June 2015 Round-up

Von G: The delay on this post can fully be blamed on holiday living, by which I mean I spent most of my time either consuming food or in a food coma. The good news is that a good old American hamburger from the grill is just as tasty as I remember. We still served Bratwurst with Sauerkraut though because who am I kidding.

The temperatures soared during June, meaning my hiding in the basement could be labeled as “staying cool” instead of “avoiding human contact.” Haha. Parameters. Playing 5 hours of Fallout 4 a day and having an out of state guest staying with me could hardly dampen my reading pace (it did though, my numbers are dismal), so here’s a review of the fantabulous books I read during the heat wave.

It was a month of great variation since it includes a book of Hungarian poetry I bought whilst in Budapest (I’m so glad I’m the type of person that can type that sentence, fight me) to some alternative historical fiction that I would have never read if it weren’t for that book club I’m in. I continued my journey with classic sci-fi with Hyperion  and I’ll never be the same. I don’t know what kind of guy Dan Simmons is, but his weirdo mind had one of his characters accidentally getting intimate with an alien metal death monster, so I’m with him.

Best of JuneHyperion by Dan Simmons

It’s 2016 and not only have I read and enjoyed Walt Whitman, I’m saying a book that has a structure reflective of The Canterbury Tales is my favorite read of the month.(Side note: *** The Canterbury Tales, it’s a crime that high school students are forced to read a book that ISN’T FUNNY because it’s so incredibly ARCHAIC that the teacher has to stop the class every five minutes to explain the references. How is that a fun reading experience? ****) I was worried that Hyperion would be too convoluted to follow since it dives headfirst into the story, but after I persevered through my initial confusion, I fell in love. Each pilgrim has a distinctive voice (the film noir section was my favorite) and story that weaves together into the overall mystery of the demonic, unforgiving, inexplicable Shrike. Short stories aren’t really my thing, but the knowledge I had going into each story that it would wind back around to the rest of the pilgrims and the purpose of their journey created a rope that pulled me through the whole book. It’s an achievement of style and structure, and I can’t stop talking about it. Too bad about that CLIFFHANGER THOUGH. (I bought the second book. Dan Simmons doesn’t care about me or my wallet.)


Worst of June: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovitch

I honestly feel like I’m punching myself in the stomach here, that’s how much I love Janet Evanovitch. Stephanie Plum is a personal hero for me and, before now, Evanovitch never failed to fill those books with memorable, hilarious, and endearing side characters, a plot that was grim but nevertheless riotous, and because of that, pretty much earned herself a place on the shelf of authors I worship. I can honestly say I have never laughed so embarrassingly loud in public as when I read Stephanie Plum books. So you can imagine my excitement going into this series. AND IT WAS A COMPLETE LET DOWN. The characters (aside from Glo, she’s exempt because I relate to her) are underdeveloped and too vague to be interesting, the humor wasn’t funny (????) and the plot was weak and uninteresting. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe you can just never reach the pinnacle of creative humor that was Stephanie Plum. I know I would have been scared to try.

S/O to the beautiful covers this month, esp Wolf by Wolf and Jackaby