Back from vacation! May Reading Wrap-Up

franceBonjour, readers!

The husband and I are back from our trip to France, and you’ll see I have a lot of reviews to write. I always read a lot on vacation, and this one was no exception – although this trip had no long train rides and only one lie-on-the-beach day. Still, our travel days getting to and from France were long, full of delays, rerouting, and long layovers. Good for reading if nothing else (really, getting from DC to France should be MUCH easier).

How was France, you ask? It’s a beautiful country with some of the best food and wine I’ve ever had. I don’t know what it is about French cooking, but the simplest meals are just better than anything I have at home. I love the language, the people couldn’t have been nicer, and there are castles and Roman ruins around every corner. Seeing the beaches of Normandy three weeks before the 70th anniversary of D-Day was an experience I’ll never forget.P1010489

Our trip was marred by an ugly bout with stomach flu. But we bounced back as quickly as we could, saw most of what we planned to see, and at least I can say I didn’t gain a ton of weight on this trip (despite eating croissants for breakfast every single morning).

What I love about traveling, in addition to the food, wine, and sights, is the time to reflect. We decided not to bring a computer, and I loved being unplugged – and yet I really missed my blog. My only real link to the blogging world was through Twitter, so I decided to follow up on something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: learn to use Twitter. I can link to my posts, but I’ve never done more than that. I plan to be a much better user.

I thought a lot about going to BEA this year, and decided France with the husband sounded better… but I’d love to hear from anyone who went!  Is it worth the trip? You can read one review of the BEA Blogger Conference here.

A few more pics from our trip… ancient Roman architecture, castles, and lots and lots of vineyards.  That pretty much sums it up.

P1010901P1020215 P1010821It was nice to get home and see our cats, sleep in our own bed, and wear clean clothes again!  Less nice was going back to work today, but it had to be done. Tomorrow I start a summer school class in education statistics, so I’ll be in night classes two nights a week for seven weeks.

So, onto my May Wrap Up.  Last month I read these books:

  • Child of a Hidden Sea — A.M. Dellamonica
  • The Girl in the Road — Monica Byrne
  • California Bones — Greg Van Eekhout
  • The Memory Garden — Mary Rickert
  • The Bees — Laline Paull
  • Burial Rites — Hannah Kent
  • The Hollow Ground — Natalie S. Harnett

And I reviewed these two fantastic April reads:

The most interesting thing about this list is that with the exception of Burial Rites, all of them are NetGalley books or review copies. Typically I only commit to one or two review copies a month. This month I got all excited about the new science fiction and fantasy releases described in Io9, and as a result I ended up with a pile of free books (electronically, that is). Most were perfect vacation reads, so it worked out well.

I’m currently reading Tell the Wolves I’m Home, which I love.  And next week I’m excited for the release (finally!) of the new Diana Gabaldon novel in the Outlander series.

So, happy Monday and happy June!  What are you reading?

  2 comments for “Back from vacation! May Reading Wrap-Up

  1. June 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Looks like you had a wonderful time (sorry about the stomach flu)!!

  2. June 4, 2014 at 2:55 am

    One of the reasons even simple dishes taste so good is the quality of the ingredients – I know this is a generalisation but even so, I’ve found that French people take time to choose vegetables for example. Watch them in the market and they are picking an item, examining it carefully before deciding whether to buy. And the stall holder sees this as perfectly normal. French people don’t do what we Brits do – go up to the display and stuff them in the plastic bag without checking them or buying them pre-selected and packed. Quel horreur…

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