Month in Review: June 2023


I decided to take part in 20 Books of Summer this year (with a modest goal of 10 books) and it gave a terrific jump start to my summer reading. I have already read 4 books from my list and most of them were outstanding. I’ve added some extra books as well as some alternates in case some of my picks don’t work out so well. I am also very pleased that I made significant progress in my goal to read books from or about different parts of the world.

This month I posted some thoughts about my reading so far for the #LoveHain readalong, and a new Make Me Read It poll. The winner, by a landslide, was Sweet Bean Paste, so I’m adding that to my summer reading list.

What I read in June:


My main language goal at the moment is to read books in French and German during the summer, slowly working on my comprehension skills. I read the first part of Krabat in June and I’m planning to read the next two parts in July and August, taking it slowly. And I’m in the midst of a chapter-a-day readalong of Voyage au centre de la terre, which I am really enjoying, although the first two weeks have been spent traveling only on the surface of the earth and we have not gotten anywhere near the center. I have learned a lot about 19th-century Iceland, though.

I just found out about a 7-week book club hosted by the wonderful folks at Easy German and I’ve signed up for that. The book is Kindergeschichte by Peter Bichsel, which I actually already own! I cannot pass up this opportunity to read from my own shelves AND connect with other German learners. You can find out more here if you should also be interested.


Me and George Sand in the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

This month’s most exciting event was going to Paris for a two-day visit while my sister and her family were also there on vacation. I’ll post more about this soon.

I wrote about what I loved, learned, saw and ate this month (pre-Paris) in Share Four Somethings.

Otherwise, summer is here and we’re enjoying the warmth and outdoor time. Our vacation in July will probably be a staycation, but that’s OK when we live in such a lovely place.

Let me know how your summer is going!

Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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34 thoughts on “Month in Review: June 2023

  1. I always admire anyone who can read in multiple languages! And thanks for mentioning Sweet Bean Paste. I have added it to my TBR list too!

    1. It’s been a longtime frustration of mine that I never became fluent in French, even though I studied it for 10 years. I’m trying to get further now that I live in Switzerland – although my aging brain struggles. Still, it’s a good challenge! Sweet Bean Paste comes highly recommended, I’m really looking forward to it.

  2. Lory, glad to see you enjoying the summer and the many reads you have accomplished. You look happy and lovely on that picture. Enjoy your staycation.

  3. What an interesting book list! Perfect for Paris in July. When I visited the Alamo, I got a big dose of the “remember” part, the “forget” part sounds useful, in terms of a more reasonable approach to history.
    best, mae at

    1. I think the idea is to remember it, except accurately and not as an excuse for racism. That’s the part that needs to be forgotten.

  4. I really want to read Sweet Bean Paste so I’ll be interested in your thoughts on it. I last went to Paris half my life ago, literally, so need to go again!

  5. You have made great progress on your Books of Summer challenge. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Sweet Bean Paste.

    How wonderful that you were able to spend time in Paris. Maybe you can share during Paris in July.

    I’m especially interested in your progress on reading in French and German. I’ve been working on Italian for last month and a half, but I think this month I’m going to try to work on both French and Italian.

    1. I will definitely plan to share photos during Paris in July.

      My reading progress is palpable, which is encouraging! E-books help because I hate looking up words. The e-dictionary doesn’t have everything, but enough for my purposes. Hope it goes well with your French and Italian reading, hope you’ll tell us about that.

    1. It’s gotten so much good publicity, I hope it will live up to the hype. (The book, not the bean paste. :D)

  6. It’s great to know that you’re practicing languages! Like you mentioned, reading in those languages can improve skills like comprehension, so it’s a really beneficial practice. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  7. Glad to hear you’re doing so well on the 20 Books challenge and with your challenge of reading in other languages. Echoing previous commenters, Sweet Bean Paste looks very interesting. It’s a book I have noticed before but I haven’t got down to looking it up yet. Wishing you a great month ahead with more good reading!

  8. Growing up I always wanted to visit Paris. I’ve added many more places to the list since then.

    I looked up Sweet Bean Paste and have added the audio to my list to read this summer.

    1. It seems a very popular book. I’m looking forward to discovering what it’s all about.

  9. Happy Reading to you, I love your tenacity to read in other languages too. We visited Paris too for the tennis in June and loved being back there. Lovely to meet you through #ParisinJuly

  10. How lovely that you were able to visit Paris! I’ve never been anywhere in Europe, but if I were to go, Paris would be one of my top 3 places to visit.

  11. I think your language skills are becoming impressive. I may have previously mentioned the Chalet School books, not my favorite boarding school books, but memorable because they are set in Austria and the girls alternate between French, Italian, and German seemingly without effort. I was always envious.

    1. I downloaded a couple of Chalet school books and I’ll look into them at some point!

      I really wish I’d worked harder on languages when I was in school. I was too shy and afraid of making mistakes then. The difference is that now I don’t care about that any more and I just want to be able to cope better in this multi-lingual environment. Impressive my skills may seem, but compared to many here they are still very rudimentary! It is good to see that I have made progress, at any rate. Thanks for your support.

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