Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Salon: Sunburned and jetlagged

Happy July! It's been a whirlwind few weeks, and I'm sorry to have been absent for so long. I'm back in Des Moines after a wonderful trip to California for the American Library Association conference, followed by a few fun-filled days exploring Los Angeles and Orange County. Unfortunately, the Internet went out at my hotel after construction workers hit the line, and it stayed off for the rest of my stay.

I have so many things to update you all on: ALA, including the first-ever Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Non-fiction ceremony (one of the conference highlights for me), some of the fabulous books I read on vacation, and my journey itself. I'm slowly getting back to Central time, but I came home with a truly wicked sunburn. I rented a convertible and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway without enough sunscreen. I'm still hurting pretty badly, but I think the pain is on the decline.

June wrap-up
Letting myself read whatever struck my fancy this month worked out beautifully. I read nine books, and I rated them all 4 or more stars. I still have three left to review in the coming weeks. Here's how what I read in June measured up:

The excellent (rated 4.5 stars):

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (my review)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (my review)
Judgment Calls by Alafair Burke (my review)
We Only Know So Much (my review)

The Good (rated 4 stars):

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (my review)
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan (my review)

The Soon-to-be Reviewed:

Missing Justice by Samantha Kincaid
Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do by Pearl Cleage
The World Without You by Joshua Henkin

Plans for July
I enjoyed my June reading so much, I'm continuing my pledge to read whatever strikes my fancy. While I will be curious to see which titles make up the Booker Prize longlist on July 26, I doubt I'll read the entire longlist this year. I will still read the ones that intrigue me the most. Here are some titles I hope to read this month:

For specific review dates:

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay (Thursday, July 5)
Flight from Berlin by David John (Tuesday, July 10)
Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault (Thursday, August 2)

Favorite authors:

Close Case by Alafair Burke
Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain (out August 7, 2012)
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
Babylon Sisters by Pearl Cleage
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (out September 18, 2012)

New Releases:

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Gold by Chris Cleave (publishes July 3, 2012)

Now tell me: what's the best book you read in June?


  1. The best books I read in June were The Memory of Love, Fables vol 16, A Game of Thrones, and The Long Earth. :-) It sounds like June was an amazing month for you!I can't wait to read your post on ALA and the Carnegie Medal conference. When you were out here in SoCal, did you see any great sites or go anywhere special?

    1. It sounds like you had a great month too! I did see a few special sites in California, most notably the Nixon library. Otherwise, I enjoyed beach-hopping along the Pacific Coast Highway through Orange County. It was divine (except for the sunburn!)

  2. I can't wait to read Chelsea Cain's new book! And I look forward to your thoughts about Leaving Atlanta.. I still think about that one.

    1. Jenny, even though I'm beyond excited to read Leaving Atlanta, I'm sad to only have it and The Untelling by Tayari to read.

  3. I don't think I read anything but 50 Shades in June (ack!) so not ranking. BUT, I am off to a good start in July.

    The trip sounds great (minus the sunburn). Looking forward to trying out The Age of Miracles!

    1. Here's hoping July is a better reading month for you!

  4. So sorry about the sunburn. I should have warned you.

    I MUST get a copy of Gone Girl. Everyone is reading it and I feel utterly left out.

    1. Ti, I should have known better! I think I'll remember next time:-)

      I hope you do take time for Gone Girl. I loved it!

  5. What a fantastic reading month you had! I had a pretty good June myself. My favorites were the Elinor Lipmans :)

    1. Emily, I went on a Lipman streak several years ago and now I'm wondering why I haven't read more of her! Thanks for reminding me of her wonderfulness!


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