Book Day! As usual I'm linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books.
Here's what I read in June.
1) As Good As Gone by Larry Watson. 3/5 stars. Set in Montana in the 1960's, aging cowboy Calvin Sidey returns reluctantly to his hometown to look after his grandchildren for a week. This book is about his Wild West "shoot first ask questions later" mentality coming into conflict with the changing and modernizing world. I liked it but didn't love it. The end was a little disappointing.
2) The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church. 3/5 stars. Meridian Wallace abandons her Ph.D program in ornithology to follow her husband to Los Alamos in the last years of WWII as he works with other scientist to develop the atomic bomb. The book follows her through the '50's and '60's as she struggles to come to terms with that decision and to discover and develop herself as a scientist and a woman apart from the expectations of post-war society. It was OK but not great.
3) Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny. 4/5 stars. This is the sixth book in the Chief Inspector Armande Gamache mystery series and one of my favorites so far. I enjoy the character development from one book to the next, especially with Jean-Guy Beauvoir in this one. I loved the setting during Carnaval in Quebec City. It did wrap up some unanswered questions from the fifth book as well.
4) Celine by Peter Heller. 5/5 stars. I think this is my favorite book of the year so far. Celine is a WASP-y private investigator who has made a career of reuniting families in an attempt to made amends for her own personal tragedy in the past, which we glimpse through flashbacks. She takes a case for a woman named Gabriela whose father went missing twenty years ago from Yellowstone National Park. The writing is so beautiful, especially the descriptions of nature as they move from Colorado through Wyoming and Montana. The characters are fascinating and complex, well-developed yet mysterious.
5) Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact, and Unsinkable Strength by Kelly Williams Brown. 4/5 stars. This was my non-fiction pick of the month and I quite enjoyed (most of) it. The writing is very funny and conversational while still imparting plenty of good advice how to "practice the arts of kindness, thoughtfulness, good manners, humanity, and basic decency" no matter what the situation. I did enjoy (and find more practical) some chapters more than others, especially, for example, as pertaining to hosting and attending elegant parties which is pretty infrequent for me lately.
6) The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion. 2/5 stars. I loved The Rosie Project but this one was a miss for me. Adam Sharp and Angelina Brown had a brief and intense relationship in their twenties which Adam was never able to truly leave behind. Now, on the cusp of turning 50, he may have the opportunity to rekindle the spark. The first half of the book was OK although Adam is a fairly lackluster hero. I enjoyed the music playlist tie-in. The second half of the book is a little weird. I didn't really like the characters or understand their motivations and decisions at all.
That's all! What have you been reading lately?