June 2024 Reads

Books I read in June 2024.

A good reading month in which I discovered some great new authors. This last week of June I’m prepping to move on July 1, so read a little less than I had hoped.

1. The Wall

— Marlen Haushofer
My book of the month. Brilliant. A tale of the last woman on Earth. Surprised this is not better known.

Book cover: I Who Have never Known Men

2. Second Place

— Rachel Cusk
I loved this. Although I need time to understand why. After reading ~20 pages, I ordered Cusk’s trilogy — Outline, Transit, and Kudos — which I’m looking forward to reading in July.

2. Ms Ice Sandwich

— Mieko Kawakami
A sweet and heartwarming novella that you’ll likely finish in one sitting.

4. Passing

— Nella Larsen
I had no idea that ‘passing; was used in this way. Larsen is a great writer, and I only wish she’d been able to write much more.

5. No Country for Old Men

— Cormac McCarthy
Good, but not in the same league as The Road.

6. All the Lovers in the Night

— Mieko Kawakami
A kind of late-coming-of-age story exploring themes of love, loneliness, and human connection. I enjoyed this more than Breasts and Eggs, which I read in May.

7. The Devotion of Suspect X

— Keigo Higashino
Crime or detective fiction is not a genre I often read, but it makes for a great change of pace. This was a page-turner. First in the Detective Galileo series. Perhaps this genre would be good for anyone in a reading slump?

8. Salvation of a Saint

— Keigo Higashino
Another page-turner, if detective stories are your thing. Second in the Detective Galileo series.

9. The Fortune of the Rougons

— Émile Zola
Published in 1871, this is the first novel in Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Not quite on a par with La Bête Humaine, but pretty good, especially the ending.

10. This Other Eden

— Paul Harding
Beautifully lyrical prose. And a much more compelling tale than that in his first novel, Tinkers, winner of a Pulitzer. This Other Eden is a far superior novel.

11. Tinkers

— Paul Harding
Enjoyed the first half. The latter half bored me. Won a Pulitzer.

12. Caliban’s War

— James S. A. Corey
Volume #2 in The Expanse series. Still fun and entertaining.

13. Abaddon’s Gate

— James S. A. Corey
Volume #3 in The Expanse series.

DNF. Aliss at the Fire

— Jon Fosse
Despite being a super-slim 74 pages, I was unable to finish it. This won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature (were they drunk?). There are too many distractions; for example, non-standard punctuation, including not a single period (not that I saw anyhow), and annoying repetitions, like ‘she thinks’ (repeated 13 times across just 2 pages). I get why he’s employed the experimental punctuation (flow and pacing) and the repetition (incantational!), but it’s not for me — I just can’t get past it. It’s like trying to read a book on a plane while some brat kid is kicking the back of your seat for 6 hours.

June 2024 reading stats