Hello Book Fiends of Bloglandia!

So, I managed to survive the heat wave in Portland…although I think the cats might have melted and portions of my garden are now “extra crispy”.

Monday’s thermometers nearly burst their bulbs when we topped out at 116F (about 47C), which blasted away Sunday’s 112F (45C) record, and made Saturday’s 106F (41C) seem chilly.

No, we don’t have AC. Yes, the house, despite many attempts at cooling ingenuity, reached 94F (34C) yesterday.

Mr Husband and I camped out in the basement for two days with the guinea pigs, but the cats refused to waddle their fat butts down the stairs.

When I came upstairs at one point they were all flopped over in the front room, making it look like some sort of cat massacre (which would be a GREAT band name).

But you popped by for reading news, not the weather…or cat bands

Anyway, that’s how I wrapped up June, which up until then had a been a great month of reading and writing. You’ve already seen some of the writing news (new novel!!! If you missed it, you can catch up HERE), but there’s more fabulous writing news to come.

But let’s save that for next week. Because this week, we’re exploring another reading theme I found myself on. And no, I don’t consciously seek these themes out. It’s just whatever happens to come in from the library or what I grab off the shelf.

Now, the reading theme I found myself on in June wasn’t quite as, shall we say, “tasty” as last month’s.

Still, within the first couple weeks of June, I plowed through three amazing books and they all had an oddly similar theme of women going on a trip and finding their lives completely upended.

These three books are all quite different and they were all terrific reads that I highly recommend, so if you want to see/hear me rambling on about them, go ahead and pop into the video below.

And while you’re there, maybe think about subscribing to my YouTube channel because the YouTube gods seem to enjoy that or something (I know, they’re weird).

Bring on the cupcake-munching dragons…

But wait, there’s four books in that image…

Well, that fourth one would be Baking Bad, the first in the Beaufort Scales Mysteries by Kim M. Watt. This was another absolute winner for the month (also covered in the video), and I can’t wait to dive into more of this series that features mystery, pastries, and dragons!

“…friendship [is] friendship. No matter what the species.”

In another dose of happy news for the month (seriously, except for a potentially-deadly heat wave, June was a GREAT month), Kim recommended my darkly humorous short story Mrs. Morris Meets Death to her own readers, calling it “very entertaining”.


This unexpected recommendation absolutely floored me and I was running around in giddy excitement to have an author who I really, truly admire mention my silly little story along with her other favorite reads (which included authors I also enjoy).

If you happen to want your own free copy of Mrs. Morris Meets Death, you can grab your copy HERE.

As for the rest of my June reading frenzy…

Not to say the following books weren’t great, but they just didn’t bowl me over like the other four I ramble on about in the video.


  • Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce – Reviewed in video. Recommended by Aussie artist Anne Lawson (thanks, Anne!!)
  • Baking Bad by Kim M. Watt – Reviewed in video (and above a bit)
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (audiobook) – What can I say that hasn’t been said about this book. It’s well-written, it’s touching, it makes you think, and it’s cleverly done. It has a bit of an “It’s a Wonderful Life” feel to it and the ending isn’t any big surprise, but it’s a nice read and a lovely journey.
  • The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson – Reviewed in video
  • The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (audiobook) – The first in the Tommy & Tuppence series and it was so much fun. Tuppence is just too perky and full of attitude not to love
  • Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie (audiobook) – What can I say, I got hooked on Tommy & Tuppence. instead of a full novel, this is a collection of interwoven T & T short stories in which the pair try to emulate fictional detectives. Too funny and pretty darn engaging.
  • Artifact by Gigi Pandian (audiobook) – I finished it, but really didn’t like it. All the characters felt like absolute stereotypes and the dialogue was just horrible (I’m cringing just thinking about it.
  • Murder with Mirrors by Agatha Christie – I felt like I was forcing myself through this book, but it did have one great line… “We’re all mad [loony, not angry], dear lady…That’s the secret of existence.”
  • Sarum by Edward Rutherford (audiobook) – What can I say? It’s long. Really long. But still interesting. Still, if you like English history and have some reading (or listening) time to invest, this will be right up your alley.
  • The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella – Reviewed in video

Graphic Novel

  • The Fey & The Furious by Ben Aaronovitch – I always love getting back into the world of Peter Grant, but this graphic novel felt a little “phoned in.”


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which books did you love this month? Or…maybe tell me which ones you hated so I can avoid them! 

Have a great week!! Stay cool : )


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4 thoughts on “Hit the Road, Jill – June’s Reading Round-up

  1. Thanks for the shout out Tammie 😘 I ordered the Jonasson from the library as I was watching the video. (It is so easy to do from our library app.) This month I read Pat Barker’s “The silence of the girls”. It is a Trojan War story, but told from the point of view of a woman who was enslaved. It is a fascinating insight into the life of a slave. Her life was bad enough, but at least she had the tenuous protection of Achilles. It would have been so much worse for non-aristocratic women who had no protectors. Barker has a very intensive gaze on her subjects, and as in her WW1 trilogy, is very good at showing an alternative story to the one history tells us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to try the Pat Barker book. I do love Greek myth re-imaginings. The WWI trilogy sounds good too. I’ve been looking for some new historical fiction, so you’ve made the perfect recommendations 😃 Hope you like the Jonasson book. You read his Hulda books, didn’t you?


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