Hello lovelies, and Happy (VERY belated) June! I am hoping for a better June than April or May, but hopes often turn into dreams which are often figments of my imagination. However, I can try and promise myself to do better with my reading, and make my reading a priority again. There was a great article about the anxiety of reading in quarantine, and I identified with it a little *too* much.
“The problem is that you’re never going to actually resolve it. It’s not like tomorrow someone’s going to go, “Here’s the solution to coronavirus. Here’s the vaccine.” What we’re doing is trying to resolve this uncertainty that is unresolvable.
And in the end, you’re just promoting this anxiety. You’re trying to find the answer; you can’t find the answer; you hear about this conspiracy theory, that conspiracy theory. It just gets worse and worse and worse.
So why are people having difficulty concentrating? That’s part of the explanation: They’re trying to resolve an uncertainty that is unresolvable.”
I think that this anxiety of the unknown has continued even further with the current protests and need for justice – what can I do to help? Am I doing enough? Is reading helping anyone, and should I be engaging in such a selfish pursuit when people are dying?
And honestly, I can’t answer that. However, the mindset is unhealthy, and reading can and does help bring about real change. I would like to think that we can personally grow with every book we read, and inspire others to do the same through the actions (reading itself) and through the reviews we post and content we curate. While I have a couple of ARCs I am reading for this month and some preorders from my favorite series, I would also like to include books that are inspired by or helped to bring about social justice and change. Also, my fabulous book club is using next month’s book selection (we vote for the book in the prior month) to discuss a book related to anti-racism and Black History Month.
So, here is my (realistic) TBR for the month of June (I am late – new job, living in New York, life sucks, etc).
1. Currently reading A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians, by H.G. Parry
Honestly, this book feels like coming home to me in a weird way. I have been reading a lot of cozy mysteries lately, but my one true love when it comes to genres is fantasy, and I am a big fan of alternative histories / urban fantasy to be specific. So when I was offered the opportunity to review an ARC of a book about the French Revolution where the commoners are protesting their magic being blocked and slaves have their uprising in Jamaica with fire mages, I am ALL for it. This is taking me a little while to read, but it isn’t the book, it is me (see above).
2. Currently reading The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham
To be honest, this book wasn’t what I wanted out of it, and now I am trying to make due. It is taking me a while to even flip through it because where I was expecting useful spells and actual ritual, I am given a laundry list of superstitions from around the world of how to protect your home. While some of the tips I can get behind and potentially use (growing rosemary by your front porch, sweeping negativity away, etc), I was looking for a substantive book on protecting your home in these crazy times, and this was not it.
3. Next up is Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
I have to admit, I am a little wary. This was my book club’s pick for our June theme, “Summer Time Sadness,” and while it looks entertaining, the reviews leave me pretty apprehensive. We will see… anything for my book club ladies. My book club has been only of the only saving graces of the quarantine, and even if I hate this book, it was worth it to get out of my comfort zone and discuss my feelings in the group.
4. Soon to come is The Grim Reader, by Kate Carlisle
While it is true, and I am going to try and take a cozy mystery break after quarantine is over, my OG series still need to be read. Kate Carlisle has always been on my pre-order list ever since I binge read the Bookbinder series which follows Brooklyn, an antiquarian book binder and book creator in San Francisco who lives *literally* my dream life. This is the fourteenth(!) book in the series, and I am so excited. A series that can keep you this excited for this long should never be missed.
5. For work, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis
I have a confession to make: I work in finance. Not the “we crashed the economy and eff you little people” kind of way, but as a compliance officer that monitors derivatives. Snooze, right? I tend to agree, but my program makes me rotate positions. So while I used to work in financial crimes, now I have to learn what the hell a derivative is. In comes The Big Short. One of my best friends from law school had to read this for her corporate finance class, and swears it is idiot proof. Sounds good to me!
I kept this list short, because it really is a struggle to get motivated to read (or exercise, or eat, or anything, really). However, I hope that there is a brighter future ahead. Please send me any recommendations!