June has been a unusual month for me in that I’ve probably spent more time watching TV and movies than I have on reading. What sort of sacrilege is this? you may well ask book lovers – in my defence, there has been some very good TV on offer lately (more on this in my next instalment of Little Loves, next week). I’ve also been a bit distracted, with a head full of end-of-term activities and preparations for my eldest son’s transition to secondary school after the summer holidays. I’ve still managed to read a few lovely books in the moments when my mind hasn’t been otherwise occupied, though. So sit back, grab a cuppa and let me tell you about my bookish wanderings in June.
First up for the month was Listening to the Animals: Becoming The Supervet. This is a wonderful book for animal lovers everywhere – and it’s also an optimistic read about the nature of human beings, too. Charting the life of Professor Noel Fitzpatrick from early days on the family farm in Ireland to world-renowned pioneer of his ‘one medicine’ approach to treating humans and animals, it’s a heart rending tale of struggle and vision. The chapters on Noel’s relentless experience of childhood bullying will have you reeling with a sense of injustice, and the sections on his parents – his beloved ‘Mammy and Daddy’ – will have you in tears. Most of all though, the chapters devoted to the animals in his life – and the lives he has enhanced through treatment – will have you feeling optimistic about the future. If you need a book to remind you that there are still good people in the world, read this and be inspired.
My second book for June – and a must for all Eleanor Oliphant fans – was The Cactus, by Sarah Haywood. This book follows a similarly unlikely heroine, Susan, a prickly 40-something woman who likes her predictable life exactly as it is. But when her mother dies, and she finds herself facing a rather unexpected life change, things go a bit awry. If you like books like The Rosie Project and A Man Called Ove (the best of the ‘unexpected hero’ sub-genre, IMO), I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s one of those books to curl up with on a rainy day and swallow whole.
Third up was A Court of Wings and Ruin, by Sarah J. Maas, the final instalment in the Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. I was a huge fan of the first two books in this series, but I have to admit that for some strange reason I struggled here. There was a lot going on, and more characters than I felt I could feasibly keep up with (which probably says more about my own current mental capacity than the book itself – see first paragraph). But Ms Mass’s writing sparkles and glitters as always. Verdict: the bookish equivalent of ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’
My fourth and final read for the month was By the Sea by Dr Deborah Cracknell, a lovely little book to dip in and out of. The basic premise of the book is that all the physical, mental and emotional benefits we naturally associate with being in or near the ocean are absolutely real. What’s more, there’s plenty of science here to back up that instinctive sense of the sea as powerfully restorative. It made me want to dive right in to my local ‘blue gym’ on another one of my sea dips. And also, might explain why so many of us find ourselves inexplicably drawn to the colour blue!
So, that’s it for another bookish round up. I’ll be back later in the summer – hopefully with a less cluttered, more focused reading eye. In the meantime, I’d like to wish you a fantastic start to the holiday reading season. What’s on your to-read list as we race towards July?
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission should you choose to purchase via them.
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