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22 In Book Reviews

June 2020 Book Recommendations

what to read june 2020

June 2020 Book Recommendations: What to Read & What to Skip

Welcome to my regular round up of books for my June 2020 book recommendations! This month I read a few hits from 2019 and recent releases that will be perfect to add to your summer reading lists.

This list of June 2020 book recommendations includes a few must-read hits and some middle of the road reads you can take or leave.  I like to share both my five star reads and any misses to help you get a better idea of what you should read or might want to skip.

As always, I love to hear if you agree or disagree with my ratings! Let me know in the comments what you thought of my June 2020 book recommendations.

I’m linking up with Jana Says /Life According to Steph and Modern Mrs Darcy as usual to share what we read this month!

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any items purchased through the links above at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my book blog!!

 

June 2020 Book Recommendations

Physical Books:

The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes

Moyes breaks away from her usual stories to tackle historical fiction and does a terrific job. Set in rural Kentucky during the Great Depression, The Giver of Stars tells the story of the female packhorse librarians. These women took it upon themselves to deliver books to poor families in their community, facing danger at every turn.

This novel was a slow read for me, but I enjoyed every bit of it. The descriptions of the hills of Kentucky are breathtaking and the relationship between the women is moving. It’s a story of independence, friendship, love and dedication. 5 Stars | Amazon

 

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

One of the most discussed YA books of last year, The Grace Year is a feminist dystopian novel. The girls in this community are forced to spend their sixteenth year in the woods where they can release their deadly “magic” and return as docile women. No one speaks of The Grace Year, but the girls come back missing limbs, lost, or dead. When it’s Tierney’s turn, she attempts to revolt against this horrendous tradition.

I adored this YA fantasy wholeheartedly. It kept me guessing as to what was really happening with the girls’ “magic” and didn’t exactly have the neatly wrapped up ending that YA fantasy often features. 5 Stars | Amazon 

 

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for more than a week will notice I very rarely mention thrillers or murder mysteries. They’re just…not my thing. Despite this, I couldn’t resist the Irish setting and rave reviews of The Guest List. Plus, the drama focuses entirely on a glamorous wedding and the people involved.

While I can say I enjoyed the story, I didn’t think the revelations at the end were worth all the build up. I have a feeling anyone who normally enjoys this genre will like a lot. If you’re on the fence though, it’s a skip recommendation from me. 3.5 Stars | Amazon

 

 

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what I'm reading in June

 

 

eBooks (reading from Netgalley / Library):

The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams

This was a completely unexpected hit!! I requested it on a whim from NetGalley based on the cute sounding book summary. A woman finds herself involved with three very different men after a lifetime of misses. I liked that this turned the love triangle trope on its head, plus the main character is a chef! I’m a sucker for books about food.

It turned out to be just the type of rom com I was hoping to discover. The protagonist is likable and independent. Plus the rotating group of guys each have their own charm. 5 Stars | Amazon (Release Date June 29, 2020)

 

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Part women’s fiction, part murder mystery? It’s a strange combo but it works! Daphne is a body positive social media influencer who gets an out of the blue invite to be in a former friend’s wedding. Despite their history, she can’t pass up a glamorous beach wedding. When someone ends up dead, she’s pulled into the investigation and starts uncovering her friend’s secrets.

I enjoyed the first half of this more as we got to know Daphne and her history. The murder mystery investigation and ultimate reveal seemed a bit far-fetched to me. Thankfully, that did play more of a background role as this was ultimately about Daphne’s life. 4 Stars | Amazon

 

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

This is a tough review to write! I was so excited to read this book since the premise is adorable. Meg is a well known letterer, creating beautiful hand-lettered designs on wedding invites, calendars, planners, etc. When a former client accuses her of hiding a message in his wedding program, she never expects the journey it sets her off on.

I really wanted to like the lettering aspect of this book, but honestly it ended up boring me a bit. I like the development of Meg and Reid’s relationship and the focus on female friendships, but the overall background for the story didn’t grab my attention. This might be best if you have a particular interest in this creative field! 3 Stars | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Audio Books (listening on Kindle Unlimited / Audible):

I finally finally dived into an audio book this month. Unfortunately it was The Dutch House and it was a rare DNF for me. So instead, I picked up Of Literature and Lattes from my library’s Hoopla account! Stay tuned next month to see what I think!

 

 

Reading Tracker Analysis (Data: Jan – Present)

Since I created my Reading Tracker (available for $5 in my store), I thought it’d be fun to showcase a few of the graphs each month. I’m an accountant, so books + Excel is my dream combo 🙂

One of the easier graphs is my comparison of male vs female authors. This is one diversity statistic that I’m not struggling with at all! I actually probably should incorporate a few more males into my lineup.

Also, I’m planning to add a category into my 2021 Reading Tracker to track Black authors and other POC authors!

male female

 

Next up is a line graph showing how long it takes me to read a book in each genre. About as expected, genres like historical fiction and mysteries take quite a while for me to get through. Whereas, romance/chick lit (which is easily my most read genre) is sitting at less than 5 days!

 

days to read

 

If you’d like to analyze your reading or you’re tired of tracking books with Goodreads, check out my Reading Tracker!

reading tracker

 

What was the best book you read recently?

 

For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in May 2020!

 

 

 

 

22 Comments

  • Reply
    Anne
    June 8, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    That’s fascinating to look at how many days it takes per genre. Mystery and YA are my quickest, if I had to guess, and historical fiction and non-fiction probably my slowest. Which is why Giver of Stars was a meh for me, I think, as just not my preferred genre, but I’m excited about The Guest List and The Grace Year! Too bad Love Lettering wasn’t so great – I got it on a Kindle deal since I saw it on the Modern Mrs Darcy summer list for this year. But maybe I’ll try The Love Square instead when I need a rom-com – it’s not always easy to find one that gets pulled off really well, but when you do, it’s gold!

  • Reply
    ShootingStarsMag
    June 9, 2020 at 11:15 am

    I know people are a bit mixed on The Guest List, but I really loved it! I have Big Summer to hopefully read soon – glad you enjoyed that one.

    -Lauren

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 9, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      Glad to hear you liked it!

  • Reply
    Jana @ Jana Says
    June 9, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Despite all the controversy around Giver of Stars, I still want to read it. And I have Big Summer on my Kindle and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 9, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      I’m excited to read Book Women as well to compare the two. Hoping they’re different enough that the controversy will seem unjustified

  • Reply
    Dan Leaver
    June 9, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    This is very enlightening. I had no idea of the difference in male to female authors read. I will share this post on Pinterest thanks so much for writing it. Gives me a better idea on why my book is also struggling.

  • Reply
    Megan @ The Hungry Bookworm
    June 9, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    The Grace Year sounds really interesting! I’ll also have to check out The Love Square …you know how I feel about books about food, of course! 🙂

  • Reply
    SMD
    June 9, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    I’m not a big Ann Patchett fan so Dutch House is not on my list.

  • Reply
    Kristin
    June 9, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I find I take longer to finish books when I’m focused/worried on other things, and it has very little to do with the book’s genre.
    That being said, I haven’t done an audiobook yet this year and I think I’m done with them. I had 4 good years of audiobook experiences and it’s just not for me anymore.

  • Reply
    kristen
    June 9, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    i’ve been putting off love lettering for some reason, it sounds so cute but i haven’t seen great reviews, so… meh. the love square sounds super cute, and how have i not heard of the grace year? adding it to my list!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    June 9, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    I have not been wanting to read Big Summer but your review just made me request it from our library. I like a cute murder mystery (this one sounds like a book I read earlier this year called Pretty Guilty Women.

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 9, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    So many good books!

  • Reply
    Nancy @ NY Foodie Family
    June 9, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    The Giver of Stars has been on my to read list. I just added The Love Square to my to read list.

  • Reply
    Ruby Nash
    June 10, 2020 at 10:02 am

    I just have not been having the best of luck finding book’s that I can’t put down lately. The only one that I have loved is on I just happened to stumble across. The Dark Land by DM Shepard. I love Alaska and the paranormal and this book has both of those. If you like a great Horror Novella, then look up this one.

  • Reply
    Jill K
    June 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I can’t wait for my library to open up again so I can request Big Summer!

  • Reply
    Becki
    June 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    I’m on the wait list for The Guest List through my library’s e-book loans. Sounds like you got to read a few good ones this month – yay! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month 🙂

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 15, 2020 at 10:16 am

      I hope you can get it soon!

  • Reply
    RACHEL
    June 15, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    I added The Guest List and The Grace Year to my library holds list! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Julia
    June 15, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Skip Jojo Moyes! The better book is “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Richardson. Richardson knows Kentucky and the hard scrabble life of the hills.

  • Reply
    Elena Wiggins
    June 16, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I liked The Giver of Stars but I LOVED The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Richardson. The books are similar in some ways, particularly about protagonist females being pack horse librarians (there was a lot of drama last fall about Moyes possibly plagiarizing some of Richardson’s work), but I felt like the characters themselves were different enough to separate the two in distinct and notable books. I think I just connected more with the protagonist from The Book Woman than The Giver of Stars, and liked hearing about the obscure medical condition she had.

    I am always fascinated by your reading stats!!

    Linking my May book reviews if interested!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 18, 2020 at 8:02 am

      I have the Book Woman on audio but haven’t gotten to it yet! I was eager to read both after hearing about all the controversy. I’m excited to see which one I’ll like more and how similar they are.

  • Reply
    Gwen
    June 25, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    The Guest List is on hold for me right now at the library and I can’t wait to pick it up. I know we are opposite here but I adore mystery and have been reading everything Karen McManus. I just finished both One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep A Secret. Both are so good. Highly recommend.

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