Somehow I totally forgot to write up a post on my June reads so I'll be throwing those in along with all the stuff I read in July!
Otomen by Aya Kanno
I recently got back into reading manga, I don't really have a rhyme or reason for how I start reading series, but I'm usually drawn to rom coms. Otomen is about a highschooler named Asuka, he seems to be your typical gruff and serious jock who's captain of the kendo team, but secretly he loves to bake and and sew! But he has to keep it on the down low because it may cause his mother to have a nervous breakdown. This is purely fluff, but it has a wonderful romance, and fluff is nice to relax with sometimes. I'm nine volumes into the series and there are eighteen total.
Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes
I love reading post apocalyptic books (mostly so I can pick apart whether what characters do to survive would work or not IRL), and this put a whole new spin on the genre. Clover lives in a future version of the United States after a virus eliminated half the population; a mysterious corporation called The Company came out of the woodwork with a miracle cure, and the states splintered into fifty walled cities, where no one goes in or out, except for The Company. After Clover fails the examination for a school that would help her and her brother to move up in life, she's enlisted in a secret team called the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future. It's a very fast paced read, and leaves you with a wicked cliffhanger, and I haven't yet read the second book but I'm looking forward to it!
The Giver by Lois Lowry
I seem to have a knack for picking up books right before it's announced that there being made into a movie, and I like to read the book before seeing the movie, so I guess it all works out! I've read a lot of dystopian novels, and after a while they all sort of blend together, but this was unlike anything I've ever read. I can't explain much without spoiling the plot, it has lots of little twists and turns that stare you in the face from the very beginning, but you don't realize until the end. I really enjoyed it, but I was very surprised by how dark it was for a children's book, dystopians usually are, but the way this is written it's very grounded in reality and it all seems realistically possible in an unsettling way.
Chinese Myths and Fantasies by Cryil Birch
This is a collection of chinese fairytales, a bit like Brothers Grimm stories, but not quite. It was interesting to see the morals of the stories and how they differ from what you'd expect to happen, after becoming used to the endings of european tales. I'd only heard of a couple stories that were in this, so it was a fun read for me, but if you aren't very interesting in fairy tales, it's a bit of a dry read.
Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut
This is another collection of short stories, like Canary in a Cat House. But these were all previously unpublished stories, and there are drawings by Vonnegut himself to go with each chapter. As I said last time, they have a peculiar otherworldly vibe to them, almost like you're watching an episode of the twilight zone. I especially enjoyed the one about the woman obsessed with re-decorating her house.
Another manga! Risa is the tallest girl in her class, and somehow she always end up standing next to Otoni the shortest guy. They find themselves as an unwilling bizarre comedy duo, but even as they try their best to get away from that, they start to fall for each other. More fluff, but I really love this one, I actually watched the anime first and wanted more so I started reading this! I'm only two volumes in and there are seventeen total.
The Cat Behind the Hat by Dr. Suess
I've always loved Dr. Suess's art style, I even did some green eggs and ham nail art a while back! This is a coffee table book so you have to wrestle it to read it without breaking your wrists, but it's very worth it. There are tons of of Suess's paintings, old advertisements he did before becoming a writer, and lots of interesting tidbits about his life that I never knew! So if you want to learn more about Theodore Geisel and how he came to be known as Dr. Suess, this is the book for you!
Grim Short Stories edited by Christine Johnson
I read mostly fantasy for many years so it's pretty hard to find a collection of fantasy stories without an author I've read or heard of, but somehow this was both! These are all Grimm fairy tales, but set in the modern world, and I loved each one of them! And most of these were based off of lesser known tales, which was very nice instead of rehashing the classics like Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, etc.
All the Rage by A.L Kennedy
Sadly I cannot think of one pleasant thing to say about the book, it was a collection of short stories, and I have no idea how I got through the wretched thing. Probably because I was stuck on a long car ride, and unfortunately this was the only thing with printed english in the vicinity. A couple stories had faintly amusing moments, but I really wouldn't recommend this one.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
I'm slowly working through John Green's books, so far I've read Paper Towns, TFIOS, and finally Looking for Alaska! I didn't race through it like the other two, but I still very much enjoyed it. It's a sort of coming of age novel, but that's not really it, it's about a boy named Miles, who is quickly nicknamed Pudge at the new boarding school he's plunged into, going from dull Florida, to wild Alabama. As per usual with John Green's books, it has a shocking and bitter end, and if you enjoyed TFIOS, you really should read it!
Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones
Another author I'm working through, this is the second book of the Dalemark Quartet, Cart and Cwiddler was the first. The books really have no relevance to each other besides being set in the same world, so there's no need to read them in order. This centers around Mitt, who gets mixed up in an assassination scheme, but botches it and ends up on the run with some relatives of the intended target. This has a very different feel from Jones's other books, but it was good nonetheless.
Whew that took a while to write out, I hope I've given you at least a couple books to whack onto your to-read list!
Thanks for reading!