June 2017 Month in Review

July 14, 2017


Better late than never, right? Due to my hiatus, I didn’t get to this until mid-month. Oops! As you can see from both my On Hiatus! and the …And We’re Back! post I had some adventures at the end of June. Croatia was amazing – great food, amazing friends, wonderful vistas, stunning ruins, tons of education, and a beautiful wedding. I couldn’t have asked for more. Check out my ..And We’re Back! post for more photos and details about the trip.

This photo? It’s real. #NoFilter. Just the Adriatic Sea doing it’s thing. Man, is that gorgeous! …But it’s time to get back in the grind. My bookish life took a bit of a hit thanks to the vacation, but I couldn’t be more excited to dig in and get blogging!

June was an interesting month for posts. Almost all of my posts were for #AnneReadAlong2017! I’m glad I was able to stick with it as my time was limited in early June. I also published reviews for the entire Falconer trilogy. I’ve never published reviews for an entire trilogy, so that feels pretty good. Expect to see more diverse posts in July. I have so much planned. We’ll see how far I get. 😉


List of Reads

June had fewer reads than the last few months. As I was gearing up for the 2.5-week long trip I worked more and blogged less. I wasn’t super attentive on my friend’s blogs, but I still got a good amount of reading done thanks to my vacation. Nailed it!

June Books:

Read – 12 total books


MUST READ this month:

Anne of the Island – After Anne of Avonlea, I had less than stellar expectations for Anne of the Island. But wow– it blew me away. I really connected to a lot of Anne’s experiences as she progressed through young adulthood towards womanhood. She had high highs and low lows illustrated for me with beautiful prose. This is my favorite Anne of Green Gables book thus far. With Anne of Green Gables a VERY close second.

Meh. I wasn’t into it this month:

The Other Einstein –  This book was chosen as the most recent Big Library Read. I have often enjoyed these books, but The Other Einstein was a big DNF for me. This historical fiction tale about Albert Einstein’s first wife wasn’t particularly engaging. The pacing dragged for me and the characters were grating. It was well written, I’ll give it that! But… it wasn’t enough to keep my interest.

Challenge Updates

I’m making slow by steady progress on my yearly reading challenges. I’m finally starting to be concerned that I won’t complete some of these. For example, I’m just not interested in reading an 800+ page book this year. Any suggestions for a quick read I might enjoy? Ha.

  • Overall Reading Challenge: 78/110 (70%)
  • Listopia Challenge: 8/15 (53%)
  • PopSugar Reading Challenge: 23/52 (42%)
  • Read Harder Challenge: 16/24 (66%)


Tsundoku Life

It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me!

TBR Countdown:

No TBR update this month because it’s too embarrassing. Let’s see if I can improve my culling for next month. Maybe?

July TBR:

  • Our Shared Shelf  – The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
  • Kids Lit – Any Dear America books by Various Authors – specific books TBD
  • West Side Stories – Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
  • Brunch Books – Golden Son by Pierce Brown
  • VACB Book Club – Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
  • Popsugar Challenge – Stuart Little by E. B. White
  • Read Harder Challenge – Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
  • Listopia Challenge – Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

All my reading challenge books are the same from last month… O_o I really should dig deeper into those, shouldn’t I?

2017 Goal Update:

Wait! Jackie! Where is your goal update? After a few months of watching some goals just fall apart around me, and now that I’m in a job where I get paid to help people develop achievable goals and plans to achieve those goals, I’ve finally seen that I need to stop and reevaluate my goals. Expect a future post to focus on this — it’s time to refresh what success looks like.


All in all, a fairly successful month. I hope you all had a great start to your summer! I look forward to hearing how your own reading is going.

Happy Reading,

Jackie B.

Jackie B Forman

What do you think?

  • What are your summer plans? What books are on your summer TBR?
  • What sort of books do you enjoy reading in the summer? Does it vary from other times of the year?
  • Any recommendations for an 800+ page book I would get through quickly?
  • How do you feel about reading and blogging goals? Do you have some of your own? Are you sticking to them? Are you meeting them? Do you hate them? Let’s chat!


  • Evelina July 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

    You still read 12!! That more than me! How 😀 amazing!
    Gotta check out that photo post, I missed it 🙂

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      [Sooo embarrassed to have missed this. O_o]

      Hahaha– vacation helped! That’s the only reason I read more than you. You are a CRAZY reader. It blows my mind how many books you can get through, plus reviews and discussion posts and all that PLUS a full time job. Do you ever sleep? 😉

  • theorangutanlibrarian July 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

    So glad you had a good time- and wow that picture!! phew that’s a tough question about an 800 page book you can get through quickly- maybe monte cristo cos it’s so full of adventure?

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      [Sooo embarrassed to have missed this. O_o]

      Thanks! I was really working on my photography skills while I was there, so that means a ton to me. 😀 Evelina gets all the credit– she gave me some amazing tips.

      Oooh, The Count of Monte Cristo might be a great one. I just want a book that keeps me reading. I feel like most 800+ page books are, well, slow.

      • theorangutanlibrarian August 1, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        Oh don’t worry, I miss comments all the time and have to go back through old posts!!

        You’re welcome! Oh well you did a fantastic job!

        Ah yes, well Monte Cristo feels super fast!!

        • Jackie B August 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm

          Haha. Thank you! I feel good knowing I’m not alone in this. 😀

  • KrystiYAandWine July 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    That picture is GORGEOUS! That seems like such an amazing place to visit, and you still got through A LOT of books too! And you’re killing it on the challenges too. Way to go! High fives!!!

    • Jackie B July 18, 2017 at 10:13 am

      D’aw, thanks! I am starting to get worried about my challenges, honestly. Because like a fool I’ve saved all the hard books for last. O_o It really makes me feel good knowing that you think I’m making great progress. 😀

      And yes, Croatia is gorgeous. It actually almost got to a point where it became banal. “Oh, what’s that? Another gorgeous vista? Huh.” I miss the views terribly.

  • Annemieke July 15, 2017 at 4:06 am

    12 is still an amazing number! That first picture is gorgeous.

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you!! That means a lot to me; I was really trying to improve my photography skills on this trip. This proves to me I must have improved somehow! 😀

  • morethangeekylove July 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Greatt 12 books in 1 month and I see 2 I wish to read for a very long time now!! The 5th wave and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda I have heard awesome things about the latter one, but as you mentioned I ”have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me” and I don’t even know here to begin with! The struggle is real >.<

    I am soo looking forward to read your review for Sleeping Giants <3

    1. I don't really have summer plans, besides read and read xD and the books I have are mostly from NetGalley so I MUST read them.
    2. Actually I found myself reading more thrillers and contemporaries during summer o.O while most of the time I real fantasy, sci-fi.
    3. Mmmm, not sure if you would get through it quickly, but the only book I can think of with 800+ pages atm is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett if you have not read it yet.
    4. I dooonnnnntttttt I am sooo bad at planning and sticking to my plans and following them osuhfjbdkbA'KNBKDND it makes me mad at myself …

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      The struggle is SO REAL. Why are there so many books and so little time to get them read?! I wish I could live the life I want to live and read books all day long. Don’t you? 😉

      I can’t wait to finally get to my Sleeping Giants review either. There are some awesome things to talk about. Plus I can’t wait to read book two! Have you read them both?

      I’m so proud of you for kicking your way through the NetGalley books. I’ve definitely stumbled there. Oops! Do you think you’re reading more thriller/contemporaries during the summer due to your NetGalley approvals?

      Don’t be mad at yourself for a lack of goals! It motivates some people, but not others honestly. You do you and stay happy– that’s all which matters.

      • morethangeekylove August 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

        Yesss I knooww right!! Wish I could live until I read all the books! Hahah

        And now I have not read Sleeping Giants. but I’ve hear a lot of good things about it from Jesse the reader and I wanted to read it ever since i heard about it. So I will be looking forward to reading your review about it!!

        Ohhh thank you Jackie!! I was surprised myself too because I totally did not expected this coming and I am more than grateful to the Publishers for the opportunities I know they should pick up wisely and that costs them a lot so really I am more than thankful for that. As for the reading I am definitely reading more mysteries and contemporaries as well as graphic novels rather than fantasy or middle grade or else. So I have the mystery.contem kick currently I still cannot get read of it, but at least it helped get through my reading slump XD How about you??

        Thank youuuu I will keep that in mind I know I should not take it too seriously because at the end of the day I am doing it because it is something I love and I am passionate about and if I force myself into it, it would not be so special anymore it would be an obligation of a sort and this is not what I am after!! ^.^

        • Jackie B August 4, 2017 at 1:07 pm

          I think I’ve been letting my book clubs and blogger friends influence my reading more than I’d care to admit. I’m sooo behind on my NetGalley responses that, well, I am going to have to participate in #ARCAugust. I have mostly contemporaries, short story collections, and fantasy in my NetGalley queue. Perhaps I’ll make a dent in this this month? Who knows…

          Exactly! Stay happy and passionate. Keep up the great blogging work! I love following your various posts– it’s nice to see the variety.

          • morethangeekylove August 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm

            No worries I am sure you will get back on track, which reminds me that I must do the same thing hahaha even though I have completed my GD reading challenge I still have tons of books waiting for me sent by authors and NetGalley…. it is going to be a wild ride for both of us I guess…

            I love your posts as well even if I don’t comment I still check them out when I have the time :)))

            • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 10:36 am

              Thanks, Lin! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting when you have something to say. Don’t feel like you have to comment if you don’t have anything to mention! Just stopping by is enough.

              I’m so glad you completed your first challenge! Yeah, NetGalley is kicking my BUTT. That’s why I joined the #ARCAugust challenge! 😀

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom July 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    OOOOOO you read The Underground Railroad! You haven’t posted a review yet have you? Did I miss it?! I cannot wait to read your thoughts on it.

    What are your summer plans? What books are on your summer TBR?
    – My summer reading plans are to keep chipping away at my NetGalley TBR lol

    What sort of books do you enjoy reading in the summer? Does it vary from other times of the year?
    – I am not a seasonal reader… so I read any genre in the summer. I know most people like to read “lighter” books or contemporary, but not I 🙂

    Any recommendations for an 800+ page book I would get through quickly?
    – Is this a serious question? lol I’d like to know if you get any recs for a “quick” 800 page read lol

    How do you feel about reading and blogging goals? Do you have some of your own? Are you sticking to them? Are you meeting them? Do you hate them?
    – I am a huge goal setter! My goals for this year were to knock out my NetGalley TBR (doing ok in that department), read 100 books (I’ve read 72), and to work on promoting diverse children’s’ books (eh I need to do better on this one)

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      I have not posted my The Underground Railroad review yet– but it will come! I’ve been trying to get my thoughts down for quite a while now… it’s been a challenge! There are so many things to consider.

      I love that you are spending your summer chipping away at your NetGalley TBR. I really should take a page out of your book when it comes to that. I have far too many books waiting for me. And it must help that you don’t seasonally read, then. 😀

      It is totally a serious question about an 800+ page book I’d get through quickly. You know, something which is fast paced and I’ll want to keep reading. I am looking for more or less the opposite of a slow burner. A book which I will want to lose sleep over reading. Probably a bit much to ask, hm?

      Wow! You’re actually doing an AMAZING job with your goals. I feel like every other review you post is from a NetGalley ARC. Keep up the great work. And you’re doing a great job promoting diverse children’s books. You have fewer posts, but those posts encompass quite a few books. Give yourself a break. 😉

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea July 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I am not sure how you managed to read so much with the trip this month! You amaze me with much you accomplish. I am very pleased to see Anne of the Island was a bit win (of course I knew this from the previous post 😉 ). I am curious to see your thoughts on Sleeping Giants. I have a copy on my Kindle I believe. Great month my dear <3

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Hahaha– Thanks, Danielle! I don’t know how I managed it either (or how I managed to miss your comment… O_o ) — but I didn’t get nearly as many books read in July to make up for it. 😉 And you are constantly posting amazing reviews– I Feel like you read a ton more than I do!

      My review for Sleeping Giants is on hold for now. I’m really struggling to document my thoughts!

      • Books, Vertigo and Tea August 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm

        I have so many reviews that were on hold from my hiatus. I wanted to cheat and write up drafts, but that would defeat the point of trying to reduce screen time. I hope I can collect my thoughts on the books still 🙂

        • Jackie B August 29, 2017 at 8:30 pm

          Hmmm. Do you have some sort of Voice to Text application? That might help you draft things without looking at the screens… but, it would require quite a bit of editing afterwards.

          I wish you all the best catching back up!!

          • Books, Vertigo and Tea August 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

            You know.. I considered this. Another friend made a similar suggestion. But I just switched to a Chromebook. I don’t like to keep personal stuff on the laptop (work). I would probably need to buy a new laptop huh? I gave my old pc to my son.

            • Jackie B August 30, 2017 at 2:15 pm

              I went almost a decade without a personal computer, so I totally understand. But the Chromebook wouldn’t really help you with the voice-to-text, I don’t think… Perhaps on your phone? It’s even clunkier, but, well, might work?

              • Books, Vertigo and Tea August 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm

                I may just invest in a second laptop at some point 😉 If it comes down to it.

  • Marie July 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Ahah it is crazy how you read so much even while being on your trip and everything! Crazy, but great, I am sooo impressed.

    To answer your questions, for now I am trying to survive at work but looking forward to holidays and traveling in August for sure! I really looooooove to read contemporaries in the summer, they’re sweet and quick to read 🙂

    • Jackie B July 26, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks, Marie! It was easy to read that much only because I was traveling with a group of people who liked their down time. Plus, with it taking 2 full days of travel to get from Wisconsin, USA to Dubrovnik, Croatia I had a lot of down time there.

      Where are you traveling this August? And do you have any contemporaries you’d recommend as good summer reads? I don’t read many contemporaries and I’d love some recommendations!

      • Marie July 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Wow, yes, that must have been quite a long trip – but worth it, I bet 🙂
        I’m going to be travelling a bit here and there in Europe, Switzerland, Ireland and South of France 🙂
        OHHHH do not get me started on contemporaries, you will get sick of me very quickly, I’m afraid, ahah. I’d recommend all of Morgan Matson’s books because she is FANTASTIC at writing sweet, summery contemporaries. I would also recommend The Summer of Chasing Mermaids or #Scandal, two books by Sarah Ockler. When Dimple Met Rishi is a great contemporary as well, I fell in love with a great but a bit more intense contemporary, I’ll Meet You There, the other day. Loved 180 seconds (contemporary in between YA – NA), the Lara Jean series by Jenny Han….. I have too many books to recommend ahah 🙂

        • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 2:47 pm

          I love that “traveling a bit here and there” includes soooo many locations! I’m super jealous.

          I love all your book recommendations! The only ones I’ve heard of are When Dimple Met Rishi and the Lara Jean series. But the others sound great too. Thanks for giving my contemporaries TBR a boost!

          • Marie August 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

            Well, if you ever need contemporary recs, I’m here 😀

  • KrystiYAandWine July 18, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Ooooh, what are your hard books then? I’m intrigued.

    That’s actually how I felt when we were in Italy last year. You become so used to seeing all the gorgeous architecture and views that you almost stop noticing it. You have to make a conscious effort to see it!

    • Jackie B July 27, 2017 at 8:53 am

      The books I’m considering “hard” are The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. I’m sure there are other challenging books too. I just left all the more difficult reading challenge items for the end. Like an 800+ book, or a book that’s been on my TBR for way too long… They are going to be great books! But, they aren’t the sorts of things I’d typically reach for. Oops!

      • KrystiYAandWine July 27, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        The only one of those that I’ve heard of previously is On the Road, and that does sound like a more challenging read. You’ll have to let me know how your progress with those ones. 800+ book is a lot to tackle, but you’ve got this! You’re a reading queen!

        • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm

          All your positive comments make me so happy. I am so lucky to have the amazing bookish community I have. You are all wonderful people. Whenever I have a bad day, I just hunt around your blogs and BAM: bad day cured. <3

          • KrystiYAandWine August 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm

            Oh, good! We do have such a wonderful book community! They make my day every day. 🙂

  • Adoptabookaus August 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    So glad you liked Sleeping Giants! Hope you love Waking Gods when you read it, I enjoyed it more then the first 😀 Shame about Simon Vs I liked it but read it a fair while ago, still excited for the movie adaptation!

    • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 8:06 am

      I bet a movie adaptation will of Simon vs. will be really good. I just couldn’t get into the voices of the characters all that much. I am still working on that review, but I think this would be better received (from me) as a film. I’ll certainly keep an eye out for that one. I had no idea they were making one!

      And I cannot *wait* to read Waking Gods. I’m only number 13 at the library now! Good things come to those who wait, yeah?

      • Adoptabookaus August 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm

        omg 13! Yes good things come to those who wait xD Plus the next book isn’t out till next year so the later you read it the less painful the wait will be! It’s really a win win all round.

        Yep! it’s already cast and the actors look pretty well suited, I think it’ll translate really well to film even if they do make changes to the plot 😀

        • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

          Thank you for reinforcing my waiting. 😀 It can be so hard to wait for a whole series to come out sometimes!

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