Month in Review: June 2024


It’s hard to believe the end of June is upon us already! I am going to take a break in July, as I have some exciting travel planned (see below) and just need unstructured time in the summer. But I’ll be back in another month if not sooner.

I enjoyed everything I read this month. There were some wonderful nonfiction reads, including one about a famous library cat for Reading the Meow; the continuation of the Ozathon; and exploring a new-to-me series by Joan Aiken in preparation for a post I’m writing for Witch Week, coming in October. I’ve been in touch with Joan Aiken’s daughter, Lizza, and will be sharing some fascinating background information as well as my personal appreciation of this adventurous trilogy.

  • Dewey by Vicki Myron – Reading the Meow, Nonfiction reader, pets category
  • Custodians of Wonder by Eliot Stein – Review to come (December release)
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Ozathon
  • The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by Annie M.G. Schmidt
  • Go Saddle the Sea, Bridle the Wind, and The Teeth of the Gale by Joan Aiken – review to come, for Witch Week
  • The Gift Giving by Joan Aiken
  • All the Beauty in the World by Patrick Bringley – Nonfiction Reader, culture category


I took a German test this week to see if I’d qualify for a caregiving training I am thinking of taking. I have never taken an official course in this language, so I didn’t know what level I might have achieved. I think my ability to converse and to write have improved dramatically over the past couple of years, but I still feel shaky with grammar (those pesky German cases). Fortunately, that didn’t prevent me from passing the B1 level test. I’m glad to know I’ve made it at least this far.

I have continued to make progress with Momo in German and Madame Bovary in French. Though the two books could hardly be more different in many ways, they are each structured in three parts. My goal is to finish one part of each book per month, and so far I’m keeping up.

Illustration by Anastasia Bezgubova from Momo


My husband and son are currently on a backpacking trip along the coast of Brittany. They started at Mont St. Michel and are heading toward St Malo. They are having a good time, but lugging a heavy backpack and sleeping in a tent is not my cup of tea. I’m going to drive over next week and meet up with them in Chartres (about an hour from Paris, in central France). I am looking forward to a peaceful week exploring the cathedral and relaxing. However, I would like to visit the coast someday!

Are you traveling anywhere this summer? Or what would your dream destination be?

castle by the sea
Photo by Matt Hardy on

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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19 thoughts on “Month in Review: June 2024

  1. A great month of reading there Lory; I’m glad you’ve got your Witch week reading done–I only about decided on my book this month. I was so pleased you joined in with Reading the Meow and enjoyed learning about Dewey’s effect on so many lives.
    Congratulations on doing well on your German test! Have a great month ahead.

    1. Thanks, yes it was a great month. I was not necessarily intending to do the Witch Week reading all at once, but once I started the trilogy I could not stop! Enjoyed Reading the Meow and now I’m always on the lookout for cat books. 😀

  2. Impressive that you are relatively fluent in two languages. Enjoy your vacation.
    best, mae at

  3. I admire your determination to learn German and French. Madame Bovary is going very slowly for me, but I shall press on. I have to look up all the words I do not know, and that’s a lot. It would probably help me to have two copies of MB, but maybe I would rely on the English version too much. Good luck to you, Lory!

    Enjoy your trip. I love to camp, but I doubt I’d be able to carry a heavy backpack for miles. Still, it’s fun to think about.

    Your reading in June was excellent. All the Beauty in the World, in particular, is a thoughtful book, and a cat in the library like Dewey brought so much to so many.

    1. I’m finding it a struggle to read MB right now even as I’m actually in France. Too many more appealing things to do. But I’ll get back to it. I’m glad you’re with us but can’t imagine trying to read the whole book having only learned with duolingo. It defeated me in college French class, that’s why I’m reading it now and I still find it difficult.

  4. Well done on passing your German test, that’s impressive. I have yet to face a Spanish one. I’m so lax about grammar because I know how “bad” your English can be and you can still be understood and carry that over into my own L2 and L3! Have a lovely trip, too, Chartres is a great place. No hols here for me but will be having a rest after the general election and we go to Spain in October …

  5. Brittany is lovely, echoes of both Cornish coastline and Welsh language but very much of itself with a thin veneer of French! La Côte de Granit Rose was my favourite seaside but I loved Carnac and other megalithic sites and cities like Quimper. Oh, and I hope you get to walk the maze in Chartres Cathedral when you meet up with your boys!

    I’m really looking forward to your overview of the Felix Brooke trilogy – what a treat! And to have all these Aikenesque pieces in one place will be an absolute delight. 😊

    1. I did not make it to Brittany this time but it does sound lovely. Hope we can all go there together someday.

  6. I’m so impressed with your language skills, Lory! Good for you in continuing to use your brain to take on new challenges. I’m with you; I’d rather have the peaceful week exploring a cathedral and relaxing, and let someone else do the backpacking and sleeping outside. 🙂

  7. Lory, I very much look forward to hearing more about your Joan Aiken reading in October, because The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a childhood favourite of mine 👧 Also I hope you and your family enjoy your travels – I loved visiting Mont St Michel and the D-Day beaches in Normandy (where my mum lives). This summer I am heading to Kent (South East England) for a week-long holiday.
    Blessings, Jessica 💌

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