June 2020 Review

Another month has gone by in this year that never ends… And another 16 books read too and I thought it was a really good reading month with lots of variety.

I was kindly sent one of the shortlisted books, Cricket Country, to read for the Wolfson blog tour, run in conjunction with the prize publicity. This book by Prashant Kidambi is about the Indian Cricket Team and is a well researched and detailed account of their early history.

I will admit to having had this in my to-read pile for far too long before picking it up. I am not a big reader of fiction, but The Glass Woman had a certain sort of appeal and I was lucky enough to get a copy sent to me. Set in Iceland, it is a story of a young lady who because of misfortune is betrothed to a man whose previous wife dies in mysterious circumstances. He is very strict and she is forbidden from talking to any of the other villagers. It is very atmospheric and full of dark creepy moments.

The natural world is full of many wonders, but for many people around the world, it has a large spiritual element too. In Wanderland, Jinny Reddy explores various places around the UK with the hope of finding that extra dimension.

My two poetry books this month were new books out from Chris Emery and Edward Ragg. Both very different and I enjoyed both of them very much.


Sadly we still live in a world where a vast proportion of the population are still under some form of dictatorship or restricted authoritarian leader. The Dictatorship Syndrome book by Alaa Al Aswany is a considered approach to why this happens and steps we can take to stop this happening.

I have read a number of Steven Johnson’s books in the past and picked this up in the library a while before they closed. It is about the process of making decisions and started off well before fizzling out a little.

Two little chemistry books this month that look at the same subject elements (sorry) in very different ways. The first book looks at 50 elements and some of their history and the second covers all the elements.


There were five travel books in this months reading, the first two are by the same author, but set in very different places. In Against a Peacock Sky, Monica Connell is high up in Nepal learning about the people of Talphi. Closer to home, Gathering Carrageen is about time spent on the wild coat of Donegal. She is a beautiful writer. Another travel classic is Roumeli by the immense talent that is Patrick Leigh Fermor. Another very good book about the country that he fell in love with, Greece.


The Frayed Atlantic Edge is a book about travel and history and people and place. In this David Gange travels down the western seaboard of our island and experiences all that the Atlantic Ocean throws at him. Though it was really good. This next book is one for my #20BooksOfSummer and #WorldFromMyArmchair Challenge and is a blend of history, travel and biography about the author George Orwell. Really nicely written book.


I normally hate football, but my first book of the month is a book about football, Unseen Academicals. But is it Terry Pratchett who manages to make this so much more than the beautiful game (it isn’t, that is cricket…) and does it with wonderfully wry humour about the human condition. My second book of the month is Greenery, the latest book from the writing genius that is Tim Dee. He is following the swallows from South Africa north into Europe, but there is so much more to this. Like all of his others, it is magnificent.


Have you read any of these?


Now you have seen them, is there any that you want to read now?


Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    I agree about cricket vs football!! Did I see your review about the Wolfson book? I think I’ve missed some of yours as I got horribly behind for a bit. Great reading anyway.

    • Paul

      I don’t like the fact that football dominates all sports and it is something we are expected to like. Cricket is much more civilised. Not sure if you did, Liz, it is worth reading though

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