June is the end of a tolerable season, spring, and the start of my most disliked season, summer. As a self-proclaimed Autumn Girl, I’m the opposite of what summer represents. Every year it feels like I die a little in the summer, and then I’m revived in late September when the weather starts to cool down, the leaves are changing, and I put my first pumpkin on my windowsill.
But while I dislike this season, I love summer books. I love holiday-related books and summer romances, I get to travel to unique places and live through other people’s stories while I’m stuck in my town working all summer.
Through my reads this month, I’ve been to Copenhagen, Jersey, North Carolina, Vermont, and California. And while physically I haven’t left England, mentally, it feels like I’ve travelled to all these fantastic places in just four weeks.
Best reads of June
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
I’m obsessed with Emily Henry. I read Beach Read last month, and it became my favourite read of 2022 so far. There’s something about her female characters that makes her books stand out from the usual romance novels.
Books Lovers fights the cliche storyline of stressed city people staying in a small town for a while that end up saving a local business, falling in love with a local and in the end decide to leave their exciting city life to move there for good.
I can’t lie, I love that reused plot, I think most of my favourite romantic movies follow this pattern, but I loved reading the other point of view, the one where the city person loves her lifestyle too much to change it.
“Nora.” He just barely smiles. “You’re in books. Of course you don’t have a life. None of us do. There’s always something too good to read.
That’s life. You’re always making decisions, taking paths that lead you away from the rest before you can see where they end. Maybe that’s why we as a species love stories so much. All those chances for do-overs, opportunities to live the lives we’ll never have.
Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens
A cute romance set in Jersey, part of the “leave your demanding city job and fall in love with a small town/island” trope. It was predictable and cosy, and I loved it. The perfect summer read.
Maybe it was easier to be happy for other people when I felt my own soulmate might be just around the corner, but I keep turning corners, and no one is ever there.
Murder by the Seaside: Classic Crime Stories for Summer by Cecily Gayford
This was an impulse buy while I was walking around Waterstones. A collection of short crime stories by some of the world’s top mystery writers set in summery towns, why not?
My thoughts on this collection is that they’re fast, easy-reads, perfect for when I was waiting outside my art class and didn’t want to read one of my exciting books because then I wouldn’t be able to put it down.
The Little Café in Copenhagen by Julie Caplin
I’m travelling to Copenhagen in a few months, and I realised I’ve never read any books set in Denmark. This is the type of book I would never choose to read because the cover is so corny. But I was wrong. This book was great, it felt realistic, and I really enjoyed the characters.
There were so many detailed descriptions of Copenhagen that made you feel like you were there, and the story explored the Danish culture and the concept of Hygge, my main reason to visit Denmark.
It was somehow balm to the soul to be surrounded by things of beauty, of style, of taste. It was the Danish equivalent of stopping to smell the roses.
The Counselors by Jessica Goodman
I didn’t hate this book, but I found it so boring… I couldn’t relate to the protagonist’s big secret because it didn’t make any sense. Set in a summer camp in Vermont for rich kids, a local teenager gets murdered, and no one knows who did it or why. The plot was just not my thing, it all felt very random.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
This was another disappointing read. I didn’t dislike it, but I was expecting to love it and I didn’t. It had all the good ingredients: a bookworm and introvert woman, colourful characters, a cat, a bit of romance… and yet, it was missing something for me. I know many people love this book, but for me, it was just… meh.
In public Nina was a quiet, reserved person; in private she was an all-singing, all-dancing cavalcade of light and motion. Unless she was a quivering ball of anxiety, because that was also a frequently selected option.
“And that’s why you like to be alone.” Eliza looked at her and smiled.
“How do you mean?”
“Because you prefer who you are when you’re alone.”
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story and Book Love by Debbie Tung
I’ve already written about how much I love Debbie Tung’s illustrations, I even made one inspired by her Quiet Girl comic. They’re cute comic books written for introverts and book lovers looking for a cosy read.
There is something really empowering about self-love… To understand yourself on a deep and personal level. And to accept everything you’re not can change your life in the most liberating way possible.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Denmark
I’ve already started to plan my trip to Copenhagen. I’m so excited! I have a big list of things to do, foods to try, places to visit… This travel guide was very helpful and full of insights to organise an exciting trip.
We’re about to enter July, and I hope the summer months go by quick. I need my autumn!