I’m kind of appalled that I only read four books in the month of June. Last year, that would have been just fine with me. But now that I’m a bona fide reading machine, I’m embarrassed to even let you see this puny book review.
But what the heck, you’re already here . . .
Hamlet by William Shakespeare ♥♥♥
If you want to read Shakespeare but are intimidated by the inter-century language barrier, try the No Fear Shakespeare series. It turns flowery, confusing Renaissance-era English into something you can actually understand. The original text is on the left page, and the modern text is on the right. After you read the play all the way through in plain English, you can go back and try the crazy English for some intellectual exercise. It’s what word nerds do for fun (I heard).
Best American Short Stories of 2007 edited by Heidi Pitlor and Stephen King ♥♥♥
St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Hands down, the best story I have read, ever. Can someone please put a spell on Karen Russell so she lives forever and keeps writing new stories every year for the rest of our lives? The other story I really enjoyed in this anthology was The Toga Party by John Barth. It’s about an older couple who wonder whether they should face their old age or make a quick escape to avoid “the crappy last lap.” Oddly enough, I found it more comforting than depressing.
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (Fiction) ♥♥♥
This book wasn’t great, but it was good enough to snag my attention for a couple days. A honeymooning couple finds a bag full of cash and diamonds floating in the South Pacific, and things get complicated (and dangerous) quickly when they decide to keep it. After a slow start, this book became a fast-paced thriller. Hold up, replace “fast-paced” with steady and “thriller” with mildly captivating story.
The Witches by Roald Dahl ♥♥♥
Re-read of a classic. Isn’t it interesting the small details that stick in our minds while the main plot points fly away like dandelion puffs? All I could remember from reading this as a kid was that the witches have square feet with no toes, but I forgot all about how the main character is turned into a mouse! A fun story and quick read. Which makes you wonder why I couldn’t fit in more than four books this month, right?
Exciting news for future (beefier) book reviews: Kevin Wilson and Ann Patchett both have new books coming out!