books read in May…



  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Women’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. While I don’t read loads of true crime anymore, it used to be a main staple in my reading diet. This was definitely a solid addition to the genre. I loved the combination of true crime with memoir. And like everyone else, I’m saddened by the fact that Michelle McNamara did not live to see the object of her obsession arrested.
  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed. Already wrote about this wonderful, wonderful book here.
  • Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition, Volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya. I know this is a beloved series to many, but I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled with it. It’s not that I actually disliked it. But after just shy of 400 pages, the fact that it still hasn’t wowed me makes me pause at the idea of continuing on with the series. And you know, that’s okay–it’s not like there aren’t thousands of other books out there that I’d really like to read.
  • The Girls by Emma Cline. Hmmm, how do I even describe my feelings about this book… I have to admit that I didn’t love it. But it is not the book’s nor the author’s fault. I found it very well written with interesting insights, and I suspect I would have loved it…if not for my past obsession with the Manson family story. I was in high school in the summer of 1979 or 1980 when I bought the paperback of Helter Skelter at Kmart. And I lounged on a blanket in our back yard devouring it. I’ve since read it at least 7 more times. And watched the movie at least that many times. And read other books, including Child of Satan, Child of God about Susan Atkins. The Girls is a fictionalized story of the Manson family, especially focused on Susan. And that’s where I found the fault–though it’s not a fault at all, of course. But to me, every storytelling choice she made that veered from the facts pulled me right out of the story. There was nothing wrong with these choices, and honestly the voice of Evie that she used to narrate the story was great. And yet all my brain kept saying to me was, “You should just go read Helter Skelter again.” Yeah, I really don’t even want to know what that says about me… Bottom line: I think this a probably a pretty awesome book, but my baggage just got in the way.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. It seems utterly bizarre to me that with all the hype that came with this book, I somehow didn’t know it was a zombie story. Not that knowing that would have affected, one way or the other, whether or not I read it. There were people whose tastes often align with with mine who enjoyed, so I was more than happy to finally get to it. And I fully expected I would enjoy it. What I didn’t expect was how it would rip my heart out, or how intelligent and thought-provoking it would be, or how it would offer hope in a hopeless situation. Yes, I expected to enjoy it, but I don’t think I expected to love it quite as much as I did. This is a book that I can actually see myself rereading down the road (and I don’t say that often with my road getting ever shorter and the pile of unread books only getting bigger).
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin. OMG–I read a classic! And enjoyed it! It was a little bit of a slow start for me, but I was totally on board before too long. I can see why this short novel has stood the test of time. I’d like to believe that today’s generation of young women has ditched the “put everyone else’s needs ahead of my own” mentality, but I know that’s not entirely the case, however. And still I see signs of hope in some of the young women I’m honored to call friends.

I know there are still a couple days left in May, but I don’t foresee me finishing any more books before the end of the month, so I decided to just finish up this post. What a tremendous nosedive my reading took this month! I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I don’t even feel like there’s enough reading there to talk about trends.

But what I can talk about is the MASSIVE FAIL on my “tbr takedown” goal. Instead of knocking off this month’s goal of 14 books off my physical tbr pile, I added to it. *sigh* My Librarything “unread” tag now stands at 1,513–which means I added 8 books! *double sigh* As per my rules, this means I now have to get rid of 22 books. Even though I culled my books a few months back, I’m still hopeful that this won’t hurt too much…


Well that turned out to be a lot harder than I’d anticipated, partly due to my carelessness at keeping my Librarything library precisely accurate. After pulling 22 books to donate, I discovered that 12 of them didn’t even count–one had been marked as “unfinished” as opposed to “unread” and the other eleven had never made it onto my library at all. Argh!!! Which means I’ll be getting rid of 34 books now:

  • The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
  • But I Trusted You and Other True Cases by Ann Rule
  • Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal edited by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite
  • The National Wildlife Federation Book of Family Nature Activities by Page Chichester
  • Six American Poets: An Anthology edited by Joel Conarroe
  • A Creepy Company by Joan Aiken
  • Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
  • The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Drinking the Rain by Alix Kates Shulman
  • Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  • The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand
  • The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman
  • Zoology by Ben Dolnick
  • Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • In the Woods by Tana French
  • Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • A War of Gifts by Orson Scott Card
  • The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories by Henry James
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  • Book Crush For Kids and Teens by Nancy Pearl
  • Panic in Level 4 by Richard Preston
  • Morning Glories Volume Seven by Nick Spenser
  • The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
  • Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost
  • Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
  • Babylon’s Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo by Lawrence Anthony
  • Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner

Let this be a lesson, Debra Anne: READ THE BOOKS YOU ALREADY OWN!!!

2 thoughts on “books read in May…

  1. Oh no! Look at all of those fun books you are getting rid of! The Rick Riordan series. Divergent (which is the only book out of the trilogy I would ever recommend reading). I hope the books you kept are just as good!


    1. It was hard. There were several books, including the Riordan ones, that were tough to part with. But once I hit the point where it got hard, I went with books I knew I could easily get from the library. Divergent was one I was totally up in the air about–as much hype as there was about it years ago, I couldn’t remember if there was anyone’s tastes whom I tend to mirror that enjoyed it. So I’m glad to hear you’d recommend it, because I can pretty much count on the fact that if you like a book, I will too. 🙂


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