What I read in June 2023

What I Read in June 2023

What I Read in June 2023

June seemed to fly by, and my time with it. I only managed to read four books. I thought I would still share a What I Read in June 2023 post and share my review.

What I read in June 2023

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Play)

I read the novel in May 2023, but after seeing the play with James Norton and Luke Thompson a few weeks later, I decided to re-read it in play form. The play is very difficult to watch but they did a brilliant job at adapting a 700+ page novel into a three-hour production. I wanted to re-read it to better process the story. The play is definitely more accessible than the novel, but still heartwrenching and utterly destroying.

The Success Myth by Emma Gannon

I’ve read all of Emma Gannon’s books, both her non-fiction and her novel OliveThe Success Myth is probably my least favourite as it feels like it undoes a lot of her previous non-fiction books about ambition and productivity.

My favourite of her non-fiction was The Multi-Hyphen Method, which is about doing multiple roles at once, not to maximise your time but because sometimes we want to do more than one career, hobby and/or lifestyle, and why shouldn’t we? However, in The Success Myth, it felt like the onus was to do less as it’s not going to bring about ‘success’, which means something different to everyone.

I get the overall idea, that killing yourself for a goal is never going to be enough, but I don’t think Emma’s lifestyle is a one size fits all. And The Success Myth – at least, my interpretation of it – felt far more preachy than idea-based.

Love Story by Erich Segal

Whilst on holiday I picked up Love Story by Erich Segal, a popular novel from the 1970s. I saw the movie years ago and, honestly, I hated it. However, the book wasn’t bad, although it’s incredibly outdated.

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang

Yellowface is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – book release of 2023 and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s not enjoyable exactly, but it’s brilliantly written. As a member of the publishing industry, it is a takedown of my career, but enjoyably so.

The story follows writer Juniper Hayward whose frenemy Athena is a hugely successful writer. When Athena dies suddenly in June’s presence, unable to save her, June instead steals Athena’s latest manuscript. She publishes it as her own (as a white woman, whilst the story is about Asian struggles during the Second World War), and it’s a massive success. But then rumours set in that she couldn’t have written it and the lengths June goes to to ‘prove’ she did are catastrophic.

It’s a brilliant if unsettling commentary about the publishing industry. Well worth reading.

That’s what I read in June 2023, what did you read? Let me know in the comments below.

Love Ellie x

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What I Read in June 2023

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