June Round Up

Seriously? July already? I didn’t see that coming. Let’s take a gander at what I’ve been reading, shall we?


Additional books reviewed:

And of course, I have planned my schedule for the Edinburgh Book Festival.

I’ve got some pretty good plans for July and August as well, but that will have to wait for tomorrow’s post!

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

sleepwalkers guide to dancingWhen it comes to reading good books, I seem to be on a roll lately. I finished The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob in record time and stayed up far too late doing it. Initially it reminded me of Em and The Big Hoom (review) as both books are set in Indian families dealing with what can be broadly termed psychological complexities, but within a hundred pages Jacob’s book stood apart with its own set of well wrought characters. Continue reading

Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto


June is Mental Health Awareness Month hosted by Leah @ Uncorked Thoughts and Ula @ Blog of Erised. Even though I found out about it a little late, I still wanted to support their efforts and this important cause. June is almost over, but I am pleased that I can include my review of Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto as part of this event.

em and the big hoomPinto has written one masterpiece of a book with Em and the Big Hoom. Set in Mumbai, story revolves around Em, the bipolar mother of our narrator. And I mean the story literally revolves around her. Pinto examines Em’s moods, depression and hospitalizations through each of the members of her family. It shows how mental illness is not a solitary affair, but effects everyone it comes into contact with. Continue reading

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is MissingEverything you’ve heard about Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey is true. It is brilliant, beautiful and heart breaking. I am at a loss to understand how someone so young (28) could write such an accurate and sensitive portrayal of aging. At the heart of Elizabeth is Missing is Maud, who is quickly loosing touch with the present as she slips into the miasma of Alzheimer’s or dementia. She is convinced that something untoward has happened to her good friend Elizabeth, as something horrid had happened to her sister at least sixty years earlier. Continue reading

Edinburgh Book Festival 2014

You know you are a dedicated book nerd when your favorite day of the year is the day the program for your local book festival is announced. Lucky for me, I live in Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Book Festival is truly top notch.


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O, Africa by Andrew Lewis Conn

O AfricaYet again, I should have read the blurb more carefully when I picked this book. True, O, Africa by Andrew Lewis Conn is partially set in Africa in the 1920’s, but it was still not what I’d envisioned (ie/ Out of Africa). I should have read the comparisons to Chabon’s Cavalier and Clay and Doctorow’s Ragtime to know that this was not the book for me. Continue reading

Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth

Flying Shoes by Lisa HoworthFlying Shoes by Lisa Howorth is going to be one of the big debut novels of the year. Howorth is already loved by many as the co-owner of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi and the industry has certainly got behind her for the release of Flying Shoes on June 17, 2014. But then there is also the fact that Flying Shoes is just a really good novel. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Summer Reading


Who knew that making a Top Ten List could be so hard? I set certain limitations on myself for this list: no Advanced Readers Copies and at least some back list. I even included three titles from my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by the Roof Beam Reader. And as always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Looking at the list now, I am realizing how terribly UN-diverse it seems. Rest assured, I will be reading other things this summer. I mean, two months and only 10 books? I can do better than that!

The Sixteenth of June by Maya Lang

The-Sixteenth-of-juneToday is June 16, and if you know why that is important in the literary world, then The Sixteenth of June by Maya Lang will quite likely appeal to you. If you don’t know or care about Bloomsday, there is a good chance that you will like The Sixteenth of June if you tend to like the books I like. Continue reading

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

the-boys-in-the-boatI know, me and a book about sports? I don’t think so. But trust me, it is a little different with Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. First, it came highly recommended from people I trust. Second, it is about rowing, a sport to which I have some experience and sentimental attachment.

Boys in the Boat recounts the journey of men’s eight crew to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Brown enters this narrative through Joe Rantz and his fellow crew mates at the University of Washington. Although rowing is often associated with blue bloods and the Ivy League elite, in the case of the Washington crew this could not be further from the truth. The students who comprised the crew often came from rough backgrounds and truly suffered during the years of the Great Depression. This makes Boys in the Boat a story of underdogs triumphing over adversity and making good on the world stage of the Olympic. Continue reading