Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

FanLit Readers' Favorites!It’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, ’cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in June 2016 and why did you love it? It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we’ve also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

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  1. April /

    I didn’t read too many really good books last month but there were a few:
    Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (and the sequel) by Lish McBride had been on my list for a long time because of a recommendation but I kept overlooking it because, well, necromancers kinda give me the creeps. When I finally did read it, I was annoyed I had waited so long and read the sequel directly after.

    Also, there was:
    The Brimstone Deception by Lisa Shearin, a fun urban fantasy that doesn’t fall into the crudpile of paranormal romance. It is funny and interesting.
    The Penderwicks at Pointe Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall. I have a soft spot for this family. They are too awesome. I wish they were my family. Not SFF but good stuff nonetheless. And listening to the audiobook makes these lovely stories that much better.

  2. E. J. Jones /

    I had a fantastic reading month this June. The best book I read was Blankets by Craig Thompson, which is a coming-of-age graphic novel. It’s moving and sentimental and sometimes even funny, and it twisted my heart until it almost broke (but it didn’t quite). The best SFF book I read was The Handmaid’s Tale, which I believe is already a FanLit favorite. I also really enjoyed George O’Connor’s graphic novel Zeus: King of the Gods, which I know has been reviewed here before. It’s the kind of thing I’d give to a ten-year-old, mythology-obsessed me.

    And April, I love the Penderwicks, too. The fourth book is even better.

  3. Melanie Goldmund /

    June is my birthday month, and I got The Summer Dragon, by Todd Lockwood, which I really enjoyed.

    I also liked the historical mystery The Crooked Spire, by Chris Nickson.

  4. M. Robinson /

    Witches & Warlocks selected by Marvin Kaye; it’s reread (many times). As usual, I started out looking for a phrase and started rereading.

  5. margo /

    I finished reading City of Blades by Robert Bennett in June. I prefer books with older protagonists, especially women, so this was a double treat. Great worldbuilding, characters and plot. I recommend both City of Stairs and City of Blades, and eagerly await City of Miracles.
    I also read Yseult by Ruth Nestvold in June, and I recommend it highly to folks who like inventive retellings of stories from the Arthurian cycle.
    Fianlly, I started Binti by Nnendi Okorafor in June, because Hugo nominated. It was very good too. Coming of age, first contact, otherness, math and more.
    They’re so different that I can’t pick a favorite. Read them all if you get the chance!

  6. Trey /

    You folks are making me think! Worse, I have to make a choice!
    I did a lot of reading in June, but after rummaging through the kindle, I’ve got a short list of good stuff.
    Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken Macleod
    Into Everywhere by Paul McAuley
    Child of the River by Paul McAuley
    Ancient of Days by Paul McAuley
    Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick
    So, which one?

    McAuley’s Confluence is a favorite of mine. Sort of Gene Wolfe, meets BDO and deep time. But, while a favorite, Corporation Wars: Dissidence is pretty nifty. Why?It has involuntary uploads, a legal system by Kafka, AI emergence and two competing terror campaigns with a conflict echoing down through the centuries.
    I’m going to have to go with Ancient of Days for now. It begins to explore the Confluence, gives us details on the Ancients and the war they kicked off and explores a bit. Yes, it is a little slow moving.
    When volumes 2 and 3 of Corporation Wars: Dissidence I may change my mind.

  7. Conal /

    June was a pretty good reading month for me as well. I really enjoyed End of Watch by Stephen King which added a paranormal plot line which moved it out of mystery/thriller genre and provided an exciting conclusion to this trilogy. I also enjoyed Reflex by Steven Gould which had much more a continuing story line which made this one (IMO) much better than the first novel in this series.

  8. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m greatly enjoying Anthony Nanson’s “Deep Time”.

  9. Celene W. /

    I read and loved Robin Hobb’s Farseer books. The first three.

  10. June was a good month for me. I finished Stephanie Burgis’s Masks and Shadows, re-read Matt Wagner’s The Hero Discovered and The Hero Defined, plus blitzed through (another re-read) the Thief/Attolia books. It’s a tough decision but I think I’d pick King of Attolia by a nose or is it by a hook?

  11. Sandy Giden /

    I read Springtime by Michelle de Kretser. I liked it because it was a different twist on a ghost story.

  12. RedEyedGhost /

    The Lies of Locke Lamora, for the third time.

    Claire North’s The Sudden Appearance of Hope was also excellent.

    • April /

      I should probably re-read this series myself. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Kevin S. /

    I read several books in June but the only one that stood out was The City of Mirrors but Justin Cronin. It’s a great ending to his Passage trilogy. Loved it.

  14. One of the things that impressed me right from the start was the prologue, a letter from a sage to her (?) mentor describing a fascinating tale she’d been told about a legendary woman called Iluna. Iluna, who had lived around the end of the stone age, had wielded powerful magic.
    The story unfolds in that ancient time from the birth of Iluna. Her mother perished in the difficult birth, and the clan leaders immediately ordered her to be sacrificed. She had no parents to protect her, only Izhur, the clan’s Soragon, a combination of healer and magician. She was cast out by the clan, vilified and tormented by everyone and blamed for every mishap that occurred on the grounds that she was a witch.
    This is a very enjoyable story with vivid characters and settings, and the timing is well paced. In spite of it being set in a brutal time, the author does not dwell too much on violence and bloodshed. The writing is very good, well edited. The only slight reservation I had was that the characters seemed rather sophisticated for the era in which the story was set, however, I think this was necessary in order for modern readers to be able to relate to the characters and events.
    I would definitely recommend Raven and look forward to the next book in the series. One final word: the book is complete; it comes to a proper climax at the end.

  15. This is a hard month to pick. I guess I will go with The Falconer by Elizabeth May ( ) , but Wolf Road by Beth Lewis ( ) and Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey ( ) are close seconds.

  16. Sandy G, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

  17. @Lisa, I just started WOLF ROAD. That opening chapter is gripping! I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

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