June! The month of weddings and graduations, strawberries and roses. Lavender and thyme come into bloom and lemonade stands blossom around the neighborhood. But mostly it is a month of slack.
This is a between time. Planting time is winding down but harvest is not yet winding up. School is out but summer programs haven’t started yet. It’s not quite time for vacations but it’s impossible to focus on work. In the desert, June is the month of waiting for the monsoon to hit around the 4th of July. And then three weeks in we have the ultimate slack time, the summer solstice, where even the sun stands still. Sort of.
I am not a summer person. June is rather something to endure. But one summer tradition that I wholly embrace is summer reading. ’Tis the season for losing yourself in adventure, mystery, fantasy. I even read a few romances in June. Then, there are all the nooks and crannies and unexplored corridors of history. Nothing with battles, dates and important people. So many interesting stories about forests and cities, craft and food, trade routes and the making of boats through the ages.
In keeping with the theme of summer reading, there is a general break from philosophy and political science and serious literature (that which takes itself seriously, anyway). Introspection is for the indoor months. When the sun is hot, I want books that make me feel.
My June list is almost all fiction this year. I have three related non-fiction books: To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard and Rooted by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. And I’ve also got The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende because she’s just delightful. But the rest is all imaginary worlds.
So here is my June 2021 fiction list, in no particular order. Or, actually, in the order that they are piled beside my bed. (With a few on the bed itself…)
The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson Fable and Namesake by Adrienne Young lots of Joanne Harris, Chocolat through The Strawberry Thief Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor Unnatural Magic and The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison The Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (there may be a re-reading of the rest of her books) Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert Driftwood by Marie Brennan The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec The Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck The Night Country by Melissa Albert Block Seventeen by Kimiko Guthrie The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade The Falconer trilogy by Elizabeth May
Others may happen along. There’s always something that new to grab the monkey brain’s attention. But in any event, it’s going to be a good month. I hope you have an equally epic month of slack!
©Elizabeth Anker 2021