Books Read in June

Ten books this month – more than I thought possible in a month when gardening begins to take priority over reading. Click on the links to read my reviews:

  1. Bats in the Belfry by E C R Lorac 4*
  2. The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton 4.5*
  3. Come a Little Closer by Rachel Abbott 3*
  4. Stalker by Lisa Stone 3*
  5. Watching You by Lisa Jewell 5*
  6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 5+*
  7. On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill 5*
  8. The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat 4*
  9. The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas 4.5*
  10. Fire in the Thatch by E C R Lorac 4*

I still have four to write about – for now these are brief notes, but I hope to write more in later posts:

Watching YouThe Grapes of WrathOn Beulah Height (Dalziel & Pascoe, #17)The Kappillan of Malta

Watching You by Lisa Jewell – to be published 12 July 2018. An absolutely gripping story! This is the first book I’ve read by Lisa Jewell – it won’t be the last as I loved it. It opens with a crime scene – someone has been murdered, but neither the victim nor the killer are revealed until much later in the book. The story revolves around the charismatic head teacher of the local secondary school. It kept me guessing throughout as what happened is gradually revealed, helped by the inclusion of transcripts of police interviews.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. An outstanding book! It is so good I want to give it 5++ stars – I enjoyed it immensely. I loved all of it – all the details of the Joad family’s journey in the 1930s Great Depression from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to the ‘promised land’ of California where their dreams of a better life were destroyed and they experienced such poverty and hardship and struggled to survive. Steinbeck’s writing is powerful, wonderfully descriptive and his characters stand out as real people.

On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill.  Another really good read – crime fiction at its best. It’s a compelling mystery about a little girl who went missing on the Yorkshire fells, reviving memories of two other little girls who had gone missing twelve years earlier before the village of Dendale had been flooded to create a reservoir. What I particularly enjoy with Hill’s Dalzeil and Pascoe novels is that they are fully rounded novels, not just crime fiction with characters slotted into a murder mystery.

The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat – historical fiction about the siege of Malta from 11 June 1940  to 15 August 1942. “Father Salvatore–a simple priest, or kappillan, serving the poor–finds himself caught in the drama of World War Two. In the fragile safety of catacombs revealed by the explosions, he tends to the flood of homeless, starving, and frightened people seeking shelter, giving messages of inspiration and hope. His story, and that of the island, unfold in superbly graphic images of six days during the siege.”

13 thoughts on “Books Read in June”

  1. An excellent reading month, Margaret. Several there I fancy including the Reginald Hill and the Nicholas Monserrat. Also, Watching You. I like your star ratings, I ‘do’ wish Goodreads would give us the choice of using a .5 as so many of the books I read would come into that category.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cath. I wish Goodreads would give us the choice of using a .5 too. I find it hard enough to give a rating anyway – it’s so subjective and sometimes I just can’t decide.

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      1. I’m also very prone to thinking, a few weeks later, that the rating I gave a certain book was wrong… I was mean and should’ve given it a 5, or too generous with something else… should’ve been 2! LOL

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  2. So glad you had such a good reading month, Margaret. And I couldn’t agree more with your view of The Grapes of Wrath. It is an excellent novel, isn’t it? It’s one of those stories that, in my view, deserves to be called a classic.

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  3. Its too hot to do much gardening unless its early morning or late evening for me at the moment. So I’m just sitting in it and enjoying the sunshine while it lasts. My reading is a bit heavier than yours right now – some academic books on the Irish Famine for me

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    1. I’m not keen on gardening – and I find it impossible in this heat. But reading in the sun just sends me to sleep.

      I don’t read much non fiction these days – but I do enjoy them, just not sure about ‘academic’ books, they can be a bit dry. I hope you’re enjoying your Irish Famine books!

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    1. Steinbeck is now one of my favourite authors too – and East of Eden is the next book for our local book group! I’m really looking forward to it – glad you think it’s epic.

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  4. I had a more mixed reaction to Grapes of Wrath, though I think I gave it 5 stars too in the end, or 4.5. Some of the writing is sublime – the bit about the turtle, for instance, or the dust storms, but he told me far more than I ever needed to now about how to fix trucks… 😉 So glad to see On Beulah Height got the full stellar array!

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