May 31, 2022
May 2022 Reading Wrap Up
How was your May reading?
Between tragic national news (Uvalde) and a family health issue, I feel like my reading mood was all over the board. I did have a few great reads.
Out of 13 books completed, I had two 5-star reads, two 4.5-star reads (rounded up to 5), four 4-star reads, three 3-star reads, and two 2-Star reads. I read two nonfiction which brings my year total to 8. I had one DNF.
The most memorable 4.5-5 Star reads of the month were The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer (for its interesting and compelling content), Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton, and The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman.
Did we read any of the same books?
***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links or my linked reviews.
ARC=Advanced Readers Copy (complimentary copy for review before pub date)
The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer (ARC)
5 Stars. (ARC) Page-turning and compelling WW11 historical fiction. Review coming 6/28/2022.
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
5 Stars. Literary Historical Fiction. (#3 in the Gilead Series) Not yet reviewed.
Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton (ARC)
4.5 Stars (rounded to 5). Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction. My review of Our Last Days in Barcelona here.
The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman (ARC)
4.5 Stars (rounded to 5). Historical Fiction. WW11/Pearl Harbor. Review coming 8/2/2022.
The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs
4 Stars. Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Not at all about sewing (TWs for domestic violence). Not yet reviewed.
Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman (ARC)
4 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Women’s Fiction. My review of Adult Assembly Required here.
Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
4 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Women’s Fiction. #5 in the Hedgehog Series. Review coming 6/28/2022.
Jack by Marilynne Robinson
4 Stars. Literary Historical Fiction (#4 in the loosely connected Gilead Series). Character-driven and sad. Not reviewed.
Sand Dollar Lane by Sheila Roberts
3.5-4 Stars. Contemporary Women’s Fiction (closed-door romance). #6 in the Moonlight Harbor Series. For this one, I think it’s important to have read #5 first. Not reviewed.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
3 Stars. Contemporary Women’s Fiction (some open-door romance). Review coming soon.
A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Sanders
3 Stars. Nonfiction. An analysis of Russian short stories in a classroom format. The analysis is interesting but I wished I had liked the stories more. Not reviewed.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
2 Stars. (ARC) Women’s Contemporary Fiction. Half of the story is high school flashbacks, so it feels heavily YA. Also, the main character is not too likable. Many readers in my buddy read group loved it. My Goodreads review of Every Summer After here.
On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker J. Palmer
2 Stars. Nonfiction. Memoir/Essay. The title is misleading. Mostly a rehash of his previous writing. Very few mentions of aging. Not reviewed.
DNF: Chemistry Lessons by Bonnie Garmus
1 Star. Women’s Feminist Fiction. DNF at 7%. This was promoted as light-hearted and laugh-out-loud funny. When I encountered the graphic description of violent rape, I wondered if I was reading the same book as everyone else. This book is receiving RAVE reviews, and I feel like the outlier of all outliers! I’m so far out there that Andy Weir could write his next space adventure about me! Check reviews for trigger warnings because I didn’t get far (even though I could see it was well written).
What was your favorite May read?
Did we read any of the same books?
Which of these books is on your TBR?
May Blog Posts:
The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle Review
Track Your Reading: Goodreads or Story Graph?
The Book of Lost Names Review
Our Last Days in Barcelona Review
TTT: Ten Memorable Book Quotes (Volume 3)
Do You Love a Book Series?
Adult Assembly Required Review
Bloomsbury Girls Review
Bomb Shelter & I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet Reviews
The Last Train to Key West Review
The Guide to Gratitude (Guest Post)
TTT: 10 Memorable Bookish Characters
The Jane Austen Society Review
Black Butterflies Review
TTT: One Word Reviews of Five Star Reads
The Book Woman’s Daughter Review
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book covers and photos are credited to Amazon or publisher websites.
Look like you have a good month.
Hope you have a great reading month for June.
Thanks Ann! Happy June reading!
I loved Violet Made of Thorns!
🙌 Thanks for sharing!
You’ve had a really great reading month. There are a few books that you had read that are on my TBR. I’m sorry that “Chemistry Lessons” didn’t work for you. For some graphic scenes like rape, I think there should be trigger warnings. It allows the reader to either not read or skim/skip the scene.
May wasn’t a very good reading month for me. I read seven books (five of them were audiobooks). Mid-month, I travelled for a 4-week relaxing holiday. Unfortunately, I caught a nasty cold, the first time I’d been sick since the pandemic started. You would think that resting in bed would be an ideal time to read, but my eyes were too itchy which accounts for high number of audiobooks.
The good news is that there were two five-star books. Thank you for recommending “Black Cake”. I enjoyed it and thought the story was well constructed. I also listened to Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. The narrator did such an excellent job that I bumped it up a star. I probably should have spaced this out longer after reading “I Must Betray You” because they both are set in Eastern European countries under communist rule.
Sorry to hear you’ve been sick. It was so nice to avoid that when we’re staying home more and masking up!
I’m happy to hear you liked Black Cake! My annoyance with Lessons in Chemistry is the way it was promoted……totally went into it with wrong expectations. Thanks for the Swimming in the Dark rec! I’ll check it out.
Happy June reading!
Marilynne Robinson is one of my favorite writers! I love her ‘Gilead’ series.
A brilliant writer! I loved Gilead and committed to reading the others this year. I’m a bit disappointed in Jack……I love his character and what he represents but I was hoping for more redemption…..or I would settle for hope. I would love a reread of Gilead now that I’ve finished the series. Are you working on your next book?
I get reading month for you! Buffalo threw me off because it happened so damn close to here so I definitely feel that
A private high school near us just closed for the remainder of the year (finishing online) because of a very credible threat. It makes me increasingly afraid of being in public places these days. 💔
Looks like you had a great reading month!
It was! Happy June reading Jenny!
It looks like your reading was a mixed bag this month Carol. I was declined for Chemistry Lessons and Every Summer After, so I think I will cancel my holds at the library for them. Thanks for the honest thoughts Carol.
Honestly, I’m a huge outlier for Chemistry Lessons..,you might want to see for yourself! Every Summer is missing something for me (maybe wittier writing?). And I honestly didn’t care about the duck storyline. There are better summer romcoms! It was ok…just meh.
Your comment about the rape scene, turned me right off of it Carol. I have so many books I want to read, I will just quietly move on.
The book was promoted as a light, laugh out loud book, so I certainly wasn’t expecting a violent rape a few pages in! 😱
I’m sorry I have my books mixed up here! Every Summer was less enjoyable for me because of the high school backstory which took up half the book! Flying Solo was the one with the duck and needed more wit. I don’t usually read so many romcoms and they’re running together! 😂
I have only read Sanders’ and really enjoyed it. I love literary criticism
I loved the criticism part! The stories not so much!