June Reading Thread

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Nov 10, 2008
nearly the New Forest
I'm starting the month with 2 non-genre books -- I'm half-way through Tombland by CJ Sansom (a murder mystery set in the reign of Edward VI in which Shardlake gets heavily involved with the Kett Rebellion in Norfolk) and also through Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson, a new name to me (another murder mystery, this time set in 1781 when an abolitionist is tortured and murdered in the slaving town of Deptford).

I've also just bought Liza Picard's Johnson's London which is a non-fiction book giving details of how ordinary people lived in the metropolis c1740-70, which I hope will be as good as her Restoration London book, and then it's back to fantasy with Shadow Scale, Rachel Hartman's sequel to Seraphina about a woman who is half-human, half-dragon, which I'm greatly looking forward to.

What are you reading in June?
I recently realised that it's been around thirty years since I last read Asimov's Foundation trilogy so I've just started the first book. It's holding up well. It's dated a little bit (hard to believe that folk will still be smoking cigars thousands of years in the future given the habit's decline in our own times) but, overall, still an enjoyable read.
Finished last night: Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb. (Revised Edition)
Beautifully written science book that explains things very well, without over simplifying into gibberish or overwhelming with too much details. The book has a charming collection of illustrations to illustrate relevant concepts. For the intelligent general reader, but it's not a popular science book. Could probably do with a 3rd revised edition by now though.​
Jean A. Ellis: "From the Dreamtime, Australian Aboriginal Legends"
and "This is the Dreaming, Dreaming Stories from Aboriginal Australia"
Two collections totalling over forty traditional stories from diverse areas of Australia. Each book @120 pages, an easy read, aimed seemingly at ten year olds. I've been reading a story a day for a few weeks.
I thought this had been recommended by @hitmouse but now I check back, I see that was another book entirely by a different author, Ainslie Roberts.:ROFLMAO:. ... Thanks anyway for the idea... maybe I'll take a look at his books now....
Last edited:
I'm reading Bonehead, the posthumous book by Mo Hayder.
One annoyance in the opening chapters - a bunch of teens are going to a Halloween party and one is dressed as "Dr Spock".
I've recently finished 'Twice Lost' by Phyllis Paul - a slightly uneven book but one that I would nonetheless strongly recommend.

Am currently halfway through 'Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow' by Gabrielle Zevin and am enjoying it, although it's a fairly light read.

I'm also dipping into 'The Complete Poems' by RF Langley. There is some stunning work here. Also strongly recommended.

Langley taught me English at school between the ages of 14 and 18. He introduced us to the likes of George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ezra Pound.

We studied Portrait Of A Lady in Depth but it was in the Sixth Form, when we worked on Eliot's 'The Wasteland' and Macbeth, where his inspirational teaching instilled in me a lifelong joy in reading.

But he told us nothing of his work. He never once mentioned that he was a published poet. I have only recently discovered this pretty much by accident and I am very glad that I have. His final, posthumously published work 'To A Nightingale' is astonishing
Fantasy novel.
I wish they would make more of his
Writings into good movies.
My wife went to the same school, Euclid High as Zelazny, located in an inner ring Cleveland suburb, -approx. seven years later. Digging around in Zelazny's bio, I realize that they must have had some of the same English/writing teachers. Unfortunately when I asked Miz Pogo about it, she said that she remembered some teachers but had no contact with them. She would have graduated at about the time that RZ started publishing.
I started to love Zelazny well before I realized the link.
I finished Martha Wells' Witch King. I liked the book, but I think it has some weaknesses and was perhaps trying to do a bit too much. It starts off with the protagonist Kai disorientated as they wake up in an elaborate prison with no idea of how they got there, and to begin with it is also quite disorientating for the reader since it quickly introduces several different types of magic and a lot of characters and factions, most with their own long backstories which are initially only hinted at. As the book progresses some of that backstory is filled in by alternating the present-day storyline with chapters showing some of the key events in Kai's early life. I think the past chapters are probably the more effective part of the story because they do show a lot of the background without having to rely on lots of exposition, Kai does get some character development, and it's fairly clear what the stakes are and who the villains are. On the other hand, for the present-day story the plot does rely a lot on political manoeuvrings that we don't have much context for, and we mostly don't meet the real antagonists, just some of their minions. It is an interesting world to explore, but it feels like this story is only scratching the surface of it. It does have some interesting characters in it, but not as engaging as those in Wells' Murderbot series.

Fantasy novel.
I wish they would make more of his
Writings into good movies.
That book would make a very strange film.

I could definitely imagine an Amber television series being made someday.
"Dr Spock"
I read that and thought Spock of Star Trek, and then my aged brain kicked in and thought well maybe the Halloween Custom was of the Dr. Spock of the baby book. In either case it's hard to see why that would be an aggravation.
I read that and thought Spock of Star Trek, and then my aged brain kicked in and thought well maybe the Halloween Custom was of the Dr. Spock of the baby book.
I wondered about that, too. Depending on when the story was set Dr. Spock would make sense, as he was quite famous. But if it was set in a later decade, then it could be assumed someone had written Dr. Spock when it should be Mr. Spock, which would be an annoying mistake.
William Tenn "Time in Advance"
Four stories first published 1952-57
Last read just two years ago, but picked up at random and found I remembered little if anything.
A very pleasant read, definitely higher quality 50s SF - seems he wrote @sixty short stories - and I've only read around twenty. I've ordered two further collections

Similar threads