Month: June 2023

Our June 2023 Reads!


We are at the end of June and are here to share our June reads with you today! Everyone have a great July 4th weekend and I hope you have a nice long weekend. I won’t as I’ll be working Monday since the local government I work for only gets the actual holiday off.


Kim is slowly getting back into reading and adjusting to ‘new mommy’ life. Hopefully she’ll be back to reviews soon! Here are her June reads:


I read 9 books in total for June: Four audiobooks, three short stories on audio, one kindle book, and one I read in paperback AND audio!  This was also the month of memoirs as I read three.

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center- 4 stars
33 Unplayed Voicemails by Melissa de la Cruz- 3 stars
Pageboy by Elliot Page- 3 stars
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens- 4 stars
The Five Year Hitch by Melissa de la Cruz- 4 stars
The Summer Melt by Emily March- 3 stars
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey- 5 stars
Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire by Clare Frank- 4 stars
The Chaperone by M. Hendrix- I finished this one yesterday and still taking it in. It should be 4-4.5 stars once I decide!

My favorite read was Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. This one MUST be listened to on audio as he narrates it himself! If you are a fan of his at all do pick this one up!

My least favorite was 33 Unplayed Voicemails by Melissa de la Cruz. I was just so frustrated by this short story!

What did YOU read in June????

Book Review: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

The Life We Bury
Series: Max Rupert and Joe Talbert #1
Author: Allen Eskens

Narrator: Zach Villa
October 14, 2014

Audiobook: 8 Hours 23 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: June 10-15, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Jessica’s Review:

This was a very good one!  It was intriguing with the listener liking the characters they were supposed to like and vise versa! I was pulled in wanting to know everything, which we end up getting!

We have Joe Talbert having a college assignment to interview someone and tell their story. Joe gets more than he bargained for with Carl agreeing to be interviewed and give his dying declaration… See Carl is a convicted rapist and murderer. He is only out of prison because of his medical condition and not having much time left in his life.

Joe’s life is complicated which we also experience through Joe’s circumstances, and meeting with Carl and hearing his just complicates it even more. We hear about Carl’s time in Vietnam, which doesn’t take up a lot of time in this story. I was more interested in everything else that was going on.  And as we get closer to the climax I really was invested in what was going to happen because it goes in a direction I was not expecting.  It just kept speeding on to that ending.

I am curious about the rest in the series and will hopefully continue it.  There are just so many books and only so much time! But Joe I like and want to see what happens with him next!                                                              

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Published: August 18, 2020
229 Pages

Reviewed By: Cristina

Book Description:

Nnamdi’s father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. Nnamdi has vowed to avenge his father, but he wonders what a twelve-year-old boy can do. Until a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a magical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever. How can he fulfill his mission? How will he learn to control his newfound powers?

Kim’s Review:

An Ikenga is a symbolic cultural artifact from the Igbo people of Nigeria. What if it could grant special powers? That is where Nnedi Okorafor’s story begins. Set in modern day Nigeria, an eleven year old boy named Nnamdi is grieving the death of his father. Not just the death. The unsolved murder of his police chief father. On the one year anniversary of his father’s death, Nnamdi receives an Ikenga that gives his the ability to transform into a strong man, capable of stopping the criminals that have begun to take over his town under a new corrupt police chief. One problem. His powers are uncontrollable. And he feels like his one of his favorite super heroes–The Hulk. How will Nnamdi learn to control his powers? Will he solve his father’s murder? With the help of his best friend Chimoa, he just might.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s always fun to read a story that is set in a different place than one you are used to , and Okorafor does a fantastic job of describing the town in Nigeria and daily life. Nnamdi is a realistic young man dealing with the grief of loosing his father and trying to take care of his mother. The themes of justice vs. revenge are nicely woven throughout the story without feeling preachy. The bad guy is a great plot twist–I usually see them coming in a children’s book, and it caught me by surprise in this one. By the way, Nnedi Okorafor has won Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards for her writing. Ikenga follows in that great tradition.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK