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June Reads

I dedicated this month to reading books personally recommended to me. Some were hits, others misses, but as always: a book passed along is a beautiful thing.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. I've read a few Le Guin books before, with mixed results. Looking back, I realise those books were read in a rush. Her novels need (and deserve) a slow pace, especially this one. Are people more than their labels (Earthling/Alien, Male/Female, Friend/Foe)? I read this one at the beginning of the month and still think about it, so definitely a 10/10.

Trust by Hernan Diaz. I swear I don't go out in search of 1920s-era literature, but here I am again. This inception-esque novel focuses on truth: When 2 accounts of a story become public, which is to be believed? It's a novel within a novel; the first part was more rewarding for me than the second half, but it was still an original book worth picking up.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Okay, this is a re-read. I rarely go in for a second round (life's too short), but 1) I love this book, and 2) it was recommended by a friend who's also a librarian. It's romantic, and cheesy, and definitely within that category of "books about books," but what can I say? It gets me.

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. I was a little taken aback when I saw this is basically a werewolf story, but goodness it was great. I've already added Jones' other books to my TBR pile. Pick up if you like extended metaphors, supernatural elements, and coming of age stories.

Atomic Habits by James Clear. I hate self-help. So, to be fair, I went into this book already biased against it. Even with that, I still walked away with some good things to keep in mind. My biggest takeaway: you can't do something well until you do it badly. The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. While I wasn't in love with the titular story, I was taken with the first sci-fi tale. Like most collections, I was neutral to some and in love with others. Favourite piece: The Waves.

For July: Blake Crouch is coming out with a new novel (yay!) and, as I tend to do during the summer months, I have a few old-school mysteries I'd like to dig into. I also have a few recommendations I didn't make it to, mostly science fiction.

To all those who made recommendations: thank you!

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