I am not very good with monthly recaps and stats, but I did discover some amazing titles this past month. So today I am sharing my top 3 favorite reads for the month of June because they are not to be overlooked.
⭐ 3rd Place ⭐
Long Black Veil
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death.
The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.
*Long Black Veil was an unexpected but greatly welcomed surprise. I found the unique character compilation and protagonist to be a real treat. You can find my review here.
⭐⭐ 2nd Place ⭐⭐
The Bear and the Nightingale
By Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
*The Bear and The Nightingale is a must read for fan’s of fairy tales and Russian Folklore alike. Saturated with beautiful fantasy and culture, it was easily a 5 star read. My review can be found here.
⭐⭐ ⭐ Top Read of the Month! ⭐⭐⭐
Mapping the Interior
By Stephen Graham Jones
Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.
The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.
*Mapping the Interior sets an entirely new standard for novellas and horror. A clever manipulation of traditional elements convey a story that resonated to my core and will not be forgotten. A top read of the year, this is a title that will be revisited time and time again. A must read for all! My thoughts can be read here.
What were your favorite reads for the month? Do you have one that stood out among all others?