Sunday, July 20, 2014

June 2014: Recap, Favorite Reads, Updates

I'm late posting my recap for the month of June, but it was a necessary evil as I had to play a bit of catch-up first with reviews and such before posting it. I found some great reads in the otherwise busy, stressful month of June. It was good kind of stress with lots of work as I readied myself for an extended holiday week during the first week of July, and our sweet Cami's eighth grade graduation in the middle of it all. My daughter Vanessa was a happy, proud mom! We were all happy and proud! Kids grow too fast, don't they?

Going back to books, I hit my summer reading list and managed to read a few romances by favorite authors, mysteries, and a series of LGBT books on my list of "must" reads.

Total Books Read in June:  11
Contemporary Romance: 1
Historical Romance: 1
Paranormal Romance: 1
Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Speculative Fiction/Horror): 1
Mystery (Contemporary Western): 1
LGBT: 6 (Fiction: 1, Historical Fiction/Romance: 1, Romantic Fiction: 1, YA Western Romance: 1, MM Romance: 2)

Top Reads of the Month:


My June top reads fall under vastly different categories, yet all three have something in common. Beautifully written and executed, these are books with memorable characters and journeys too riveting to put down.

1)  The Girl with All The Gifts by M.R. Carey: A
2)  Wingmen by Ensan Case: A
3)  Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath: A-

All three B+ reads were greatly enjoyed by me. I'm addicted to Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire contemporary western mystery series (both the book and TV series), and a long time fan of Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, neither installment disappointed. I'm also a fan of gay fiction short story anthologies, and in June I read a great one! (See note and information below)

4)  Any Other Name (Walt Longmire #10) by Craig Johnson: B+
5)  Shield of Winter (Psy/Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh: B+
6)  With: New Gay Fiction ed. by Jameson Currier: B+
A note on Jameson Currier's With: New Gay Fiction: I did not review the whole anthology, instead I highlighted three short stories, however, the book contains 16 short stories in total. It took me a while to finish this anthology because I read each story between other books. As a final assessment I will say this, the editor chose the right stories and writers for this anthology, and each story is definitely worth reading. As a bonus, I found a few new-to-me authors whose works I will be reading. Below, I'm including the book summary and list of contributors.

With: New Gay Fiction, edited by Jameson Currier, features sixteen authors writing on relationships with men: gay men with their friends, lovers, partners, husbands, dates, tricks, boyfriends, hustlers, idols, teachers, mentors, fathers, brothers, family, teams, co-workers, relatives, and strangers.

Contributors include David Bergman, Michael Carroll, Lewis DeSimone, Jack Fritscher, Ronald M. Gauthier, Michael Graves, Shaun Levin, Dan López, Jeff Mann, Vincent Meis, Matthew A. Merendo, Joel A. Nichols, David Pratt, Tom Schabarum, Stefen Styrsky, and William Sterling Walker.
The B grouping of books read in June were all solid, as in "you can be assured, these are very good reads." Again, these are very different reads even though two are in the LGBT category. Now and Yesterday is adult gay fiction with a multi-layered plot that invites deep thought, while The Filly is a young adult western romance enjoyable for its beautiful writing, fantastic western atmosphere and a great journey. And let's not forget No Sunshine When She's Gone, a light and breezy contemporary romance that is perfection as a beach or poolside read.

7)  Now and Yesterday by Stephen Greco: B
8)  The Filly by Mark R. Probst: B (Upcoming Review)
9)  No Sunshine When She's Gone (Barefoot William #3) by Kate Angell: B

The two reads that fall under C grades in June are from the MM Romance category and both are from favorite authors. These are both good M/M romances with Sam and Aaron by L.B. Gregg a bit more enjoyable for me than Everything I Know by Josh Lanyon. I don't have anything negative to say about these stories, except that neither book really stood out for me when compared to previous works published by these great authors.

10) Sam and Aaron (Men of Smithfield #5) by L.B. Gregg: C+
11) Everything I Know by Josh Lanyon: C

That is it for June 2014. I'm already deep into my July 'summer' reading list and trying to do a better job of keeping up with reads and reviews!


4 comments:

  1. You had a good reading month :-)

    It took me ages to get around to reading the new Lanyon because the premise put me off slightly. I was dreading the "incident" but it was not as bad as I thought it'd be! I agree with your assessment - it was good, but I've read better (and to be fair, worse!) by him.

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    1. Li, I really enjoyed my books in June.

      LOL on the "incident," it was a good conflict to address, and I didn't find the execution/resolution as bad as others. But, the story just didn't have that extra something. We agree. :)

      Have you read the whole novel by M.R. Carey? It's just as good as the short version promises.

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    2. No! I forgot to say that I've added it to my library request list after seeing it land at the top of your June list :)

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    3. Oh cool! I'll look forward to your thoughts on that book.

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