What’s On Your Nightstand: June 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

It’s weird, but I feel as if I’ve forgotten everything that happened in June. It went by so fast! And I did so much but sometimes when I look back on the month, it seems that I didn’t do much at all. Major life highlights for this month include changing jobs, making new friends, planning an adventure with my family for later this year, finally seeing a play, and realizing that maybe I should get serious about keeping a journal because it’s too hard to remember everything. But overall, June was a great month for my personal life.

Unfortunately, my reading kind of suffered along the way. This month was spent making progress in books I’m in the middle of rather than completing books. As such, June has less completed books than last month. I also didn’t blog as much and many posts I planned to get out weren’t completed or published. I guess I’ll spend July making up for what was missed in June.

Books read:

Fog Diver by Joel Ross is a middle-grade steampunk novel set in a dystopian future where people have to live on mountain peaks because a dangerous dense fog has cloaked the earth. It was a quick, fun read that made me curious and eager to read its sequel, The Lost Compass.

I also read Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising on audio book, which was torture because OMG! the characters are annoying! Once again I debated whether or not I should give up on reading these books. The narrative drags as the plot stalls (in some spots) while the characters wait for trollocs to show up, and the characters complain for the majority of the book. It would be great if I could just read from Mat and Egwene’s POV only. They are the only characters I can tolerate.

I became interested in nonfiction books about mental illness after completing Brain on Fire last month, so I picked up Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher, which was quite a read. It’s a deeply affecting book that often made me feel uncomfortable because of how descriptive it is. In it Hornbacher details her struggle with bipolar disorder as well as alcoholism and an eating disorder. It’s a good read, but I had to take breaks while reading.

Other things consumed in June:


Roxane Gay’s New Memoir About Her Weight May Be Her Most Feminist—and Revealing—Act Yet (elle.com)

“The female body, in all shapes, Gay says, is a ‘final frontier, along with disability, that people can openly mock and demean and get away with treating with utter disregard.’ The only possible solution she sees is ‘a huge amount of empathy. Kindness,’ she says. ‘And people minding their own goddamn business.'”

Free Speech Loses Ground as Harvard Retracts Offers to Admitted Students (chronicle.com)

— I’m of two minds on this. I agree with the writer’s point below, but I also think it was right to reject the students.

“By rejecting the offending students, the university reinforced the idea that students shouldn’t offend one another. And that’s inimical to free exchange and expression, which Harvard claims to prize over everything else.”

Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich (nytimes.com)

“The rhetoric of ‘We are the 99 percent’ has in fact been dangerously self-serving, allowing people with healthy six-figure incomes to convince themselves that they are somehow in the same economic boat as ordinary Americans, and that it is just the so-called super rich who are to blame for inequality.”

“There’s a kind of class double-think going on here. On the one hand, upper-middle-class Americans believe they are operating in a meritocracy (a belief that allows them to feel entitled to their winnings); on the other hand, they constantly engage in antimeritocratic behavior in order to give their own children a leg up. To the extent that there is any ethical deliberation, it usually results in a justification along the lines of ‘Well, maybe it’s wrong, but everyone’s doing it.'”

The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock (ashsilverlock.com)

— a look at Holdstock’s Mythago Wood series that I found helpful since I recently purchased the first book without knowing what it’s about

Bookish news

Tracy K. Smith Named U.S. Poet Laureate (publishersweekly.com)

— She won a Pulitzer Prize with her 2011 collection Life on Mars.

Chronicle Books Celebrated Its 50th Anniversary (shelf-awareness.com)

— And offered a sweet 25%-off discount on its books with free shipping 😮

The NYPL Just Turned a Subway Train into an Adorable Library (timeout.com)

— But I didn’t get to see it when I visited. 😦

The World’s First Dr. Seuss Museum Will Make All Your Childhood Dreams Come True (travelandleisure.com)

— The museum, located in Springfield, Mass., opened on June 3. (Guess who plans to visit 😛 )

Los Angeles Times Editorial Board to Publish Anti-Trump Book on Fourth of July (washingtontimes.com)

Paddington Bear Creator Michael Bond Dies (bbc.com)

Video break

— an oldie but goodie

Because BuzzFeed is awesome

14 Reasons Why African Parents Should Be Banned From Using WhatsApp (buzzfeed.com)

— This goes for Jamaican parents too!

— “Having to explain that NOT everything on WhatsApp is REAL!” <<– YES!!! “The irrational warnings” <<– YES!!!

Other awesome ‘ish

No link for this, but for the Harry Potter anniversary, whenever I included a Hogwarts house name in my FB status, a wand would pop up and shoot sparks. That was freaking awesome! 😀

An archive of 6,000 historical children’s books (openculture.com)

— a list of 6,000 digitized children’s books that are free to read online (It’s an old post, but I’m including it here anyway.)

Diamond Bookshelf magazine, issue #23 (diamondbookshelf.com)

— included are tips on comics and graphic novels (such as how the two are defined, how to start a collection, and recommendations on where to begin) and an article on the history of YA graphic novels

78 Agents to Follow on Twitter (pw.org)

— a list of literary agents

4 Epic Fantasy Novels Written Before The Lord of the Rings (unboundworlds.com)

Art break

The drawing below is by Al Margen, an illustrator from Argentina, whose work I found on deMilked. The illustrations show what’s wrong with modern society.

Shows I’m hooked on

Chicago Fire

OMG! I jumped in at season 5 and I’m so hooked! I even got my cousin hooked on it too. It makes firefighters seem so cool. I plan to go back and watch season 1 and all the others.

Wonder Woman

I saw it and liked it but wasn’t impressed. I just didn’t like that part where she’s all indecisive in the fight. 😦

Other stuff I did

The School for Lies

— I saw this hilarious comedy at the Shakespeare Theater and so enjoyed myself that the 90 or so minutes flew by quickly. I felt like I sat there for only 30 minutes laughing my ass off. The play was adapted by David Ives from Molière’s Le Misanthrope.

— Quick synopsis: “A gleeful truth-teller, Frank is a French aristocrat who despises his society of liars and doesn’t mind telling them so. His well-aimed barbs wreak havoc in a world of pompous suitors and extravagant ladies, until rumors ricochet and alternative facts become reality.”

That’s it for June. Here’s what I’m looking forward to in July:

  • Catch up on blogging
  • Travel
  • Hang out with friends
  • Finally do my spring cleaning
  • Reorganize my bookshelves
  • Watch these shows/movies:
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming
    • Despicable Me 3 (maybe)
    • Girls Trip
    • Chicago Fire (season 1)
    • Snowfall (season 1)
    • The Strain (season 4)
What’re your plans July and what’d you do June?

7 thoughts on “What’s On Your Nightstand: June 2017

    1. Haha! Yo! I spent most of the first episode I watched googling him because I remembered him from House. I was surprised to learn he’s from Australia. Because of his accent on House, I thought he was British.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Having read the entire Wheel of Time series, I can tell you that the writing gets even more tedious and labored, and the story doesn’t really go anywhere, just round and round, like a wheel. So if you’re planning on leaving it, you won’t be missing too much ☺️


    1. Oh dear. Thanks for the warning. I really want to know what happens to the characters and how the Forsaken and such are defeated, but I really don’t want to slog through it all either.

      Liked by 1 person

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