June Miscellany

December Miscellany __1_1_1

It’s the end of June and the end of the first month of 20 Books of Summer!

20 books

So, how is everyone who is taking part doing? I am actually well on track, with seven books reviewed, an eighth review coming tomorrow and a ninth book almost finished. Can it last? Let’s hope so! Do let me know how you are all getting on. As of last count, there were over 150 of us taking part so it’s been hard at times for me to like all your posts and comments.


As I have been concentrating on 20 Books of Summer so much, I haven’t been reading too much outside of that, but read a few books this month that were outside of my challenges.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

feministI very much enjoyed this collection of essays by Roxane Gay which explores the difficulty of living up to an ideal of feminism. It’s actually about so much more and alongside critiques of The Help and Django Unchained, I very much enjoyed her essays on professional Scrabble tournaments, Sweet Valley High books and her love of trash reality television.

Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, translated by Jamie Chang

kimKim Jiyoung, born 1982 is the calmest howl of anger I have ever read. Telling the seemingly ordinary story of an ordinary woman living in Korea, the book dissects a world of misogyny and a country where women are considered second-class citizens. Billed as a Korean #MeToo, this book’s power comes from its frightening banality.


This month has seen us watching some real duds on Netflix – which can be so hit and miss on quality.

We did however redeem our viewing with the brilliant The Sisters Brothers, which I loved and the interesting Freaks which is like a smaller, more intelligent version of X-Men.

Thanks to the lovely Marina Sofia, I have finally subscribed to MUBI, so am pulling together a watch list of lots of interesting films. If you’ve seen anything good on this channel, do let me know and I’ll add to the to-watch pile.


Netflix has kindly put all episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s fascinating Parts Unknown up for viewing and we have been meandering all round the world in his company, enjoying the food and his musings. In light of what happened, the show can be emotional and at times very poignant, but still well worth watching.

And finally, we are binge-watching Season 3 of Dark – which has been one of my favourite shows of the last few years.

Just when I’d got my head around the while time-travel plot, they’ve now thrown alternate worlds into the mix, but despite the fact that I have, at times, no clue what it going on, this remains really smart, beautifully filmed television that rewards hard work.


Music-wise this has been a great month for me and I reviewed three of my favourite new releases for No More Workhorse.


I’ve loved the loose sunshine country-rock sound of Rose City Band, the sharp and sassy sounds of Phoebe Bridgers and the stunningly beautiful piano compositions of Gabriel Olafs.

That’s been my month in reading, watching and listening! What’s been on your cultural radar this month?

20 Books of Summer Monthly Miscellany

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

39 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’m 3 books into my 20 books now – aiming to speed up through the next two months. But I have been seriously distracted by The Walking Dead on Prime. I love survival stories, and 6 series in with 4 to go still, I’m amazed there are still new ways with zombies and armed gangs, and that there’s anything left to scavenge at all! I can’t believe I still haven’t seen The Sisters Brothers – I’ll have to try and find a time when my daughter isn’t using the Netflix sub.


  2. I’m on my 4th book of the list. Have been watching The Luminaries on BBC. Compulsive and almost entirely incomprehensible viewing. It’s based on Eleanor Catton’s book which I also didn’t understand.


  3. Now reading my 10th title for #20booksofsummer20. I’m trying to aim for reading 30 titles before the challenge ends. I have SO many review commitments that I wish I could read more than ten titles in a month, but sadly that seems to be all I can manage.


  4. I just got Mubi too! Really loved Catherine Corsini’s Summertime (2015) and The Black Power Mixtape; Atlantics was more hit or miss for me (at only 16 minutes long, it’s sort of hard to understand its existence) and I watched a film called MS Slavic 7 which seems to fall between two stools in its fiction/documentary aspect but still felt worthwhile. I’m also loving Parts Unknown – although it suddenly struck me halfway through S1 that the people who show him around and bond with him are virtually never women, and suddenly I can’t unsee that.


  5. I’m on track with my 20 books – have read and reviewed 6 and currently reading 7-9! I watched a couple of episodes of Dark a while back and have been meaning to try it again. I just enjoyed Into the Night on Netflix, which was totally compulsive.


  6. Shtisel, I might have said before but that’s my series of the summer so far. Thanks for your music recommendations and Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 sounds like a must read although not an easy one.


  7. I’ve read five of my 20 Books of Summer so I’m feeling quite relaxed and have read a couple of books that don’t appear on my list. They’ve all been good.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pretty similar to what you experienced though not as varied. Enjoyed reading your post. Much appreciated and thanks for sharing


  9. I’m happy with my 20 Books progress so far – I’ve read and reviewed seven, which was my goal for June, and that included 100 pages of a DNF so seven and a half, really. Just six to do this month and I might sneak in starting my first Persephone for August as I have some chunksters in that part of the pile!


  10. Mubi has been my best cultural investment during lockdown, for sure. Like Elle, I loved Catherine Corsini’s Summertime – it’s very much in the mould of Celine Sciamma’s films (most of which are available through the Mubi library). The Ida Lupino double bill is excellent too – right up your street, I think!


  11. You’re doing well on the summer reading! I’m going to reserve Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 as soon as my library reopens. I’m halfway through Kitchen Confidential and there have already been FIVE references to suicide — others he’s heard about, or jokes, but still, it’s so ironic it puts chills down my spine.


  12. I think I’m doing pretty well; I’ve only finished four, but will probably finish #5 today. Two of my titles are looooong and I’m on schedule with them, and about halfway through another big one.
    Finished: a biography of Edward Lear, Thames: a Biography (meh), Oroonoko, and The Return (meh).
    Well into: Forest of a Thousand Daemons, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Golden Bough, Mystery of Udolpho, Uncommercial Traveller.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Cathy – looks like you have a good balance between reading, watching and listening! I don’t think I’ll make it to 20 books this summer (currently at 3), but I enjoy aiming for it!


  14. I’m doing better on reading my 20 books than on reviewing them – halfway through book 4 but have only reviewed 1 so far. Still possible to get through them all, though, so long as there’s not a sudden chocolate famine…

    Liked by 1 person

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