#junebookbugs – June 29 – Latest Book Haul


My latest Library Haul – I sent the husband to go pick up some holds (I was busy prepping food for his birthday party!) He brought back my two holds, plus a bonus book! Gathering Blue and Son are #2 and #4 in The Giver Quartet – #3 is still making its way to me. The Empire’s Ghost is a new book that caught his eye. It looks pretty interesting. I just have to find time to read it! (I don’t think he understands what my TBR list looks like right now!) It’s Isabelle Steiger’s debut novel, and I’ve actually had pretty good luck with debut novels in the past. It just came out in May. I also managed to catch a bonus kitty sleeping in the background!

The #junebookbugs Index Post is here.

#junebookbugs – June 28 – Planet in the Title

This might be cheating a little – or at least taking the easy way out – but all the planets I could find in my collection were Earth, and the Moon! (Which isn’t technically a planet!) So here is a comedic book by one of my favorite people on the planet. It’s quite brilliant, but it’s Jon Stewart, so I’m not sure what else anyone would expect!


You can find the #junebookbugs Index Post here.

#junebookbugs – June 27 – Set In The Southern Hemisphere

So these are the first two books in a YA series set in Australia. (The first two are on Kindle Unlimited right now!) The series is apparently very popular in Australia, but I’d never heard of it until an internet friend told me I should read them. They’re about Australia getting invaded – by who is purposefully left vague – while these kids are out on a camping trip in the bush. So they come home to find their town empty, and have to puzzle together what happened and decide what they’re going to do. They’re pretty good. I didn’t finish the series because I had a falling out with the internet friend, and attached bad outside feelings to the books, unfortunately. But I always found it interesting how books can be wildly popular in one place, and completely unheard of in another.


The #junebookbugs Index Post is here.

#junebookbugs June 26th – Published in the 80’s

I had a moment of “I don’t know what was published in the 80s! I just read!” but then I realized I do know of at least one book I own that was published in the 80s. (I probably could have checked the publishing dates on some of the Heinlein, and then just randomly started checking my other older stuff…) But Willow! I actually own both Willow, and the trilogy inspired by it that was published many years later. If you haven’t read the trilogy, it’s an excellent spiritual successor to the original story, and is worth a read.


The #junebookbugs Index Post is here.

#junebookbugs June 25th – Sweet

I feel like cookbooks are an often overlooked section of books, when it comes to reviews. And that’s a shame, because I love cookbooks! So for “Sweet”, today, I pulled Bittersweet off the shelves. It’s a lovely cookbook for chocolate lovers and those who like the desserts less sweet. Which means it strikes a happy middle ground between my husband and I! One of my favorite recipes from this book is a dark, fudgy brownie topped with coconut. It’s DELICIOUS. You can still find this book on Amazon, but they also have Seriously Bittersweet, which is apparently a complete rework and update of the material.


My #junebookbugs Index Post is here.

Book Review: The Giver


The Giver
by Lois Lowry
225 pages
Dystopian Fiction
Published 1993

So, I know The Giver has been out for a long time, and I know they made a movie, but somehow I’d never read or watched it. But on the recommendation of a friend, I finally have. What a strange little book! It definitely belongs in the same realm as Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and The Handmaid’s Tale – which are among my favorite books – but the ending was tremendously unsatisfying. It’s the first book in a quartet, though, so I’m hoping the other three, which I have requested from the library, will tie up the loose ends. It definitely feels like it’s only the first installment of a story.

The dystopian society in this book has effectively banished most feelings. But to get rid of hate and war and prejudice, they also had to banish the memories and feelings of individuality and difference. With everyone and everything the same, they’re mostly incapable of feeling true love or happiness. So they all live in peace – but it’s a complacent, uncaring peace. It’s not peace because of love, it’s peace because of the absence of passionate feelings. Whether this is good or not, well, that’s up to the reader to decide for themselves. The actions of the main character, who aims to disrupt that peace, could be seen as good or bad.

I’m not actually sure how I feel about this book. I will probably have a better opinion once I read the next three – Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012).

From the back cover:

“I have great honor,” The Giver said. “So will you. But you will find that that is not the same as power.”

Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a precisely choreographed world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice….or choice. 

Everyone is the same.

Except Jonas.

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community’s twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chosen for something special. He begins instruction in his life’s work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test – when he must try to save someone he loves – he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?