May was a busy month for reading! I read 8 books and 2,522 pages this month. So, that was pretty fantastic! They also made a really attractive stack.
The first book that I read this month was the Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I read this with my friend Jaclyn which is always a lot of fun.
The Invasion of the Tearling is the second book in The Queen of the Tearling series. This book was a lot different than the first book. It split the narrative between Kelsea and a pre-crossing woman named Lily who is somehow related to Kelsea.
Lily’s story really reminded me of parts of The Handmaid’s Tale. There were some of the same sort of societal issues, particularly the fertility issues. I’m not sure if this link is just because I read them so close together or because they really are similar.
I found that this book was really setting up the series for the next book. Unlike what the title suggests, the invasion isn’t really the main point of the novel, the story with Lily was, and it left a lot of things un-concluded. I rated this book a 9 out of 10.
Next I read Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. I picked this one up with to read with my friend Amanda after she asked me what book I had heard some buzz around. I had originally found this book on a buzzfeed listicle of 27 books that you need to read this winter.
I really loved this book. I thought it was fantastic. The characters and character development were amazing and it had a fun mystery aspect to the story which I wasn’t expecting.
The book follows the story of a dysfunctional family. One day Ingrid, wife to Gil and mother to Nan and Flora, disappears when Flora was a small child. Ingrid leaves letters in books that talk about her early relationship and marriage with Gil and why she was unhappy with her current life.
I rated this book a 9 out of 10. I loved this novel. I would recommend it to everyone.
After that I read was my goal book for May Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. I was a bit disappointed by this book. It was the fourth Vonnegut book I’ve read.
This book follows Kilgore Trout who is in several other of Vonnegut books. He’s an interesting character, but I hadn’t read the other 4 books that he appears in before this one.
Unlike many of the other books that I’ve read, this book didn’t have many normal parts that the others did. Instead it just all felt disconnected.
I did enjoy the illustrations in the book and how it explained many of the concepts. I thought that it was really cool that it would allow you to read this book in decades to come and still be able to make good sense of what’s happening in the book (when what’s happen isn’t nonsense)
I rated this book a 6 out of 10. I would definitely recommend reading all the other books that Kilgore Trout appears in before reading this one.
After that I read a cozy-mystery Between a Book and a Hard Place by Denise Swanson. As you may know I have read several of Ms. Swanson’s books from her other series which I loved.
I didn’t like this book as many as the other that I have read by Swanson. I’m not sure if its because it was the fifth book in the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series and it’s the first one that I read, or because I don’t like the characters as much. Little did I know before reading this book, Swanson also writes romance novels and this book was much more romance-y than the books from her other series that I’ve read.
That being said, I didn’t absolutely hate the book. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. I rated it a 5 out of 10. It was a quick read and was fairly fun. I think I will still read the other books in the series. Hopefully I’ll enjoy them more than this one.
Next I read the book for The End of the World Bookclub, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I was super excited to read this book. It is also by a Canadian which was super cool and it was a book that I’ve been thinking about reading for a while so I was happy to have an excuse to finally read it.
The novel follows three characters through a plague that kills of the majority of the worlds population. One dies before the plague hits, one joins a traveling orchestra, and one stays with their brother for as long as possible in Toronto.
The characters are beautifully written and the story jumps back and further between the current pre-plague life and their life afterwards. This gives you an interesting view on the characters and allows them to have some really beautiful development.
I rated this book a 10 out of 10. This was a fantastic book.
Next, in replacement of the bookclub book of the month Pride and Prejudice as bookclub was postponed, I decided to read Persuasion by Jane Austen to prep my mind for Pride and Prejudice.
Admittedly I’m not much of an Austen person and this book reminded me why. Although I did like the main character Anne, I found the plot trying and, at times, boring. Anne was strong, independent, and liked books which are all qualities that I enjoy in a main character, but all the people that she was surrounded by others who tried to make her into someone she isn’t.
I just wanted this book to be over by the time I was halfway through and despite it being short it seemed to take forever to read. I rated this book a 5 out of ten. Not that it was unenjoyable, but it’s just not the book for me.
The next book that I read was The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. This is the first book in The Queen’s Thief quintet and it is fantastic.
This book was one of my recommendations from my friend Kate and she was super excited that I finally got around to it. This lovely novel has the perfect combination between fanciful ideas and roguishness. As the name may suggest the main character is a thief who says he can steal anything and his skills are put to a test in a wonderful journey. There is a lot of political intrigue and several twists in the story, as well as appearances by the gods. How could this book be bad?
I rated it a 9 out of 10. I really enjoyed reading this novel and I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series! The only downside is that with the new release they’ve changed all the covers so now mine won’t match the rest.
I was so stoked to read this book. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the third instalment in the Library of Forgotten books quartet, the last, The Labyrinth of the Spirits, has yet to be published in English but I await it rather impatiently as it is not expected until sometime in 2018 which seems so very far away.
This book is a frame narrative. It starts out following Daniel Sempere and then turns into a story about Fermín Romero de Torres. This book was more dark than the preceding novels and was a lot different stylistically. This book was far more of a mystery than the others in the series. One of the reasons that I like the series so much is that all the books are so different.
I rated this novel 8 out of 10. Although I really enjoyed it, I missed having the cemetery in the novel as it only appeared twice. It also wasn’t able to live up to the expectations for the series that the first book set.
So that was my May. You may notice that this was published in August so I’m fairly far behind on my reviews so far but I’m hoping to catch up by the end of the month. Wish me luck!