June 2023 Review

How are we halfway through 2023 already? How? I don’t feel that I have read enough, but somehow I finished my 99th book on June 30th. I am ahead of schedule in terms of the good reads challenge, but less so on other challenges! Ho hum. I read 17 books in June. Always less than I hope for, but seeing what other people post on social media, I am doing much better than I think I am. So here they are:


Books Read

David Weston: An Artist at Home and Abroad – David Weston – 3.5 stars

Small Island: A History Of Britain In 12 Maps – Philip Parker – 3 stars

Acts of Desperation – Megan Nolan – 2.5 stars

Exciting Times – Naoise Dolan – 2.5 stars

Here Comes the Miracle – Anna Beecher – 3 stars

Open Water – Nelson Caleb Azumah – 3 stars

Shy – Max Porter – 3 stars

Grounding: Finding Home In A Garden – Lulah Ellender – 4.5 stars

Hard Lying; An Intelligence Officer on the Levantine Shore, 1914-1919 – Lewen Weldon – 4 stars

The Ten Equations That Rule The World And How You Can Use Them Too – David Sumpter – 3 stars

In Her Nature: How Women Break Boundaries In The Great Outdoors : A Past, Present And Personal Story – Rachel Hewitt – 4 stars

How to Read a Tree: Clues and Patterns from Bark to Leaves – Tristan Gooley – 4 stars

The Language of Trees: How Trees Make Our World, Change Our Minds and Rewild Our Lives – Katie Holten – 4.5 starsMy Darling from the Lions – Rachel Long – 3 stars

The Testaments – Margaret Atwood – 4 stars

Nomads: The Wanderers Who Shaped Our World – Anthony Sattin – 4 stars


Book(s) Of The Month

Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir Of Poverty, Nature And Resilience – Natasha Carthew – 5 stars


Top Genres

Natural History – 14

Travel – 13

Fiction – 13

Poetry – 9

Memoir – 7

History – 6

Science Fiction – 6

Photography – 3

Fantasy – 3

Art – 2


Top Publishers

Faber & Faber – 8

Allen Lane – 3

Bloomsbury – 3

Jonathan Cape – 3

William Collins – 3

Little Toller – 3

Monoray – 3

Michael Joseph – 3

Chatto & Windus – 3

Simon & Schuster – 3


Review Copies Received

Wind: Nature And Culture – Louise M Pryke

Moderate Becoming Good Later: Sea Kayaking the Shipping Forecast – Katie Carr & Toby Carr

Call of the Kingfisher: Bright Sights and Birdsong in a Year by the River – Nick Penny

An Almost Impossible Thing: The Radical Lives of Britain’s Pioneering Women Gardeners – Fiona Davidson


Library Books Checked Out

Shy – Max Porter

The Swimmer: The Wild Life Of Roger Deakin – Patrick Barkham

La Vie: A Year In Rural France – John Lewis-Stempel

The Turning Tide: A Biography Of The Irish Sea – Jon Gower

Blue Dahlia, Black Gold: A Journey Into Angola – Daniel Metcalfe


Books Bought

This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland – Gretel Ehrlich

Dorset Coast – James Crowden

A Local Habitation – Norman Nicholson

Forbidden Journey: From Peking To Kasmir – Ella Maillart, Tr. Thomas McGreevy

The Santiago Pilgrimage: Walking the Immortal Way – Jean-Christophe Rufin, Tr. Malcolm Imrie & Martina Dervis

Gargoyles and Grotesques – Alex Woodcock

Pondlife: A Swimmer’s Journal – Al Álvarez

Love and War in the Apennines – Eric Newby

A Fez of the Heart – Jeremy Seal

Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana – Isadora Tattlin

Impossible Journeys – Mathew Lyons

Island On The Edge: A Life on Soay – Anne Cholawo

An African in Greenland – Tété-Michel Kpomassie Tr. James Kirkup

With Chatwin: Portrait of a Writer – Susannah Clapp

The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book – Neil Gaiman

Inside Dorset – Monica Hutchings

Richard Bell’s Britain – Richard Bell

Postcards From the Beach – Phil Tufnell

The Wood Age: How One Material Shaped the Whole of Human History – Rolans Ennos

The Penguin Modern Painters: Henry Moore – Geoffry Grigson

The Penguin Modern Painters: Paul Nash – Herbert Read

The Penguin Modern Painters: Edward Burra – John Rothenstein

Any that you read from that list above? Any that you now want to read? Let me know in the comments below


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  1. Liz Dexter

    Ooh, An African in Greenland is excellent, and I like With Chatwin, too – I was just staring at that the other day as I perched on a storage box on wheels going through Biography.

    Did you review Open Water? Don’t let it put you off reading Small Worlds which bears out his early promise without the over-name-dropping and weird second person singular narrative voice!

    • Paul

      An African in Greenland was recommended to me by Dan Richards on Twitter and finally found a copy in a second hand bookshop. I have two Chatwin biographies to read now, and several of his books. I have ony read in Patagonia.

      I read it and quite liked it, but I am not reviewing any of the 20 book of summer books. Mermaid of the Black Conch was good too

      • Liz Dexter

        A new edition of African… weirdly popped up on NetGalley a while ago, very strange, as I’d been after a copy for literally years! I have the big Chatwin bio, too, and really enjoyed Songlines and the other one although In Patagonia was my favourite.

        • Paul

          How very odd! I have several of his fiction books too. I really need to read quicker

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