Books Read: June 2021

June flew by for me and I ended up not reading quite as much as usual because I was out in the garden, watching baseball, and sewing quite a bit. But I managed to finish some things and they are all wildly different in good ways. I’m currently on a non fiction binge, with several books in on deck that are memoirs or histories.


I’m honestly not sure how to write about this book. Susanna Clarke has written an ethereal book about a man trapped in a house where the bottom floors are ocean and there is only one other person he ever interacts with, The Other. It’s a book about what is real and what isn’t, imprisonment, persuasion, and so much more. I enjoyed it, but it’s also a puzzle that I’ll have to reread and I may not even fully understand it after several readings.

State of Wonder

The only other Ann Patchett novel I’ve read, I absolutely loved. This book was so completely different as we follow Marina Singh who travels to Brazil looking for information on her collegue at a pharmaceutical company who died there. I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. Singh’s looking to find out what’s going on with a drug that’s being researched that would allow women to give birth well into their 70s in the middle of the Amazon jungle by a small group of people; she finds much more than she anticipates.

One Summer: America 1927

I’ve read a few of Bill Bryson’s other books, but decided to read this one since it’s summer and I’d heard some folks talk about how the 1920s and the 2020s could be similar. Bryson takes you through the entire summer and all the events of 1927, there were many. Babe Ruth’s run of home runs, Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic, Al Capone’s empire in Chicago, and much more. But along the way Bryson also tells you the background to the events and, in many cases, what happens after 1927. I picked up a lot of small stories that were interesting and can also see how this decade we’re currently in may very well have many similarities to 100 years ago.