I’ve recently found my stride with this year’s reading challenge on Goodreads, and I’ve been really happy with my progress so far. In May, I read three books, which doesn’t seem like a lot (even to me), but with the previous months having been some of the hardest I’ve experienced medically, I’m happy to be steadily coming back into myself.
What I read in May
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan: This novel was my favorite book of the month. It’s a depiction of Australian lives in WWII, and an event that I had not known about before reading the novel. The content continues on in my thoughts. It is a book deserving of its 2014 Man Booker Prize award. I found the prose both terrible and beautiful all at once, and I found myself feeling so heartbroken for the characters’ stories. The story kept me riveted even after its conclusion, and with its content so raw, I thirstily searched for more novels and articles about the Australian war efforts of WWII. Overall, I’m glad to have read this book. It expanded my idea of what a good military novel can be.
- Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, by Bonnie Jo Campbell: This was a collection of short stories about female family members in rural poverty. I’ve made a bigger effort to expand my book selections to more female writers, specifically whom I had not read before. The content was hard to stomach, but the author does well with writing humor in many instances to help the reader overcome some of the grim experiences of the women. Campbell’s stories feel unique; she creates fresh words to explain things that happen in the stories, and ensures that most women can relate to or sympathize with the characters. To me, all of the women in the stories were reminders of people I had known before, in my rural childhood town, a place that wasn’t big enough for a place on a county map as I was growing up. Some of these women I still know, victims of small town ideals, never leaving home.
- All the Birds Singing, by Evie Wyld: I wrote a review earlier this month about this novel. My only additional comment is that while I found the story lacking a thriller, I really enjoyed getting becoming acquainted with Wyld’s writing style. As she was another writer I knew little about before May, I am pleased with her talent. She’s a strong writer, and I think she’ll continue to find her voice in years to come.
I have a few fun reads lined up for June. I’m going to continue reading through the Outlander Series (I finished book 1 in April, and have been caught up with this particular historical fiction/romance ever since). So far this series has not disappointed me. They’re fast-paced brain candy, and a nice little vacation from heavier novels. Currently, I’m reading the second book, Dragonfly in Amber. Additionally, I have started reading the Amelia Peabody Mystery series, a recommendation that came from a coworker. This has been a little slow going, because mysteries are not typical for me to read, but Amelia is a quirky, humorous character, which I’ve enjoyed. I’ve also started reading The Girl on the Train, after my name was finally on the top of the wait list at the library. I’ve heard good things about this book, and I’m hopeful that it won’t disappoint. Other books I plan to read this month include: The Nightingale (The library finally had it in), The Colour of Magic (the Discworld series came HIGHLY recommended by a friend), and Room, a book that became popularized again by the movie adaptation, and has been on my TBR list for years. Hopefully, I’ll make it through all of these in June, because it would mean that I’m continuing the trend of getting back to brighter self.