This year is going quickly, right? Not just me?
June reading included the last of the DGLA shortlists (for the first week) and then three weeks of ANYTHING BUT EPIC FANTASY. Not that I'm singling that genre out for special hatred, just that ten books in a row of anything is too much. Curiously, this made for one of the most enjoyable months of reading in a while, as I somewhat randomly plunged around my Kindle and the piles of stuff on the floor.
A few disappointments:
David Ewalt's Of Dice and Men (2013) got a mini-review earlier, so I won't drag this out. It is a very fluffy history of Dungeons & Dragons, and I'm sorry it wasn't a little more insightful. There are a few cute anecdotes in here - and real evidence that Ewalt got under the skin of the game and the company - but this was too superficial to be of real interest.
Lionel White's Party to Murder (1966) is a Gold Medal from one of the publisher's more hit-or-miss authors. This is firmly in the 'miss' category. A woman dies at the office Christmas party. Also, and unsubtly, there's a robbery and a hit and run that same night. Structurally, Party has potential: each chapter is a different point of view and White does a solid job of establishing all the different voices. That said, the mystery is ridiculous, with way too many moving parts: everyone is a criminal, whether that's embezzlement, adultery or being a psychotic serial killer. It is overly sordid. It doesn't help that the core point of view - the infodumping detective - is painfully jaded and world-weary. The result is a messy, dirty, ill-plotted crime novel that reads like the worst of grimdark fantasy.
John Norman's Tarnsman of Gor (1967) was bad. But not in an interesting way. I've bullied it already, so no point in repeating myself: the book was boring. I expected to dislike it, but I didn't that'd be the reason. There's ponderous prose and dubious sexual politics, so not a total 'loss', but most of this book was just a meandering travelogue.
Enough of that, here are a few books I'd actually recommend from June: