What We Read: Monthly Recap

What We Read: June 2020

Welp, I upped my game and managed three-ish reviews this month and none of them were books I actually read in June. A slow start, but here we are.

Happy 4th to the Americans and happy weekend to everyone else! I’m not particularly proud of my country at the moment, but I’m doing my best on my own anti-racist journey and hoping to encourage others to embark on the same.

In that vein, I’m reading My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education by Jennine Capo Crucet. Her first essay is quite moving and I’d recommend it for anyone interested in how a first-generation, minority college student might experience their first semester on a majority-white college campus.

On to the June books!

Past Recaps Here:

What Shannon read in June:

Shannon’s Notes:

After the Flood: SO good. Will review it shortly.

-Two rereads: It Was Me All Along because I’m a sucker for a weight loss/eating disorder memoir; and Somewhere Towards the End because I never want to stop reading Diana Athill’s thoughts on aging and life in general.

More Edith Wharton

-Can’t say enough about Nothing Good Can Come from This. Another book that made me feel seen.

The Obstacle is the Way: What a load of schlock.

What Ben read in June:

Ben’s notes:

The Genealogy of Morals: It was good to come back and revisit this. I hadn’t read much Nietzsche since college days.

Legend: Another reread, this is the book that got me started on the delightful fantasy of David Gemmell. Mostly a pretty light action/adventure, it does also dabble in philosophizing about life in the shadow of death.

The Rap Yearbook: This was a fun read, and denser than you might expect from looking at it. The author has a rather frenetic, wisecracking style which complements his enthusiasm for the topic. He chooses the rap song that he deems most important for each year. Not necessarily “best” or “his favorite” but the one that mattered most in the history of the genre, and supports his choice with an essay, supplemented with charts, graphs, and illustrations.He often allows critics a little sidebar to make their case for an alternate pick. It was fun to get an inside perspective on genre trends that I had observed casually without really unpacking and dissecting the way a true aficionado like Serrano would.

Shameless Garden Update

Shannon again:

Here is a shameless garden update because I can’t stop myself. It’s my new obsession.

My lovely mother came over last weekend and helped me dig out the rest of the rockery area. Seriously, she is amazing and I am so grateful. It would’ve taken me three days to do the work we did together in a couple of hours.

The dirt we dug up waiting under a tarp (to prevent washing over the yard in the rain) waiting to be hauled away:

It doesn’t look like much under that tarp, but…it is.

Was, rather. Filthy Hands Property Preservation came over yesterday and hauled it away for us. Took two guys around 45 mins. to shovel it into their truck.

You have to pay to get rid of dirt. Not a thing I anticipated when I started gardening. I do not understand the world sometimes.

Rocks laid out and representative of Neighborhood Squirrel Watch on back porch:

All the rocks and bricks were given to me by neighbors and this week I received enough to finish the job. More shameless updates to come.

In the meantime, here are Steven Q. Squirrel and his lady friend availing themselves of the birdseed I threw in the yard for them. Because of my habit of throwing seed off the porch to them, some of it has landed in the mulch bed and germinated. So we are growing an accidental millet crop.

Quarantine continues to make me real weird. 😉

Happy reading and, if you garden, happy gardening!


4 thoughts on “What We Read: June 2020

  1. My, my Shannon — WHAT a busy month you’ve had! You put me to shame, both reading & garden-wise! The Crucet essay sounds almost like a must-read, given the times we live in (I share your opinion about our country). Painful, but necessary reading.
    Like you, I love Diana Athill’s memoirs; quite surprising, as I’m not generally a big reader of memoirs. I’ve read this one & Stet. and have always meant to do a “project” and read them all in order.
    I see you’re a fellow lover of Wharton. Age of Innocence is one of my very favorite novels.
    David Gemmell hasn’t come my way. Although I don’t read that much of it these days, I do enjoy the right fantasy & sci-fy. I’ll check him out.
    I’ll look forward to your review of After the Flood (it was sort of on my radar but pretty lost in my TBR list).
    Loved the squirrel watcher BTW! He’s adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shannon says:

      Haha, oh gosh, thanks! I do keep busy. It keeps me from vegging out in front of the tv! The Crucet essay is a good one. I work in higher ed and I am white and the university is not particularly good at taking care of its minority students. I feel the need to stay educated on the kinds of experiences our students face. And I’m so glad to know another Diana Athill fan! Good idea to do a reading project. Now I want to! “Discovering” Edith Wharton, I know, will be a chief joy of my reading year. I mean, I knew she existed, haha, but I read my first of her novels in January and now I can’t stop. Ben has read a lot of David Gemell, so I think he would recommend him to a high fantasy lover! That’s our little Jack Russell mix Artemis. She is a willful beast! 😉


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