May was another excellent reading month for me, as I finished nine books! It was almost ten, but I finished the tenth book on June 1st (Roopa Farooki's The Good Children), so that one can be carried over to June. Clearly the best way to increase the amount you read is to become so pregnant that all you can do is sit in a rocking chair surrounded by piles of books!
Despite reading a lot this month, most of the books turned out to be just average reads. It was very much a three-star reading month, so I'm hoping that June will bring more four and five star reads for me, as too many three-star reads in a row can become demoralising. I did meet my goal of reading one classic a month (Cranford) and also read five books from my physical TBR shelf (as opposed to kindle or library books), which I'm happy with.
This month, I read (links go to my reviews):
- Jephte's Daughter by Naomi Ragen - An Orthodox Jewish woman struggles to find herself in the confines of an arranged marriage in Jerusalem. Thought-provoking, but slightly let down by the second half of the novel. 3.5 stars.
- The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin - Baba Segi's fourth wife is childless, and investigations into the cause unearth many family secrets. A tragic comedy, and one of the best books I read all month. 5 stars.
- Inkspell by Cornelia Funke - The second in the Inkworld trilogy, and a reread for me. Great fun, but not as fun as the first installment. 4 stars.
- The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne - Fun romance novel about Evie, who is addicted to antiques and meets the heir to a fabulous Scottish castle. Great escapism - 3.5 stars
- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo - Darling grows up in a shanty town and dreams of escaping to America, only to find that it isn't all she hoped it would be. My favourite read of the month - 5 stars.
- The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman - Teacher in an unhappy marriage starts abusing a teenage boy. This one promised to be controversial but wasn't as thought provoking as I had hoped. 3 stars.
- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell - A quiet read that took me a while to get into, about a town populated only by women. 3.5 stars.
- Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami - My first Murakami, and not as weird as I was hoping. A teenage coming of age story. 3 stars.
- The Fire Gospel by Michel Faber - Another let-down. I'm a big Faber fan, but this retelling of the Prometheus myth missed the mark. 3 stars.
Looking ahead to June, I'm hoping to get lots of reading in before the baby comes (I'm officially due in 9 days, but have a feeling I will go over). I'm still dipping in and out of On the Map by Simon Garfield, so will be finishing that this month. Apart from that, I'm going to read on a whim and see where my fancy takes me.
How was your reading month?
What was your favourite and least favourite reads of May?