Every month I say some variation of “wow, time flew by” and of course… May was certainly no exception. Busy weekends, a birthday trip, and I can’t even remember what else happened this month, but not much reading occurred. In fact, this is probably the slimmest month for finishes in a few years. And that’s OK! I’m really trying not to care about the quantity and just focus on the quality of what I’m reading… and perhaps I should get used to the idea that life is only going to get busier and my reading probably won’t be able to keep up at the same pace as before. But in the meantime… bring on the summer reading 🙂
May 2016 Thoughts
I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage, by Mary-Ann Kirby – B+
Start date: 4/11/2016
Finish date: 5/1/2016
Genre/Format: Memoir / Paperback
I’ve never heard of the Hutterite community, so this memoir was a fascinating look into an isolated communal group where the author grew up until her parents decided to leave. The customs and community life seemed pretty idyllic, and the lack of drama is probably the biggest flaw in this memoir. Even facing major culture shock after leaving the Hutterites, the author’s family integrates into secular life with little fanfare. The author seemed to really miss the community aspect, and I was so curious about her adult life and how she feels about her relationship with the Hutterites now, but she didn’t go into those sorts of insights.
The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander – A
Start date: 5/9/2016
Finish date: 5/11/2016
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Audiobook
So glad I listened to the audiobook of this free verse novel about twin brothers as they navigate the perils of middle school. I put off this 2015 Newbery winner since it’s about sports, but it’s related to basketball in the same way Friday Nights Lights is related to football; the game is the lens through which the characters view life, but it’s about so much more than that. Not at all what I expected, so lyrical and a joy to listen to. I can’t give away the ending but it was a tearjerker.
The Bell Jar, by Slyvia Plath – A
Start date: 5/1/2016
Finish date: 5/10/2016
Genre/Format: Fiction / Paperback
Man, what a gut punch. I don’t know why I picked it up now, but this modern classic’s harrowing account of one young woman’s mental breakdown was worth the challenge. This is one of those books I would love to parse out with a book group or a really great Literature class, although I’m glad I got to read it just for myself. I can see why it strikes a chord with so many young women, especially the feminist passages. On a personal level, Esther’s breakdown resonated with my own outside experience of watching someone go through a break with reality in many ways. It’s hard not to think of Sylvia Plath’s short life the entire time, and the sterile bio at the back of the book almost sent me down the Wikipedia rabbit hole to get more info, but I’m not sure I can handle it emotionally.
Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World, by Anthony Doerr
Start date: 2/17/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook
Still reading. I’ve picked it up while waiting in a couple long lines, but it’s really the type of book that needs a good chunk of time devoted to it. Haven’t made too much progress lately, but I’ll get back to it eventually.
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), by Marissa Meyer
Start date: 3/29/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Library book
Still reading. I was loving the audiobook, but I had to return it to the library and then also had to turn the print book back to the library. Sigh… I’m tempted to just buy the eBook but haven’t had much time to read anyway, so in the meantime I’m back on the hold list.
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson
Start date: 5/14/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Nonfiction / Paperback
I keep hearing about this nonfiction account of the Lusitania’s last voyage, so I requested a review copy from Blogging for Books. I need a plane ride or a couple hours on a beach to dive into this more, but so far so good.
The Last Boy and Girl in the World, by Siobhan Vivian
Start date: 5/21/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Hardcover
I got this signed hardcover from the Parnassus bookstore’s First Edition club right before our trip to Chicago, so added it to my bag on a whim. I love reading when I have a chunk of time while travelling, but back home it’s been harder to make any progress.
Books read in May: 3
Books read so far in 2016: 33
Still reading: 4
So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of May, the fifth month of 2016. I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?
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