I keep track of a lot of things with regard to my reading, and spend a likely ridiculous amount of time updating my handy-dandy reading spreadsheet throughout the month. It’s worth the time and effort to have some super-nerdy stats for myself at the end of the month and year, though. 🤓
May was not a big reading month for me in that I only finished 13 books, and most of those were audio. Maybe I’m just too distracted/horrified/worried by the ongoing and escalating shitshow that is the United States of America to sit and read for very long? Anyway… here’s how it breaks down:
11 audiobooks finished: 144 hours listened, although most of those books were at 2x speed, so halve that.
1 print book + 1 ebook finished: 586 pages total read with my eyeballs. Stretched out over many, many sessions. Again, distraction.
Plus, 31 chapters read of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility with my Litsy #PemberLittens club. We’re taking it slow and reading each novel one chapter per day, so that was a total of 219 more pages read of an old friend. Thank goodness for Jane!
My finished books include: 2 books from the #1001Books list, 6 NetGalley books, 4 books for my Mt. TBR challenge, and 3 books for my various other annual reading challenges.
I read 3 books by POC, 2 LGBTQ books, 3 books from non-American authors, and 2 books in translation. I didn’t manage to read single nonfiction book… I was all about escapism in May.
The books I read:
The Deep by Rivers Solomon.
I wanted to love this book (loved An Unkindness of Ghosts by the same author), and the concept is awesome: Goodreads Beautiful writing, but I find myself wanting more substance and story. Best part: audio is read by the amazing Daveed Diggs, who called me out in the afterword: ‘Were you at double speed? I know you were.’ Guilty. The history of this story is fascinating, going back to Drexciya, and Daveed talks about it in the afterword. I LOVE the clipping. song: and you should check it out on YouTube but full disclosure, I’m a Daveed fan girl. ⭐️⭐️1/2
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
I liked, but didn’t love, this memoir. Well-written, and an interesting story. I think maybe my years in social work have me sort of jaded—it’s a believable story for sure. Goodreads ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
The Herd by Andrea Bartz.
It took me way too long to read this. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I got was a bunch of unlikeable characters and a promising, but ultimately plodding, mystery. The Herd itself put me in mind of goop, and that’s not really a great thing for me. In the end, it just wasn’t believable or entertaining. Goodreads ⭐️⭐️1/2
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan.
Thank goodness for book clubs! This one was a selection for a mainly non-Litsy postal, and I’m not sure I would have ever come across it on my own. Historical fiction saga spanning multiple generations and told from multiple POVs, it’s an immigrant story, an American story, and a very well-written story of a messy, very real-feeling family. Goodreads ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
The Deep by Alma Katsu review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover review ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade review ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
The Book of V. by Anna Solomon review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
2666 by Roberto Bolaño review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Perfume by Patrick Süskind review ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynne Anderson.
Goodreads I actually loved this book more than Peter Pan. Sacrilege? Oh well! It’s darker and maybe just a bit less magical, but Anderson’s retelling of the familiar story through Tiger Lily’s experience was fascinating and adds a dash of romance. I also love the fact that the story is told through Tinker Bell’s eyes. Sweet and sad and delightful. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
How Much of these Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang.
Goodreads Once again, I’m highly rating a book that can be classified as a ‘western’ after saying repeatedly that I don’t like westerns. The title is a mouthful, but this is a beautifully written debut about two orphaned Chinese-American children in the American west during gold rush times. It’s gritty and dark, but it’s also gorgeously descriptive and affecting. With themes of family, gender, and race, definitely a thoroughly engaging novel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Random May bookishness
- Watched both the 1995 and 2008 adaptations of Sense & Sensibility
- Finished my 85th book for the year
- Watched the new Emma movie (another) 4.5 times
- Received my copy of The Shadow of the Wind and it’s accompanying journal back in the mail after its 4 year journey all over the world for my very first postal book club
- Worked on my blog a whole lot—I have a plan!
And finally, all of my May blog posts, in a very cool carousel form: