the daily june: june eleventh | what i’m reading this week

I’ve had the urge, of late, to share on a weekly basis what it is I’m sinking my literary teeth into. This is the first of what will likely be a weekly series to share and chat about the books I’m reading (and likely also articles and anything else that I’m sure falls into this category that I haven’t thought of yet).

For the last month and a bit I’ve been working my way – very slowly! – through my big summer reading list for 2020. I was sidetracked by a romance binge (a Sarah-MacLean-specific one, to be precise) for most of the month of May, but I crowd-sourced suggestions back in April (thank you, all!) and I’m trying to make more headway with this one than I did with my big summer reading list for 2019. We’ll see how it goes – ultimately a reader’s heart wants what a reader’s heart wants, and who am I to argue with that?

Alex S. Vitale, The End of Policing

I downloaded The End of Policing recently because I have a very large education gap when it comes to law enforcement. I realized, recently, in something of an epiphany, that I know next to nothing about the police aside from what they teach you in elementary school: “The police are there to protect you.” That simple explanation, so digestible for a child, “The police are there to protect you,” has been proven blatantly false as of late, and made me incredible aware of my own lack of awareness. Sure, maybe the police are there to protect me, a young white woman, but the assumption I had previously – almost unconsciously – held – that the purpose of the police was protection, and that that protection unquestionably extended to all of us, to absolutely everyone – was so clearly, and so infuriatingly, naive.

The End of Policing has been a difficult read – but that only makes it all that much more important. We must be aware, and we must recognize that there is always, always going to be more that we are unaware of. We must be uncomfortable. We must seek to be educated. We cannot sit in ignorance because it is more comfortable there.

Erin Beaty, The Traitor’s Kiss and The Traitor’s Ruin

I read The Traitor’s Kiss last week and enjoyed myself – it is exactly what it appears to be, with enough characters who make my heart sing a little that I can ignore the amount of telling-rather-than-showing that occasionally takes place, or the occasionally forceful author’s pen prompting an encounter less-than-perfectly set up. The twist at the end is fun, if somewhat awkwardly set up – it doesn’t quite do the thing it’s supposed to do where it makes you yell, “How did I not see this coming?!” while also making you feel like, “Wow, I cannot believe I didn’t see this coming.” The set-up was a little lacking.

However! I am nothing if not great at finishing entire series of books I don’t love and I’m holding out hope that the writing gets stronger with each installment – I love it when that happens. It’s wonderful to witness. I’m halfway through the Traitor’s Ruin this week and it’s been fun, if a bit insta-love-y (which is interesting, since it’s a continuation of the romance from the first book – it’s odd that it seems to give me insta-love vibes despite the history).

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Friends, I’ve been having a real hell of a time getting into this one. I’ve read most of The Secret History, which I rather liked even if I never did end up finishing the last few chapters, but it sucked me in more quickly than this one did – I’m nearly 90 pages into The Goldfinch and I feel like we’ve barely touched the surface of the framing. I’m not at all attached to the main character, or even any of the side characters. I’m stumped. What am I missing? I’ll carry on, mostly because this is officially my first big summer reading list read and my pride won’t let me DNF it. It might take a while, though. Stay tuned to see if I’m still reading it come August.

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