My Commonplace Book: June 2022

A selection of words and pictures to represent June’s reading:

commonplace book
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


‘Yes.’ Eddie reached for his cigarettes. ‘There’s an appointment, and one day we have to keep the appointment. There’s no getting out of it. Until then we might as well live.’

Ada watched the tiny flame burst from Eddie’s match.

Tito said, ‘We should all have mottos, I think. That’s a good one.’

Fortune by Amanda Smyth (2021)


I once worked out that I’ve probably written more than ten million words in my lifetime. I’m surrounded by silence but at the same time I’m drowning in words and it hardly ever leaves me, that sense of disconnection.

A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz (2021)


Thomas Mann in 1905

“And my book?”

“It may be about that. Yes, it may. But readers will feel more that they are peering in through a window.”

“That might be the perfect description of what a novel is.”

“In that case, you have written a masterpiece. I should not be surprised that you are already so famous.”

The Magician by Colm Tóibín (2021)


She told him how Aunt Ellen had said she had to harden her heart. He shook his head. ‘I’m sure your aunt’s a wise woman, but I don’t think that’s the way to go. We’re none of us better for having harder hearts, whatever we’ve lost.’

That Bonesetter Woman by Frances Quinn (2022)


It was an isolated island of granite, thick with red pine trees, and inhabited only by a few fishermen, descendants of the pirates of the past. The feudal lord decided to make the island a place of exile. From that time on, for many years, all the criminals in his territory who had their death sentence commuted were imprisoned on this island, and it became known by the inauspicious moniker Gokumon, which can be read as Prison Gate as well as Hell’s Gate…

Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo (1971)


The Tempest by Giorgione

He has listened. That alone is remarkable. In that instant it strikes Zorzo that humans have a willingness to comprehend each other, and to share what they learn. It is the combination of these things that makes societies, and civilizations.

The Colour Storm by Damian Dibben (2022)


Do children inherit a parent’s characteristics? Will Janeska also have a propensity for blithe deceit and blind egotism? She has her father’s charm and garrulousness, his easy sociability – God knows, she didn’t get those traits from me. But maybe each soul comes into the world complete in itself and experience carries out the subtle carving of the final design.

The White Hare by Jane Johnson (2022)


There was an old Scots saying that came into Mary’s head as she hurried through the neglected gardens of her home:

It’s no what ye ha’e,
It’s what ye dae wi’ what ye ha’e
That matters.

Summerhills by D.E. Stevenson (1956)


Joan of Arc – illustration from 1504 manuscript

No one can walk this path for you. You cannot simply follow in another’s footsteps, as though life were a complicated dance, every turn and twist memorized and prepared for ahead of time. There are many things in the world you can inherit: money, land, power, a crown. But an adventure is not one of them; you must make your own journey.

Joan by Katherine J. Chen (2022)


Copper said: ‘In the absence of any concrete evidence, I plump for Leonard Stock as the murderer. First, because he’s the most unlikely person, and as anyone who has ever read a murder story knows, it’s always the most unlikely person who turns out to have done the deed – and fifty thousand authors can’t be wrong.’

Death in the Andamans by M.M. Kaye (1960)


She felt intensely; where she loved, there she loved absolutely. This had already caused her some conflict and drama. She fully accepted that, one day, it might bring on her undoing. Yet she would not change it, could not see why one would even live in this world without ecstasy or misery or genuine feeling.

Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby (2022)


Favourite book read in June:

That Bonesetter Woman

Places visited in my June reading:

Germany, Trinidad, Alderney, England, Japan, Italy, Andaman Islands, Scotland, France

Authors read for the first time in June:

Amanda Smyth, Frances Quinn, Katherine J. Chen


Reading notes: I’m off to a great start with my 20 Books of Summer – six books from my list read and reviewed already! I still have some long ones to read (including The Mirror and the Light, which I’m about 200 pages into so far), but I’m optimistic about my chances of actually completing the challenge this year! In July I’ll be continuing to work through my list and I also have a few upcoming review copies from NetGalley to read, as well as my Classics Club Spin book, The Chrysalids.

One final thing I want to mention here is Jo’s Six in Six meme, which is returning for another year. To take part, all you need to do is look back at your reading over the first six months of the year and list six books in six categories – the full instructions are on Jo’s blog now!


How was your June reading? Do you have any plans for July?

6 thoughts on “My Commonplace Book: June 2022

  1. Susan R Suing says:

    My June reading did not include anything from this list. Rather, I read several older books by a British author named Natasha Solomons. I liked them very much, particularly The Song of Hartgrove Hall. To my surprise, when I finished The House of Tyneford I found I could Google the house and the area and see many photos of “the ghost village”. I love doing that. It started when I was reading ALL of Dorothy Dunnett’s books and was able to “see” the places she wrote about.

    • Helen says:

      I love Natasha Solomons’ books, although I haven’t read all of them. I really enjoyed House of Gold, I Mona Lisa and The House at Tyneford (which was published as The Novel in the Viola here in the UK). I must try to read the rest of her books!

    • Helen says:

      I loved That Bonesetter Woman and I enjoyed Joan too, although I found it slow in places. I’ll be posting my reviews of both of those books in the next few weeks.

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