Night Shift – Stephen King
Undermajordomo Minor – Patrick DeWitt
Disclaimer – Renée Knight
Everything Everything – Nicola Yoon
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil – Stephen Collins
In short, June was wonderful.
I had both a great reading month, and a lovely social month. Many dinners were spent with friends and family, drinks on patios and walks in the park. My fiancé took up ball hockey and I’ve loved spending one night a week watching his games in the park near our house. I load up my bag with an old (Christmas) tablecloth, an iced coffee and a comfortable sweater and plop myself beside the rink to watch. Honestly, spending all this time outside has started to heal the chill in my body that seemed to be permanently set there after the extended, icy winter we had. I’m finally thawing.
Also, as a pat on the back to myself, I bought NO books this month! Not one! My money went towards a mini weekend trip (more on that later). I’ll bask in the glory of self-restraint for now, and pretend I didn’t already make two book purchases in the 2 days of July we’ve had thus far.
I started the month off finishing Night Shift, one of Stephen King’s most famous short story collections. My friend/ coworker and I have begun a bit of a two person book club in which we read a chapter of a book each night and discuss it first thing in the morning when we get to work. Both of us are early risers and come to the office a good hour and a half before most people filter in. It’s nice to have a little book chat before the day really picks up. Two months ago, we read The Library At Mount Char together, and decided to try again with Night Shift. We read one short story a night for a few weeks and it was tons of fun. Overall, I loved the collection. Some stories were better than others, but as a whole, it was expertly executed. King knows how to write perhaps the perfect short story. I absolutely loved the references to ‘Salem’s Lot (two separate stories), as that is the only other King I’ve read thus far. My favourite story by far was “I Am the Doorway”, which was silently terrifying.
After highly anticipating reading “The Children of the Corn”, I felt a little let down by how the story was actually a bit more tame than my own imagination. After years and years of hearing about how horrifying it was, I expected absolute terror. I mean, it wasn’t a field of roses (more like a field of corn-worshipping devil children). I pondered, as I got ready for bed, how maybe books just couldn’t scare me in the same way the visual aspects of movies could. Then as I turned the bathroom light off and I was shrouded in darkness, I looked at the empty black doorway into my kitchen and pictured a child in ragged clothes and a blank stare standing there. I literally ran back to my room and threw myself into bed. Maybe books can still scare me.
Next I read an advanced copy of the new Patrick DeWitt. I’m one of the few Canadians who haven’t read The Sister’s Brothers, but thought this sounded more up my alley. I was very wrong. I’m not going to go into much detail, but this book is basically The Princess Bride meets Monty Python. Where The Sister’s Brothers is meant to be a western parody, Undermajordomo Minor is a fairytale parody. I know a TON of people who are going to absolutely love it, but sadly, my sense of humour is off in a different direction.
After, I devoured a new thriller called Disclaimer by Renée Knight, about a woman who finds a book on her night stand one evening and realizes that the book is about her, and a time in her life that only one person knows about. And that person is dead. A cat and mouse chase begins between her and the author to expose the truth, or supposed variations of the truth. It was fast-paced, twisty, and overall a very entertaining book. I had a few small issues with little aspects, but as a whole, I couldn’t put it down.
Shortly after, I read another advanced copy, this time of Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything. This book is getting some wonderful pre-publication attention and though I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my favourite. I hate to say it but I think I’m getting slightly cynical. Heart-warming, teenage first love stories just don’t get to me like they used to.
At the very end of the month, I took a half-day at work and hopped onto the train for a few hours to visit one of my closest friends for the weekend. I hardly ever get to see her and had been looking forward to the trip for ages. I brought a ton of books with me, but hardly touched them. I find trains so romantic. Just laying back and watching the landscape go by with a good book, or the right song in your earbuds. It’s just wonderful. Of course, then your legs cramp up and you get cold (why is it always so cold on trains?!) but for a while I just enjoyed the blissful quiet of fields and fields of green.
I finished off the month reading The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil while my fiancé tried to fix our TV. It was quick, quirky and beautifully illustrated about a man who lives in a neat and tidy town, but which backs onto an unruly sea. One day, his normally smooth face sprouts a wild beard and the town is horrified. The story is metaphorical and really unique. I highly recommend checking it out!
And that’s a wrap! I’ve felt a little slumpy the past week, but I’m hoping to get my groove back shortly. I’m planning to do a post about how my yearly goals are going now that we are officially halfway through 2015 (yikes!) so stay tuned for that soon. I realize I posted.. well .. nothing at all in June but I promise that won’t be the case in July! Hope you all have a fantastic month!