This month was an even split between fiction and non-fiction, and all four books are impressive in their own way.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan: Cahalan was a twenty-something living in New York City when she started showing symptoms of mental illness. In this account, Cahalan uses her journalist skills to try to capture the month she lost to an autoimmune disorder that attacked her brain. Her writing style is addictive, and the interviews and medical records she studied paint a horrifying picture of what happens when a disease unknown to many doctors in the world sets its sights on our minds. This books made me examine the connection between mental illness and physical illness and see the complexities of the brain without being too hard to understand.
The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire by Laura Claridge: If you love books or authors, you must read this nonfiction book about Blanche Knopf, one of the female pioneers in publishing. The book is a who's who of early 20th century authors, and it shifts focus from the books published by Blanche and her husband to their marriage, which was troubled, open, and lasted until Blanche's death. One of the women fighting for her rightful place in a working world full of men, Knopf was both an inspiration and a troubled soul. I highly recommend this for any literature lover.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: I would have never in a million years picked this book out for myself since it is classified as romance. However, the sequel, After You, is on my BookPage list, and one of my dearest friends said Me Before You was the everything in her world. So I put this one on hold and found myself happily immersed in the world of Louisa Clarke and Will Traynor for the short 48 hours it took me to devour it . Moyes' dialogue and the way she writes characters is so true to life that you will feel like you know these characters as you turn the pages waiting for the suspense and emotion to unfold until the very last page. Not a typical romance, Me Before You brings up questions about what it means to live, to lose, and to love.
After You by Jojo Moyes: Of course, after Me Before You I had to grab the sequel. It is definitely worth the read, but it's not near as good as the first one. This book is bloated with way too much going on in the first 60 pages, though Moyes still makes readers geniunely care about the characters she creates. I won't go into plot points since you need to read the first book, but the adventures of the characters are still worth following, even if they aren't quite as intriguing the second time around.
I abandoned Little Red Chairs and may pick it up at a later date, but I am in the middle of four other books right now, two that I should finish up this week. That means the July Book List should be pretty full. Happy Summer Reading!