Summer Reading Roundup (June)

One of my goals for this summer? Read, like a lot. I’m doing pretty well so far. This month, my book selection was diverse, to say the least: a comedic memoir, a work of historical non-fiction, and a fictional story of romance. Here’s what I read in the month of June:

Bossypants by Tina Fey: A quick and easy read. It was funny, but I expected…more, somehow? I love Tina Fey, but I didn’t love this book as much as I was sure I would. What I did love, though, were her anecdotes about working on SNL – for instance, how the sketch where she and Amy Poehler play Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton came together. Fascinating stuff.

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff: I love reading books about historical women in power (think Catherine de Medici, Marie Antoinette, etc), so that’s why I picked this up. It’s fascinating to learn about how Cleopatra’s image was shaped by the men who wrote about her after her death, largely to satisfy their own political agendas. Also, as a history nerd, I found it fascinating how the author approached constructing Cleopatra’s history when so much of the source material needed is either missing, incomplete, or clearly biased.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: This is a love story, told through dictionary entries. It sounds gimmicky, but it’s beautifully done and was my favorite book this month. It’s also interesting to try to piece together the whole story through these fragments and scraps. This is the kind of book where I pause and read a sentence over again several times because it’s just so on point. And for the record, my favorite entries were halcyon, ineffable, and punctuate.

(Images via Babble, Washington Independent Review of Books, and Macmillan)

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