Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Show Us Your Books: June 2022, the end of an era

In October 2014, Jana and I decided to start blogging about what we were reading, and we wanted to know if you wanted us to make it a linkup. And you did. Today is the 93rd and final Show Us Your Books post, which have occurred on the second Tuesday of every month since October 2014.  

I’ve put up 924 books for your consideration. We've celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, had charity donations and reader giveaways and readathons, done seven favorite reads of the year linkups in Decembers gone by, saw a lot of you bring babies that have become little readers into the world, made it through a global pandemic that changed a lot of us as readers and gave us a place to discuss that with people who would understand, gained linker uppers and lost linker uppers, lost pets and introduced new ones, watched the world burn around us several times, and shared laughter and book behavior and what the kids are reading and more. 

All good things come to an end, and today is the end of the Show Us Your Books linkup. Jana and I have loved being in an online reading circle with so many of you and we wanted to end it as unceremoniously as we started with a mutual agreement after a number of discussions, and no advance notice. 

We will both continue book talk on Instagram obviously because we are readers and this is just what we do - find Jana here and me here . We'll also use the #showusyourbooks hashtag and invite you to as well. I've been sharing my weekly reads on Fridays in a very non-bookstagram way and will continue that and Jana will continue her lists as well. The blog linkup gets put to bed today, but our friendships and reading community live on. Certainly mine and Jana's as we've been friends since 1995, and it has been so great to co-host this linkup with her for all these years. Thank you Jana!

I hope you continue to read books that you enjoy regardless of who else enjoys them, that you  actively pursue books by Black authors and queer authors and authors from other marginalized communities since you know by now that the publishing industry does not put those authors and their books front and center, that you read to escape and also to understand, that the kids in your life see you reading, that you support your local libraries, that you buy books from local booksellers or online from Bookshop.org and not from Amazon, that you read books because that's what you want to do and not because it feels like you have to do it, that you read at your own pace and don't compare the number of books you read to someone reading at a different pace, and that every once in a while you find the golden book that makes your soul sing for reasons you can't even explain and you don’t care to try because it resonated with a part of you so clearly it's like you got your bell rung. 

It's been fun, and it's both hard and easy to let it go after all these years. But retirement looks good on us and in the end feels like freedom.

Here's what I've been reading since the May linkup:

Engrossing Reads
The Girls in Queens by Christine Kandic Torres - Whew. Truthful and cutting at the intersection of gender, race, and class. Difficult subjects but a good read with what felt like a tight yet hasty finish. I can't believe this is a debut novel. I loved the writing and will definitely read more from Torres. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn - This does not top The Huntress as my favorite KQ, but what a stellar lead character again. I tore through this. OCNJ library hardcover

My Evil Mother: A Short Story by Margaret Atwood - As always, I want the short story to be a novel. Kindle, own

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi - This is a romance novel, which I don't typically like...I liked this. So that says a lot right there. Some serious, difficult topics but I flew through it and loved the writing. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner - love a Jennifer Weiner book in May. High drama to kick off the season. Lots of characters made this feel full in a good way, redundancy of events from different POVs made it feel full in a bad way. Overall quick and enjoyable. Thanks to Netgalley & Simon and Schuster for the ARC 

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand - Elin is hit or miss for me, and this hit. I sat down and read this in a few hours even staying up to finish it in a week that was hard to focus in so that says a lot to me. Great summer read that doesn't require much to engage. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review, would love to also post it on goodreads but continually get an error message when trying to do so, which has happened frequently over the past month

Passed the Time Just Fine
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill - Enjoyable story within a story. Interesting concepts within both. Suspension of belief definitely required. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Write My Name Across the Sky by Barbara O'Neal - Readable, not my favorite of hers. This was a little hard for me to get into. Kindle backlist book

The Golden Hour by T. Greenwood - Found this on my kindle, who even knows how long it's been there or how it got there. Difficult shit in here with an abrupt ending, like the kind you expect there are at least two more chapters but no, there's nothing else kindle backlist book

The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan - A little bit of a turd in the pool with this one. There's crazy then there's like...crazy. Still a quick read which gets points, always, post-covid (by which I mean we are still in covid times but like post world-changing March 2020 covid) OCNJ library

What Can't Be Seen (Dr. Gretchen White #2) by Brianna Labuskes - A solid second entry and intense background work on Gretchen. Will read more. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon - This was a great ride that slowed to a crawl in the middle then hurtled toward a finish that was really doing the most. Like, the most. A little quicker in the middle and a little less at the end and it goes up a star. Still a solid read. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera - I loved the character of Eusebia and the writing was really good. I thought this was going to be about what happens in the first little bit, but it was actually not about that at all. I always enjoy that. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Not For Me/Did Not Finish
It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler - Not for me. Maybe in a different time? I like the characters and thought I would really get into this one for that reason and also because I'm headed to Mount Desert Island in a few weeks, but the slow pace is not for the reader I am right now. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up has taken place on the second Tuesday of every month since October 2014 and this is the 93rd and final one. Cheers!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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