June 2023 books read

  • The Trees – Percival Everett, 2021. Quotes marked, TBD.
  • Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time – Ben Ehrenreich, 2020. Quotes marked, TBD.
  • The Dead Zone – Stephen King, 1979. One of my favorite novels, which I re-read in 2016 because it’s partly about the rise of an unhinged politician. Relevant again now, alas. On the positive side, it has a great depiction of a teenager overcoming a reading block, and a star-crossed couple who can’t be together and yet have an emotionally satisfying resolution.
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy – Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1886. Comfort re-read.
  • Ginnie and Her Juniors – Catherine Woolley, 1963. Another childhood favorite, but I hadn’t re-read this in a long time. It’s number 6 in a series (“Ginnie and Geneva”) – this is the only one I’ve read and I’m not driven to check the others out, despite the vivid writing. What I most enjoy is the climactic moment when Ginnie soothes a high-strung toddler that her parents can’t manage. Poor Ginnie’s mother gives good advice, but all she herself does is cook…
  • The Song of the Lark – Willa Cather, 1915 (although Cather revised it later – details in the post I’ll eventually build around the quotes)
  • Birnam Wood – Eleanor Catton, 2023. Read for the Massachusetts Center for the Book June challenge, “a book set in a country you’ve never visited.” I wrote “Compelling, well-written thriller that gives a real feel for New Zealand’s people and countryside.” It was more place-educational than I expected; I learned the terms hapū, hui, iwi, Oamaru stone, Pasifika, rūnanga and some indigenous plants (harakeke, horopito, toetoe, totara). Plus this slang: “‘Tu meke is, like, thanks. In the sense of, you didn’t have to do that. Above and beyond.’” “‘And hard out is, like, impressive,’ Jessica said. ‘Like, awesome, I’m impressed.’”

Short stories

Seven members of the Amherst College slow read group went on a camping retreat together and read four stories. We tackled them in order of length, with hiking and eating in between. It was delightful! We read: