Wednesday, July 05, 2017

What I Read | June

A look back at what I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread

Hi, bookworms! It's time to chat about the books we read last month. Unfortunately, I was off my game and didn't get a lot of reading done, but I did manage to get through a few books and found some good ones. What was your favorite book from June?

Must Read

One More Thing by B.J. Novak | ★★★★★
From an actor, writer, and director of the hit TV comedy The Office (US version): a story collection that was "workshopped" at comedy clubs and bookstores on both coasts.

B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut collection that signals the arrival of a welcome new voice in American fiction.

Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, Novak's assured prose and expansive imagination introduce readers to people, places, and premises that are hilarious, insightful, provocative, and moving-often at the same time.

In One More Thing, a boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. Author John Grisham contemplates a monumental typo. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who debate how to stage an intervention in the era of Facebook. We learn why wearing a red t-shirt every day is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just... down.

Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, from the deeply familiar to the intoxicatingly imaginative, One More Thing finds its heart in the most human of phenomena: love, fear, family, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might make a person complete. The stories in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader. - Goodreads description

You guys, I have raved about this book on more than one occasion. If you haven't read it yet. YOU NEED TO. It is so insightful and witty and spot on and it will make you think about all the things. Novak is a genius!

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett | ★★★★
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. - Goodreads description

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. While it was a bit of a slow read for me, it was well-written and entertaining and the narrative was superb.

Other mentions for the month of June:

Dead White Men by Shane Rhodes  | ★★★★
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict  | ★★★
The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christakis  | ★★★☆☆
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe  | ★★★☆☆
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift  | ★★★☆☆
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson  | ★★★☆☆
The Windless Echo by Oliver Kaufman  | ★★★☆☆
The Aeneid by Virgil  | ★★☆☆☆
Runaway by Alice Munro  | ★★☆☆☆

P.S. Since we're on the topic of books today, I wanted to share that I wrote a guest post for Scale It Simple about three books that taught me self-love. I'd adore you if you dropped by to check it out and said hello to my friend, Steph. She has such a fun blog and writes about a lot of great topics!

What did you enjoy reading last month? Also, don't forget you can download my FREE Summer Reading List printable.

The post What I Read | June first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!


  1. I want to read BJ Novak's book! Right now, I'm reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I loved the last book I read of hers and now I want to read all her older ones too!

  2. Jodi Picoult's books are so good but I have to space them out because they are about some heavy topics. I still can't read My Sister's Keeper without getting fired up. :)

  3. One More Thing sounds amazing! I haven't heard much about it before this! I will definitely give this one a look!

  4. I've actually been reading a lot of YA novels especially in the summer because they are short and sweet. The most notable for me so far is "Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here" by Anna Breslaw. It's super cute, it's about a girl who favorite TV show gets canceled and she started to write fanfiction about people in her life instead of the characters on her show. Then they find out out her stories.

  5. YA novels make great beach reads! That book sounds really fun!

  6. Thanks for the reviews!

    I read 'only' four books in June, but I enjoyed them all.... my favorite was probably "The Signatureo of all Things" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

  7. I need to read that Liz Gilbert book. I think I've read all of her others and they are some of my favorites.

  8. I re-read 'You Are a Badass' by Jen Sincero and absolutely loved picking out little notes I missed the first time.

  9. That is one I have not read yet. I need to pick it up!

  10. I just finished "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***" by Mark Manson. If you don't mind profanity, it was an interesting read about how we often put too much focus/blame on other people, when in reality, we should care more about taking responsibility in our lives for how we feel. I liked it. :)

    I'm glad to hear that you liked Commonwealth, I definitely want to check that one out soon!

  11. Ok, that book sounds like it's right up my alley! I need to check that one out ASAP. :)

  12. Commonwealth is on my list to read! Your review makes me want to read it next :) BJ Novak's book sounds really interesting, too!

  13. I really enjoyed Commonwealth. I love Novak's book - you should definitely give it a go. :)

  14. I've never read any of those but I am impressed by how many you read! I have been working on Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire for over a month *covers face*.

  15. I'm going to the beach tomorrow and I'm going to download One More Thing on my kindle right now!

  16. It would be a great beach read! Hope you have a fun trip!

  17. Shamefully, I've only ever read the first Harry Potter book. I need to work on that series!

  18. shootingstarsmagJuly 5, 2017 at 9:51 PM

    Thanks for sharing! I really want to read One More Thing - hopefully soon.


  19. So many great books. I have a huge pile of books to read still.

  20. Novak's new book seems pretty interesting! I'll have to put it on my list.

  21. That collection of stories from Novak sounds fantastic!! I need to check it out!

  22. You should. I enjoy it every time I read it!

  23. Jessica BradshawJuly 6, 2017 at 10:28 PM

    You read so much! I love it. I have to get a hold of the BJ Novak book. That sounds like something even my husband would like.

  24. Men dig Novak's book. I bet he would really enjoy it!