Books I Read in May

Trying something new here, since I’m so behind on regular review posts.

I read a TON in May (thank you vacation!) – here’s a quick look at the books I finished, with some brief thoughts about them.

    Favorite Nonfiction

  1. At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

    Thought-provoking, and it would make an excellent discussion book.

  2. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

    Super fun nonfiction, and I learned quite a bit about space travel and the space program. It’s got some parts that if you’re squeamish or opposed to discussions of bodily fluids etc you won’t appreciate. I found it fascinating, and much of it made me very grateful for gravity.

  3. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

    Heart-breaking but encouraging and inspiring. Highly recommended for anyone dealing with a loss; it doesn’t just apply to those who have had a spouse die.

  4. Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me by Alexandra Kuykendall

    I really like this sort of nonfiction – a year (or in this case, 9 months) focusing on specific things to improve your life. If you’re not a fan of this type of book, I doubt this one would appeal to you, but I enjoyed it. It does have a faith basis to it, so if you’re not Christian you may be put off by some parts of the text.

  5. The Commonsense Kitchen by Tom Hudgens

    Some delicious sounding recipes, although I didn’t like the Kindle formatting, which ended up making things harder to read. I’d like to try a few of them but would need to get a print copy first.

  6. Favorite Fiction

  7. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

    My Facebook book club selection for May, and I LOVED it. Gentle fiction, I savored it, and am looking forward to reading more by Berry eventually.

  8. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    My Facebook book club selection for June (hooray! I’m ahead again for my reading!) and it was excellent. Highly recommended for fantasy fans. It got a little more brutal towards the end than the first part of the book had led me to expect, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it to precocious readers – I’d say this one should stay as an (older teen) young adult title, unless your younger reader is really not bothered by battle descriptions at all.

  9. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

    Love the Gamache series, and this is a fantastic entry. Make sure you’re reading them in order though. Really looking forward to the next one publishing in August!

  10. The Dry by Jane Harper

    The setting is well-done, and made me feel like I was there in Australia, suffering through the drought with them. I liked the main character and was happy to see that it’s the first in a series, with the second book publishing (in the US) in 2018. The ending got a bit ridiculous, but I can forgive that in a debut author.

  11. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

    Love love love this series and I held off on reading #3 for as long as I could. Now to join everyone else in impatiently waiting for #4 to be published. Robin is one of my favorite characters in literature.

  12. A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd

    Love this series, and I was completely surprised by the ending of this one. It was a good one to read during warm weather, as it does such a good job of depicting a frigid winter I was glad not to be living through a snowstorm while reading about one!

  13. Re-Reads

  14. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

    Re-read (listen) because they’ve just been released by Audible and I needed to get them.

  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    For book club.

  16. Gallows View by Peter Robinson

    Beginning the series again as it’s been so long since I read it. Listened to the audio version.

  17. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

    For book club.

  18. A Sudden Fearful Death by Anne Perry

    Working through the series again.

  19. Other Titles

  20. My Antonia by Willa Cather

    It suffered in comparison to Hannah Coulter, otherwise, I think I’d have liked this one a lot more. If it hadn’t been my in-person book club’s May selection, I would have put it aside for several months.

  21. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

    I love this series, but this particular title wasn’t my favorite. There are some plot issues that crop up regularly, and it’s getting tedious. If I read the books with more of a gap between them, I doubt it’d bother me quite so much. I’m still looking forward to the next in the series, so this comparatively low rating is simply because of how much I have enjoyed the other titles.

  22. The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

    I wanted to like this one more than I did, but found parts of it really confusing, and the overall resolution was quite unbelievable. I did like how it highlighted a part of world history about which I am shamefully ignorant.

  23. Didn’t Especially Like

  24. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

    Disappointing. The plot was poor, the characterizations were absurd, and I found myself rolling my eyes throughout it.

  25. Savage Run by C. J. Box

    Much more brutal than I was expecting, with some gruesome details included unnecessarily.

  26. Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day by Becky Rapinchuk

    Not my favorite of these sorts of books – Clean Your Space was better – in part because it didn’t give unrealistic promises about keeping your home organized, clean, and beautiful in just 10 minutes a day.

  27. Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

    Really uneven – some of them made me laugh out loud, others left me scratching my head, and others were just not funny to me at all. And that’s just with the titles where I’d read the inspiration book, and knew all of the characters and plot points referenced in the texts.

  28. The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

    The cover was pretty, but the book didn’t live up to it. I question the historical details included, and the obliviousness of the main character. I finished it just to see how it all resolved, but I regret the wasted reading time.


  1. Wow. 24 books! That’s amazing! 🙂

  2. As I’ve mentioned before, I, too, LOVE the Gamache series. I have the newest book right now from Netgalley to read on vacation this month. LOVE love love her writing. You have inspired me to give the Comoran Strike novels another chance…I got a bit stuck during The Silkworm but really enjoyed the first one.

  3. That’s an impressive amount of books! I’ve finally gotten started on Louise Penny. I’ve listened to the first two on audio, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. But I’m enjoying them for sure!

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