Tater’s June 2021 in Books

After a delay for vacation and home Internet issues my monthly reading report is finally here. I didn’t read a lot of books, but I read a lot of pages. I wish Goodreads would let me do a page number goal. Here we go.

  1. The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

This is a prequel to Pillars of the Earth. The story revolves around three characters: Edgar, a young boat builder whose life changes when his village is attacked by Vikings, Aldred, a young monk who wants to transform his abbey into a center for learning, and Ragna, a French noblewoman who moves to England to marry a local ealdorman. The ealdorman and his brothers wield power over the area and allow corruption to run rampant. Edgar and Aldred run afoul of the corrupt leaders and Ragna realizes the ways of her husband and his family are not noble at all. It is a very long book. I think it is worth all 900 pages. I loved Pillars of the Earth and I enjoyed the story of how Knightsbridge was started. I didn’t feel like the length was due to a lot of filler or unnecessary details. I don’t think you necessarily need to read Pillars of the Earth before this one.

2. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

16 year old Bree, still mourning her mom’s death in an accident, heads off to a residential program for high schoolers at UNC Chapel Hill. On her first night there, she witnesses a magical attack at an off campus party in the woods. A fellow student tries and fails to erase her memory of the event and triggers another memory of someone else erasing her memory after her mom died. She discovers a secret world of “Legendborn” students who hunt and kill the “Shadowborn” monsters that break through to our world. She enlists the help of a self-exiled Legendborn student to find out the truth about her mom and the secret society. I liked the book. It ties into the King Arthur legend in an interesting way. Bree is black and the Legendborns are not racially diverse. She discovers secrets about her family’s history. There is a nice twist at the end. It is set up for a continuation of the story. The only downside is that it is a little too long. Why are books so long these days?

3. An Alien Heat by Michael Moorcock

This weird little book takes place in the far future of Earth. The inhabitants of Earth are now immortals who spend their days with trivial and hedonistic pursuits. Jharek is fascinated by the Victorian Era. When a time traveler, Mrs. Amelia Underwood, arrives from that era arrives Jharek resolves to fall in love with her. Eventually, she also falls in love with him, but then is transported back to her time. Jharek follows, is tricked into participating in a robbery, and is arrested. At his trial, he discovers the judge is his friend Lord Jagged from his time. It is a very odd story. I don’t think it would be everyone’s cup of tea. It is a very short, fast read. I have ordered the second book in the series.

4. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel’s traditional family has problems accepting his gender and will not allow him to go through the ritual to become a real brujo. He decides to go through the ritual anyway with the help of his cousin Maritza. He unlocks his power and then discovers his cousin has been killed. When he tries to summon the ghost of his cousin to set him free he instead summons the ghost of Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy. He agrees to help Julian find out who killed him before he releases his ghost. As he gets to know Julian he realizes he does not want him to leave. I liked the book, It was an interesting story with good characters. I did feel like some of the emotions depicted toward the end were a little strong given how short a time the characters actually knew each other. Otherwise, I would recommend it.

5. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis

I only read this because of book club. I’m not a big fan of The Muppets and don’t remember ever watching Sesame Street. I had the ideal conditions to force myself to finish the book – an 8 hour car ride followed by a boring day at my mother-in-law’s house. I didn’t hate the book. There were some interesting stories. I did watch Captain Kangaroo as a kid and there was a lot about that show as several people who worked there also worked on Sesame Street. I did tell some of the stories in the book to my family. I thought the structure of the book was a discombobulated mess. I would only recommend it to major fans of Sesame Street.

6. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

I love YA books. I love mystery/thrillers. This is a combo of the two. The perfect book for me. Daunis is a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal. She has never fit in with her rich white family or on the Ojibwe reservation where her dad’s family lives. Daunis has decided to say home and go to the local college to help her mom when she witnesses a murder and is recruited to help a federal investigation into a meth ring in the area. It’s a great mix of native culture, mystery, action, romance, There was no forced Hollywood happy ending. It was a great book.

I’m now 5 books behind schedule on my reading, but I feel like I’m good when it comes to page number. I also feel pretty good about the mix of genre and diversity of authors.

8 thoughts on “Tater’s June 2021 in Books

  1. I have only read the Follett, which for me was way too long. It was also a bit relentless, as in the main characters just can’t get a break. I’m probably not going to move on to Pillars of the Earth, though my sister has all of that series so I can try it whenever I want. You definitely read a good variety of books. I find doing that keeps my mind active when reading. I have an omnibus volume of Moorcock’s Jharek Eternal Champion series that I found used. I’m pretty sure I read an Alien Heat, but it was so long ago I don’t remember it. I really enjoyed the Elric series and have read a couple more of the Eternal Champion heroes’ series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For every book over 400 pages add a picture book like the new Jon Klassen. Or a quick GN. Balance. Or just decrease your challenge number by 1 for each long volume. Make it a win for you it’s not supposed to be a chore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to go to schools to promote books for the library. I was also on a committee twice to read hundreds of YA books to choose the “great books” for a big one day conference. I’ve been reading them ever since

      Liked by 1 person

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