Reading Wrap-Up (and Library Checkout): June 2016


Here we go again. I seriously feel like this year is just one giant reading slump. There have been some great books here and there, but I’ve had such a hard time finding something that really makes me want to read! I think that’s been the biggest struggle. I’m taking plenty of time to get lazy and binge TV, so this isn’t really about needing a break, I want to be reading…I just can’t find what I want. I’ve picked up and set down a ridiculous number of books of all different types that never even make it to getting mentioned here. Something has to give!


The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts by Laura Tillman
This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick
Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan

Best Book of the Month

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

Listening To

So many great podcasts, per usual. I think my favorite new show is Radiolab’s More Perfect, which is a series on the way the Supreme Court has influenced policy. They have all been great so far, but the episode called The Political Thicket just blew my mind. My husband also surprised me with the Hamilton cast recording on vinyl because he is the best.


Let’s see…we wrapped up the newest season of Game of Thrones, which was much more rewarding in the end than I expected. There was also eight hours of the absolutely incredible OJ: Made in America. Seriously, I can’t recommend that documentary enough. The same goes for Trapped, which you can stream on PBS through the end of July!

Looking Forward To

I have about a month left of summer before school starts and my life changes (drastically) for several years, so I’m going to try my best to soak it up as much as possible. That includes some serious reading time, tackling the neighborhood pool, and generally relaxing.

Library Checkout

I’m adding Library Checkout here, because I failed (yet again!) to read any library books this month. I didn’t even check any out, it was just that kind of month. But I do have a few on hold and hope to get back in the game next time around. I’d love to see how your month went!

  • Yeah Netflix Binges have been severely affecting my reading time too. And now that Big Brother has started airing, I feel like this pattern is going to continue.

    That is until Harry Potter comes out on July 31st. Nothing on TV can stop me from diving into it. Well, except the Harry Potter movies. Sigh.

  • Kailana

    I was doing really well with the reading, but I am slumping more recently. If I wasn’t listening to audios, all I would have been reading is a few comic books… Hoping it passes soon and you find something amazing to take you out of yours. :)

    • I so wish I was able to get into audiobooks more! A few have worked for me, but I just seem to prefer podcasts (and end up using all my time that way ;)

  • Lauren @ Malcolm Avenue Review

    You had a great reading month! I need to get to the OJ doc, but have been mired in catching up on a show my new neighbor friend watches. We don’t watch much of the same television (she’s lighter than me, shocker), but I decided to give Murder in the First a try because it was about the only show we could have any crossover. It’s actually not bad, though I yell at the screen about legal, police, and even medical shit they get wrong. Drives me nuts. How much research does it take to make sure a guy who’s been shot uses his cane on the correct side of his body? Ahem. But at least there’s Taye Diggs to stare at. What was the point of all of that? Oh, yes, now that I’ve caught up I can watch what *I* want to watch, which includes OJ. And I also need to watch S2 of Madam Secretary because *awesome*. Have we talked about that? Not West Wing, but definitely for WW lovers. Ok, having taken up more than my fair share of allotted space here on your site, I will bid you a TGIF. :)

    • I haven’t seen Madam Secretary, but I’ve heard it’s good! Sounds like I need to give that one a shot, especially now that we’re looking for something else to hold us over until Mr. Robot starts again.

      • Lauren @ Malcolm Avenue Review

        I had to be convinced (you know me a politics), but I love it. The kids are the weakest link, but other than that it’s pretty stellar.

  • We need a “TV binge watch” linkup, ha! Really though, June was just, ughhhh. Hopefully it can only go up!

  • Maybe summer has something to do with the slump? I hope you get out of it soon! Happy July!

  • I know you wrote some stuff about books in this post, but all I saw was NEIGHBORHOOD POOL. You have a pool nearby?! Lucky duck.

    The O.J. documentary was insane. Talk about subverting the issue. I almost lost it over the crime scene photos- did not know they were going to show those. They did drive home the point the brutality of the crime, but my God.

    I don’t know how or why but I had some good reading this month. Smaller, quirkier books. I really think you’d like How to Set a Fire and it’s small so not a big commitment.

    • One of the city pools is about a quarter mile away! Just need to find a day where it isn’t raining to head over and not move for several hours ;)

  • Debbie Rodgers

    I haven’t read anything spectacular yet this this year either, so I’ve fallen back on reading mysteries.

  • I honestly think we’re living the same life right now, Shannon. I feel like I’ve hardly been reading anything, I don’t think I checked anything out of the library this month (actually, one e-book that expired before I even touched it), I’ve been binge-watching TV like a madwoman, AND I’m headed back to school in a few months. What the what.

    I’ve been tuning in to podcasts more recently, at least! Really just news for the most part, but I’ve been loving catching up on NPR’s Code Switch podcast. They just did a quick segment on OJ: Made in America and OJ Simpson’s seeming reluctance to identify as black, and it really made me want to watch it. Perhaps I’ll add it to the queue!

    Hope your reading picks up soon, but more than anything, I hope you’re feeling good and relaxing a lot before all these big changes!

    • Ugh, this isn’t the way I wanted to end my free time (at least not in the reading arena!).
      I’m loving Code Switch, too! I just heard the OJ episode and it was super interesting to hear after watching the show – you should definitely watch, it’s insanely good.

  • Sorry you’re still slumping. My reading has improved since I reduced my ARC reading. And my husband and I have been kicking around watching OJ: Made in America…I have a weird obsession with that whole thing. Might have to get going on that…once Olympic trials ends of course!

    • Definitely watch some OJ – it’s great!
      I never really read ARCs with the mindset that I *have* to review and I end up reading many of them after publication lately, so I’m not sure it’s an ARC thing, but I do think I want to take a little more time thinking about what I really want to read.

  • Heather

    I got through a few books in June, but all reading was a blur – much like life in general really. I think June is just a general life slump for everyone, being the halfway point in the year. June is just like an extra long hump day you have to get over, but we’re on our way to Friday (aka the end of the year) now, so hopefully things start to pick up for you! Take it easy over the summer :-)

  • Pingback: It's Monday, July 4th. What Are You Reading? - River City Reading()

  • Aaa! Your husband is the best for getting you Hamilton on vinyl. I keep eyeing it in the bookstore and the music store and reminding myself that I can’t justify the expense. It would be a crazy expense. I know this. I do.

    I’m watching Spy right now for the first time — super fun! — and then I am thinking I might start watching the cartoon of Avengers Assemble. I hear excellent things. OR Silicon Valley also possibly.

  • You’re the second person I’ve seen who loved The Natural Way of Things. It didn’t appeal to me from the synopsis or cover, but I might need to take a second look at that one.

  • More Perfect is my newest favorite podcast. I have become obsessed with the Supreme Court after learning on the awesome-ness of RBG. Malcolm Gladwell has one called Revisionist History now, which is equally fascinating.

  • The OJ doc was very good. What happened during that whole case — you can’t make that stuff up. What shenanigans.

  • Pingback: June Library Loves | Gun In Act One()

  • Amanda

    I’m totally new to podcasts still but I might have to check this one out. I also really need to get Netflix! I’ve heard that OJ is amazing from so many people now. Hope you find some library love in July!

  • Pingback: River City Reading - Five Days of Focused Reading - River City Reading()