Now that I have updated the site and made the books page (newly named: The Library) searchable, I am going to switch up the reading list a little bit. I will tell you what I read and what I liked, but leave the longer reviews over at the library. It was feeling redundant putting the full review here and also there, and that page is so great because you can filter, etc etc! So, going forward you can expect the books pages to be updated every week in real time, and then once a month I will do this shorter, summary post like this one.
So let’s talk about this month’s books! I polished off 8 books this month, and.. wow: I really liked every single book! Like realllllly, really liked every book. I would wholeheartedly recommend every single book on this list. The world is shit but the books are great. So we will celebrate that little win.
Everything I Read in June 2022
Run, Rose, Run
What I absolutely loved: Run, Rose, Run… recommended by my mom. Dolly Parton and James Patterson make for such an incredible writing duo. This is the perfect mix of heartwarming rags to riches meets high-stakes thriller. I love it.
Can’t Look Away
Can’t Look Away, by Carola Lovering (she is one of my favorite authors) was an amazing, up-all-night thriller that just came out. I devoured this.
I categorized it as a thriller but it’s more scammer drama… I devoured Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen. A woman finds herself thrown into the world of counterfeit bag exports (and taking the fall for her old friend’s antics). I couldn’t put this down, it was the perfect read in a day, lose yourself in a book kind of book.
Meant to Be
Maybe Emily Giffin’s best book yet? I could not put Meant to Be down!! It’s inspired by JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s love story and was just so much fun to read. I absolutely loved it, especially the ending. My mom agreed.
Meant to be Mine
A very cute romance. Meant to be Mine, by Hannah Orenstein! I am, admittedly, not a huge romance person (and I will say that I wish she ended it differently but then it wouldn’t be a romance) but I still loved this book, mostly because Hannah is such a talented writer and she made me miss my old neighborhood (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) so so much. The premise of this is fun: what if you knew the exact day you would meet the love of your life!? That’s what happens here, except all maybe is not as it seems.
The School for Good Mothers
I am still not sure what to make of The School for Good Mothers. I think it takes an excellent book to make you that sad. But… it’s extremely dark and very sad. I recommend it nonetheless. Handmaids Tale vibes for sure. Definitely avoid this if you are pregnant or a new mother or feeling any sort of hopelessness. A very good book but a very upsetting book.
Lessons in Chemistry
After reading The School for Good Mothers I knew I needed something light and fun. My mom had leant me her copy of Lessons in Chemistry. I started it without reading what it was about (I figured, romance). I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t a romance at all. More of a fun, feminist tale with a strong female lead you’ll completely fall in love with. I LOVED this!
Amy Odell’s biography of Anna Wintour
Lastly, on the non-fiction front, I really enjoyed Amy Odell’s biography of Anna Wintour. It lagged at times but was still completely fascinating. I’ve followed Anna’s career since probably 2006, so it was fun to learn more about her life. Juicy and salacious it is not, but it’s still very enjoyable and informative.
Tell me what YOU read and loved this month in the comments!
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photography by Cameron Wilder.
I Love these posts, Grace :). I am excited to read your two favorites mentioned above! Adding to my list Run, Rose, Run and Too Good to Be True!
What I loved so far this summer? I adored Lessons in Chemistry AND The Change (both gave such powerful femme vibes!). A messy family drama, Vacationland, on the thriller list I enjoyed The Chain and The Housemaid! I also REALLY enjoyed Counterfit & Coverstory!!!!!
Thank you so much for the recs! I loved Cover Story too!
In June, I also read a book that I found disturbing/upsetting because of animal cruelty (cats!) and sexual violence: His & Hers. It was really too bad bc the story was good. Those parts could have been removed and the book would have been better.
My parents have both read Run Rose Run, so I have added it to my July list because it seems so popular.
Your June reads sound very successful!
Oh I don’t know if I could handle that!!!! Anything with animal abuse just guts me :-/
I enjoyed the book about Anna Wintour… agree it lagged in parts but she is so mysterious it was interesting to read about her. Just finished and really loved a new release…”Marrying the Ketchups”…maybe because its set in Chicago it was extra dear to me? Starting Lessons in Chemistry today after hearing great reviews from several friends who read it. Our book club is reading West With Giraffes …not a book I prob. would have picked up but several members read and highly recommended it…so we shall see.
I am so glad you agree! Think you will love Lessons in Chemistry, it’s really fun.
I agree on Meant to Be being Emily Giffin’s best book (at least since Something Borrowed). I read it in a day and absolutely loved it. I also recently read Every Summer After (got the rec from Bad on Paper!) and loved it too. I know it’s a romance so may not be for you, but it’s a great summer read!
I just loved it so so much!!!! So enjoyable.
I loved Every Summer After by Carley Fortune. Heartwarming but also gutted me.
I also thought Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr was beautifully written.
Cloud Cuckoo Land was so so good. Still my contender for favorite book of 2022!
Great list. Love the new layout and The Library. One suggestion (if possible) would be to hyperlink your review in the library above. Maybe the title hyperlink could go the The Library and then the link within the description could go to purchasing the book. Just a thought! Thank you.
I can’t do that (the individual book reviews aren’t linkable) but it’s a great thought. Fortunately a) The Library is now searchable and i rarely read more than 8 books a month so it shouldn’t require too much digging.
I am finally almost finished with the last book, The Rivals. So good. Oh how I wish I read more but I am so easily distracted.
an indigo day
I read The Christie Affair at your recommendation and loved it. I’m inadvertently reading a second book about a nunnery this month, Matrix by Lauren Groff and it’s wildly different but wonderfully weird. I needed some medieval women warriors in my life after the events of this month.
That is so funny, I tried to read Matrix but just could not get into it!!! Ended up passing to a friend.
Finally! Someone else! I thought Lauren Groff could walk on water after I read Fates and Furies and then I tried to read Matrix and no, no thank you.
I read The Club by Ellery Lloyd which was kind of fluffy but good! I really could not engage with Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough because I am just over the trope of the unreliable protagonist who is either on drugs or an alcoholic or mentally ill or in this case doesn’t sleep. The Anomaly by Herve Le Tellier, on the other hand, was fascinating and I just finished The Candy House by Jennifer Egan and I loved it.
It really just wasn’t for me!!!
I liked but didn’t love The Club. I like that author! Haven’t read the others but will check ’em out. Thanks for joining in the discussion!
Hi Grace! Longtime reader… Can I petition to have the reviews back on these actual posts instead of in “the library”? 🙂 I read all of your posts through Feedly and don’t picture myself looking through the library too much. No worries if not, just wondering if others feel the same and don’t mind the redundancy!
Came here to say this as well, I would definitely appreciate having them in both places! I read your posts on the blog much more frequently and always enjoy your reviews so I would love to still have them here!
you got it! Next month I’ll put the reviews in both places.
Thanks Grace! Appreciate your info on Feedly as well, I’ll definitely click through in the future!
thank you! 🙂
Co-sign! I read your posts on the blog quite frequently and love the book review blog posts (I tend to add books to a running GoogleDoc in the moment as I’m reading blog posts), but don’t see myself using the Library function much so it would be so helpful/enjoyable to have them here.
Noted! Will be back to the old format next month 🙂
Sure! If enough of you feel this way I am happy to do it!
PS – it really helps bloggers when you click through Feedly… so I will do this but I will subtly plea for you to come to my actual site too!
I also read through Feedly! The trick is to select “Open in website directly” on each blog you read so that the posts open up in a new tab on that blog. That way you see the formatting as it should be because Feedly messes that up a lot, and bloggers get the page views!
P.S. Added more to my TBR thanks to you, Grace! Haha!
Yes, exactly, thank you!!!! I’ll take a feedly read over no read at all but it really makes a difference.
Black Cake was just as wonderful as you recommended! I think it will be my holiday gift for all the readers in my life. What a great month of reading for you!
YAY so glad to hear that!
Hi Grace! Was surfing around The Library this morning to pick my Book Club’s next book and had to tell you how much I love it! What awesome functionality. You’ve influenced my reading a lot, it’s fun to read your take on books and I so appreciate the time, money, etc. you invest in your blog, it’s the best! 🙂
That makes me so happy – thanks for taking the time to let me know!!!
Hey Grace – I want to thank you for these posts and for your Library and reviews. You are, for sure, my primary reading influence. I’ve had a very hard past three years, like lots of people, and reading has been my constant solace.
Along those same lines, I cannot recommend the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series enough! The first book is Still Life. For me, this is one of those like changing series because reading the books make me so happy. I wanted to share just in case someone else might need a bit of joy and happiness in their life.
Ooooh thank you so much for the rec, I am off to check it out!
I finished The Maid after seeing your review. Read it in three days which is really fast for me. I really liked it! And i love re-reading reviews after finishing a book to see if we align or not, hah!
Also read Wish you Were Here, which I also really liked. The Spanish Love Deception was ok, a bit long for a romance. She Regrets Nothing was good, was not sure which direction it was going, but a fun read!
Started Rivals this morning! Very exited about it!
Thank you for the recs!!! You are going to love Rivals!
I love these posts so much! I wish that at least one of the links would take you to the longer review in The Library though, rather than over to your Amazon page. Just a thought!
Hey Nikyta! Based on the comments here, I’m going to go back to the old format next month 🙂
First, I really enjoy your blog and appreciate that you are still devoted to it and have not gone solely to IG as some have. I look forward to the reading list every month. I value your recommendations and always look for the grade. This new format makes it awkward to see the grade and read the full review. I would love to see the grade on the blog post or a link to the full review. Just a suggestion.
Hi Melissa, Thank you! Based on the comments here, I’m going to go back to the old format next month
I’m reading The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano and really enjoying it! It’s about a woman who doesn’t want kids and how she has 9 lives, some with a child and some without, and how they turn out. I think you might like it.
Oh interesting! That sounds like something I’d enjoy, thank yoU!!!!
Hi! I love your reviews and the addition of the library. I would suggest adding to each review the date you read it. If that’s already there and I’m just missing it, I apologize!
Hi Hannah, I’m not planning to do that (way too much work in the backend and I frankly don’t remember a lot of the dates / I can’t think of a functional reason that justifies all the work), but you can always sort by recent-ness!
And if you really need to know the month I read it, you can just search the main site and the reading list it was featured in will pop up.
Thanks for all the amazing book reviews, Grace! I’m almost done with Lessons in Chemistry, and I’m resenting every minute of work and life that’s keeping me from finishing. Such a great plot and the characters are fabulous. Next on my nightstand is Olga Dies Dreaming. Any reviews?
That is exactly how I felt!!!! So resentful of anything that would keep me away from it.
I loved Olga Dies Dreaming. If you search the library (thestripe.com/reads) my review will pop up!