June was both long and short this year. Each day was crammed and felt, at times, neverending. But when we returned home from the lake this Sunday I was genuinely surprised that July was here. I only read three books in June, but I must have taken refuge in each title. As I reflect on the month, I think about time spent reading. Sometime our books are our best friends.
Here’s what I read in June:
At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider
I have a small stack of books about home and belonging I want to read this summer, and this was on top of the pile. This memoir about traveling the world from east to west - with three elementary aged kids - was a delight. Tsh struck the perfect balance of demonstrating the joys of adventure and the aspects of belonging to a community that make a place to call home so sweet. I’m still thinking about how I can incorporate what I learned about belonging and community into my daily life in my small town, but was hit me from the first page was that I don’t need to worry that having a family will halt any wanderlust. I think you should read this whole book, but if you don’t, at least read the introduction. I felt like Tsh was a spirit telling me exactly what I needed to hear.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
In this beautiful graphic novel, Cece Bell tells the story of how she lost her hearing and how she learned to you her difference as a strength. I was struck by how well she portrayed what it’s like to be young and feel different, like you don’t fit in. Sometimes this was downright hilarious, and sometimes a little sad. The illustrations are fantastic, and I loved this story.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
Backman does it again. Wow. This is a fantastic novel. I think I even liked it a bit better than Beartown, the first installment of the story. But be warned, this is not a light and happy summer read. I love these characters, and I cried more than once at the accuracy in which Backman describes difficult emotions. If you haven’t read Beartown, pick that up first, but I highly recommend Us Against You. I don’t care much about sports, but I’m amazed once again at how Backman uses hockey to talk about relationships, people, and community.
I hope to read more in July, especially when the weather allows for reading on the deck. A great book, an ice cold drink, and the summer sun makes for the very finest meetings of the Introvert’s Book Club. Happy reading!