I had a decent run of reads in May, with about 2/3rds of my books being read in the first half of the month. The second half consisted of a whirlwind of Girl Scout activities, a lack of file rooms in my work life, and friends visiting over Memorial Day weekend. That being said, I read some some awesome books this month (and some not so awesome books).
Favorite May Reads: Sapiens, The Queen of the Night, Challenger Deep, Zealot, All the Single Ladies
Audiobook-land was a mixed bag in May. The Rosie Project was a cute, light read. I liked Don Tillman and how he interacted with the world. Master of Formalities had a very dry, understated sense of humor. It took several hours of listening for me to warm up to it, and while I enjoyed the latter portion of the book, it was not one of my favorites (I liked Scott Meyer’s Off to Be the Wizard much better). The Sin Eater’s Daughter was the first of the not-so-awesome books of May. It started off strong, and I was sucked into it until Twylla became savvy to what was actually going on. She was whiny and hand-wringy, and the love triangle was horrible – “it started out as an infiltration job, but I love you now that I know you, baby…” Gah!! Sapiens was freaking amazing! The basic premise being that what sets humans apart from every other living being is the fact that we have imagination. We are able to create a world outside of the concrete (examples include the idea of money and religion). Harari has a TED Talk video that gives a good overview. It’s not a book to read if you are easily offended or have a hard time listening to ideas outside of your worldview. The Iron Trial was surprisingly good as well. I liked the rules of magic. I liked that it’s not Call who is technically the “hero”. It gets knocked on for being a Harry Potter rip off, but that sells the book (and series) short. While there are similarities, The Iron Trial is its own world. It takes a sub-genre J.K. Rowling created and does right by it.
Novels (6) / Novellas (2) / Nonfiction (3)
The MBRC series was a re-read. Mythical beings need to be rehabilitated in order to interact in modern human society, and a teenage girl accidentally gets swept up into helping them. I love the humor and the lightheartedness, and I wish there were more books in the series. The Queen of the Night was beautiful. The lack of quotation marks took a while to get used to, but the lyricalness of how Lilliet moved through her life more than made up for any minor grammatical distractions. Challenger Deep was an amazing book. Stark at times, but amazing. I liked how Caden’s two realities intersected and bled into each other. I also liked how he was ultimately able to cope with his mental illness. Zealot was another book that fell into the category of “don’t read if you’re easily offended and/or don’t like to read things outside of your worldview”. It looked at Jesus from the historical sense using sources contemporary to his life to extrapolate what kind of person he was. It definitely creates an entirely different interpretation from how he is seen in Christianity today. I wish All the Single Ladies existed when I was in my early 20’s (same with Spinster by Kate Bolick). Marriage isn’t the only path for women, and if it is, doesn’t need to be a straight shot once you hit adulthood. Whereas Spinster looked at one woman’s personal journey to accepting singlehood, All the Single Ladies looks at it historically, and how that history shaped singlehood for women today. The Dark Days Club was the other not-so-awesome book I read in May. It was a fast read, but I had to force myself to finish it. I didn’t particularly care for Helen or Carlston. I’m one to love the dark and brooding guy, but Carlston was just plain manipulative, trying to guilt Helen into accepting and using her powers even though the personal toll was incredibly high. Helen wasn’t hand-wringy, but I still couldn’t empathize with her situation. This was the rare story where the heroine would have been better off turning her back on the whole hot mess once she learned exactly what it would do to her.
Manga (9) / Graphic (4)