May Reading Wrap-up

May was an eventful month, beginning with a DC blogger happy hour, Zezee with Books, and Grace from Books without Any Pictures.  It was awesome to meet them and I look forward to hearing more about their blogs — I’ve already thought of questions I want to follow up on.  We met at local bookstore Kramerbooks, an independent bookstore in DC and one of the few places you can shop for books AND drink wine (and also where I had my first date with my husband twenty years ago).

Speaking of, this month the husband and I went to a local arts festival, where we talked to a gallery owner about Harry Potter art.  We spent Memorial Day weekend tasting wine in Charlottesville.  I’ve got squash and tomatoes growing in my garden, which is sorely ready for a little more heat and a little less rain (or maybe I’m projecting my own feelings onto my plants).  We saw Guardians of the Galaxy opening night, and I’m really excited to see Wonder Woman this Thursday.

Here’s what I read in May:

  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
  • The Long Drop by Denise Mina
  • The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

My reading this month was challenging but also rewarding.  I loved The Leavers and The Gustav Sonata, two very thoughtful books about young men growing up in difficult circumstances.  I read The Sound of Things Falling, which was about crime and corruption in Colombia in the 1980s, for The Readers’ Room “Read Around the World” challenge.  I read A Raisin in the Sun for the Classics Book a Month challenge. Both gave me a lot to think about. This month I read four books by authors of color.

My favorite read?  I LOVED The Hate U Give.  Even though I may be older than its target audience, I read this book sniffling and sobbing the whole way.  Angie Thomas gives her sixteen-year old heroine an incredibly real voice.  It’s a gut-wrenching read, and one that is sadly so relevant today.  It was interesting to read it back to back with A Raisin in the Sun, a play that opened on Broadway in 1959 and was also about a black family struggling to get ahead, and to care for each other, in a racist world.  Yet another thing that reminds me we haven’t made much progress.

My only disappointing read this month was The Mothers by Brit Bennett.  I gave up on it halfway; I didn’t like where the story was heading and didn’t care for the characters.

ARCs I read this month: The Long Drop, The Leavers

What I’m reading now:  Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

What’s coming up: 746 Books is once again hosting Twenty Books of Summer, which gives me a good chance to think about and organize my summer reading.  I’ll post my list shortly, but it’s a mix of Bailey’s Prize books, classics, around-the-world reads, science fiction from my Humble Bundle, and just a few books I’ve been wanting to get to.  Right now I’m looking forward to reading Stay With Me, The Power, and V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows.

That’s my wrap up of May.  How’s your summer going, and what are you looking forward to reading?

  7 comments for “May Reading Wrap-up

  1. May 31, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Looks like you had a good month! I’m hoping to read The Leavers soon. Looking forward to seeing your Twenty Books of Summer list 😊

  2. June 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    So, here’s a question – I quite often see bloggers say things like this and I’m always interested by what they mean – when you say “I didn’t like where it was going”, does that mean it was a predictable plot and therefore dull, or that you just suspected the ending was going to be unsatisfactory? And if the latter, is that because the characters were behaving inconsistently, or for some other reason? It’s always cool to hear what different readers consider “reasonable” in a book.

    • June 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

      This book was complicated, because I already have a difficult time with books that are mainly about having children or abortion (books about abortion tend to feel preachy to me). I gave this book about half a read, but started disliking all three main characters. When I say “I didn’t like where it was going”, in this case I was troubled by one character being dishonest with her closest friend, and then it seemed that said friend was going to do something ugly. To your question, if I find a book dull and predictable, I guess I’d say so. “Didn’t like where it was going” usually for me means a main character is going down a path and for whatever reason I don’t care enough to follow. Interesting question, I had to think about that!

      • June 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm

        Aha! Well that was illuminating—thank you! I haven’t read The Mothers yet, so was especially intrigued to know what went amiss with it for you.

  3. June 8, 2017 at 11:32 am

    A blogger happy hour sounds really fun! And who wouldn’t love a combo of books and wine? 🙂

  4. June 13, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I’ve only heard great things about THUG and have it on my must read list. I love Neil Gaiman’s writing and so does my daughter.

  5. June 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I’m so late! But I too had fun meeting up with you and Grace and that’s so cute that you had your first date with your husband at Kramerbooks!
    Hopefully we can have another meet up again. We hope around and meet up different bookstores each time. 🙂

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