It is finally summertime in the city! We’ve been doing really well on our monthly reading challenges so far, and with the added bonus of the nice weather we’ve been reading up a storm while lounging in pool chairs and on park benches. Take a look at which adaptations we read in June, and tell us how you did in the comments. Then, look below for our July challenge!
Kelly’s June Challenge
I slayed our last challenge. I read all three of my books (Exit, Pursued by a Bear; Lacombe Lucien; and Stars Above), and finished fairly early on in the month. This gave me time to go back and read a book I missed during the May challenge: The Bell Jar.
Elizabeth’s June Challenge
I did better this month. I read Into the Wild, and was fascinated by the story of why and how Chris McCandless disappeared into the wilderness. I revisited The Hours, as planned, but have not yet made the time to watch the movie. I also read an old May challenge book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Want to know our thoughts on these reads? Check out our Friday Reads tag to keep up.
We’re really excited about July’s challenge because it’s encouraging us to read diversely. It’s well documented that there’s a diversity problem in publishing, and we wanted this month’s challenge to encourage readers to help fix that starting with their own shelves. This simple prompt opens endless options: sexuality, gender, race, religion, disability, illness, mental health, and more. Essentially, we want you to look at your shelves and your most recent reads and think about what is missing. Are there no authors of color? Is everyone heterosexual? Do you see only male names? If you need some inspiration, take a look at which books we’re picking up.
Kelly’s July Challenge
Captive Prince Trilogy
Victoria Schwab, Christina Lauren, and Sarah J. Maas all rave endlessly about this series. As a fan of those three authors, I figured I couldn’t miss out. I picked up Captive Prince in June, and am already on book two, Prince’s Gambit. The slow-burning romance between Laurent and Damen is wonderfully written, and I’m really enjoying the growing tension between them (but seriously, when are these guys gonna kiss?!). I’m flying through these chapters, so I imagine I’ll read the third book this month too!
The YA world has been buzzing all summer about Sarah Crossan. She won the CILIP Carnegie medal, the Irish Children’s Book of the Year award, and The Bookseller’s YA Book Prize with this book. I’m tired of being the only one out of the loop, so I’m checking this verse novel about conjoined twins off my list this month!
I’m hoping to go down the shore for a few days this month, and this book totally has a spot in my beach bag. Look at that cover! It’s begging me to pack up my SPF and towel and hit the sand. This book about a Caribbean singer who loses her voice in a terrible accident has been sitting on my TBR shelf since last year, and it’s about time I got around to reading it.
Elizabeth’s July Challenge
Margo Jefferson teaches in my program at Columbia, and I have so much respect and admiration for her work. Negroland takes on issues of race and class, and is set in my home city: Chicago. I’ve heard that this book is incisive in its observations, and also gripping on a prose level. I can’t wait to spend time inside Jefferson’s head and take it all in.
This book has literally been on my list since before it came out. Just about everything I’ve read about this novel has classified it as important and totally exceptional. A Little Life tells the story of four men with different backgrounds, orientations, and outlooks on the world. I’ve been warned that once I start, I’ll have trouble stepping away from this novel.
I’m finally doing it, guys. I’m finally reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This book also has been on my list forever, and falls into one of my favorite genres: narrative nonfiction. Rebecca Skloot recounts the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells’ crucial role in medical history. Skloot also shows readers how Lacks was exploited because of her race, and raises important ethical questions.