Snapshot June 2017


June snapshotThe calendar has moved forward once again and its time to take a quick snapshot of what I was reading/ planning to read on the first of the month. One June 1, 2017 I was:


the vegetarian-1The book on my bedside table on June 1 was one of  the titles on my 20 Books of Summer reading list: The Vegetarian by Han Kang. I’m approaching the end of this novella and can safely say it’s one of the oddest books I’ve read in many years. I knew, even before opening it, that it would be an extraordinary piece of work about a woman whose decision to stop eating meat causes an irreconcilable rift in three families. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so dark and provocative.

It was a good way to start the month particularly since I’d ended May with two astonishing books: My Ántonia by Willa Cather (reviewed here) and Station Eleven by Emily St John Mantel (my first experience of science fiction in many decades).

Reflecting on the state of my personal library

One of my goals for 2017 is to enjoy the books I already own and to reign back on acquiring yet more. I started 2017 with 318 unread books. With the help of some culling (mainly children’s fiction and some non-fiction books) I’m now down to 280. There are new books still coming into the house but they’re in extremely modest numbers compared to past years (2016 was the year things went completely out of control). My most recent aquisition was on the final day of May when I won a copy of Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen (the first in the Six Tudor Queens series by Alison Weir) when she gave a talk about Anne Boleyn (Henry VIII’s second wife). I was chuffed to be identified as the person in the audience who asked the best question!

Thinking of reading next…


Do I go for the latest Helen Dunmore novel Birdcage Walk which The Observer newspaper described as her finest work. Reading this will be a poignant experience given news of her death yesterday. My other option, chosen because the opening seems fitting for the current bout of stormy winds and rain in the UK, is Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. As always I won’t make the final decision until my hand reaches out to the bookcase…


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

17 thoughts on “Snapshot June 2017

  • buriedinprint

    It *is* a provocative book, isn’t it?! Congrats on reducing your unread books on your shelves: takes some doing for sure! Hope June shapes up beautifully for you.

    • It hasnt been as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve gone off the straight and narrow a few times via some library books but that’s fine, I didnt want to be a slave to the idea

  • Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on The Vegetarian!

  • Wow I am impressed by the amount of books you simply have in your house! Or are some of them e-books?

    • I was just about to ask this. There’s a whole shelf of unread books on my bookcase and yet I’m not near 318. Wow.

      • before I started blogging I would have maybe about 50 unread books on the shelves. but the more I heard of what other people were reading, the more I began to buy them for myself and pretty quickly it got out of control. Mind you, some other bloggers have at least 3 times my number..

        • No doubt. My comment was not intended as criticism by the way just awe.

        • Don’t worry, I didn’t read it as criticism at all 🙂

    • Only about 30 or so are e-books. I never used to have this many but the last two years my purchasing went through the roof

        • Um not really – I have to use the floor sometimes

  • “2016 was the year things went completely out of control”

    This gave me a chuckle. Although I think for me things have been out of control for decades :-/

    Jean Plaidy wrote a great series about Katherine of Aragon as well…The Isabella and Ferdinand trilogy.

    • I lived on Jean Plaidy when I was about 14 – couldn’t get enough of her books.

  • Curious. What did you ask Alison Weir?

    • My question was about dialogue and how she deals with the fact that it has to sound authentic for the period in which the novel is set but you can overdo it by just using lots of thees and thines etc.

  • I would definitely want to read more about Katherine!


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