My June 2017 Reading List

May was a fantastic month for reading, even if it wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped in other aspects.

I managed to read almost seven books! That’s more like it!

This was, of course, due to a week and a half of vacation, plus a week and a half of being sick in bed. But still, that’s a return to the kind of reading I could do in a month before I took on writing my own books (thereby losing most of my spare time to the UNITY universe).

Here’s what I got through in May:

  1. The Fifty Shades [of why the hell did I do this to myself?] Trilogy by E L James – So, I know I mentioned at one point in the past that I’d never read the Fifty Shades trilogy. Well, now I have. And I have a lot of things to say, but I’ll boil them down:
    1. As I discussed in my Q & A – First Edition post about Black Wolf, someone once told me I’d be scandalized by Fifty Shade of Grey. I can now say, “Who the hell did she think she was? And who the hell did she think am?” I wasn’t scandalized by the sexual content. The writing, though? Well, I’ll get to that later.
      I had to laugh at the references to vanilla sex throughout the books because I thought the non-vanilla sex scenes in the series were pretty basic when it comes to erotica. If you were scandalized by the *naughtier* portions of this series, be cautious about checking out the other options on Amazon. Nuff said.
    2. Truly don’t get me started on the dysfunctional nature of the relationships here. This is the first series I’ve ever read where I truly thought, “You know, if my nieces decided to read this, I’d have to sit down with them and have a serious talk about healthy reality vs. trashy literature.” That’s coming from me. The kid whose parents never censored what I read in my youth. The woman who has a handful of erotica pseudonyms lined up for future use. And, real talk: I’ve read some of the above-referenced erotica available on Amazon–and some that has been banned from Amazon and all the other various *normal* reading platforms (because when I hear a book has been banned, I have to know why).
      Here’s the thing: get your groove on however you see fit, as long as it’s consensual. You wanna use toys? Go for it. You wanna dabble in restraints? Be my guest. If your partner agrees, take the A-train to town! But if your groove also involves a committed relationship (and not just spontaneous consensual groovy flings, so to speak) the relationship portion of that is pretty damn important (read: priority number one). And real, loving relationships are not: manipulative, controlling, and self-destructive. I’ve been there. You don’t want it.
      Here ends the ranting.
    3. This series is professionally published. I sweat a little if I use the same word twice on a page. Whoever looked at these manuscripts was clearly not of that mindset. It’s as if every page was marked with a red pen, “Let’s use more of the word ‘murmur’ here.” Or, “Where’s another place she can say ‘Oh my’?” People may not enjoy my books, but God help me if I torture them as much as these books tortured me.
    4. All that being said, I can see the appeal, and here’s why: the women I know who have loved the series are exactly the ones I would imagine loving it. Take that to mean whatever you will, as long as you understand I mean it in the kindest possible way. Plus, the books shut my brain down (take that to mean whatever you will, as long as you understand I mean it in the unkindest possible way), which helped me slide easily into vacation mode.
  2. Soulless (Parasol Protectorate Series Book 1) by Gail Carriger – This was a rousing breath of fresh air after what we’re now referring to in our household as the “Fifty Shades incident”. Carriger builds a fun world, throws in a headstrong heroine, a grumbly werewolf love interest, and some steampunk elements to boot. Plus, a fabulous vampire friend, a lethal parasol, and tea. What more can you ask for? It was inventive in a way that made me say, “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!” I’ll likely read the others in the series at some point, but they’re not currently too high on my list. Seems odd, considering my praise, I know. But some stories are so delightful as stand-alones, that it almost worries you to be disappointed by revisiting them. That’s how I feel here and I know that’s probably terrible karma, considering I’m currently writing a series, but there you have it.
  3. Ravenheart by Dannika Dark – I tend to enjoy her books, and this one was no different. I liked it better than the first in this newest series, but I think that’s the nature of getting to know the characters more. There wasn’t a lot of new stuff here. She’s got her universe built, and she’s mostly adding elements to it. Still, that consistency brings me back every time and I’m looking forward to the next one.
  4. I can’t link to the last one since it’s not yet available for purchase. But I also got the chance to do some beta reading for an author friend of mine. It was highly enjoyable and I can’t wait to share all about it when things for its release are set in stone!

So, the numbers bring that up to four – but with the three total books of the “Fifty Shades Situation” it’s actually six. My reviews for these books are up over on Goodreads. As always, while you’re over there, take a minute to rate Black Wolf, Born Wolf, or follow my author page!

The nearly seventh book is still on the list for June. Here we go:


One of the books on the list has been there before:

  1. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 1) by K.M. Weiland – I’m just a hair over halfway through my re-read on this one, and I’m so glad I decided to give it another spin. I enjoyed it before but didn’t quite understand how far I could take it in practice. As I’m working through my outlining process for Book Three now, I’m glad to be reading this one in parallel!

New to the list:

  1. Betrayed by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast – This is the second book in the House of Night series. I read the first book back in February and have almost all the rest of the series (still) on loan from my oldest friend. I’m going to try to get through these more quickly now – mostly because I need to give them back. They make me feel guilty when they’re sitting alone and unread in our living room.
  2. Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter – Whew, this book gets some hate online. My dad picked up a paperback copy for me from a thrift store at some point (meaning it was packed in a box from our last big move – two years ago – and I only recently unearthed it. Because he knows me well, my dad likes to get me any book he comes across that appears to be related to Jane Austen. Since I have it, I’m going to read it, but I’m apprehensive. My fellow Janeites/Austenites appear to be very disapproving of this one!

Whew. We made it! That’s what I’m up to for reading in June.

Over to you: what’s on your list to read next?

2 thoughts on “My June 2017 Reading List

  1. Eh. No pressure to give them back. I’m in no rush. I have enough on my plate as it is. Lol! But I’m glad to see you continuing with them. It’s a nice bit of fluff on the days when the rain has been taxed too much as it is!

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