum it up – don’t allow other people to take advantage of you, say no when you want or need to say no, and fight for what you want. There, I just saved you a few hours of reading time.

Princesses Behaving Badly – Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Princesses Behaving Badly - Linda Rodriguez McRobbie | Poppies and Jasmine

This book was amazing. It tells the stories of princesses (real, through marriage, or simply self-styled) who refused to abide by society’s standards, who created their own rules. Some are more likeable than others, some are darker, some are more humorous, but all of them were interesting. The history we’re taught in school mostly leaves women out of it, except for a few who can’t be ignored, so learning just how many women refused to submit to men is enlightening. I’d heard of some of the princesses, of course – Christina of Sweden, Anne Boleyn – but others were new to me. All of the stories are long enough to give you a clear idea of their lives, but not so long that you get bored. I strongly recommend reading this book.

Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay | Poppies and Jasmine

OMG. Best book I read this month. Get this novel, plant yourself in a quiet room for a few hours with a box of tissues, and just plow through it – you won’t be able to put it down. The book is told from two viewpoints – one modern-day (-ish…it’s the early 2000s, which I believe is when it was written), and the other in occupied France during World War II. Not just anytime in occupied France, but specifically Vel d’Hiv, the day of the big Jewish roundup in Paris. It’s an event that I never heard about in school, not once, and the guilt and horror of not knowing about it is insane. We learn about the Holocaust, and it’s bad, but I think without knowing all these events, we distance ourselves from just how bad it was. It’s like, sure Auschwitz sucked, certainly a bad thing, but it’s just one period in history, and we forget that this one period went on in some shape or form for over a decade. We forget that the camps weren’t the only way people died, that death wasn’t the only horror that people faced, that faith wasn’t the only thing broken. We think the war ended, and the bad stuff was over, and it wasn’t. We think everyone learned and it will never happen again, but they didn’t learn or they don’t remember, and it can and will happen again if we’re not careful. Just…read the book. This book matters, so I don’t care how busy you are or how many books are already on your reading list. Read the book. Talk about it, talk about the events with people. Remember, educate, remind. And can we all agree we should not be rounding people up based on religion, or sexual preference, culture, looks, etc, and putting them in camps where they are beaten, neglected, starved, kept in unsanitary conditions, torn away from their families, or killed? Because let’s be honest, holding a gun to someone’s head or gassing them is not the only way to kill them.

After that last book, I think I’m done reading for the month. I need time to process. Do you have any recommendations for me in July?

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