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?
Is The Good Children a new one by Roopa Farooki? I haven't read it. Was it good or just another 3 star book?ReplyDelete
It's a new one, coming out in the middle of June. It's the first book I've read by her and I was really impressed - think I will end up rating it 4.5 out of 5 & I'll definitely be acquiring some more of her books.Delete
So many books! It's always a shame when they all turn out only average so fingers crossed June turns out better. I had a good month and ended up finishing 7 books, with Stoner taking pride of place as my favourite of the month.ReplyDelete
I've started Lord of the Flies now and can already tell it's better than average, so fingers crossed I'm picking better books now! Glad you had a good reading month too :)Delete
Too many 3-star reads can get tedious and terrible. I was stuck in that boat all through March and April, but May is when I finally busted out. I hope the same happens for you!ReplyDelete
Hopefully my own 3 star reads will be confined to one month, although I'm glad it's picking up for you now!Delete
Here's to a June full of 4 and 5 star books!ReplyDelete
Definitely! I'm off to a good start with Lord of the Flies, so fingers crossed....Delete
A fantastic month! A run of 3-stars can definitely be frustrating -- they're not bad books, but they're not great books either. I'm sure we're all always on a quest to find & read books we'll love, not just books we'll like or think are just OK -- I don't think anyone starts a book hoping it will just be average!ReplyDelete
Exactly - no one picks up a book hoping for average. In some ways, it's better to really despise a book, and it makes the review much easier to write! June has started off better already, so fingers crossed it continues all month.Delete
Norwegian Wood is probably the least weird out of Murakami's big works, I'd definitely recommend you to try something else by him instead. I loved The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (that's definitely a lot weirder :p), but it's quite a big book.ReplyDelete
You got so much reading done! I only finished four books in May, but most of those were really good.
Hmm...is Kafka on the Shore a better bet then?ReplyDelete
I think so, that would be my next choice actually after The Wind-Up Bird :)Delete
The Baba Segi's Wives book was one of my favorites too when I read it. You have some excellent reads this month!ReplyDelete
Nine books is a great amount I'm sorry that many were average reads though. Happy reading in June!ReplyDelete
Great books this month! We Need New Names' synopsis sounds highly interesting!ReplyDelete
We Need New Names is supposed to be fantastic. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
Congrats on figuring out the real purpose of the rocking chair - mama reading time. It's a closely kept secret! :)