wrap up: May 2019

Happy Colin Farrell’s Birthday, everyone!  Another month, another reading wrap up:

  1. Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong ★★★★★ | review
  2. Good And Mad by Rebecca Traister ★★★★★ | review
  3. A Natural by Ross Raisin ★★★★☆ | review
  4. Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott ★★☆☆☆ | review
  5. So Sad Today by Melissa Broder ★★★★☆ | review
  6. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong ★★★★★ | review to come
  7. Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton ★★☆☆☆ | review
  8. Tell Them of Battles, Kings & Elephants by Mathias Énard ★★★★★ | review
  9. Spy Princess by Shrabani Basu ★★★☆☆ | mini review (read for work)
  10. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman ★★★☆☆ | mini review (read for work)
  11. Forest Bathing by Qing Li ★★★☆☆ | no review (read for work)

Favorite: Tell Them of Battles, Kings & Elephants by Mathias Énard
Honorable mention: Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
Least favorite: Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

MAY TOTAL: 11
YEARLY TOTAL: 56

Other posts from this month:

Life updates:

I’m still settling into the new job and trying to find the optimal work/life/blogging balance, so again, apologies for falling behind on here, but I’m working on it!  Not having as much free time has also forced me to think about my blog content and the kind of posts I want to be writing, other than my book reviews which will always be my staple, so ironically enough I’m actually more inspired than ever regarding my blog content, I just need to carve out the time to sit down and write.

The reason my On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous review is being held up is that it’s actually a commissioned review, my very first!  You’ll be able to read my piece in mid-June, so apologies for the wait to everyone who’s been asking for my thoughts on that book.  Spoiler alert: it was good!

Also, this probably won’t be of any interest to anyone but oh well: after two straight months of car troubles, I am very excited to announce that this afternoon I am picking up my brand new car.  This is the first new car I’ve ever bought and excited is honestly an understatement.  I feel like I haven’t gone a single month without some car problem or other in the last decade, so I’m very excited to have a clean slate on the car-repair front.

Currently reading: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (lol, I’m working on it), The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story edited by Anne Enright, The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (it’s good!), The Fire Starters by Jan Carson (it’s marvelous!).

What was the best book you read in May?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

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wrap up: April 2019

  1. Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li ★★☆☆☆ | review
  2. Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li ★★★★☆ | review
  3. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett ★★★★☆ | mini review
  4. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli ★★★☆☆ | review
  5. Medusa by Pat Barker ★★★★★ | mini review
  6. Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden ★★☆☆☆ | review
  7. Maus by Art Spiegelman ★★★★★ | review
  8. The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott ★★★☆☆ | review
  9. Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn ★★★☆☆ | review
  10. Lie With Me by Philippe Besson, translated by Molly Ringwald ★★★★☆ | review

Favorite: Maus by Art Spiegelman
Honorable mention: Lie With Me by Philippe Besson
Least favorite: Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Medusa is a short story published in The New Yorker, which I’m only including in this wrap up because I added it on Goodreads to share some interest over there, and I want my numbers to match.  You can read it here.

APRIL TOTAL: 10
YEARLY TOTAL: 46

Other posts from this month:

Life updates:

Well, for once there’s a kind of big one… I got a new job!  The company I’d been working for since 2013 went out of business in February and I was hired mid-April as an editorial assistant for a local (but also kind of low-key very well known) publisher and I am so thrilled about it.  I was already working in publishing, but I really hadn’t been expecting to find a position like this without having to relocate, so it was just a wonderful case of the timing working out perfectly.  It’s been a bit of an adjustment though, which is why I haven’t been posting as regularly; for the past year I’ve been working from home which obviously allowed me ample blogging time, and having to write posts in the evening is exhausting as I’m sure most of you know.  But I’m going to try to get back into the swing of my reading life in May, not least of all because I’m still looking for the the 5 star novel that’s been eluding me all year.

Also, unrelated, but my friend Chelsea also visited for a weekend and got me a VERY COOL belated birthday gift: she had Sally Rooney (my queen) sign a book for me!

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So, that was neat.

Currently reading: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister (audio), A Natural by Ross Raisin.

What was the best book you read in April?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

wrap up: March 2019

Happy birthday to me!  In honor of turning 27 today here is… a monthly wrap up!  Exciting!

  1. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★☆ | review
  2. When All Is Said by Anne Griffin ★★☆☆☆ | review
  3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones ★★★☆☆ | review
  4. If, Then by Kate Hope Day ★★★☆☆ | review
  5. The Club by Takis Würger ★☆☆☆☆ | review
  6. Color and Light by Sally Rooney ★★★★★ | review
  7. Mr Salary by Sally Rooney ★★★★★ | review
  8. Troubles by JG Farrell ★★★★☆ | review
  9. Young Skins by Colin Barrett ★★★★☆ | review
  10. The Killer In Me by Olivia Kiernan ★★★★☆ | review
  11. Faith Healer by Brian Friel ★★★★★ | review
  12. Ordinary People by Diana Evans | almost done, rtc

Favorite: Faith Healer by Brian Friel
Honorable mention: Sally Rooney!
Least favorite (possibly of my life): The Club by Takis Würger

MARCH TOTAL: 12
YEARLY TOTAL: 36

You’ll notice that everything I read in March fell into one of three categories: ARCs, Women’s Prize longlisted titles, and Irish lit.  Regarding that last one, I just want to give a quick shout-out to Cathy for doing a superb job hosting Reading Ireland Month along with her co-host Niall.  If you’re even slightly interested in Irish lit, there is a wealth of resources over on Cathy’s blog, so do go check out her posts if you haven’t already!

Some of my other posts from the month:

My March reading was… okay.  I feel like what’s been missing from my 2019 reading is a novel that I really adore.  All of my favorites so far have been nonfiction, plays, or short stories… which is ironic given that one of my reading goals of the year was to read fewer novels and read more of everything else!  But I’m finding that I’m really craving a novel that just pulls me in and doesn’t let me go, something I haven’t really found with anything I’ve read so far this year.  The Friend by Sigrid Nunez has come the closest, but I’m not sure that’s a new all-time favorite.  What’s the best novel you’ve read recently??

Currently reading: I may move Cleopatra: A Life over to my ‘on hold’ shelf on Goodreads as I don’t see myself picking this back up before May… but soon I will return to it!  Unfortunately, despite being a Lisa See superfan I’m finding The Island of Sea Women to be a bit of a slog – I’m only 20% in but I haven’t touched this in weeks.  I’m hoping to finish it by mid-April though.  And finally, I’m working through Swan Song as one of my Women’s Prize reads.

Finally, I’m having such fun reading through the Women’s Prize longlist with Hannah, Callum, Sarah, Steph, and Naty – if you want to be added to a group chat on Twitter where we discuss our progress on these 16 books, please let me know!  (You do not need to read the entire longlist to join in, this is a very unofficial chat.)

What was the best book you read in March?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

wrap up: February 2019

  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez ★★★★★ | review
  • The Cassandra by Sharma Shields ★☆☆☆☆ | review
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman ★★☆☆☆ | review
  • The Heavens by Sandra Newman ★★★☆☆ | review
  • Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb ★★★★☆ | review
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde ★★★★☆ | mini review
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker ★★★★☆ | review
  • The Parting Glass by Gina Marie Guadagnino ★★★★☆ | review
  • Bad Blood by John Carreyrou ★★★★☆ | mini review
  • Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe ★★★★★ | review

Favorite: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
Honorable mention: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Least favorite: The Cassandra by Sharma Shields

FEBRUARY TOTAL: 10
YEARLY TOTAL: 25

Some of my other posts from the month: Women’s Prize 2019 Longlist PredictionsReading Ireland 2019 TBR and RecommendationsSome of my recent favorite book quotes.

A bit of a mixed reading month, but it did give me a new book for my ‘favorites’ shelf in Say Nothing, so I can hardly complain.  Anyway, a quick housekeeping note: you may have noticed that I’ve started using Book Depository affiliate links in my posts.  I did have a bit of a moral quandary about this as I try my best not to support Amazon (which does own BD, unfortunately), but without going into too much detail, things in my personal and professional life have not been going too well recently, so I figured what the hell.  Please do support your local indies whenever possible, but if that isn’t an option for you for whatever reason, clicking these links will give me a few cents here and there, which is so appreciated!

Currently reading: Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff (ahh this one keeps getting pushed to the side for more urgent reads, but I am enjoying it), The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

What was the best book you read in February?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

wrap up: January 2019

 

 

 

  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene ★★★★☆ | review
  • Cherry by Nico Walker ★★★★☆ | review
  • Heavy by Kiese Laymon ★★★★☆ | review
  • The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells ★★★★☆ | review
  • The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict ★★☆☆☆ | review
  • My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ★★★★☆ | mini review
  • Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh ★★☆☆☆ | review
  • The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway ★★★★☆ | review
  • Paradise by Edna O’Brien ★★★★☆ | review
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ★★★☆☆ | review
  • This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps ★★★☆☆ | review
  • Daughters of Passion by Julia O’Faolain ★★★☆☆ | review
  • The Hiding Place by CJ Tudor ★★☆☆☆ | review
  • Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev ★★★★☆ | review
  • Census by Jesse Ball ★★☆☆☆ | mini review

Favorite: The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells
Honorable Mentions: Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev, Paradise by Edna O’Brien
Least favorite: The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict

JANUARY TOTAL: 15
YEARLY TOTAL: 15

I’m pretty sure 15 is a personal record for most books read in a single month (and, technically I read 16 since I also read a friend’s MS).  I mean, obviously there were a couple of short stories thrown in there, and also January is like eighteen billion years long, so it’s probably not as impressive of a number as it seems, but still.  Also, I do still have to finish Census but I’m pretty sure I’ll manage that by the end of the day, so it’s going on the list.

Currently reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman, Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (which I started yesterday at Hannah’s encouragement after making this post).

 

Also, I never do monthly TBRs but I’m going to make an exception right now because there is a lot going on this month and I need to keep track of it all somewhere.

ARCs:

1. The Cassandra by Sharma Shields (2/12)
2. The Heavens by Sandra Newman (2/22)
3. The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (3/5)
4. When All Is Said by Anne Griffith (3/5)
5. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (3/5)

Buddy reads:

6. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (with Chelsea)

2019 reading goals:

7. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (from my backlist TBR)
8. Glass, Irony, and God by Anne Carson (from my goal to read 2 books of poetry/short stories/plays/nonfiction each month)

Library holds:

9. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
10. Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
11. Becoming by Michelle Obama, audiobook: I actually don’t think I’m going to listen to this after all.  I just can’t do a 19 hour audiobook.  My usual limit is around 8 hours and I thought I could make an exception for Michelle Obama, but now that the audiobook is in my possession it is stressing me out too much, so I think I shall just have to read the physical copy, which luckily I have access to.  I may try to read this in February but I guess it isn’t a necessity.

I may not get to all of these – namely, I could save 2 of those ARCs for the first week of March – and I may add a couple of others, but you get the general idea.  Wish me luck.

What was the best book you read in January?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

wrap up: December 2018

 

  • Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko ★★★★★ | review
  • The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg ★★☆☆☆ | review
  • The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh ★★★★☆ | review
  • The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman ★★★★★ | review
  • Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday ★★☆☆☆ | mini review
  • The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey ★★★★☆ | review
  • There There by Tommy Orange ★★★☆☆ | review
  • The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories edited by Jay Rubin ★★★★☆ | review
  • Severance by Ling Ma ★★★★☆ | review
  • The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose ★★★★☆ | review
  • Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman ★★★★☆ | mini review
  • The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith ★★★★☆ | review
  • Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima – ★★★☆☆ | review

Favorite: Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko
Honorable Mention: The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
Least favorite: Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

DECEMBER TOTAL: 13
YEARLY TOTAL: 133 (once I finish Territory of Light)

Exciting stuff – 133 is definitely a new yearly record!  It definitely wasn’t the best year quality-wise, but I’m still very pleased with the amount I was able to read.

Currently reading: Heavy by Kiese Laymon, Cherry by Nico Walker

 

What was the best book you read in December?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

wrap up: November 2018

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson ★★★★☆ | mini review
  • The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon ★★★★☆ | review
  • The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker ★★★★☆ | review
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ★ (reread) | mini review
  • The Lies We Told by Camilla Way ★★★★☆ | review
  • Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney ★★★★★ | review
  • The Dry by Jane Harper ★★★☆☆ | review
  • How To Be Safe by Tom McAllister ★☆☆☆☆ | review
  • Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz ★★★★☆ | mini review
  • Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss ★★★★★ | review

Favorite: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
Honorable Mentions: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss.
Least favorite: How To Be Safe by Tom McAllister

NOVEMBER TOTAL: 10
YEARLY TOTAL: 120

November was a good reading month, but it was also a good month in general because I got to spend a week in the Bahamas, which was gorgeous!

Currently reading: The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg.

What was the best book you read in November?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd