Books Read In June 2021

by Carol Low

Half a year has gone by. Looks like I’m on track with my reading goal up to this point, with 42 out of 80 books to be read this year.

In June I read mostly newly released books out of the eight that I managed for the month. Seven out of the eight are new releases.

My ultimate favourite in June was The Phone Box at the Edge of The World. A fiction based on a true event and a real place with a phone box in Japan where people go to find solace by talking into a disconnected phone with their deceased loved ones. The premise touches on how people cope with grief. The story is peppered with good doses of life lessons as well.

The Maidens was another treat for me. It’s a psychological thriller that tries to bring a touch of Greek myths into the story. If you’ve enjoyed The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, this second book of his won’t disappoint you. I won’t say much about the plot. You’ve got to read it to enjoy it.

Another psychological thriller that I liked is The Butterfly Garden. It was disturbing, dark, twisted, and may even mess with your head about what’s right or wrong. I’ve never read anything like it before. Whilst I found this a good read, I do think this book isn’t for everyone. If you’ve read/watched Gone Girl and found it disturbing, this is more so. You’ve been warned, don’t pick up this book unless you’re ready to be horrified.

A brighter and equally good read would be a fellow Malaysian author’s latest book, Black Water Sister. Kak Air Itam! pastedGraphic.png

I really enjoyed reading this book. Zen Cho wrote this book purely Malaysian style. The dialogues were amusing for me to read, with the use of local dialects and Manglish all mixed in. She definitely didn’t try to write this for non-Malaysians. I would imagine Western or non-Malaysian readers would be quite lost with some of the content and language that’s uniquely Malaysian. 

Project Hail Mary is something new for me. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have picked such a book to read. I didn’t even read The Martian by the same author, which was a huge bestseller book and movie wise. But it came highly recommended, so I thought I’d give it a try. I found the story itself rather entertaining, good enough to keep me reading, but it also came with heavy technical scientific explanations which were largely lost on me. I skipped those parts because I wouldn’t have understood much of it even if I tried. Apart from that, it was good. 

I also enjoyed a light and easy mystery read, The Windsor Knot, featuring Queen Elizabeth as the protagonist who’s trying to solve a murder mystery that took place in her palace. I expected a simple plot, rather guessable one, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t “solve” the mystery ahead of the book. 

Malibu Rising was only so-so for me. The Firekeeper’s Daughter was quite a regrettable read. However, many people loved both books and have lots of good things to say about them. Probably not my cup of tea.

That’s it for my monthly and half-yearly round up of my reading status thus far. Going into July, I’m in between a few books at the moment. I’m a polyreader and I pick up books according to my mood. Might be a challenge for me to finish as many books this month as I jump from book to book a little too much this time around. 

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